Michigan Marijuana Laws & Tips for Winning a License in the Great Lakes State

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Michiganders from Kalamazoo to Sault St. Marie have compelled lawmakers to reshape Michigan marijuana laws as of late. In 2008, voters approved medical marijuana and a law was enacted the following month making it legal. Then, in November 2018, citizens returned to the ballot box, voting 56-44 to approve recreational cannabis use. And just in time, too. If you’re ready to explore what the cannabis industry has to offer business owners in Michigan, it’s time to get hip to the jive of Michigan marijuana laws and discover what business options are available for you.

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The Curious Case of Formerly Anti-Cannabis States Racing to Legalize Marijuana in 2020

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The Curious Case of Formerly Anti-Cannabis States Racing to Legalize Marijuana in 2020

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For some states, marijuana legalization wasn’t a radical idea as the death of cannabis prohibition emerged.

In 1973, Oregon became the first state in US history to decriminalize marijuana, imposing a mere $100 fine for possession of up to one ounce. In 1996, 59 years since the Marijuana Tax Act that criminalized marijuana was passed, California passed Proposition 215, which legalized the sale and medical use of marijuana for patients with qualifying conditions. Two years later, in 1998, Alaska, Oregon, and Washington legalized medical marijuana through ballot measures. More states followed over the years.

To date, 33 states have a medical marijuana program; 11 of those states also allow recreational marijuana use.

Statewide Cannabis Legalization vs. Federal Law

It’s true that state laws on marijuana legalization, whether medical or recreational, don’t comply with federal law. However, thanks to memorandums written by the US Department of Justice, it’s been made clear that federal prosecutors intend to focus their resources elsewhere.

The first of these memos was released in 2009 to clarify and guide federal prosecutors in states authorizing medical marijuana use. The memo explains that the Justice Department’s resources will not focus on “individuals whose actions are in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state laws providing for the medical use of marijuana.” The Department, however, would focus mainly on illegal drug trafficking activities like sales to minors, ties to criminal enterprises, and so on.

In 2013, a similar memo was published stating that it was “committed to using its limited investigative and prosecutorial resources” to only address significant threats such as the distribution of marijuana to minors, marijuana sales going to gangs and cartels, or using state-authorized marijuana activity as a front for trafficking other illegal drugs.

Thanks to some bold states taking the first steps and memos from the Justice Department, more states have legalized medical marijuana and are aiming to legalize recreational cannabis if they haven’t already. In 2012, Washington and Colorado became the first two states to legalize adult-use marijuana. And it comes as no surprise that the early adopters of medical marijuana are also looking to legalize recreational marijuana.

States Trying to Legalize Recreational Marijuana That Will Surprise You

Marijuana support is at an all-time high, with two-thirds of Americans supporting legalization. However, this means that there’s still one-third of the nation that’s against the legalization of cannabis, particularly recreational marijuana. There are still 17 states that have aligned with the federal government to keep cannabis illegal, and for a long time, it didn’t seem like they would budge.

So when we hear about states that have historically been opposed to the legalization of marijuana suddenly making a move to legalize medical or recreational marijuana, it makes us do a double-take. Here’s a look at three states that experts said were the least likely to legalize and yet have residents coming around to get their marijuana initiatives on the 2020 ballot:

South Dakota

South Dakota has repeatedly refused to act on any marijuana reform bills in the past. It would seem that any polling on support for legalization would result in defeat. However, it appears that efforts are underway as the South Dakota Marijuana Legalization Initiative seeks signatures to legalize marijuana use for persons aged 21 and over.

The measure will allow anyone over 21 to possess, grow, sell, and distribute cannabis. There’s also a section that states that no localities can tax marijuana and its paraphernalia, nor regulate the consumption, cultivation, production, distribution, and sale of marijuana. Surprisingly, the number of signatures required to get an initiated state statute certified for the November 2020 ballot is only 16,961.

