CBD

How to Get a CBD License in Maryland & Start Your Business

A cannabis store operating with a Maryland CBD license.

If you’re considering establishing a CBD business in Maryland, obtaining a CBD license is a crucial step. The CBD industry has experienced notable growth in recent years, with hemp and cannabis products reemerging since their legalization across the U.S. This has led to promising business opportunities for merchants in many states—including Maryland.

This article will shed light on the necessary steps to secure a CBD license in Maryland in compliance with the state’s laws and regulations. We’ll provide guidance for obtaining your initial CBD license, delivering the key information you need to kick off your CBD business. Let’s get to it!

How to Start a CBD Business in Maryland

Before jumping into the licensing process, let’s review the fundamental elements of starting a CBD business in Maryland.

A data report.

Research and Planning

Conducting market research is a key part of understanding the demand for CBD products in Maryland. By identifying your target audience and competition, you can construct a robust business plan. Ideally, it would help if you aimed to target a niche market that’s not fully served. Your research will assist you in identifying your market segment.

Two people shake hands.

Choose Your Business Structure

Establishing the legal structure of your business is another important step. Whether you opt for a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), or corporation, each has its implications. It’s advisable to consult with a legal expert or business advisor to determine the most appropriate structure for your CBD business.

A document with a shield on it.

Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN)

If you plan to hire employees, or if your business structure necessitates an EIN, you must secure one from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). An EIN is a federal requirement necessary for tax purposes and is often required when applying for licenses and permits.

A person looking at a computer.

Register Your Business

Business registration is essential at both state and federal levels. You’ll need to register your business entity via Maryland Business Express (MBE) to secure your entity status.[1]Maryland.gov.”Register your business in Maryland.” Accessed on July 26, 2023. Once registered, you’ll also need to register with the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT), which allows you to legally collect and remit taxes—a requisite for legal operations.[2]Maryland.gov.”Maryland department of assessments and Taxation. Accessed on July 26, 2023.” This stage ensures that your business is legally recognized to operate in the state.

Green checkmark surrounded by a light blue security shield.

Secure Business Insurance

Finally, don’t forget to protect your CBD business with adequate insurance coverage. By consulting with an insurance expert, you can understand what type of insurance is best suited to your specific business needs.

How to Get a CBD License in Maryland

To legally sell CBD products in Maryland, you’ll need to obtain a specific CBD license from the appropriate authorities. Let’s go over the application requirements below.

A checklist.

CBD License Application Requirements for Maryland

The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC) is responsible for licensing and regulating medical cannabis, including CBD products. So familiarizing yourself with their application requirements can be helpful in streamlining the process for you.[3]MMCC.gov “Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC)”.Accessed on July 26, 2023. Application requirements include:

  • Proof of liability insurance
  • Proof that your business has a valid business license
  • Evidence of compliance with applicable zoning regulations
  • A completed application
  • Supporting documents such as financial statements and copies of your product labels.

Let’s go over the steps involved in acquiring a CBD license:

1. Determine Your Licence Type

Maryland offers different types of licenses for CBD businesses, such as growers, processors, and dispensaries. You’ll first determine the specific license you need based on your business activities.

2. Prepare the Required Documentation

Gather all necessary documents for your CBD license application. These may comprise proof of business registration, financial statements, background checks, security plans, and product labeling information. Providing accurate and up-to-date information can prevent delays in the licensing process.

3. Submit Your Application

Upon completion, submit your CBD license application along with the necessary documentation to the MMCC. You’ll also have to pay the application fee, which varies depending on the license type.

4. Application Review Process

The MMCC will then review your application, which might include background checks, inspections, and interviews. Ensure that you provide any additional information or clarification requested by the MMCC promptly.

5. Await Approval

Once the MMCC approves your CBD license application, you’ll receive a notification.

Laws & Regulations for Selling CBD in Maryland

To secure and maintain your CBD and business licenses, it’s crucial to understand and comply with the laws and regulations governing the sale of CBD products in Maryland. Here are some key considerations:

A green gavel.

