Maryland Cannabis Market

The cannabis consultants at Point Seven Group are experts in the Maryland cannabis market. We have successfully helped our clients obtain cannabis licenses, design dispensaries, build identifiable cannabis brands, and operate compliant cannabis businesses. Our team of cannabis experts can help you reach your business goals in the Maryland cannabis market!


Although Maryland had a slow start to the rollout of its medical cannabis program, it realized the benefits of streamlining adult-use access and quickly launched its adult-use program. After medical cannabis legalization occurred in 2013, it took four years for medical cannabis business operations and sales to begin. When the voter ballot initiative passed in November 2022, officially legalizing adult-use cannabis in Maryland, sales began eight months later. This is one of the quickest launches of adult-use cannabis sales post-legalization in the Nation.


Maryland has faced multiple setbacks for adult-use cannabis legalization over the past five years. In 2017, multiple Democrat delegates introduced a bill that would allow adults 21 years of age and older the ability to purchase and possess legal cannabis. Although the legislation didn’t pass, momentum continued in 2019 when the General Assembly created the Marijuana Legalization Workgroup, a task force dedicated to finding the best possible routes to provide legal cannabis access throughout the state.

On April 1, 2022, the Maryland General Assembly approved HB 1 and companion bills HB 837/SB 833. HB 1 put the question of adult-use legalization to voters on the November 2022 ballot (referred to as ‘Question 4’). HB 837/SB 833 would allow residents of the state 21 and older to legally possess up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis or cannabis products and cultivate up to two plants starting July 1, 2023, contingent on voters' approval of Question 4, and also included limited expungement and release as well as funding for minority- and women-owned businesses. With 67.2% of Maryland voters in favor, the 2022 Maryland Question 4 referendum to legalize recreational use of cannabis successfully passed.

During the 2023 legislative session, the Maryland General Assembly and governor enacted twin bills, HB 556/SB 516 (referred to as ‘Cannabis Reform Act’), to legalize and regulate the adult-use sales of cannabis in Maryland. Under these bills, starting on July 1, 2023, adult-use sales can be made exclusively from existing medical cannabis licenses who pay a conversion fee. Other licenses will begin being issued to social equity applicants in early 2024. The Cannabis Reform Act requires that all applicants in Round 1 qualify as social equity applicants and also included a provision to automatically expunge all cases in which possession of cannabis was the only charge.


In May 2013, Maryland Governor O'Malley signed legislation that established a limited medical marijuana program. The legislation restricted cannabis distribution to academic medical centers, which would monitor and report on patient use. In April 2014, Governor O'Malley signed HB 881, which took effect on June 1, 2014, and allowed for the creation of a licensed cannabis business infrastructure.

Despite being one of the first states to legalize medical cannabis on the East Coast, the program, known as the Natalie M. LaPrade Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC), finally became operational on December 1, 2017, four years later. The MMCC was formed to develop policies, procedures, and regulations to create effective programs that protect and ensure medical cannabis is safely and readily available to qualifying patients. The medical cannabis licensing process was initiated in 2016, but upon awarding licenses, conflict and lawsuits arose stating that they were awarded because of political ties rather than fair rankings.



in annual cannabis sales by 2027

Maryland’s medical cannabis industry experienced several years of rapid growth and consolidation through 2022, until which point the market appeared to be fully mature due to flattened sales. With a desire to quickly launch the adult-use cannabis industry and combat the illicit market, the Maryland legislature roughly tripled the number of licenses for dispensaries, processors and growers, while adding micro licenses for smaller operations. Almost every existing medical cannabis dispensary, processor and cultivator in Maryland has been approved to join the recreational industry, according to state regulators, paying fees that typically range between $100,000 and $2 million based on their revenue. Industry analysts are expecting a similar trajectory to Missouri based on this initial rollout and comparable population size, and the first week of legalized recreational cannabis in Maryland proved extremely profitable – with the state's residents spending more than $20.9 million at dispensaries.

BDSA forecasts that legal sales in Maryland will total $642 million in 2023; nearly a third from adult-use. Maryland is set to become a billion-dollar market in 2025 — with total sales forecast to reach $1.1 billion that year and continue to grow to $1.3 billion by 2027.


Maryland cannabis consulting

As of July 1, 2023, adults in Maryland are legally permitted to possess up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis and/or 12 grams of cannabis concentrates, and may grow up to two cannabis plants in their homes for personal use. Possession of between 1.5 and 2.5 ounces is punishable by a civil fine of up to $250, and over 2.5 ounces is punishable by up to a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail. 

Maryland law establishes a process to facilitate the expungement of past eligible convictions and also allows for the resentencing of those incarcerated for eligible cannabis crimes.

Effective July 1, under recently enacted legislation, cannabis odors are not whatsoever "probable cause or justifiable" to be pulled over and searched by police or law enforcement. Evidence of cannabis and money within vehicles can not be used against individuals as well under law.


Maryland passed HB 1123 to legalize commercial hemp farming. ​Maryland farmers interested in growing hemp have the opportunity to participate in two programs, the Maryland Hemp Farming Program or the Maryland Hemp Research Pilot Program. A group of hemp farmers and retailers are concerned about the impact that the new adult-use bill will have on their businesses and are suing the state. Links to further resources are available on the state website.

Maryland hemp consulting