Mississippi

Mississippi, known for its conservative background, has no medical marijuana program, and it remains illegal in the state. For a long time, and even as more and more states decriminalized cannabis and passed their own marijuana laws, Mississippi seemed unphased. Mississippi is also the state that didn’t end alcohol prohibition until 1966 – 33 years after the 21st Amendment ended the prohibition.

Now, there is a group called Mississippians for Compassionate Care who are pushing to legalize medical marijuana in Mississippi. They have turned in more than 105,000 signatures that are now under review. If they fulfill the signature requirement, the Medical Marijuana 2020 campaign may appear on the ballot.

The Mississippi Marijuana Legalization Amendment, which is referred to by its sponsors as The Mississippi Cannabis Freedom Act, may make it to the November 2020 ballot if it achieves the 86,185-signature requirement. Mississippi Cannabis Freedom Fund seeks to legalize marijuana for persons aged 18 years or older and will also provide medical marijuana.

Nebraska

You would think that a state that decriminalized marijuana four decades ago would have legalized cannabis by now. However, for years, the state’s conservative lawmakers have rejected any measure for regulated medical marijuana.

In a bold move, Bill Hawkins of the Nebraska Hemp Company and Frank Shoemaker filed the Nebraska Cannabis Legalization Initiative in the hopes it will appear on the 2020 ballot. However, Nebraska has a tricky state process when it comes to the number of signatures needed to qualify, and it is the only state where petition sponsors can’t know the exact number of signatures until they are submitted.

The initiative’s objective is to grant any person in Nebraska the right to use any plant in the genus Cannabis L for non-commercial personal possession, consumption, production, and distribution for individuals 21 years or older. There’s also a section on allowing personal possession and consumption by a person under 21 as long as they have written consent from their parent, legal guardian, or licensed health care practitioner. Essentially, the measure seeks to legalize recreational marijuana in Nebraska.

What has these historically anti-cannabis states clamoring for marijuana reform? Is it because the negative stigma of marijuana has shifted? Or does it have something to do with the prediction that the legal marijuana market will be worth $66.3 billion by 2025?

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Higher Yields Cannabis Consulting

Higher Yields Cannabis Consulting

Higher Yields Consulting is a Marijuana Consulting Group comprised of industry experts with decades of combined experience in the legal industry. Whether you are looking to get into the business or already have a license we can help your business succeed. Call (844) HI-YIELD to schedule a free initial consultation.

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Marijuana Laws in Illinois: Maximizing the Odds of Winning a License

Marijuana Laws in Illinois: Maximizing the Odds of Winning a License

A few years ago, Illinois limited their cannabis business licenses to fewer than twenty. Recently, the state’s newest governor, J. B. Pritzker, has begun to open up the marijuana laws in Illinois to allow for more licenses – meaning more opportunities for growers, manufacturers, and retailers. While state markets like Colorado and California are relatively easy to break into, other states like Florida, New York, New Jersey, and Illinois are notoriously competitive, which makes winning a license in the Prairie State an arduous feat. Here’s your guide to maximizing the odds of winning a cannabis business license within the context of the new marijuana laws in Illinois.

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How to Build a Strong Cannabis Dispensary Team

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How to Build a Strong Cannabis Dispensary Team

Building Your Cannabis Business Executive Team

Opening a dispensary can be a big project, with a lot of steps along the way. But one of the first and most crucial steps in putting together a successful dispensary plan is building a strong executive team. These foundational decisions about who will join your team can affect every other aspect of your business, from applying for a license, to day-to-day transactions with customers. Making sure you have a strong, cohesive team of experts will set you up for success and ensure that your dispensary gets off on the right foot.

Not sure where to get started? Here are our top tips for building your executive team:

Cover Needed Team Roles

While building your team, it’s important to start by considering the important roles that need to be filled to create a successful dispensary.

Your executive team should include a CEO or someone who is heading up the vision of the project, as well as a strong financial partner who has the funds to make your business dreams a reality. You will also need someone with the experience and skills to keep the books, and make sure your financial plans for the future stay on track.

