How to Get a Marijuana Business License in Your State

With marijuana becoming legal in more states every year, entrepreneurial growers, manufacturers, distributors and retailers are rushing to start their own marijuana businesses and become a part of the multi-billion dollar industry. We have compiled information from each state on the eligibility requirements and application process. Each state has developed its own rules and regulations governing the creation of medical and recreational marijuana businesses. Individual counties and cities have further restrictions on the types of businesses that can operate within their jurisdiction.

Click on your state on the map below to access local, up-to-date information on starting a Marijuana Business. You will find information on Application Fees, Eligibility, Required Documents and more.

Click on your state for more information

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What are the Different Types of Marijuana Business?

A business can fall under one or more of the following categories:

  • Retail Store – facility where customers of legal age can purchase retail marijuana products
  • Marijuana Cultivator – facility where marijuana plants are grown and harvested
  • Marijuana Manufacturer – facility where raw materials are turned into value-added or concentrated products
  • Marijuana Testing Facility – facility that provides testing services, such as THC and CBD content, for other retail or medical Marijuana operations
  • Marijuana Transport – A distributor that provides transportation or temporary storage services to other retail or medical marijuana operations
  • Marijuana Operator – an individual or business that provides professional operational services to other retail marijuana operations
  • Medical Marijuana Center – facility that fills prescriptions for patients with a medical card. In some states this facility also has the option to get a license to cultivate at the same location.

It’s necessary to obtain a separate license for each of the categories a business plans to participate in. For example, a business holding a Retail Store license is not legally able to transport, cultivate, manufacture, or provide testing services unless it also obtains a license for each of those activities. There are also separate licenses needed for Retail businesses and Medical businesses. In some states Medical facilities are only allowed to do business with other medical facilities, likewise with Retail facilities. Lastly, the city or county where the facility is located will have its own set of zoning regulations that must be adhered to.


What are the Requirements to Get a Marijuana Business License?

The requirements are extremely specific and vary from state to state, but the following are the general requirements:

  • All business owners and directors must be 21 years of age or older
  • All business owners and directors must submit to a criminal history check and fingerprinting
  • Must show proof of legal possession of the premises where the business will be located
  • Must have a detailed explanation of the sources of funding and show bank accounts where assets are held
  • Must show the legal, financial and ownership structure of the business
  • Must be registered to pay marijuana business taxes
  • Must have a detailed floor plan and security diagram
  • Must have approval from the local jurisdiction (city or county)
  • Must pay the appropriate application fees
  • Must have detailed operating procedures

Some states will also have extensive environmental, water rights and disposal requirements.

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