Maryland licenses 174 adult-use marijuana social equity operators

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Maryland regulators have awarded 174 adult-use marijuana social equity licenses.

A total of 1,515 eligible social equity applicants were entered into a lottery conducted March 14 for one of six license types, according to the Maryland Cannabis Administration (MCA).


The March social equity lottery presages the first major expansion in the state’s recreational cannabis industry since Maryland legalized adult use in November 2022.

Recreational sales launched in July 2023 at existing medical marijuana dispensaries that were allowed to convert to adult use.

Regulators had hoped to conduct the social equity licensing lottery in January but were overwhelmed by the number of applications received in December.

The social equity licenses awarded in the lottery were retail, cultivation and processing in micro plus a standard permit for each category.

There were 44 different lottery pools, organized by geographic region or city or county. But some pools awarded as many as 11 licenses based on population.

Other pools awarded only one license, and some single-license lottery pools had only one applicant, according to the MCA.

For example, 89 applicants vied for one of nine retail licenses in Montgomery County, but there was only one eligible applicant for the sole license in Kent County.

The full list of adult-use winners is available here.