Having a director of retail operations is also must for any dispensary. This person will run the sales side of things, which is key for the dispensary model.

Another important role is the compliance officer. There is a lot of red tape, and tricky regulations to navigate when opening a dispensary. Having someone focused entirely on keeping your dispensary compliant will help avoid a lot of risks and headaches for your business.

Because dispensaries tend to employ a lot of staff, having an HR director can also help. You will need to stay compliant with employment law, and manage things like health insurance and employee complaints. An HR director can focus entirely on these tasks.

Another important role is the Director of Security. This person will create a security plan for your dispensary, and ensure the safety of your staff, customers and product.

Finally, some states actually require a doctor or pharmacist be on the team. This isn’t always the case, but even when it isn’t – this expertise can be a big help on any team.

Filling all these roles is important, but this can be done in so many ways. Sometimes one person takes on a multiple roles, or some roles might be filled by consultants or temporary hires. What’s key is that someone is responsible for each of these areas. So start a list of the roles you need filled and look for the best people to fill them.

Fill Your Team with Experts

As you begin to find candidates for your team, consider their level of expertise. To set yourself up for success, look for experts in whatever role you are filling. Sometimes these experts come from the cannabis space, and have a lot of direct experience working with this plant and industry. In other cases, your experts might come from other fields but have expertise in a particular role (such as sales, HR, real estate, or book-keeping). What’s important is that they have a strong skill set for the kind of work they will be doing in your company.

Check Track Records

It’s also a good idea to check a candidate’s track records. Have they had a lot of success doing the kind of work they will be doing for you? In many states, applications are judged based on merit. This means they are more likely to give out licenses to those with a strong proven track record for success in cannabis, making money and paying the bills on time. If you put together a strong team with members who have a history of success in the type of work your company will be engaged in, you may have a better chance at having your dispensary license application approved – and you’ll also be set up for a successful business.

On the other side of things, you might want to do some background checks on the people you’ll be teaming up with. Criminal records never look great on a license application.

Include Locals in Your Cannabis Dispensary

While expertise is key, location can make a big difference as well. If you are opening a dispensary in an area that you don’t live, teaming up with some locals is a great idea. Most local governments aren’t friendly to the idea of people coming in from outside to create cannabis businesses, and make money off their citizens without creating any jobs. If you’re team is coming in to a new location, having some locals on the executive team can help to build a local presence and show regulators that you are interested in bringing jobs to the local community.

Consider Culture Fit

It’s also incredibly important to consider the culture fit between members of your team. Even if you put together a team full of brilliant experts – if they can’t get along, your business may be doomed to fail. Many businesses fall apart because of conflict on the executive team. So make sure that your team makes sense as a cohesive unit before you launch into a business together.

Use Cannabis Consultants to Fill in Gaps

While an ideal dispensary plan might include all the roles listed above, it’s not always possible or necessary to have each of these roles filled by a full-time employee. A more pared down executive team can sometimes make more sense, as it can be more affordable and agile. The smaller your operation, the more likely it is that a smaller executive team makes sense for you.

If you find that you can’t fill all the roles listed with a full time staff – don’t worry. There are so many options for services and consultants who can fill in the gaps. From HR services, to lawyers, to CPA’s, there are a lot of experts who can be hired to do specific work so your staff doesn’t have to. If cannabis specific expertise is what you need, you can also find cannabis specific consultants who can guide you through the complicated details of this highly regulated, high-reward industry.

At Higher Yield Cannabis Consulting, we’ve helped many executive teams fill in the gaps in their cannabis expertise, and successfully launch into the cannabis space. We’d be happy to help fill the gaps in your team as well – or help you find team members that are a perfect fit.

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Higher Yields Consulting is a Marijuana Consulting Group comprised of industry experts with decades of combined experience in the legal industry. Whether you are looking to get into the business or already have a license we can help your business succeed. Call (844) HI-YIELD to schedule a free initial consultation.

