Maryland passed a very restrictive cottage food law (SB 550) in 2012, which limited sales to farmers markets and public events. In 2018, an amendment (HB 1106) passed to allow other in-person, direct sales in the state, including mail order sales.
Maryland’s cottage food law is still fairly restrictive, especially since it limits producers to $25,000 of sales per year, and only allows specific types of non-perishable foods. However, the health department does not require a permit, inspection, or training, so it is very easy to get started and use this law.
Farmers can also get an On-Farm Home Processing License to sell up to $40,000 of other types of food products, like pickles, dried fruit, and hot sauces.
In 2019, an amendment (SB 0290) passed which will go into effect on October 1st, 2019. With this law, producers can sell at retail stores, though they will need to adhere to some other requirements before doing so.
The law does not specifically state that online sales are allowed, but the allowance of mail delivery suggests that the intent of the law is to support online businesses.
If you are a farmer, you can get an On-Farm Home Processing License to sell certain food items to other venues, like restaurants and retail stores.
Dry goods (spice blends, baking mixes, tea blends, etc) must use commercially-processed ingredients.
Chocolate-covered items (pretzels, graham crackers, etc) must use commercially-manufactured chocolate.
Only hard candies are allowed. Soft candy (e.g. chocolate, caramel, fudge, etc) is not allowed.
Honey must be unflavored.
If you are a farmer, you can get an On-Farm Home Processing License to sell up to $40,000 of other types of food products, like pickles, dried fruit, and hot sauces.
If you are a farmer, you can get an On-Farm Home Processing License to sell up to $40,000 of certain types of food products.
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 you make nutrition claims (e.g. low-fat) on your labels, they must include nutrition information and adhere to the federal labeling requirements.
For more information, you can read this labeling guidance page.