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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.


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


Sales are limited to $25,000 per year


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


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.


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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.

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?

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