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5 Tips for a Successful Cannabis Dispensary License Application

Cannabis Business Team

5 Tips for a Successful Cannabis Dispensary License Application

Getting started on your cannabis dispensary license application? It can be a complicated process! Just ask Higher Yields’ application writers and consultants. We’ve been awarded licenses in over 13 states, in both the adult use and medical markets, and it hasn’t always been an easy road. But with the right approach, getting approval is within reach.

Here are our top 5 tips for a submitting a successful cannabis license application:

1. Don’t procrastinate! Plan ahead to finish your application on time.

This tip might seem obvious, but many applicants put off working on their application until the time is almost up. The last thing you want is to end up in the 11th hour throwing things together without much intention.

Each application has a big list of requirements, and it’s important to make sure each section is strong and complete. Plan ahead and delegate sections so you can make sure you have time to finish with a competitive application.

Dispensary License

2. Put together a strong team with a good business history.

In many states, applications are judged based on merit. This means they are more likely to give out licenses to those with a strong proven track record for success in cannabis, making money and paying the bills on time. Put together a strong team with members who have a history of success in the type of work your company will be engaged in. You should have some experts in your field, a strong financial partner, and consultants with the experience to fill in any gaps. Some states even require a doctor or pharmacist be on the team.

Your application should be built around the strengths of your team, so make sure it is a team worth highlighting.

3. Create detailed operations plans.

It’s important to create detailed operations plans for your application. This is one of the harder parts to put together, because it requires someone experienced in the industry who can really understand the day to day operations of your business. This can be a challenge because many business owners don’t know the details of day-to-day operations that haven’t started yet. These plans need to cover everything involved in your business including things like compliance, community engagement, record keeping, audits, security and more.

This is once place where consultants can be extremely helpful. We have thousands of pages of operating plans already created, which can be cut down and customized to your business.

4. Find the right real estate – but buy on a contingency.

Another crucial aspect of your application is the real estate. You need to find just the right property to house a cannabis business. This property should meet all the zoning requirements of your state, and local jurisdiction, and be suitable for the day-to-day needs of your business. But once you find that property, you also have to convince the owner to let you purchase or rent on a contingency. This is easier said than done, since many owners don’t want to wait around for months to see if your approved, but it is important. That last thing you want is to end up with a unusable property, if your cannabis license application is denied.

Finding the real estate on contingency is one half of the battle, but then you will also need to get the local government to approve. Some jurisdictions have officials that just want to help applicants get going and start bringing in some tax revenue, but others are trying to slow things down and make things difficult. Finding real estate in an area that’s more friendly to cannabis business can make a big difference.

5. Build a local presence.

Wherever you decide to start your business, it’s important to build a local presence. Most states and localities aren’t crazy about people coming in from outside to create cannabis businesses, and making money off their citizens without creating any jobs. So, it’s important to have a local team, or at least have members of your team that are local.

Moving to the area for even a few months before you submit your application can also make a difference. Get involved in the local cannabis community, go to the local political meetings and town hall meetings about cannabis, meet the decision makers and show your investment in the community. Establishing strong relationships with regulators can help later when they are grading applications. Plus, attending these meetings gives you a front row seat to new developments, so you won’t get caught off guard to any changes in the local cannabis policies.

Need some help with your application? Higher Yields Cannabis Consulting can help. 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. Contact us to get started creating a cannabis license application that stands out from the crowd.

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Higher Yields Cannabis Consulting

Higher Yields Consulting is a Marijuana Consulting Group comprised of industry experts with decades of combined experience in the legal industry. Whether you are looking to get into the business or already have a license we can help your business succeed. Call (844) HI-YIELD to schedule a free initial consultation.

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3 Big Mistakes to Avoid on your Cannabis License Applications

3 Cannabis License Mistakes

3 Big Mistakes to Avoid on your Cannabis License Applications

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.

cannabis loicense

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.

Contact us to get started creating a cannabis license application that is set up for success.

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Higher Yields Consulting is a Marijuana Consulting Group comprised of industry experts with decades of combined experience in the legal industry. Whether you are looking to get into the business or already have a license we can help your business succeed. Call (844) HI-YIELD to schedule a free initial consultation.

