How to Start a Marijuana Delivery Service in Maryland

Please note: ILGM is NOT a legal adviser. Information contained in this website is intended as general introductory information only. The information contained on this website is not legal advice. It should not be construed as legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. 

The medical cannabis dispensary scene in Maryland is currently in an exciting stage of its development. In 2016, the first round of license applications was received, with over a thousand hopefuls applying. 102 licenses will be distributed in total, and during phase 2 (which is currently going on), the remaining candidates will answer more questions about their business plan details.

All that said, it would be difficult for a new marijuana entrepreneur to get involved in the medical marijuana scene in Maryland now, assuming they did not apply during the first round a year ago. Nonetheless, preparations could begin now to be ready for a potential future round of application acceptance.

While the laws are still being finalized regarding allowing delivery, a dispensary must first be opened to offer a delivery service. Therefore, let’s look at what a Maryland dispensary would need to qualify for licensing.

Cannabis Legislation

Medical marijuana was legalized in April of 2014 when the governor signed two bills (House Bill 911 and Senate Bill 923923). The Natalie M. LaPrade Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission is in charge of monitoring and regulating Maryland’s medical marijuana program.

Potential business owners could apply for three license types: a dispensary, cultivation, or processor of medical marijuana. Applications were due to the end of 2016 (November 6th, to be exact), and the selected applicants were announced later that year. The state is now in the next phase of the approval process, and there is no indication as to when the application period will open again. Some dispensaries are already planning on having delivery services for patients (as long as both the dispensary and patient are licensed and registered).

How many marijuana businesses are in Maryland?

Maryland’s first round of businesses is completing the final stages of approval. That means that Maryland will soon have registered, legal dispensaries up and running within the state. So far, only five of them are currently operating across the state, with limited supplies.

1081 applicants were hoping to secure one of the 132 licenses available. 102 of them were dispensaries, 15 were processors, and 15 were cultivation centers. Now the application period has been closed. We can expect to see more dispensaries opening soon, and the existing ones to expand their supplies.

How much money is there in the Maryland cannabis market
How much money is there in the Maryland cannabis market – Image by

How much money is there in the Maryland cannabis market

There are more than 22,000 medical marijuana patients in the state of Maryland. Taking this into account, the marijuana market is looking at $46,000,000 in revenue by the year 2021. Adult sales should reach $610,000,000 or so that same year.

License requirements for business owners

The application process involves several stages. First, the application must be pre-approved. Those that are approved will then progress to the second stage, where several documents will be required. Remember, in Maryland, a delivery service is offered by a dispensary rather than existing as a separate delivery business.

The required documents include an audited financial statement for every investing party (individuals, owners, partners, and corporations). Additionally, the applicant must provide 5% capital or more, as well as a $4000 application fee. Additional information required includes the data of each dispensary agent (name, address, date of birth, and social security number), fingerprints to the Central Registry and documents proving they were submitted, and a criminal background check to be sent to the Commission.

Additional proof of zoning compliance, controlled facilities, and conforming to specifications are also required. At this point the applicant may need to begin raising capital, installing equipment, constructing the facilities, setting up systems, and finding staff members.

Financial requirements
Financial requirements – Image by

Financial requirements

For a dispensary (which can deliver), the applicant will have to pay the following:

  • $8,000 for application fee — two applications, stage 2
  • $250,000 cultivator’s licensing fee (every second year)
  • $80,000 dispensary licensing fee (every second year)

How much could a Maryland marijuana delivery service make?

This amount can vary, but marijuana dispensaries and their delivery services generally bring anywhere from $50,000 a year up to millions, or even tens of millions of dollars.


Starting a cannabis business can take some time (often a year or more) due to state licensing fees and requirements. Since Maryland is not currently accepting applications, potential business owners should allow even more time.

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Consulting Companies that can help open a Maryland marijuana business

Looking to start a marijuana dispensary with delivery in Maryland? The consulting firms listed below provide a wide range of services from assisting with state licensing requirements and applications to run and stock your business.

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