The Complex Cannabis License Application Process
Writing a cannabis business license application isn’t always a walk in the park. It’s an extensive project that requires expertise, planning, and a lot of hard work. So there are few things more frustrating than attempting to go through this long process only to have your application denied.
Unfortunately this is often the situation for cannabis entrepreneurs who are looking to build a new business but unaware of the common pitfalls and problems that might arise while applying.
At Higher Yields Consulting we’ve helped applicants in 13 different states achieve licensing success, so we know just how tricky it can be. To help you out, we’ve created a list of the 3 biggest mistakes you can make while applying for your cannabis license application.
1. Underestimating the Cannabis License Process and Procrastinating
Perhaps the biggest mistake that applicants make when applying for a cannabis business license is to underestimate the work and time it will take to finish. Procrastination is tempting, especially when you may be delayed on finishing certain sections while you work out the details. But this procrastination can be the kiss of death, leaving applicants bumping up against their deadlines without time to actually complete the hefty application.
Instead of procrastination, make sure to plan out every aspect of your application. It may seem like one big project that you can knock out when the time is right, but it’s actually a lot of smaller projects, like building a team, creating the operational plans, meeting regulations, recruiting, real estate, development, and financials. Each one of these is their own project and needs to be taken seriously and meticulously planned out in advance. Finish your application early and make sure to have the most detail oriented person on your team look it over. Make sure every section is complete and properly filled out, so you don’t get rejected over a technicality.
2. Doing Your Cannabis License Application on Your Own
As we mentioned above, completing your application is a huge endeavor, so don’t try to do it all by yourself. This is a common mistake that usually ends poorly. The most successful applications are usually put together by a team of cannabis professionals working together, not a single individual.
Plan out with your team who will complete each section, so you can all start working, filling out your individual pieces in tandem. For each section of the application, make sure that the person writing it has the expertise and experience to do a great job. This means you should either have that expertise already present on your team, or find consultants who have the knowledge to help you fill in the blanks. You will need a lot of different people and you need everybody to be moving forward together at the same time. Make sure roles and responsibilities, as well as internal deadlines are clear for everyone involved, so that you can stay up to date with your external deadlines, and never miss the deadline for turning your application in.
3. Saying Too Much on Your Cannabis License Application
One other common mistake that people make on their application is saying too much about their future plans. Maybe you are applying for a cultivation license but you’d also like your business to do work with extraction. Some applicants might think it makes sense to share their future extraction plans while describing their cultivation plan. But these details aren’t relevant to those who are deciding about your cultivation license and could actually cause confusion or problems.
For example, regulators might think that you are planning to do extraction based on only the cultivation license and get confused. Or maybe your local regulators aren’t as friendly to extraction as they are to cultivation, and would see your cultivation plan less favorably knowing your other plans for the future. Either way, sharing too many details can get in the way and cause big problems.
Instead, stay focused on a clear, simple and consistent plan, one that is relevant to the the license type you are applying for. You can always do planning in the background to prepare for the future. Just don’t add it into your current application.
Looking for help with your application? Our knowledgeable consultants and application writers have helped cannabis businesses achieve licensing success in over 13 states. We can help your business navigate the process as well.