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Medical or Recreational Cannabis Licensing: What Type Should You Choose?

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Medical or Recreational Cannabis Licensing: What Type Should You Choose?

Medical vs. Recreational Cannabis Licensing

The cannabis industry is in a serious boom time. As state after state continues to open up regulated cannabis markets, the opportunity for new businesses to enter the cannabis space is huge – and only growing. Still for many just starting the process of applying for cannabis licensing, there is one big question to consider: should you be applying for a medical or a recreational cannabis license?

While many states make this choice easy, by allowing for only medical cannabis, states with recreational cannabis often offer both options. This gives applicants an important choice between becoming a medical or recreational cannabis business. Whether you are building a dispensary, a grow facility, an extraction lab, or an edible brand, your status as a medical or recreational cannabis business can affect your success in the long term. So it’s important to consider the options carefully and make sure that you are making the best decision for your brand.

Trying to decide for yourself? To help with your decision, we’ve outlined some of the main factors that smart cannabis businesses use when determining which license type to go for. Read on to see what considerations might apply to your cannabis business.

Reasons to Apply for a Recreational Cannabis License

Thinking about applying for a recreational cannabis license? You aren’t the only one. In states where there is an option, most businesses go with the recreational license. In fact, it is such a big trend that in states with recreational licenses, medical cannabis businesses seem to be dying out almost entirely. Why? Well there are a few reasons that businesses overwhelmingly choose recreational:

1. Recreational cannabis has a broader audience.

One of the main reasons that businesses prefer to apply for recreational licenses, is the broader audience that recreational cannabis can bring. While medical cannabis can only be purchased by someone who has had it recommended by a doctor, recreational cannabis can be purchased by anyone of age. This expands the potential reach of your brand considerably, and removes an obstacle your customers would have to navigate in order to purchase from you. As a cannabis business plan, it just makes sense.

2. Recreational businesses don’t have to deal with medical regulations.

Similarly, recreational businesses also don’t have to deal with the paperwork and business processes associated with medical cannabis. With medical cannabis businesses, all clients have to have up-to-date doctor’s recommendations for medical marijuana. Making sure each customer has their paperwork in order can be a big logistical headache. Recreational makes things simpler by eliminating these requirements.

3. Recreational has more income potential.

Ultimately though, the real reason that businesses choose recreational is simple – recreational cannabis businesses have more income potential. With a much broader audience, that can include recreational and medical cannabis users, the recreational space offers more potential for growth and success.
If you can apply for recreational cannabis – you probably should. From a financial standpoint, recreational cannabis is the almost always the best choice.

medical marijuana

Reasons to Apply for a Medical Cannabis License

While a recreational cannabis license is an obvious first choice for those who have the option, there are also sometimes good reasons why people choose to apply for a medical cannabis licenses. Even in states with both, in some cases, medical could be the right option for the particular business applying. Here are some of the main factors that lead people to choose medical:

1. There are no recreational licenses (yet).

Likely the biggest reason to apply for a medical license is simply lack of options. In states or towns with only medical licenses available, businesses will have to apply for medical in order to become licensed at all.

Still, even if your eventual goal is to become a recreational cannabis business, applying for a medical license can be a crucial step in the right direction. “Generally you want to get the first medical license because the people who get the medical licenses will have the first chance to convert into recreational states,” explains Cory Waggoner, Founder and CEO of Higher Yields Cannabis Consulting. In competitive states, such as on the east coast where there’s only 5-10 licenses they are handing out, getting one of those first medical licenses can put you in the best position to go recreational when it eventually opens up in your state. As a cannabis businesses that’s already functioning and operating, and has been through the cannabis permitting and licensing process, you will be in a great position to apply for a recreational license.

