Legal Blog

The Maryland Department of Commerce Will Launch The License Application Assistance Reimbursement Grant in January 2024

Marijuana Profits With Cannabis Leaf On Hundred dollar billThe Cannabis Business Assistance Fund (“CBAF”) is a financing resource operated by the Maryland Department of Commerce (“DOC”) to provide grants and loans for small businesses, including small, minority-owned, and woman-owned businesses in entering the adult-use cannabis industry.

Yesterday, the DOC announced the availability of the License Application Assistance Reimbursement Grant for eligible applicants who require financial assistance to complete an adult-use cannabis business license application. Applicants may apply for a reimbursable grant to fund 50% of eligible expenses up to $5,000. The DOC will begin accepting applications on January 15, 2024.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible, your business must meet the following criteria:

  1. Good Standing: Your business must be in good standing with the State of Maryland.
  2. Social Equity Applicant: You must qualify as a social equity applicant as defined by the Office of Social Equity (“OSE”) and have submitted a cannabis business license application that met the minimum requirements as set by the Maryland Cannabis Administration (“MCA”).
  3. Small Business: Your business must qualify as a small business, defined as an entity with 0-50 employees per license.
  4. Personal Net Worth: The business must be at least 51% owned by individuals whose personal net worth does not exceed $1.7 million. Personal net worth excludes specific assets.

The application process for the Social Equity License Application Assistance Reimbursement Grant involves providing several required documents, including a Schedule of Personal Net Worth, a W9 form, evidence of good standing with the state, and invoices detailing eligible expenses.

Eligible Expenses

  1. Consultant or advisory fees associated with writing a business plan, an operational plan, and a detailed diversity plan
  2. Advisory costs on forming the business and determining its structure
  3. Language translation costs incurred in completing the application

The following costs are not eligible for reimbursement under the program and cannot be considered: The cannabis business license application fee, and other state business filing fees and taxes, personal time writing the application, market analysis and other feasibility studies, equipment and other capital costs, lease and other security deposits, legal retainer fees, rent and interest expense, working capital costs such as inventory, marketing, payroll, rent, and utilities, dividends to owner(s).

Please note that grants are taxable. The deadline to apply for a grant for application assistance will be February 15, 2024. For more information, visit

ABOUT JON WACHS | 301.575.0302

As founder of the firm’s Cannabis Law group, Jon Wachs is a recognized resource on issues relating to the evolving relationship between cannabis law and intellectual property protection.  He has worked with many operators in the cannabis industry to navigate the rules and processes relating to specific state medical cannabis programs.  Mr. Wachs provided essential legal support to obtain required Maryland regulatory approval for the transfer of several licenses affected by a multi-billion dollar business combination.  He also facilitated a series of business transactions involving the sale, purchase and combination of integrated cannabis cultivation, processing and dispensary businesses.