From the office of Sen. Barry Glassman:
Annapolis, MD – Northern Harford County State Senator Barry Glassman spent a good deal of time over the summer meeting with representatives of local farmer’s markets, market producers, and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH), and the Maryland Department of Agriculture to streamline some of the regulations related to Producer Mobile Farmer’s Licenses.
Last week the Maryland Senate voted unanimously for SB 198 – Farmer’s Markets – Raw Agricultural Product Sale – Producer Mobile Farmer’s Market Licenses and SB 199 – Seasonal Farmer’s Market Producer Sampling Licenses.
The Producer Mobile Farmer’s Market License will permit producers who currently obtain an on-farm home processing license to also obtain a mobile license at the same time. The bill also spells out that a license or permit is not required to deliver pre-packaged foods to fill an order of a customer. Local Health Departments will still be the agencies responsible for enforcement of the regulations, but in turn they agreed not to create separate licensing requirements in each of their counties. This means that one mobile license will be good throughout the State of Maryland. The bill allows DHMH to create regulations to carry out the intent of the legislation. It should be noted that the bill does not require any additional licenses for any products that currently do not require a license. SB 198 is strictly intended to streamline the mobile license process.
SB 199 will allow local Health Departments to create a seasonal license. The license will be good for the entire market season, which usually incorporates spring and summer. Many local Health Departments currently require a vendor to pull a sampling permit every weekend or for every event. This bill will allow DHMH to create a uniform set of standards for a seasonal license and then each of Maryland’s counties or jurisdictions will have an opportunity to adopt a seasonal license which will allow farmers to operate under the same license throughout the whole farmer’s market season.
Both of these bills support Maryland’s Buy Local campaign and are aimed at streamlining and making Maryland’s regulations easier for vendors who sell at Maryland’s Farmer’s Markets.
The Senate bills have been reported to the House of Delegates and forwarded to the House Health and Governmental Relations Committee.