2. You are targeting the medical market.

Another reason to go medical is because you are targeting a specific demographic that is more likely to choose a medical brand. There are still a lot of people who want medical cannabis, specifically. If you are target marketing medical patients, it may make sense to go with a medical license. Take California, for example, where cannabis is taxed at a higher rate for recreational users than it is for medical patients. In states with this kind of tax difference, many patients don’t want to pay the extra taxes, and so may be more loyal to medical businesses. As more and more businesses target the recreational sector of cannabis, smart entrepreneurs may be able to make a strong niche for themselves outside of the adult-use market.

3. The medical regulations may work better for your brand.

A final consideration that might push some businesses towards medical is the differing regulations for medical and recreational products. While you might think that cannabis compliance would be stricter for medical, in some cases it is just the opposite. For example, in Colorado, you didn’t even have to test medical marijuana until a recent change in the regulations. While recreational cannabis had to be tested for contaminants like mold and pesticides, medical was allowed to go to market untested. These more relaxed regulations may have worked better for some brands. Medical markets also sometimes allow for edibles to be sold with higher dosing. In California, for example, edible dosing for recreational cannabis products are capped at 100mg per package. However medical cannabis businesses can offer products with dosing as high 2,000mg per package. If you are a brand who focuses on high potency edibles, a medical license may work better for your product line.

The Best of Both Worlds: Applying for Both Medical and Recreational

Of course another option is to simply apply for both medical and recreational licenses. This move may be your best option, if you can afford it. For one thing, it lets you serve everyone – which increases your income potential considerably. On the down-side you will have to pay fees for each individual license, and may need separate locations and cannabis tracking systems for each side of your business. Still, this option hedges your bets in a big way, especially if your local government seems likely to waver on recreational cannabis. “If they have a moratorium for a few years and then they decide they don’t want cannabis anymore, they’re probably going to start with recreational” explains Waggoner. Having both medical and recreational could help your business survive even if recreational cannabis businesses are shut down.

Do You Need Help Deciding Which Cannabis License Type Is Right For You?

So which option should you go with – a medical or recreational cannabis license?

“I think it really just comes down to opportunity,” says Waggoner. “Where’s the opportunity to make money?” The answer really depends on your particular cannabis business plan, and the regulatory landscape in your state and city. The opportunities available to you makes all the difference in answering this question.

Need some help deciding? At Higher Yields Consulting, our knowledgeable staff has helped over a 100 cannabis businesses through the process of cannabis permitting, licensing, and achieving full cannabis compliance. Our clients have achieved licensing success in more than 13 merit-based states and 7 countries, and we are happy to assist your business navigate the complexities of cannabis licensing.

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Higher Yields Consulting is a Marijuana Consulting Group comprised of industry experts with decades of combined experience in the legal industry. Whether you are looking to get into the business or already have a license we can help your business succeed. Call (844) HI-YIELD to schedule a free initial consultation.

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3 Things to Watch for When Preparing a Cannabis License Application

cannabis application

3 Things to Watch for When Preparing a Cannabis License Application

Applying for a cannabis license is stressful and often times confusing. No two states or countries are alike with their application process. To compound matters further in many areas you are competing with others so it’s not enough to just get it right it has to be perfect and show good reasons to outperform other applications. Below is some advice for those who will go the process without expert technical writers.

1. Timing/Preparation

A good cannabis license application can take months or years to create. Consultants will frequently put in thousands of hours researching, writing, and interviewing people. In order to make an application more competitive, cannabis consultants will find vendors selling any sort of new product relative to the industry, and then have them sign an exclusivity agreement.

Products can be anything from cleaning solution intended for processing equipment, to software that manages employee training. Experienced cannabis business consultants like including these things in the application because it gives them a competitive edge for their clients. However, the process is very time consuming because it requires a great deal of research and negotiation.

The best thing any client, or would-be licensee can do is to plan ahead. Start working months in advance. If that’s not an option, then carefully selecting a consultant who can work quickly under pressure will be key to success.

2. Cannabis Business Compliance

Before the application is released, the state or municipality will publish regulations that spell out how products should be labeled, whether wholesaling is permitted, and even acceptable hours of operation. The application needs to rigorously comply with all of the state and local regulations. This is why cannabis business compliance consulting is so important, these rules and regulations vary by area and they change often.

