Applying for vs Buying Cannabis Licenses

Higher Yields Consulting Buying Cannabis Licenses: New vs. Existing

When it comes to buying cannabis licenses, there are two basic pathways you can take: applying for a new license or purchasing one that already exists.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 36 states allow medical-use cannabis and 18 states allow adult-use. Thus, the state you intend to operate in will greatly affect the best option for you. Other factors to consider include upfront costs, the risks involved, and your future plans for the business. 

Higher Yields Consulting Buying Cannabis Licenses: New vs. Existing

Read on to learn more about the pros and cons of the two pathways for buying cannabis licenses so you can make the best choice for your business.

Option #1: Apply for a New License

Going through the licensing process comes at a gamble, as winning a license isn’t guaranteed. But with the right resources and planning — and the right location — it can be less expensive up front and give you more options for setting up your business. 

Benefits of Applying for a License

Buying cannabis licenses through the application process gives applicants more flexibility to choose their location, as well as freedom to build their business from the ground up.

Most first-time applicants become interested in applying because they’ve heard that their home state is opening up, and staying local certainly has its advantages. The licensing and permitting process is smoother if you’re able to attend meetings and visit establishment locations in person. 

Depending on the state you choose, applying for a new license could also save you money. Most applicants spend around $200,000 to $300,000 compared to the $1 million or more that an existing license can cost to buy. Also keep in mind that non-competitive states like Oklahoma are cheaper and easier to acquire licenses in.

Finally, while applying for a new license has a fairly steep learning curve, it’s a great opportunity to learn about the industry in-depth and make solid network connections for future growth. 

Downsides of Applying for a License

A common mistake when applying for a license is waiting too long to start the process. This can weaken your chances of winning the license, thereby increasing the risk of losing not only money but also time, energy, and other resources. 

High-competition states exacerbate the risk involved. In New York and New Jersey, for example, you have the potential to generate far greater revenue than in a saturated state like Oklahoma, but they’re also much more competitive and thus much harder to get into.

If you don’t have lobbyists behind you, your chances of winning shrink even smaller, as you’re likely going up against teams with plenty of time, resources, and as many as 10 or more lobbyists advocating on their behalf. 

If you do succeed in winning a license, you’ll also have to expend more time, energy, and resources building the business from scratch. And if you’re entering a less expensive, more saturated market, you’ll need to create an exceptionally strong brand to stand out from the crowd. 

Option #2: Buy an Existing License

Buying cannabis licenses from a previous owner removes some of the risk, since you’re directly paying for a license instead of hoping to win one. But the tradeoff is potentially higher costs and absorbing any mistakes made by the previous license holder. 

Benefits of Buying Cannabis Licenses

If you can afford it, buying cannabis licenses eliminates the guesswork of the application process. And it can pay off fairly quickly: A license valued between $10 million and $40 million could be worth upwards of $100 million in five years. 

But it is possible to find someone willing to sell their license at a reasonable price. Operators who are burned out or not doing well may be willing to sell for less than other license holders. Alternatively, you can buy from a company that has the ability to win licenses but no desire to operate a facility themselves. 

Higher Yields Consulting Buying Cannabis Licenses: New vs. Existing

At HYC, we’ve developed a model where we’re able to apply our expertise to win licenses and acquire cannabis-friendly properties, then make them available to our clients at affordable prices to help them get a foot in the door to the industry. 

Our Dome project enables aspiring cannabusiness owners to purchase a license and cannabis real estate for as little as $3.5 million and build a potential $40 million-per-year company. It’s a perfect opportunity for people who want to operate but don’t want to go through the stress and hassle of securing property and winning a license. 

Downsides to Buying Cannabis Licenses

Of course, if you purchase an existing license, you don’t necessarily get to pick the state in which you operate. And you have less control over your business’s operations and design. 

You also have to deal with any restrictions that were placed on the license, such as time constraints or transfer restrictions. If the previous license holder was given a social equity discount for which you don’t qualify, you may even have to pay that discount back upon purchasing the license.

Worse, you may find yourself owning someone else’s mistake. Any compliance issues or bad history associated with a license — even those that happened under the previous license holder — may need to be disclosed when you renew the license or expand to another state. 

Choosing the Right Path for You

The best thing you can do when considering which path you will take is find a consultant that you trust to help you navigate the process. 

I previously worked with a client who was all set to buy a license. But first, I asked them to answer a few questions: What restrictions are on this license? Are there any liens or marks against it? Are the license holders under social equity, and who will be responsible for the price increase?

They couldn’t answer any of these questions and ended up dodging a huge bullet. That’s why, whether applying for or buying cannabis licenses, it’s important to get in with a consultant who really understands the process and requirements.

For more guidance on buying cannabis licenses, reach out to schedule a consultation.

New Jersey Cannabis Licenses

New York cannabis license applications

New Jersey Cannabis Licenses

Want to Open A Recreational Cannabis Business in New Jersey?

New Jersey legalized medical marijuana in 2010, and although the state is no longer accepting applications for medical dispensaries, the state is on the cusp of legalizing “possession and personal use of small amounts of marijuana for persons age 21 and over.”

If it passes, Senate Bill 830 will make the Garden State a new front for recreational cannabis use. With estimated first-year revenues ranging from $60-300 million, New Jersey is a prime hub for establishing a new marijuana business, or expanding an existing business that operates in another state.

