Sales of medical cannabis in Maryland top $1 billion since industry’s launch


Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

The medical cannabis industry in Maryland managed to rake in more than $1 billion in retail sales since the market’s inception on December 1, 2017. 

Now 40 months mature, Maryland’s medical cannabis industry is expected to generate an additional $1 billion within half that time. This is according to predictions from Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC) Executive Director William Tilburg.

Despite launching at a snail’s pace, the medical cannabis market in Maryland has grown substantially over the last few months. In fact, sales amounted to $460 million in 2020 — almost double that of the $242 million in sales revenue accrued during the previous year.

Within the first three months of 2021, Maryland’s medical cannabis sales revenue exceeded $135 million. State data shows that quarterly sales of $115 million in 2020 almost doubled since 2019, when quarterly sales rested at $60.5 million. 

Maryland’s medical cannabis industry on-track to hit $550 million in sales revenue this year

Although quarterly sales of medical cannabis in Maryland have started to slow down, Tilburg feels confident that the industry will top $550 million in sales revenue this year. This increase is expected as a result of new business ventures and higher patient enrollment figures.

To put things into perspective, the number of patients certified to receive medical cannabis in Maryland surged from 87,019 to 125,335 between December 2019 and January 2021. During that time period, the number of retail stores approved to dispense the plant in its medicinal form rose 10 percent.

As more patients seek out pharmaceutical-grade cannabis products, industry demand has exploded. Consequently, numerous licensed growers around the state have been forced to boost production capacity.

Maryland’s medical cannabis industry harvested $48.1 million in March

A recent retail sales data report published by the MMCC – responsible for overseeing all things related to registration, licensing, inspection and testing measures – indicates that the state’s medical cannabis dispensaries logged $48.1 million in sales revenue this past March.

Reported sales figures confirm that, in comparison with the $34 million accrued in sales revenue last April, March revenue grew by 41 percent. Revenue could be positively or negatively impacted by a new set of cannabis edibles rules, however. 

On April 19, Maryland medical cannabis dispensaries were informed that they must start selling locking storage containers to conceal edible products, as well as prevent medical cannabis dispensaries from selling edibles containing more than 10mg of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) per dose and 100mg of THC per package; unless an increased amount of THC has been approved by the MMCC.

Moreover, Maryland’s new cannabis edibles regulations state that products must feature warning labels outlining potential impairment and health risks associated with consumption. The fresh set of rules were introduced following a suggestion from the Maryland General Assembly to legalize adult-use cannabis across the state.