This requires careful study, which many clients dislike doing. Regulations are never fun to read but I will read them many, many times over the course of writing an application.

There are also federal regulations that play a part in any application. The business must comply with HIPAA as well as all OSHA standards. Federal labor laws must be adhered to. The Americans with Disabilities Act is a relevant piece of legislation, as well.

3. Writing/Organization

The writing style needs to be cohesive, eloquent, and fast-paced. The single hardest part of preparing an application is presenting the information. I have to find a way to marry dull information with a style that keeps the reader engaged. It’s not easy. Whenever I can, I tell things in the format of a story.

Trial lawyers prepare what’s called a “theory of the case.” It’s a single, unifying statement about why your client deserves to win the suit. Good trial lawyers will boil an entire case into a single sentence that summarizes the entire case. When I write a competitive application, I do the very same thing; I work with the client to come up with one comprehensive statement about why my client deserves to win a license, then I incorporate that statement into every narrative. It helps tie the whole application together, and it helps the reader remember this applicant.

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Higher Yields Cannabis Consulting

Higher Yields Cannabis Consulting

Higher Yields Consulting is a Marijuana Consulting Group comprised of industry experts with decades of combined experience in the legal industry. Whether you are looking to get into the business or already have a license we can help your business succeed. Call (844) HI-YIELD to schedule a free initial consultation.

The Latest from our cannabis consulting blog

Find the Path – Marijuana Startup Services

cannabis startup services

Find the Path – Marijuana Startup Services

Higher Enlightenment – Find the Path

Let’s be real, cannabis-related business is complicated.

New medical and recreational opportunities on the horizon are highly attractive markets with huge potential. However, most entrepreneurs and investors are unfamiliar with the challenges and hurdles that come with new regulatory environments, and many end up failing in their efforts because they don’t have the right systems in place.

Investing in a marijuana businesses consultant greatly increases your chance of success. With nearly a decade in the industry, Higher Yields Consulting is the nation’s premier firm. With over 100 completed cannabis license applications in 13 merit-based states and 6 countries, we have the experience, proven track record, and systems to take your business from seed to scale.

Our 4-step Higher Enlightenment process equips owners and operators with the tools and know-how to get started and navigate the industry with confidence.

Find the Path is Step 1 and the foundation for creating a successful business. These marijuana startup services will prepare your business to weather the complex challenges of the always-evolving legal cannabis industry.

Find the Path is the road to success in the cannabis industry. Whether you’re just getting started and looking for a team to help manage and direct the process, or if you’re interested in shoring up your operations to become more efficient and compliant, we can help.

Contact Higher Yields for a consultation on how Higher Yields Consulting can be of service to you!

WHY CHOOSE HYC FOR STARTUP CONSULTING SERVICES?

 
  • Applying for a marijuana business license is a timely and often arduous process. With high stakes and high competition in new markets, utilizing our Marijuana Business Applications services will mitigate your risk and make you an attractive candidate to regulators
  • We’ve provided services to domestic and international clients and worked in dozens of varying regulatory frameworks. Our cutting-edge consultants will work with you to create a consistent and compelling narrative. With customizable templates, award-winning core operating materials and procedures, our dedicated team will make this process efficient, saving you time and money.
  • An optimized operation starts with incorporating proven Standard Operating Procedures. These are fundamental base-protocols for running an effective business and navigating the changing rules and regulations. Our templates create well-defined processes and step-by-step instructions specific to your regulatory environment.
  • Different markets each have unique rules regulations – staying current and compliant is mandatory if you want to stay in business. These rules often change very quickly as regulators respond to new challenges, which can in turn cause businesses to become non-compliant overnight.
  • Our Marijuana Business Compliance services leave you confident that your operations are above-board and running smoothly. On-site consultants will complete a comprehensive audit of your facilities, identify potential violations, provide corrective action, and ensure owners and operators are properly trained in best practices.
  • A thorough understanding of METRC, the marijuana products tracking and tracing software, is essential to remaining compliant. One discrepancy between this software and your inventory can spell disaster for your business, as you will face heavy fines or risk losing your license.
  • Our METRC Reconciliation services will help you discover and rectify any differences. We also train your employees on proven methods to lessen inconsistencies, empowering your teams and giving them confidence to handle future errors with ease.
  • Marijuana business tax structures are complicated and many startups are taken by surprise when they close out their first year of operations. With our 280E Tax Structure services you will gain a clear understanding of this arcane rule and have a strategy in place to minimize your liability and increase your bottom line. Our consultants will help you save annually by reducing taxable income through the proper allocation of taxable goods.

