5 min read

How to Open a Dispensary in Maryland

July 27, 2022

Unlike other states in the USA, running cannabis businesses in Maryland for recreational purposes is not yet allowed. The regulations cover medical marijuana businesses only. However, with growing customer demand and a limited number of licenses, the industry in this state has a great potential for development and success.

For those who plan to embark on the Cannabis business in Maryland and wish to open a dispensary, there is a list of challenges one has to meet. It involves both legal requirements and day-to-day operations, as it is a highly regulated industry all over the states including Maryland. This article will serve you as a guideline comprising the steps you will need to take in order to enter the industry as a dispensary.

The key factors in the list that potential or current license-holders in Maryland are to focus on is how to open a dispensary, including compliance, inventory proficiency, license issues and costs.

How to apply for a dispensary license in Maryland

The MMCC is the regulatory agency for medical cannabis in Maryland that covers all policies, procedures, and regulations for medical cannabis in Maryland. The agency has created an application review process for those who are willing to open a dispensary in the state.

So if you are firm in your decision to be involved in the medical cannabis industry in Maryland and are ready to get started, the very first step you are to take is to apply for a dispensary license, for which you will have to fill out an application form. It requires basic information about the legal name of the entity and the identifying information for each applicant or principal officer (a board member of a cannabis business establishment applicant or licensed cannabis business establishment), as well as the demonstration of readiness that you agree to various requirements.

Be aware that no applicant or principal officer may apply for a Maryland license if he or she has previously served as a principal officer in a dispensary that has had a revoked registration certificate.

  • If you decide to open a dispensary in Maryland you have to submit;
  • An application fee;
  • Legal name and physical address of the proposed dispensary;
  • Name, address, and date of birth for each principal officer and direct (none of which have been associated with a dispensary that had its license revoked);
  • Intended operating procedures.

Dispensary licenses are valid for 6 years initially, and 4 years upon renewal in Maryland.

Special attention is paid to the number of minorities and women in order to support them to be involved in the business as well as to give them the privilege to be hired by dispensary owners in Maryland.

To simplify the application processes, you can always refer to a consulting agency or an attorney to make sure the application is in order before submitting it.

How much does it cost to open a dispensary?

According to the latest updates through the regulations regarding the fees for opening a dispensary in Maryland you will need to cover the next costs:

  • A $1,000 stage-first application fee;
  • A $4,000 stage-two application fee;
  • A $80,000 licensing fee – which must be renewed every two years;
  • $500,000 initial buildout fee and start-up expenditures for your operation.

How much do dispensary owners make in Maryland?

According to the latest updates, the highest average annual salary for dispensary owners is in the city of Columbia – $47,066.

The average pay range for a dispensary job in Maryland varies greatly, there may be many opportunities for advancement and increased pay based on skill level, location and years of experience. Maryland ranks number 2 out of 50 states nationwide for dispensary job salaries.

Maryland dispensary rules

Dispensaries in Maryland may distribute or sell medical cannabis in processed form or dried flower and devices to administer medical cannabis and provide delivery services to patients aged 18 + and caregivers.

Each dispensary also has to have a Clinical Director available on-site or via electronic communication to educate patients and caregivers on various aspects of medical cannabis treatment for the patient’s specific qualifying conditions which are cachexia, anorexia, wasting syndrome, severe pain, severe nausea, seizures, severe or persistent muscle spasms, post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic pain including drug-to-drug interactions and side effects.

One thing you also have to consider is to obtain approval from the local city government for a dispensary location as well as you will need confirmation from the landlord if you want to rent a storefront. The location must cover more than 500 feet of territory from the local places of worship such as churches, synagogues, etc. as well as educational objects like schools, postsecondary schools or commercially operated schools.

Find the right partners

It should be outlined that it is of key importance to make the right decision about choosing proper partners if you plan to open a dispensary in Maryland.
Implementing the POS system is the most crucial choice ever. It will keep your dispensary compliant by automation of state reporting, including inventory proficiency by product tracking system, carrying out purchase limits and providing customer management processes.

IndicaOnline is one of the all-in-one compliant solutions for dispensaries – POS software, delivery and e-commerce platforms. And it’s for the best price on the market. With us, you never have to worry about inventory updates, Metrc reports or customer management. Our seamless automation handles it all.


Yes, you do have to jump through all the hoops and strict restrictions and pass through more detailed procedures to start the dispensary business in Maryland, however, we hope we were able to guide you through the main points you have to keep in mind on starting your dispensary business in Maryland.

And as for us, the IndicaOnline team is always keen on supporting businesses from the very beginning stages. Our main mission is to automate the mundane tasks like inventory management, Metrc reports, etc for you, so the only job you have left to do is to concentrate on giving your customers the best service they deserve. You can book a demo here and see it yourself.