Although the bill is still being considered, recreational cannabis in New Jersey is inevitable and individuals and organizations that take action now will be best positioned carve out a slice of the new market.

The first step for anyone interested in retail marijuana is to become familiar with the various cannabis business licenses that will be available. According to the proposed legislation, four separate licenses will be offered.

Types of Cannabis Business Licenses that may be Offered in New Jersey

Class 1 Marijuana Cultivation Facility / Marijuana Producer License; Marijuana Product Manufacturing Facility / Marijuana Processor License: This license is for an entity that cultivates marijuana and sells to producers, to product manufacturing facilities, and to other marijuana cultivation facilities, but not to consumers. Similarly, it is also for an entity that purchases marijuana; manufactures, prepares, and packages marijuana items; and sells items to other product manufacturing facilities and to retailers, but not to consumers.

Class 2 Marijuana Wholesaler License: a person or entity who sells marijuana items or marijuana paraphernalia for the purpose of resale either to a licensed wholesaler or to a licensed retailer.

Class 3 Marijuana Retailer License: an entity licensed to purchase marijuana from cultivation facilities and marijuana items from marijuana product manufacturing facilities or wholesalers and to sell marijuana and products to consumers.

Class 4 Marijuana Transportation License: an entity licensed to transport marijuana through and within the State of New Jersey and to maintain a warehouse.

Preparing For New Jersey Cannabis Licensing Possibilities

Although New Jersey is not currently accepting applications for marijuana licensing, there are steps you can take right now to be the most prepared for when the new law goes into affect.

Some of these next steps are to create a corporate structure, develop a business plan, and create an economic development plan, which includes working with local municipalities and determining the right location for your business.

The cannabis industry is complex, always evolving, and sometimes very difficult or time-consuming to navigate. At Higher Yields Consulting, we are experienced marijuana consultants providing innovative business solutions to meet all of your needs.

Whether you’re brand-new to the industry, or looking to expand, working with us will give you a competitive edge and increase your success.

Contact us today to skyrocket your business in the cannabis space of New Jersey. 

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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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The Cannabis Licensing Guide: 4 Strategies for Success

Higher Yields Consulting The Cannabis Licensing Guide: 4 Strategies for Success

The cultivation of a successful cannabis operation starts with a single crucial step: winning a license. However, even that first step involves a long process that requires time, effort, and expertise. This cannabis licensing guide will help ensure your business is a strong candidate for licensing.

If you’re hoping to win a license, the time to start preparing was yesterday. After all, advanced planning isn’t a luxury, it’s a strategy. Beginning as soon as possible gives you time to secure real estate, lobby local officials, and become compliant. Starting ahead of schedule is one of the smartest strategies for winning a license.

Higher Yields Consulting The Cannabis Licensing Guide: 4 Strategies for Success

Along with proper preparation, effort, and a head start, our cannabis licensing guide will help your budding business nail the application and get licensed in no time.

Location, Location, Location

In any industry, real estate plays a huge role in business success. In the cannabis industry, that role is even larger. The majority of states require applicants to have commercial real estate locked into place, and a lack thereof usually results in the applicant’s disqualification.

Whether your business opts to buy or rent a space, our cannabis licensing guide suggests considering two primary elements. First, make sure your site is in a Green Zone — that is, a place where cannabis operations are allowed. Green Zones will allow you to narrow your search and stay compliant with local zoning regulations.

Then, evaluate the return on investment (ROI) of potential locations. This analysis of local competition, product demand, and other factors will reveal the most lucrative locations for your business.  

Controlling Your Capital

On the financial side of the industry, most states want to see short-term operating plans and long-term financial sustainability. To achieve such sustainability, we suggest engaging with investors without compromising company equity.

Cannabis investors infuse your operation with the capital necessary to grow. Solidifying your investors early and continuing to engage with them builds a relationship that yields financial security. However, companies should avoid giving away too much equity in the process.

Especially in states with low start-up costs, operators may be tempted to award investors large shares of equity. Giving away too much up front can leave your business vulnerable if you need to pay employees in equity or fundraise again later. 

Striking a balance between raising liquid capital and maintaining equity is crucial for successfully navigating the cannabis licensing process.

Assembling an Expert Team

A cannabis operation is only as strong as the team behind it. Putting together a core team of experts will, throughout the process of cannabis licensing, guide your business to future success.

Strategically selecting your core team based on business acumen gives your operation a competent and diverse foundation. Additionally, varying degrees and types of experience among your team looks good on applications. In particular, most states like to see teams with experience in ancillary cannabis businesses.

Operators & Management Staff

Outside of the core team, experienced cannabis operators and management staff bring more value to the table. Experts who understand the ins and outs of the industry and have multi-state experience can fill expertise gaps on the team.

Furthermore, your choice of operators and management staff may benefit your future goals. For example, some businesses choose to begin solely as dispensaries and eventually grow into cultivation as well. In these cases, operators with vertical integration experience in both areas look very attractive on applications.

Security & Legal Compliance

If there’s anything that can easily sink your business, it’s a lack of proper security and compliance. For this reason, our cannabis licensing guide, along with countless other blog articles, emphasizes the importance of such measures.

Anyone can write a security plan, and there are plenty of cookie-cutter templates available. However, these avenues don’t set you apart from the competition. A comprehensive, thoughtful, and robust security plan demonstrates that you understand the risks in the industry as well as how to effectively mitigate them.

