Maryland’s eligibility criteria to be considered a social equity applicant:
- An interactive map of the Disproportionately Impacted Areas in Maryland, qualifying public schools that remain open and institutions of higher education, is available on the Office of Social Equity’s (OSE) website.
- The OSE also provided the lists as PDFs: public schools, higher education institutions, and zip codes.
- You must request a link to the Social Equity Verification Portal from the MCA by completing this form: Cannabis Business Licensing Interest Form.
The Maryland Cannabis Administration (MCA) and the Office of Social Equity (OSE) have released the eligibility criteria to be considered a social equity applicant for the upcoming Fall 2023 Cannabis License Application Period (ose.maryland.gov). Maryland’s first round of adult-use licensing will be limited to qualified social equity applicants and the release of the social equity criteria allows potential applicants to start the process of establishing their qualifications.
The OSE also announced the creation of the Social Equity Verification Portal for individuals interested in pursuing a cannabis business license, which will allow prospective applicants to confirm their social equity status before the license application round opens later this year. The portal will open on September 8 and will be open for 60 days, closing on November 7.
NOTE: According to the MCA’s website, prospective applicants must verify themselves in the portal before the application period opens.
You must request a link to the Social Equity Verification Portal from the MCA by completing this form: Cannabis Business Licensing Interest Form.
Eligible social equity applicants must satisfy one or more of the following criteria:
- Lived in a Disproportionately Impacted Area for five of the last 10 years immediately preceding the submission of the application;
- Attended a public school in a Disproportionately Impacted Area for at least five years; or
- For at least two years, attended a four-year institution of higher education in the State where at least 40% of the individuals who attend the institution of higher education are eligible for a Pell Grant.
A map of the Disproportionately Impacted Areas in Maryland, along with a list of qualifying Maryland schools and institutions of higher education, is available on the OSE’s website.
COMING SOON: With the social equity criteria now released, the next step is for the MCA to release the license applications and announce the opening and closing dates for the Fall 2023 Cannabis License Application Period. We expect that announcement to come as soon as next week.
In the meantime, please feel free to contact us if you are interested in participating in the Fall 2023 Cannabis License Application Period or just want to find out more about the application process.