In its second round of funding, the Maryland Cannabis Business Assistance Fund now has $40 million grant funding available – with up to $5 million is available for each awardee.
The funding will be used to support social equity licensees who held a stage one pre-approval for a license before October 1, 2022 and are not yet operational by the time applications for this second funding round open.
The Maryland Department of Commerce has confirmed that applications will open on August 1.
Maryland Governor Wes Moore stated: “The cannabis industry is evolving quickly and we want to make sure that Maryland helps lead this new chapter of equity and economic growth.
“By focusing this round of funding on social equity applicants, we can ensure investments go towards businesses in communities that have been historically overlooked, and ultimately provide new opportunities for residents throughout Maryland.”
To be eligible for the funding, applicants must provide a detailed description of how the funding will be used and a timeline for when they plan to become operational.
Applicants will have the option to receive the funding as a grant paid as a lump sum or as a no-interest loan with a term of five years with payments starting a year after disbursement and due on a quarterly basis.
Maryland Department of Commerce Secretary Kevin Anderson added: “Reforming Maryland’s cannabis industry has been a very collaborative process with community partners across the state.
“By having this equitable rollout of the state’s Cannabis Business Assistance Fund, we will continue growing the conversation while driving innovation, job creation, and positive change throughout the industry.”
The Maryland Department of Commerce has also confirmed that funding will also be available to train and assist small businesses, including minority and women business owners and entrepreneurs who are seeking to become licensed to participate in the adult-use cannabis industry.
Applications for the second round of funding will be accepted until September 1, 2023.