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The Maryland Cannabis Administration has announced that it will launch the first application round for cannabis business licenses will open on November 13 and will be exclusively for social equity applicants.
More than 175 standard and micro cannabis grower, processor and dispensary licenses will be available in the first round exclusively for social equity applicants.
The application round will be open from November 13 to December 12.
The Administration has set out its definitions for a social equity applicant, with applicants having to have at least 65% ownership and control held by one or more individuals who lived or went to public school in an area disproportionately impacted by the criminalisation of cannabis to be eligble.
Alternatively, applicants may have attended a four-year institution of higher education in Maryland where at least 40% of enrollees were eligible for a Pell Grant.
Speaking at the time of the announcement, Maryland Cannabis Administration Acting Director Will Tilburg, stated: “Today’s announcement is another step forward in fulfilling Maryland’s commitment to building an equitable and inclusive cannabis industry.
“This application round will more than double the number of cannabis businesses in the State, and each award will be to a verified social equity applicant.”
The Office of Social Equity has also published the ZIP codes and public schools in Maryland that are within a disproportionately impacted area, and the qualifying four-year institutions of higher education.
Applicants that are eligible for the first round of licences will be placed in a randomised lottery based on license type and county or region for which the application was submitted, with the lottery beginning on or before 1 January, 2024.
The second round of applications is expected to launch after 1 May, 2024.