When well-financed, out-of-state cannabis companies figured out a loophole in Maryland’s one-dispensary-per-owner rule, the state’s lawmakers and regulators vowed to stop them with a legislative fix.
Instead of writing a stronger law to limit companies to just one cannabis store, the General Assembly passed legislation that will let them have four.
Out-of-state companies already had taken control of multiple marijuana outlets in Maryland not by actually buying them, but reaching agreements with the local owners to manage their operations.
Legislators say they wanted to stop the multi-state firms from taking control of the state’s medical cannabis industry but realized they’d been outflanked. They felt they couldn’t try to undo the deals without getting the state sued. So the General Assembly acted to draw a line limiting further consolidation. The legislature approved a new rule that explicitly prohibits companies from owning — or managing — more than four dispensaries.