Maryland has released its social equity applicant criteria, including an interactive map outlining Disproportionately Impacted Areas in the state — meaning areas that were disproportionately affected by cannabis prohibition. The Office of Social Equity (OSE) also provided documents that outline open public schools, higher education institutions, and zip codes in the areas.
Under the rules, eligible social equity applicants must have 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 Maryland where at least 40% of the individuals who attend the institution are eligible for a Pell Grant.
The OSE also launched the Social Equity Verification Portal for individuals interested in obtaining a cannabis business license. The portal opens September 8 and will allow prospective applicants to confirm their social equity status before the license application round opens later this year. The portal will be open for 60 days, closing on November 7.
Maryland’s first round of adult-use cannabis 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.
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