Compliance with Federal Laws

CBD derived from hemp with less than 0.3% THC is federally legal. However, additional restrictions might apply if you’re considering adding CBD-infused food and beverages to your offerings. Consult with FDA guidelines before including these products in your inventory.[4]FDA. “FDA Regulation of Cannabis and Cannabis-Derived Products, Including Cannabidiol (CBD)”.Accessed on July 26, 2023.

A group of people.

Maryland’s Medical Cannabis Program

Maryland, like several other states, has a medical cannabis program that enables registered patients to access medical cannabis products, including CBD. In order to participate in the program, CBD businesses must comply with the regulations set by the MMCC.

White x mark inside a dark blue circle.

Prohibited Claims

The FDA forbids the marketing of CBD products as a cure or treatment for specific medical conditions without proper approval. Make sure your product descriptions and marketing materials comply with these regulations.

Online store dashboard.

Labeling and Packaging Requirements

Maryland has specific requirements for the labeling and packaging of CBD products. Labels must disclose accurate information about the product’s ingredients, CBD, and THC content, along with any relevant warnings or disclaimers.

A magnifying glass choosing between right and wrong.

Testing and Quality Control

CBD products in Maryland must undergo testing by an approved laboratory to ensure their safety, potency, and purity.

How to Renew Your CBD License in Maryland

CBD licenses in Maryland are typically valid for one year. To continue operating your CBD business legally, you must renew your license before it expires. Here’s a brief rundown of the renewal process:

  1. Renewal notification: The MMCC will send you a renewal notification before your license expires. Be sure to respond in a timely manner.
  2. Submit a renewal application: Complete the CBD license renewal application provided by the MMCC. Update any necessary information and provide accurate financial statements and documentation as required.
  3. Pay the renewal fee: Pay the specified renewal fee to the MMCC. The fee may vary depending on your license type.
  4. License renewal fee: The MMCC will review your renewal application and conduct any necessary inspections or checks. Be sure to promptly comply with any requests for additional information or updates.
  5. License renewal review: The MMCC will review your renewal application and conduct any necessary inspections or checks. Be sure to promptly comply with any requests for additional information or updates.
  6. Renewal approval: Upon successful review, the MMCC will approve your license renewal. You will receive confirmation and an updated license indicating the new expiration date.

Start Selling CBD in Maryland

Once you have obtained your CBD license and ensured compliance with Maryland’s laws and regulations, you can begin selling CBD products online and in-store. However, in order to do so, you’ll need a merchant account.

Despite the growing demand for CBD products, CBD retailers often face difficulties when it comes to accepting credit card transactions. This is because traditional merchant account providers often deem the CBD industry as too risky for their services. To avoid this, you can apply for a high-risk merchant account, which allows you to accept CBD payments. Partnering with this type of provider will give you access to a range of benefits specifically tailored to your CBD business.

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Maryland CBD License: FAQs

Yes, CBD is legal in Maryland if it is derived from hemp with less than 0.3% THC. However, CBD-infused food and beverages are subject to specific regulations and restrictions.

How much does a CBD license cost in Maryland?

The cost of a CBD license in Maryland varies depending on the license type. Application fees can range from several hundred to several thousand dollars, and renewal fees are generally lower than the initial application fees.

Can you sell CBD without a license in Maryland?

No, selling CBD without a license in Maryland is illegal. To operate a CBD business legally, you must obtain the appropriate CBD license from the MMCC.

How long is a CBD license valid in Maryland?

CBD licenses in Maryland are typically valid for one year. License holders must renew their licenses before they expire to continue selling CBD products legally.

Article Sources

  1. Maryland.gov.”Register your business in Maryland.” Accessed on July 26, 2023.
  2. Maryland.gov.”Maryland department of assessments and Taxation. Accessed on July 26, 2023.”
  3. MMCC.gov “Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC)”.Accessed on July 26, 2023.
  4. FDA. “FDA Regulation of Cannabis and Cannabis-Derived Products, Including Cannabidiol (CBD)”.Accessed on July 26, 2023.


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