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Higher Yields Cannabis Consulting

Higher Yields Cannabis Consulting

Higher Yields Consulting is a Marijuana Consulting Group comprised of industry experts with decades of combined experience in the legal industry. Whether you are looking to get into the business or already have a license we can help your business succeed. Call (844) HI-YIELD to schedule a free initial consultation.

The Latest from our cannabis consulting blog

Oklahoma Cannabis Licenses

cannabis license consulting

Oklahoma Cannabis Licenses

Oklahoma Just Legalized Medical Marijuana Apply For Your Cannabis License Now

 

On June 27, 2018, Oklahoma became the 30th state to legalize medical marijuana for adults 18 years and older. The state’s measure is unique in that it does not list qualifying conditions for an individual to obtain a medical marijuana license, as compared to other states, which will make it easier for people to use cannabis for medical purposes. In turn this also makes acquiring an Oklahoma cannabis license much easier than originally planned for.

Oklahoma has a big hole to fill because the demand for medical marijuana, with 56% of the population supporting the new law, will be high. This is a rare opportunity for individuals and businesses because they have an opportunity to become established from the ground up very early on.

As of right now, Oklahoma is finalizing the licensing information and application requirements for those who wish to open a new marijuana business. The final details will be made available to the public by July 26, 2018, and the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority will begin accepting applications no later than August 25, 2018.

According to the text of State Question 788, there will be three license categories available for new businesses:

Medical Marijuana Dispensary License – a licensed medical marijuana retailer may conduct retail sales of marijuana, or marijuana derivatives in the form provided by licensed processors, and those products can only be sold to a medical marijuana license holder or their caregiver.

Commercial Grower License – a licensed commercial grower may sell marijuana to a licensed retailer, or a licensed packager. Further, these sales will be considered wholesale sales and not subject to taxation. Under no circumstances may a licensed commercial grower sell marijuana directly to a medical marijuana license holder. A licensed commercial grower may only sell at the wholesale level to a licensed retailer or a licensed processor.

Medical Marijuana Processing License – a licensed processor may take marijuana plants and distill or process these plants into concentrates, edibles, and other forms for consumption. A licensed processor may sell marijuana products it creates to a licensed retailer, or any other licensed processor. Further, these sales will be considered wholesale sales and not subject to taxation. Under no circumstances may a licensed processor sell marijuana, or any marijuana product, directly to a medical marijuana license holder. However, a licensed processor may process cannabis, into a concentrated form, for a medical license holder, for a fee.

The application fee for each of these licenses is $2500, and the applicant must show proof of Oklahoma residency and be 25 years of age or older. Additionally, all applying entities must show that all members, managers, and board members are Oklahoma residents. An applying entity may also show ownership of non-Oklahoma residents, but that percentage ownership may not exceed 25%.

Schedule a call with us at Higher Yields Consulting to navigate through Oklahoma’s medical marijuana regulations. 

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Higher Yields Cannabis Consulting

Higher Yields Cannabis Consulting

Higher Yields Consulting is a Marijuana Consulting Group comprised of industry experts with decades of combined experience in the legal industry. Whether you are looking to get into the business or already have a license we can help your business succeed. Call (844) HI-YIELD to schedule a free initial consultation.

The Latest from our cannabis consulting blog