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$40 million to support social equity

US: Maryland's Cannabis Business Assistance fund offers second round of funding

The Maryland Department of Commerce today announced that applications will open on August 1 for the second round of funding available through the state’s Cannabis Business Assistance Fund. The $40 million in this round of funding will help support social equity licensees who held a stage one pre-approval for a license before October 1, 2022, and are not yet operational by August 1, 2023.

“The cannabis industry is evolving quickly, and we want to make sure that Maryland helps lead this new chapter of equity and economic growth,” said Governor Wes Moore. “By focusing this round of funding on social equity applicants, we can ensure investments go towards businesses in communities that have been historically overlooked and ultimately provide new opportunities for residents throughout Maryland.”

As part of the application process, applicants must provide a detailed description of how the funding will be used as well as a timeline for when they plan to become operational. In addition, applicants can choose to receive the funding in a grant paid as a lump sum or as a no-interest loan with a term of five years, with payments starting a year after disbursement and due on a quarterly basis. Up to $5 million is available for each awardee.
“Reforming Maryland’s cannabis industry has been a very collaborative process with community partners across the state,” said Maryland Department of Commerce Secretary Kevin Anderson. “By having this equitable rollout of the state’s Cannabis Business Assistance Fund, we will continue growing the conversation while driving innovation, job creation, and positive change throughout the industry.”
The Cannabis Business Assistance Fund was created as part of legislation in the 2023 General Assembly session and seeks to increase small business and entrepreneur capacity to participate in Maryland’s adult-use cannabis industry.
The first round of funding was focused on providing grants to help existing medical-use licensees with the cost of converting their license to an adult-use license. Future rounds of funding will be offered to Historically Black Colleges and Universities for cannabis-related programs; to businesses applying for licenses; and to business development organizations, including incubators.
Funding will also be available to train and assist small businesses, including minority and women business owners and entrepreneurs who are seeking to become licensed to participate in the adult-use cannabis industry.
Applications will be accepted through September 1, 2023. For more information, visit the Maryland Department of Commerce Cannabis Business Assistance Fund website.
Questions may be directed to [email protected].
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