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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

I’m hoping to start selling make homemade baked cheese snacks on etsy but if I’m to understand Maryland law correctly there is no legal avenue for me to do so? I’m ServSafe and would be willing to undergo an inspection if necessary. Thank you to anyone who might have advice or experience doing just this!

-Zak

    Zach – I work for the Institute for Justice, a non-profit organization that works to change restrictive cottage food laws. Maryland’s cottage foods laws as they are now, are very restrictive. We’d like to change them to allow sales from home (including online), not just events or farmers’ markets. If you are interested in selling cottage food from home let us know, we’d like to help! You can email me at [email protected]. Thank you!

Hi! Im trying to get started with farmers markets and I was wondering if anyone could give me some guidance on the financials of it. Like, tax information and stuff like that, is there any website or article that could give me a ran down of this basics?

    Hi Lori – I work for the Institute for Justice, a non-profit organization that works to change restrictive cottage food laws. Maryland’s cottage foods laws as they are now, are very restrictive. We’d like to change them to allow sales online, and not limited to special events or farmers’ markets. If you are interested in selling cottage food from home let us know, we’d like to help! You can email me at [email protected]. Thank you!

    Pablo, thank you so much for your amazing work to pass the revised cottage food bill in MD this week! If you can provide any details, they’d be very welcome.

I know you can only sell your baked goods at farmer’s markets, but can you give away free samples at other events (churches, schools, events, etc) and tell people they can come pick up orders at the farmer’s market? If so, can the sample package have your logo/business information on them? Thanks!

    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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