A Maryland commission has proposed charging annual fees of $125,000 a year for cultivators and $40,000 for dispensaries – on top of up to $6,000 just to apply for a license.
Commission members acknowledged that the numbers might price out mom-and-pop businesses from the industry. But they still need to figure out a way to finance the state’s MMJ program, which is expected to cost $3.5 million a year.
The commission said major expenses include setting up and maintaining a computer system to check patients’ eligibility, hiring a team to inspect MMJ businesses and launching a public education campaign.
The proposed fees are included in draft rules that the state will release for public comment today. They are far from final, but it’s clear the state is aiming for relatively high fees compared with other MMJ markets.
The commission could vote on final recommendations as early as Oct. 16. The proposed rules will then be forwarded to the state health secretary, and from there to state legislators for the thumbs up.
Maryland will license up to 15 marijuana growers in the program’s first year, though it’s unclear how many dispensaries will be allowed.