That being said, don’t promise more than you can provide. If your plan is too ambitious or too expensive to implement, then the state will likely deny your application. Because of this, businesses should aim to design a plan that balances necessary security with financial viability.

Higher Yields Consulting The Cannabis Licensing Guide: 4 Strategies for Success

Additionally, staying compliant with local and state regulations is crucial for remaining in business. In states that require METRC, the process can be confusing at first but is ultimately very effective. 

If your state doesn’t require METRC, be sure to vet and test your inventory system thoroughly to avoid any costly errors. Also, look for a system that can easily be integrated with METRC should your state someday require compliance.

Navigating the dynamic landscape of local and state regulations can be exhausting and time-consuming. Here at Higher Yields Cannabis Consulting, we’re lucky to have Director of Compliance, Marissa Cortes, helping our clients stay on top of regulations.

Cannabis Licensing: Guide Your Business to Success

The cannabis industry is a difficult industry to start in, but advanced preparation can set you up for success. By following the strategies we’ve set out in our cannabis licensing guide, your operation will be well on the way to winning a license.

Are you looking to maximize your opportunity to win a license? Book a consultation and work with our crack team of seasoned professionals!

Bermuda Prepares for Legalized Cannabis

Bermuda Prepares for Legalized Cannabis

Crystal blue waters and pink sands may be the key to Bermuda’s charm, but thanks to a new proposal from the island’s government, Bermuda looks to be moving towards legalizing cannabis. On June 3, 2020, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Kathy Lynn Simmons announced the Bermudian government’s intention to fully legalize and regulate cannabis for adult use by the end of the year.

Higher Yields Consulting: From Pink Sands to a Green Rush: Bermuda Prepares for Legalized Cannabis

Simmons has released a draft of the Cannabis (Licensing and Regulation) Act 2020 for public comment. For anyone paying attention, this comes as no surprise. Change has come incrementally to Bermuda, first with a decriminalization bill in 2017, and then with a move to legalize hemp in 2019.

With full adult-use legalization on the horizon, a new world of opportunity is emerging in Bermuda. Here’s what you need to know.

Bermuda & Cannabis: How We Got Here

Though Bermuda’s government has taken swift and decisive steps to legalize cannabis in 2020, regulation is hardly a new topic of discussion. In 2018, the possibility of expanding patient access to cannabis-based treatment was being explored. However, when the proposal was brought forward for public consultation, it was met with unexpected criticism — and not in the way one would assume. The overwhelming consensus was that the government’s aspirations, impressively proactive though they were, didn’t go far enough.

Full legalization was demanded. Bermudians wanted a simplified framework that would allow all citizens to participate, no matter their economic standing. They also wanted help to bring a semblance of social equity, which was especially important because of the stark economic disparities that have long been a part of island life.

Bermuda’s population is basically made up of rich and poor with no prevalent middle class to speak of. As an island nation, Bermuda relies on imports for many everyday staples, which pushes up the cost of living and further widens the divide between the haves and the have-nots.

The COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated these circumstances. With international travel ground nearly to a halt, Bermuda’s tourism-based economy has taken a catastrophic hit, leaving an overwhelming number of Bermudians with no way to make ends meet.

It’s no coincidence that the Bermudian government has now decided to accelerate the cannabis legalization process. In fact, the pandemic’s economic impact has been directly cited in documents for public consultation on the topic. As of July 3, 2020, the window for submission of public comments officially closed, setting the stage for the bill’s final adjustments ahead of becoming law.

Setting Up the System

Public documents released thus far have cited the regulatory frameworks of Canada and neighboring Caribbean nations as Bermuda’s inspiration. However, U.S. industry operatives will also find similarities to the framework of Colorado.

Higher Yields Consulting: From Pink Sands to a Green Rush: Bermuda Prepares for Legalized Cannabis

Regulations will be overseen by a five-member board — the Cannabis Advisory Authority — selected from the “disciplines of health, scientific research, business, planning, and agriculture.” The Authority will be responsible for advising on policy matters, the distribution of educational materials, the execution of training programs, and the receipt and submission of licensing applications. The Authority will also give recommendations on approvals and refusals. Let’s take a quick look at the broad strokes of the proposal:

  • Adults age 21 years and older will be permitted to carry up to seven grams on their person.
  • Personal cultivation will be allowed but will require an annual license of $750.
  • Individuals with prior cannabis convictions will NOT be automatically barred from participating in the new industry.
  • Retail cannabis outlets will be required to submit to an inspection by the Commissioner of Police a minimum of once every six months.
  • Retail cannabis outlets will be permitted to allow consumption on their premises with the proper licensing.
  • Licensing will be required for every level of the vertical, including cultivation, importing, exporting, manufacturing, retail, transportation, and research.

The Bermudian government is implementing rigorous protocols to ensure that the system can’t be scammed. Still, excessive regulations are being adamantly avoided so as not to unduly burden aspiring participants.


Despite the overwhelming popularity of legalization among Bermudians, not everyone is happy with all of the details of the proposal. According to an article in the Royal Gazette, Social Justice Bermuda — an activist organization — has taken issue with the $750 licensing fee for home cultivation. The group argues it will disproportionately exclude Black citizens from taking part in the legal growing scheme. Moreover, Social Justice Bermuda argues that such an exclusion would only further encourage illegal activity.

