Ranks of women, minority cannabis execs rebound to pre-pandemic levels, according to the latest data from the MJBiz Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Report. Get your copy here.

Maryland’s opening application round for adult-use social equity marijuana business licenses got off to a belated but booming start with 1,708 applicants seeking 179 available permits.

Of the 1,708 verified applicants, 1,474 met the Maryland Cannabis Administration’s eligibility requirements to advance to the next stage, The Washington Post reported.

Rejected applicants were notified Friday and can request an agency review to better understand why applications were rejected or to “object to” the evaluations.

Those reviews are scheduled for Feb. 15-29, and any rejected applicants can amend and resubmit their applications in the second round of licensing without charge, according to the Post.

The lottery, planned for March, will consist of 44 pools for different categories of licenses and micro-licenses for retailers, dispensaries, processors and growers.

The cannabis agency hoped to hold the lottery round in January but said it couldn’t get through all the applications it received in December.

This opening round of adult-use social equity permitting was the first major licensing move in Maryland since legal recreational sales began in July.

According to the Post, citing statistics from the Maryland Cannabis Administration:

  • 807 of the 1,708 applicants identified as Black or African American.
  • 268 identified as Asian, 56 as Hispanic or Latino and four as American Indian or Alaska Native.
  • 48 identified with two or more races, and 457 as white.
  • Women accounted for 41% of applicants.