Social equity businesses in Maryland will have exclusive access to the first round of applications for new recreational cannabis dispensary, cultivation and processing licenses, state officials said on Friday.

The Maryland Cannabis Administration (MCA) will begin accepting applications on November 13. Only social equity businesses will be allowed to apply for these licenses this time.

“Today’s announcement is another step forward in fulfilling Maryland’s commitment to building an equitable and inclusive cannabis industry,” MCA acting director Will Tilburg said in a press release.

Following the 30-day application period, the state cannabis regulator will grant 179 marijuana licenses, comprising 75 …

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