While there has been no direct response to this objection as of yet, the statements that have been released do bode considerably well for Social Justice Bermuda’s agenda. In her update on the public consultation,  Attorney General Simmons stated emphatically that all comments submitted by the public were being considered. The update also noted that license fees were being re-evaluated in hopes of finding a balance between the costs of all available licenses and “to achieve the best participation for under-represented or marginalized groups.”

The Island Way

Throughout all of this—the language of the bill, the process by which they created it, and the consultations by which they refined it, one thing is abundantly clear: This piece of legislation is for the people.

bermuda cannabis consulting

There’s no buying or selling of licenses allowed, meaning it won’t become a game of Monopoly for the rich. Bermudian citizenship is also required for participation. Most importantly, the Bermudian government has made it clear that their goal is to tip the scales in favor of the underclass. They’ve doubled down on that assertion through a rare attentiveness to the populace and a dynamic response to their concerns.

Still, even the most reasonable of regulations can prove to be an arduous regimen for the average entrepreneur to tackle. Having a green thumb or a silver tongue doesn’t typically correlate with a propensity for bureaucratic details. Those are the Devil’s domain, according to the old cliché.

As the Bermudian government takes the final few steps to make the dream of legalization a reality, an entirely new territory of opportunity will be opening. If you’re a Bermudian approaching this new opportunity with a plan and a passion, make sure you’re equipped to stake your claim.

If you’re not sure where to start, we here at Higher Yields Consulting can help. Since 2008, we’ve been putting our diverse skillset to work for the cannabis industry — both in the U.S. and abroad — and have consistently garnered stunning results for our clients.

Reach out to us today to schedule a consultation.

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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 an initial consultation.

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Cannabis Licensing Applications: When to Work with Consultants v.s. Attorneys

Higher Yields Consulting Cannabis Licensing Applications: Working With Consultants and Attorneys

When setting out to complete a cannabis licensing application, many first-time cannabis entrepreneurs assume they need to hire an attorney from the get-go. However, what these budding business people really need is the help of a cannabis consultant.

A seasoned consultant knows the licensing application process inside and out and will be able to advise you on which tasks to outsource to an expert, such as an attorney. This comprehensive knowledge makes hiring a consultant both cost-effective and essential for winning a license. 

Higher Yields Consulting Cannabis Licensing Applications: Working With Consultants and Attorneys

Completing the entire application with an attorney, on the other hand, will likely prove to be a hefty — and avoidable — expense. The steep cost of a “full-service” cannabis attorney is often unjustified as outside services are frequently consulted, resulting in additional fees. 

Confused? Don’t worry. We’re here to help you understand when to work with a consultant and when to hire an attorney so you can get the biggest bang for your buck and submit a winning cannabis licensing application.

The Attorney Dilemma

There seems to be a trend of applicants seeking lawyers for guidance throughout the entire process of acquiring their cannabis license. While there’s a time and a place for hiring an attorney, this usually isn’t it.

Attorneys may charge several hundred dollars an hour for their services. Plus, many attorneys — even those who claim to be “full-service” and well-versed in cannabis — often outsource much of the application work to consultants.

Instead of paying one price for the complete services promised, clients are hit with additional charges to cover the consultant fees. By hiring an attorney to handle the licensing application process, applicants can wind up overpaying for an underperforming service.

When to Hire an Attorney

Ultimately, attorneys are best at offering their specialized knowledge on matters regarding contracts, partnership agreements, corporate structure, and IRS codes, such as section 280E. Working with an attorney for these specific parts of a cannabis licensing application makes sense.

Seek out the support of a consultant to handle the majority of the application legwork. Your consultant will alert you of any sections that need a more specialized eye. Then an attorney — or another expert, such as a CPA — should be hired to fill in the gaps with their expert knowledge.

The Value of Working With a Consultant 

As a former lawyer who worked with cannabis clients, I saw a significant need for consultants in the licensing field. It dawned on me that the cannabis industry would benefit from a knowledgeable consultant who possessed the work ethic of an attorney — so I pivoted to fill this role and joined the Higher Yields team. 

Consultants understand cannabis licensing with a greater depth than attorneys do, which makes them the true authority on the matter. Attorneys, however, fill in the crucial gaps in specialized areas of focus. I was armed with the skills of both.

The value that a consultant offers saves a lot of headaches and provides a hands-on approach for the applicant. A consultant will pass along their comprehensive knowledge of cannabis licensing and forge a strategic path through the application process. 

Striking a Balance

I recommend applicants seek out a full-service consultancy, and this is exactly what my team offers here at Higher Yields. Many of us are lawyers by trade, but offer the full-service suite of knowledge (without the lawyer rates!) of a consulting firm. We have the legal acumen and the business strategy and use both to the client’s benefit.

The significance is that the client ends up relying less on attorneys, putting dollars back into their own pocket. Plus, there are no loose ends when the bulk of the cannabis licensing application is completed in-house. 

There are certain steps in which the client is directed to outsource an attorney, CPA, or an architect. But rather than hand off the assigned tasks, the team at HYC will work alongside these professionals to maintain support throughout the complex proceedings. 

The value of hiring a consultant first and an attorney on an as-needed basis is that a balance is formed, making a once fragmented approach, smooth and cohesive. 

