Social Equity

Social Equity Definition / Criteria

  • i. Previous Cannabis Conviction:
  • ii. Income:
  • iii. State Residency:
  • iv. Qualifying Neighborhood / Municipal Residency:

“Disadvantaged equity applicant” means an applicant who  has a  net worth less than $1,713,333,  and is a member of any of the following minority groups: African American, Hispanic, Native American Asian, or woman of any race. 

Applicants must qualify as minority enterprises. A Minority business enterprise is any legal entity, except a joint venture, that is:

(i) Organized to engage in commercial transactions;

(ii) At least 51% owned and controlled by 1 or more individuals who are socially and economically disadvantaged; and

(iii) Managed by, and the daily business operations of which are controlled by, one or more of the socially and economically disadvantaged individuals who own it.

Social Equity Provisions

Maryland’s social equity program includes establishing and conducting training programs for employment in medical cannabis industry, grants to appropriate educational and business development organizations, disseminating information about the licensing process for medical cannabis growers, processors, and dispensaries through media demonstrated to reach a large number of small, minority, and women business owners and entrepreneurs. Bonus criteria points will be awarded to applications that are at least 51% owned by disadvantaged equity applicants.

Fee Waivers and Reductions

  • Fee Waivers / Reductions:

Maryland does not offer fee waivers or reductions to support medical cannabis licensees who have been disproportionately harmed by cannabis prohibition.

Other Financial Support for Social Equity Applicants and Licensees

Maryland does not offer state level funding to support medical cannabis licensees who have been disproportionately harmed by cannabis prohibition.

License Priorities and Set Asides

  • License Priorities / Set Asides:

While Maryland does not reserve any specific number of licenses for individuals impacted by the war on drugs, the state will encourage the submission of applications from applicants who qualify as minority business enterprises. Additionally, within the application process 15% of points will be awarded based on the applicants diversity plan which includes evidence the business is or made a good faith effort to be at least 51% owned by a disadvantaged equity applicant or member of a disadvantaged group.