The status of medical cannabis licenses in Maryland

The Maryland General Assembly recently punted the question of whether to legalize recreational cannabis to the public to be decided in November by a referendum. However, that vote will occur at a time when many medical cannabis businesses already exist in Maryland.

Accordingly, not only is there a question as to whether Maryland will legalize recreational cannabis, but there are also many questions associated with how such legalization will affect existing Maryland medical cannabis licensees. For example, will Maryland medical cannabis licensees be permitted to grow, process and dispense recreational cannabis? While the answers to such questions cannot yet be formulated, it is important to understand the present Maryland medical cannabis environment.

The three types of Maryland medical cannabis licenses issued by the Natalie M. La Prade Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission are: (1) a grower license, (2) a processor license, and (3) a dispensary license, and the very specific limitations on obtaining and transferring these licenses are as follows.

Limits on licenses
At present, grower and processor licenses are still available for issuance by the commission, but no dispensary licenses are available. Thus, the only way to enter the Maryland cannabis market as a dispensary at this time is to purchase the license or interest of an existing dispensary. Maryland also restricts the number of licenses in which a person or an entity can have an ownership interest, and how many licenses a person or entity may actually control. 


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