A True Full-Service Approach to Cannabis Licensing

When seeking out the best consultant for your needs, be on the lookout for a package deal that offers the full range of support you’ll require. Find a consultancy that provides in-house guidance on security plans, financials, floor plan designs, compliance, and procurement.

With this kind of full-service package, you’ll sidestep the outsourcing fees that would normally be tacked onto your bill. As an added bonus, this collaborative team-oriented approach will ensure that your cannabis licensing application runs through a fluid system of operations. 

It’s crucial that your consultant understands that working together creates synchronicity that isn’t found with disjointed outsourced teams.


Higher Yields Consulting Cannabis Licensing Applications: Working With Consultants and Attorneys

Be sure to emphasize from the start of your business relationship that you only wish to outsource when you absolutely require a specialized expert. Ideally, this means tracking down a consultant who has legal knowledge but doesn’t serve as a legal advocate and charge higher rates. 

The best consultant will know when to advise you to seek out an attorney. Likewise, the consultant well-suited for your needs will offer all the remaining services you need in one place.

Having the right plan of action to complete your cannabis license application can be tricky. The last thing you want is to pay higher rates for an attorney who will ultimately outsource the bulk of the work. To win a license in your state, you need a unified team on your side. 

Our industry leaders are ready to work with you on streamlining your cannabis licensing application. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

The Future of Cannabis in the U.S. & Emerging Markets in the Industry

ammerican cannabis consulting

As the saying goes, you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows. However, when it comes to the future of cannabis in the U.S., an experienced prognosticator can help predict the next state likely to launch a legal cannabis market or provide insight to help you win an industry license. However, passing a law is just part of the story. We’re here to help you find the facts and identify opportunities.

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The How-To Guide to Cannabis Licensing

How to Guide Cannabis Licensing

The How-To Guide to Cannabis Licensing

The increasing number of states passing legislation for the legalization of marijuana and the removal of hemp from the Controlled Substances Act has led to heightened interest in participating in the cannabis industry.

As the cannabis marketplace evolves, stigma surrounding the plant fades, and consumer demand continues to rise. There has never been a better time to participate in what is predicted to be a multi-billion marketplace. However, because marijuana legalization varies from state to state, you will need to familiarize yourself with your state’s specific cannabis program and its rules and regulations. State laws establish who may cultivate or sell cannabis without prosecution under federal law.

Before you get started, you will need to determine the type of licensing, permitting, and documents your marijuana business requires. The different types of cannabis businesses will have their own set of requirements and application processes. In this guide, we will discuss the types of medical marijuana business licenses, how to apply for a cannabis license, and the benefits of working with cannabis consultants to get a license. We will also discuss the business opportunities in the industrial hemp space.

Types of Marijuana Business Licenses

There are various types of marijuana businesses and therefore, different license types. Before you begin the cannabis application process, you need to determine the type of cannabis business you are planning to launch. If your state has both a recreational and medical marijuana program, you have more opportunities to explore. Investing in the recreational cannabis space means access to a broader audience and not having to deal with the paperwork and regulations associated with medical cannabis.

However, if your state does not have a recreational or adult-use marijuana program, an investment in medical marijuana also comes with its benefits. As a medical marijuana business, you would be providing patients with qualifying conditions access to cannabis products that will improve their quality of life.

While you may want to start a cannabis business that deals in both medical and recreational marijuana, you may also have to refine your decision by choosing the specific type of business. Keep in mind that the terms for marijuana businesses are different from state to state. For example, a growing facility may be called a cultivation center in a different state, while a dispensary will be referred to as a retail store by another state. The following are the most common types of cannabis business licenses:

Dispensary – Consumers are most familiar with marijuana dispensaries because they are the brick and mortar establishments or retail stores where they can physically purchase marijuana products. A cannabis dispensary or retail marijuana business is ideal for the entrepreneur who enjoys facing the consumers. Keep in mind that most states have strict regulations for dispensaries, such as locations that must be more than 500-1000 feet from schools, churches, etc.

Cultivation – There are outdoor and indoor growing facilities, also known as cultivation centers. However, outdoor growing facilities are only established in states where the climate and state restrictions allow for outdoor marijuana production. Whether indoors or outdoors, growing facilities are usually required to be located away from schools, parks, libraries, or any other establishments that cater to minors.

Because most state laws typically require that cultivation operations or cannabis production facilities be in remote locations, you can enjoy benefits like security and potential for future expansions. Cannabis production facilities require a significant investment because space, infrastructure, equipment, and soil costs can add up. The growing facility will also need proper ventilation, climate control, irrigation control systems, and the right lighting.

Extraction – Currently, the majority of marijuana sales are concentrates and cannabis extracts. With this kind of demand, starting an extraction operation is a good way to enter the cannabis industry.

Using special extraction systems and skilled extraction technicians, extraction labs take the marijuana plant and apply industrial solvents, heat, and pressure to the plant to extract pure compounds. You will also need to decide which of the many extraction and refinement methods your extraction lab will focus on; this will determine your equipment, labor, laboratory, and licensing requirements.

Processing and Manufacturing – Processors and manufacturers are licensed to purchase marijuana to process it and manufacture it into marijuana products like oils, tinctures, ointments, edibles, and so on.

Distributor – Marijuana distributors are licensed to transport cannabis products from a marijuana establishment to another marijuana establishment. For example, a distributor may transport marijuana from a cultivation facility to a dispensary.

