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Maryland

Maryland’s laws are quite restrictive, only allowing cottage food businesses to sell at farmers markets or at public events, and limiting them to $25,000 of sales per year.  However, there are no licensing procedures or fees, so it’s really easy to get started.

Selling

The laws state that the food must be sold at “a location in a farmer’s market or at a public festival or event where raw agricultural products are sold”.

Allowed Foods

Honey must be unflavored.

Only "non-potentially hazardous" foods are allowed, but certain non-PHFs may not be allowed. Most foods that don't need to be refrigerated (foods without meat, cheese, etc.) are considered non-potentially hazardous. Learn more

Limitations

Limitations
Sales are limited to $25,000 per year

Business

Here is some info about state sales tax in Maryland. There may also be local sales taxes that need to be collected.

Labeling

Sample Label

Chocolate Chip Cookies

"Made by a cottage food business that is not subject to Maryland's food safety regulations." (10-point type)


Forrager Cookie Company

123 Chewy Way, Cookietown, MD 73531


Ingredients: enriched flour (wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), butter (cream, salt), semi-sweet chocolate (sugar, chocolate, cocoa butter, milkfat, soy lecithin, natural flavors), brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, vanilla extract (vanilla bean extract, alcohol, sugar), baking soda, salt (salt, calcium silicate)


Contains: milk, eggs, wheat, soy


NET WT 2 lb 4 oz (1.02 kg)


If any nutritional claims are made, they must adhere to the federal labeling requirements.

Resources

Contacts

Lisa Staley

Job Title
Chief of Department
Organization
Center for Facility & Process Review, Office of Food Protection, Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Email
[email protected]
Telephone
410-767-8407

Deanna Baldwin

Job Title
Administrator
Organization
Food Quality Assurance, Maryland Department of Agriculture
Email
[email protected]
Telephone
410-841-5769
Law Dates
October 2012
SB 550
This page was last updated on

Comments

Hello David….somebody said I should start catering but I told them I couldn’t because I do not work from a Commercial Kitchen. Is this correct??? Thanks….also I cannot make cakes and sell to restaurants unless I work from a Commercial Kitchen, correct ?

    Hi my name is Erica Smith and I’m an attorney at the Institute, the nonprofit organization who successfully sued Minnesota and Wisconsin over their restrictive cottage food laws. We are interested in trying to change Maryland’s laws to allow sales from home, not just events or farmers’ markets. If selling cottage food from home is something you are interested in doing, please email me at [email protected]. Thanks!

I am looking to roast coffee in an outbuilding of my home. I plan to renovate the space to accommodate this. I would like to sell it to individuals as well as sell at farmers markets and public events. I don’t see coffee listed anywhere under cottage food regulation. Does anyone have any insights?

Hi David
I am a sourdough bread baker, I would like to sell my sourdough bread in my area but I don’t know what I need to do to be ligally. I use only organic flour, water and nature yeast to make bread

    Hi my name is Erica Smith and I’m an attorney at the Institute, the nonprofit organization who successfully sued Minnesota and Wisconsin over their restrictive cottage food laws. We are interested in trying to change Maryland’s laws to allow sales from home, not just events or farmers’ markets. If selling cottage food from home is something you are interested in doing, please email me at [email protected]. Thanks!

Hi David
I am a sourdough bread baker, all my friends said I should try to sell because they are all love the bread I gave them sometime. What I need to do to bring my Sourdough Bread out in public.
Thank you
Huong

I’ve seen local honey for sale at stores in the past. What steps should I take to market my honey outside of farmers markets?

    You should contact the ag dept to learn about the requirements for commercially producing honey. Sometimes the health dept is in charge of licensing. Either way, I think you will not be able to process the honey at home.

I’ve read through all of the Maryland posts here, and I did a general search on the internet. I can’t find any comments about making/drying pasta in the home and selling dried pasta at a farmer’s market. Do you know if this is allowed in a CFO?

Hi David, Are spices and spice-mix covered under the “Dry Goods” category? Having read through the MD CFO document, it appears so (but, you are the expert, so please comment).

Secondly, Can I procure, say 10 lbs bag of Turmeric or Cinnamon, or Coriander or Star Anise (etc) from wholeseller and repackage them into bags of smaller quantities (4 oz)? Since, I am getting my ingredients from an external source (not producing in my home), would I be allowed to operate under MD cottage regulation?

Lastly, if I mix the generic spices (purchased from a grocery store) to make a unique spice-blend – will this be allowed under the MD cottage food regulation?

I have called the MD health department and local Anne Arundel county offices and they provided no clear instructions. Thus reaching out to you. Thanks for your time & expertize :)

    I haven’t confirmed that homemade dry goods, mixes, spices, etc. can be sold in MD. It’s possible that they are allowed, but the health dept is the only one that can answer that question definitively. However, it isn’t surprising they couldn’t provide clear direction, so it might eventually have to be your judgment call.

    If you are reselling commercially-prepackaged foods, then the requirements would be minimal. However, since you are opening the bags of spices and technically processing them in your kitchen, then I think you would have to follow the same rules as if you produced the spices yourself. http://forrager.com/faq/#repackaging

Hi David-
I am really getting into baking and would love to get as much practice with family and friends as possible before getting a commercial kitchen to sell to people.
I was told that if a friend or family member asks me to bake something for an event, I don’t have to worry about being an “illegal baker” if they are just reimbursing me for the cost of supplies, and I am not making a profit. Is this true?

    Hi my name is Erica Smith and I’m an attorney at the Institute, the nonprofit organization who successfully sued Minnesota and Wisconsin over their restrictive cottage food laws. We are interested in trying to change Maryland’s laws to allow sales from home, not just events or farmers’ markets. If selling cottage food from home is something you are interested in doing, please email me at [email protected]. Thanks!

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