Maryland has officially opened the first round of applications for new adult-use cannabis dispensary, cultivation, and processing licenses—reserved exclusively for social equity businesses.

The Maryland Cannabis Administration (MCA) will ultimately be accepting a total of 179 cannabis licensees following the 30-day application period that started on Monday. That includes 75 dispensaries, 16 growers, and 32 processor licenses.

This will more than double the number of retailers in the state, where currently, only existing medical cannabis dispensaries that converted to dual licenses are serving adult consumers. The application process for this round is also meant to promote diversity and prevent large businesses from dominating the adult-use market.

People can only be associated with one application per license type, and they’re restricted from submitting more than two applications altogether in a single round. MCA said in September that it “will not award any licenses that would violate statutory ownership or control restrictions,” meaning people can apply for both standard and micro licenses, they can only be awarded one. Applicants also can’t receive more than one of the same license type in different regions of the state.

Read more at marijuanamoment.net