Vertically Integrated Cannabis Business – Vertical integration in the cannabis industry refers to a cannabis company that controls more than one stage of the cannabis supply chain. Achieving vertical integration means consolidating the cannabis production processes by not only growing and processing the product but also distributing it to other businesses or individual consumers.

hemp oil

The Industrial Hemp Program

Hemp has been removed from the Controlled Substances Act, making it legal on a federal level under the 2018 Farm Bill or Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018. Industrial hemp is used for over 25,000 industrial and commercial products, which makes it a cash crop with the potential to be a highly lucrative industry. However, hemp, like marijuana, is regulated by states, and farmers, researchers, and entrepreneurs will still need a license to operate.

How to Get a License to Grow Hemp

The Agricultural Marketing Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has set up the national hemp growing program. While you can apply for a federal license at the USDA, they won’t be available in the states that ban the commercial growing of hemp. As of the time this article was written, South Dakota, Mississippi, Idaho, and New Hampshire are states with these laws.

The USDA will be accepting license applications year-round, with licenses valid for one calendar year. The USDA has also established a rule that all hemp plants will be tested at a Drug Enforcement Administration-registered laboratory to ensure their THC levels remain within legal limits.

For more information please be sure to check out our article on “How to Get a License to Grow Hemp” or contact us for more information.

Marijuana Consultants for Conquering Cannabis License Applications

Basic Requirements for a Cannabis License Application

While marijuana legalization and industrial hemp laws vary from state to state, those that have cannabis programs typically have an application process that involves some common factors that application “judges” will require. The following are the more common requirements for cannabis business application:

Business Plan – Marijuana program regulators will need to determine your readiness to operate a legal cannabis business. Therefore, your business plan should be a document that demonstrates your ability to run a productive and profitable marijuana business that follows relevant regulations.

A cannabis business plan follows the outline of traditional business plans. They will have sections like the executive summary, industry overview, market analysis, competitive analysis, sales and marketing plan, ownership structure, operating plan, and financials.

For a cannabis business, your business plan should also include any information that supports your marijuana business idea, such as cannabis market studies and descriptions of your products. This is why it’s crucial to study state-specific cannabis regulations.

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) – The application reviewers and analysts will need to determine your ability to maintain a safe and secure facility. You’ll need to create clear and actionable SOPs that outline your processes, explain why they are performed, and who is expected to execute the processes. The goal is to prove that you can stay on top of the constantly shifting rules and regulations of the cannabis industry.

Your SOPs should also detail your procedures for health and safety issues, equipment and supplies, and emergencies. Each procedure should be mapped out in detail. Pay attention to any language or wording that may cause miscommunication, which may lead to accidents or legal action.

Financial Plan and Proof of Funding – The application process itself can be costly, with some states requiring thousands of dollars in application and license fees. Therefore, you need to demonstrate that you have strong financials to not only proceed with the application process but to also build and launch your intended cannabis business.

The costs of launching and operating a fully licensed marijuana business requires strong financials and a legal source of funding. Beyond the hefty application fee and renewal fee that range between $5,000 – $10,000, there are the real estate costs, ongoing costs to operate, and staffing. You also need to factor in business equipment, security and surveillance systems, marketing, and capital requirements.

Cannabis Real Estate – Know your local regulations before investing in real estate. Before applying for a license, you will need to have secured cannabis-friendly property that meets all the requirements of your type of cannabis business. For example, your dispensary should be in a location that complies with the state’s zoning restrictions, which likely involve operating at a specified distance from a school.

Keep in mind that not all properties are considered “cannabis friendly.” While your state may approve your location, there’s the reality that your landlord may not approve. If you intend to rent a space, be upfront with the building owner about the nature of your business. This will help avoid problems in the future. Higher Yields has an in-house cannabis real estate team that can help you find the perfect property.

Background Checks – You will need to provide proof that you don’t have any felony convictions. Whether you are applying as the owner, or you are an investor, licenses are typically not granted to those with a criminal past.

For example, applicants for the USDA Hemp program need to provide an FBI criminal history report. You cannot receive a hemp production license if you have been convicted of a controlled substance-related felony in the last 10 years.

Why Work with Cannabis Consultants to Help Get Your Cannabis Business License?

What makes the cannabis business license so rigorous and time-consuming is the dozens of pages and sections that you will need to fill out. However, completing all the sections of the application form isn’t the only challenge. Some states only have a limited number of licenses to award. The state licensing authority may use a scoring methodology that ranks applications and awards licenses to those that perform the highest. This means that meeting the minimum requirements is typically not enough for you to win a coveted license; you need to ensure your application stands out.

Cannabis consulting services provide you with everything you need to accomplish your cannabis application. Here’s what you can expect when you leverage the skills of an experienced team of cannabis application writers:

Meet Deadlines – Some marijuana license applications are massive documents composed of dozens or hundreds of sections. Completing and submitting an application is something that cannot possibly be done overnight. On average, you will need at least 4-6 weeks to complete the application.

Cannabis consultants help you avoid common mistakes that many make when tackling the complex cannabis license application process. Because cannabis licensing consultants have vast experience in winning marijuana business licenses, they know to never underestimate the time it takes to finish the application.

