Medical Marijuana Licensing

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This week, Maryland legislature approved several more businesses for medical marijuana licenses. In addition, it’s highly likely that several of them will go to minority owned businesses because currently, very few have been able to enter into medical marijuana business nationwide.

Licensing, while an important step for the creation of many businesses, is not something that gets talked about very often, and especially in the realm of medical marijauana. Sure, we may complain that licenses are too hard to obtain ( or are too stingily given out) but there’s other things worth discussing.

For example, different states require very different applications for a grower or distributor’s license. The process of getting one in Colorado will likely be very different than in Maryland, and some states make it much simpler to obtain approval.

This begs the question: Once medical marijuana reaches through the U.S., would it be smart to just have a national state licensing system, rather than simply state by state? Or, would it be better to abolish a licensing system?

Most licenses are irritating to obtain at best, and a complete roadblock at worst. One of the reasons Maryland issuing more licenses gained interest was because in the first round, not a single license went to a minority owned business, despite the fact Maryland is home to many areas of very high black populations. The Black Caucus of Maryland demanded that they open up licensing again and consider minority owned businesses for at least a couple of them.

Would foregoing licenses allow more competitors into the market, and thereby make it better for patients and consumers? We don’t have the answers, but as more states create their own licensing systems, issues like this will continue to crop up as people feel they are being arbitrarily barred from creating their own business.



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