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Social equity businesses in Maryland will have exclusive access to the first round of applications for new recreational cannabis dispensary, cultivation and processing licenses, state officials said on Friday.
The Maryland Cannabis Administration (MCA) will begin accepting applications on November 13. Only social equity businesses will be allowed to apply for these licenses this time.
“Today’s announcement is another step forward in fulfilling Maryland’s commitment to building an equitable and inclusive cannabis industry,” MCA acting director Will Tilburg said in a press release.
Following the 30-day application period, the state cannabis regulator will grant 179 marijuana licenses, comprising 75 dispensaries, 16 growers, and 32 processors.
“Today’s announcement is another step forward in fulfilling Maryland’s commitment to building an equitable and inclusive cannabis industry,” Tilburg continued.
As part of making the application process more diverse, MCA said it “will not award any licenses that would violate statutory ownership or control restrictions,” which means that an individual is limited to being linked with only one application for each type of license, with a total cap of two applications for a single round, reported Marijuana Moment.
Currently, only medical cannabis businesses that converted to dual licenses are allowed to sell marijuana statewide.
Sales Soar After Legalization
Legal cannabis sales got underway on July 1 after residents overwhelmingly voted to legalize adult-use cannabis last November. During the first week of sales, licensed shops raked in $20.9 million in weed products. In the first full month of recreational sales, Marylanders collectively spent $87.43 million on marijuana.
Social equity in the cannabis industry is always a topic of great interest at the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference, which is taking place in Chicago this Sept. 27-28, its 17th edition.
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