From the moment you ask for their help, they will create a timeline that plans out every aspect of the application. Meeting deadlines is one of the most impressive qualities of expert cannabis application writers. The ability to complete applications in a timely manner comes from years of experience and detailed knowledge of state cannabis laws and regulations.

Competitive Content Thanks to Specialized Skills – Cannabis business applications are massive compilations of documents that require the expertise of all aspects of a cannabis business, from the business plan and SOPs to facility design and financials. Therefore, the best way to approach cannabis licensing is to leverage the expertise of consultants who make it their mission to ensure you’re awarded a license.

Cannabis consulting companies have a team of marijuana experts that specialize in different fields of the cannabis industry, including tax accounting, compliance, real estate, facility design, and so on. Because they have in-depth knowledge of each state’s licensing system and approval process, they have the skill to complete each section of your application properly. This minimizes the risk of getting your application rejected over a technicality.

Expert Writing and Research Skills – Some applications have word limits for each section. This is where the services of an expert cannabis technical writer bring the most value. They will use clear, concise language that will demonstrate in-depth cannabis expertise and your business’s potential to have a positive economic impact.

Qualified technical writers are not only skilled writers but also thorough researchers and diligent proofreaders. As experienced cannabis application writers that are knowledgeable in your state’s marijuana business rules and regulations, they will be careful to write in a manner that meets the expectations of your city or state. And as meticulous proofreaders, they will double- and even triple-check each section for inconsistencies, grammar and punctuation errors, and to ensure nothing is missed.

Demonstrate Profitability and Compliance – The goal of any good cannabis application writer is to prove that you will be a productive and profitable marijuana business operator. They will answer the tough questions surrounding your business in areas like security, storage, taxes, accounting, compliance, insurance, marketing, legal protections, and so on.

Cannabis application writers will also ensure that the content is free of any biases. Many people who attempt to accomplish the application on their own may not realize that answers that are too passionate may hurt their chances of being awarded a license. While it’s done with good intentions, the panel reviewing the applications don’t want biased opinions or humor; they want your application to demonstrate your technical understanding of the processes and operations of running a cannabis business. More than anything, they want to determine your business’s potential for profitability while remaining compliant to state marijuana policies and regulations.

Competitive Edge – If your state is still in the process of legalizing recreational marijuana or still refining its medical marijuana program, a cannabis consultant can help you get a headstart on the competition. A pre-license assessment can help you identify your gaps, weaknesses, and areas where you can improve to ensure you’re ready when your state opens the application window for business licensing.


Each state will have its own rules, policies, regulations, and restrictions when it comes to the cannabis licensing process. Lack of understanding of state-specific laws, licensing information, and the complexities of the marijuana business application process can lead people to underestimate the required timelines and resources.

It’s beneficial to seek the expertise of professional consultants who have a comprehensive understanding of the industry. Many don’t realize that business license applications may be dismissed due to a technicality, such as an incomplete section or missing documents. Because the application process itself can be time-consuming and expensive, it would be a shame to lose what may be your only shot at winning a license because you attempted to do it on your own. Therefore, working with a cannabis consultant when applying for a marijuana license should be approached as an investment.

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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 an initial consultation.

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How to Get Started in a Legal Cannabis Business

cannabis bsuiness how to

How to Get Started in a Legal Cannabis Business

More than half the states in the U.S. have already legalized marijuana in some form. Most of these states have started by legalizing medical marijuana for patients with qualifying conditions, while some states also have programs for recreational cannabis.

The cannabis industry is expected to grow into a $21 billion market by 2021. With business booming and the potential for high return on investment, there’s much interest in starting a legal cannabis business. However, because of the complex cannabis laws and regulations that vary by state, it’s easy to get lost and confused by all the requirements it takes to participate in this multi-billion industry.

Before you start your marijuana business and even consider beginning the application process, you should study your state’s specific marijuana programs, laws, and regulations. Because the legal cannabis industry is relatively young and highly regulated, starting a marijuana business won’t be like launching a regular business.

In this guide, we will briefly discuss the cannabis industry’s history, the unique requirements of becoming a cannabis entrepreneur, and marijuana business ideas. We will also talk about how you can improve your chances of getting a license.

Brief History of the Cannabis Industry in the U.S

Cannabis prohibition dates back to 1937 when the Marihuana Tax Act was passed. The Act levied a tax on anyone who dealt in marijuana, cannabis, or hemp. Just a year later, hemp was declared as the “New Billion Dollar Crop” because of its 25,000+ potential uses. And by 1942, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Army urged farmers to grow hemp. And though the Marihuana Tax Act was rendered unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1969, cannabis was classified under Schedule I under the Controlled Substances Act.

It would be decades before the journey toward legalization of marijuana would begin. In 1996, California passed Proposition 215, legalizing the medical use of marijuana in the state. Arizona, Alaska, District of Columbia, Oregon, Washington, Maine, Colorado, Hawaii, and Nevada legalized medical marijuana and developed their own medical marijuana programs over the next four years.

More states would follow suit over the next few decades, with some states legalizing recreational marijuana for adults. In 2018, the passing of the Farm Bill or the Agriculture Improvement Act into law legalized hemp and ended federal prohibition of hemp and hemp-derived products. .

