Maryland allows farmers to get a special On-Farm Home Processing License to sell certain types of homemade food.
However, most people use Maryland’s cottage food law (which does not require a permit or training from the health department) to sell their homemade food.
This older law is useful for farmers who:
- Want to sell food products that the cottage food law does not allow (pickles, dried fruit, flavored honey, etc)
- Want to sell indirectly to restaurants or retail stores
- Want to sell their products in other states
- Have reached the cottage food law’s $25,000 sales limit
If none of the above applies to you, then it should be easier to start your business with the cottage food law.
With an On-Farm Home Processing License, farmers can sell certain types of non-perishable foods (including acidified foods) through any venue, but they are limited to $40,000 of sales. Farmers who sell acidified foods must take a training course from a Better Process School.
You can use this law to sell herb-infused honey and vinegars.
An On-Farm Home Processing License costs $30. To apply for a license, contact the health department.
If you are only selling baked goods, naturally acid canned foods (jams, jellies, fruit butters, some canned fruits, etc), and unflavored honey from your farm or at a farmers market, you do not need to get this license. However, if you are selling acid foods, you may need to get an evaluation from the health department. All indirect sales (to restaurants and retail stores) require this license.
Ingredients and products for your business must be kept separate from those for personal use.