The legalization of medical marijuana in Maryland has led to several new avenues of business opportunities for both dispensaries and growers. People who cultivate marijuana in Maryland for use in medical cannabis businesses must adhere to specific guidelines to remain in compliance with the state’s cannabis laws. Because some of these laws are still in flux and remain under consideration, it is important to work with an attorney with experience in medicinal marijuana law to ensure you stay compliant with all requirements. This advice will help new cultivators entering the field.
Prepare Your Application
All potential growers must submit an application and appropriate fees to the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission . This application is the first step in being approved as a grower in Maryland, so it is essential that the information provided is thorough and complete. All submitted applications go through a multi-step review process. First, an independent committee reviews all applications and rates them based on how closely they adhere to the guidelines. Next, the Commission votes on pre-approvals to allow growers to progress to the next step, which is setting up a facility. You cannot change your application information once it is submitted, so work with an experienced attorney to ensure you are providing all of the relevant details.
Be Aware of Local Jurisdictions
The zoning for growing locations can differ from place to place. The Commission defers to local regulations when approving applications. Not all local zoning codes allow marijuana cultivation in all areas of agricultural production zones. Have a lawyer help you determine if your proposed growing location adheres to local regulations.
Create Your Facility in Accordance with Your Application
Before receiving final approval, the Commission will ensure that your cultivating facility is as described in your application. Any differences could delay your final approval. A lawyer can be extremely helpful in ensuring you meet these guidelines and avoid delays.
The process of allowing access to medicinal marijuana in Maryland is slowly moving forward. The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission accepted applications for licenses for cultivators, processors, and dispensaries up until November 6, 2015. Although you should have already submitted your application if you are interested in growing marijuana , you may still have questions about cultivation licenses. Consider seeking legal counseling to find out about all the latest updates.
Application and License Fees
All individuals and entities interested in growing marijuana in Maryland should have submitted the required fees along with their applications. The first stage application fee for a prospective marijuana grower is $2,000. All application fees are non-refundable and must be remitted in the form of a money order or cashier’s check.
Amendments to Submitted Applications
For the most part, it is not possible to amend a cultivation license application that you have already submitted. You may only update information regarding managers, owners, and similar individuals and entities as specified by the Commission’s regulations.
Application Approval Process
Medical cannabis regulation in Maryland provides for the approval of a maximum of 15 cultivators’ licenses. It is left to the discretion of the Commission whether to issue fewer than 15 licenses. Now that the submission deadline has passed, an independent review team is already evaluating applications. The team will rank the applications and send the ranking along with a report to the Commission. Then, the Commission will vote on pre-approving the applications.
If your application has been pre-approved, it does not mean that you have a cultivator’s license. You must still obtain zoning and planning approval, begin construction on the location, hire staff, and initiate training procedures. Once your facility is complete, it must pass an inspection. The Commission will also determine whether your facility and production process fulfill the terms of your application and the legal regulations. If so, you may be granted a license to grow medicinal marijuana. You must still take steps to ensure that your cannabis business remains in compliance with all regulations. Otherwise, your license may be rescinded.