Interested cannabis cultivators in states celebrating recreational or medical cannabis legalization this November (Arkansas, California, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada and North Dakota) have contacted Whole Plant Technologies. The leading questions from those interested in developing a cannabis cultivation business center around navigating the details of the law, or being concerned with how to proceed early in arenas where the specifics of the laws are yet to be designed.
While there are business advantages to sitting back and watching while others navigate the rough waters and then pursuing a business once others have helped work out the kinks, there are advantages to developing a business during the initial phase of legalization and disadvantages to arriving late to the table.
Medical or Recreational Cannabis Cultivation License
Trends in the original states where recreational cannabis have been legalized (Colorado, Washington and Oregon) show less available warehouse space at increased expense. Agricultural land is harder to come by and increasing in value. While the competitive markets in these states have not yet peaked, cannabis businesses (both in quantity and quality) are developing quickly.
In the case of states that have legalized medical cannabis under stricter regulatory measures (Minnesota and New York, as recent examples), the quantity of competition is not the biggest concern when considering how early to enter the market. Viable business opportunities in more restrictive medically legal states are influenced less by free market and more by the pressure of limited licenses available from the state.
If you’ve weighed the pros and cons of entering the recreational or medical cannabis business in the early stages of legalization and have decided to pursue a cultivation license, what’s next?
Each state’s laws are different and some are not even fully developed; however, there are similar trends emerging in recreational and medical cannabis cultivation licensing requirements. A familiarity with the most common aspects of acquiring a license will help you reach out to the correct professionals and build a stronger business plan from the start. For newly medically legal states, where the laws are still being developed, this familiarity can also give you avenues of pursuit right away. This affords you a potential leg-up in the licensing process.
Finding an appropriate location is a key component of licensing. What many are surprised by is that site approval is influenced by local, regional and state regulations. Additional regulatory requirements may have separate timelines and fees. They may include:
- Environmental permitting
- Land use regulation
- Business licensing
- Building and fire codes
Most license applications require thorough documentation of business operations. This is where both experienced cannabis growers with limited business knowledge and experienced business persons with limited cannabis cultivation knowledge can struggle. Details for the application may include:
- Standard operating procedures
- Waste management
- Packaging/labeling/marketing/advertising protocols
A final aspect of some medical and recreational cannabis cultivation license applications that surprises new applicants is the detail requested on the makeup of the company’s team. The expectations for this portion of an application can vary from explaining who the legal owners and persons responsible are to a more complete corporate structure. Team members you may need to consider are:
- Propagation, cultivation and processing experts
- Facility manager
- In-house or third-party security
- In-house or third-party testing
- Human resources
Navigating a Medical or Recreational Cannabis Cultivation License
Whole Plant Technologies has navigated the waters of both recreational and medical cannabis. If you are interested in pursuing a medical or recreational cannabis cultivation license, and are looking for guidance on how to get started, please contact us. We are also able to provide you with a leading greenhouse and indoor grow system that can ensure your future cultivation company is profitable while producing high quality cannabis.