Business Opportunities in the Cannabis Industry

The booming cannabis marketplace means a variety of business opportunities for entrepreneurs looking for their slice of the multi-billion-dollar pie. Because of the many types of cannabis businesses, getting started requires a decision on which area of the sector to focus on. While cannabis businesses now come in all shapes and sizes, the following are the most common marijuana businesses:

Dispensary – Marijuana dispensaries are also referred to as retail stores. They are the physical stores where consumers can buy cannabis products. This type of cannabis business is ideal for the entrepreneur who enjoys contact with the customers. Depending on your state, this could be a recreational or medical marijuana dispensary.

Cultivation FacilityMarijuana cultivation businesses are also known as grow facilities. Depending on the state regulations, marijuana may be grown indoors or outdoors. Cannabis cultivators are typically located in remote areas because of the space requirement. To maintain quality, cultivation businesses have facilities that are climate-controlled, well-ventilated, and have advanced irrigation systems. They are also expected to be highly secured.

Extraction Lab – Extraction labs have advanced extraction systems and extraction technicians that use processes to extract pure compounds from the cannabis plant. These potent extracts are what you will find in commercial products, such as oils, tinctures, and concentrates.

Manufacturer – Marijuana products can be consumed in a multitude of ways. Manufacturers process the cannabis plant to produce a variety of products, such as edibles and concentrates.

Transportation Services – Marijuana transporters get marijuana from point A to point B, safely and legally. Because marijuana is highly regulated, traditional courier services are out of the question. Only licensed marijuana transportation services are allowed to move raw marijuana materials and goods. This type of business will typically require armored vehicles and trained and armed drivers to ensure goods are delivered without incident.

Investing in Cannabis

Starting your own cannabis business operation isn’t the only way to get your start in the marijuana industry. Many people decide that investing in cannabis stocks is a good way for them to understand the industry before fully committing to business ownership. This approach will require market research into the performance of existing cannabis operations and an understanding of industry trends. Educate yourself and stay up-to-date on the latest cannabis business news and the ever-changing rules and regulations of the cannabis industry.

How to Improve Your Chances of Getting Licensed

The highly regulated nature of the cannabis industry makes getting a license for your business to operate legally challenging. And since most license applications are evaluated using a scoring methodology to rank them based on quality, competition is fierce. However, the application process for licensing is complex and rigorous for a reason; it’s to weed out those who do not have a potentially successful business strategy and the ability to operate a legal cannabis business properly.

Completing a marijuana license application is not a one-man job. It requires the expertise and insight of various cannabis professionals – ranging from operations to tax accounting and compliance with cannabis regulations. Some basic requirements the application process include are a well-developed business plan, detailed standard operating procedures (SOPs), and proof of strong financials. Before you begin the application process, you will also need to secure cannabis-friendly real estate that complies with all the zoning laws of your state. You will also need to craft a blueprint of your cannabis business facility, ensuring that it abides by all the compliance laws of your state.

Because of all the requirements, documents, and specialized skills needed to complete a license application, it would be wise to leverage the expertise of a cannabis consulting agency. Cannabis consultancies have teams of experts who specialize in each area of the cannabis industry – from licensing to accounting to compliance to facility design to branding. With years of experience in marijuana licensing and permitting, professional application writers will help you complete each section of the application properly by using an efficient process that saves you time and money.

Realistically, you may only have one shot to secure a cannabis license. Most states have a limited number of marijuana business licenses to award. Once an application window closes, another one won’t likely open unless the state determines that the existing marijuana businesses cannot meet consumer demand. Because cannabis licensing is highly competitive, an experienced cannabis business consulting company will ensure you are equipped with everything you need to make your application stand out.


Before you build your business, you need to understand the complexities of obtaining business licenses in the marijuana industry. Because the industry is highly competitive, and marijuana remains illegal under federal law, your best chance at becoming successful is to leverage the expertise of cannabis professionals who can increase your chances of getting licensed while ensuring you remain compliant with the law.

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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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Why Work with Cannabis Consultants to Help Get Your License?

Image close-up of budding marijuana plants. For growing success, invest in grow room maintenance with our All Season Preservation program.

Why Work with Cannabis Consultants to Help Get Your License?

Because marijuana legalization is on the rise, with more than half the states in the United States legalizing cannabis in some form, it would appear that starting a marijuana business is easier than ever. However, because the cannabis industry is predicted to become a multi-billion industry that promises many business opportunities, competition has become increasingly fierce. Also, not all state marijuana programs are created equal; each will have its own regulatory compliance requirements, regulations for cannabis retailers and cannabis manufacturers, and application processes.

Cannabis laws and regulations vary from state to state. Some states have a limited number of licenses to award. Because the state cannabis program regulators and license evaluators expect to get hundreds, if not thousands, of applications when they open application windows, they will use a scoring methodology to rank applicants. Therefore, licenses will be awarded to applicants based on merit. In this guide, we will discuss the benefits of working with cannabis consulting firms and how they can help you get a cannabis license.

Complete All the Application Requirements on Time

Because cannabis applications are massive documents, it typically takes 4-6 weeks to complete the application, on average. While the exact requirements for cannabis licensing and permitting will vary from state to state, most applications will require a business plan, standard operating procedures (SOPs), strong financials, cannabis-friendly real estate, and background checks.

All these requirements take time and money to complete. The business plan alone needs to be a well-crafted document that demonstrates your ability to operate a cannabis business that is profitable and achieve cannabis compliance. Your business’s SOPs will need to be a detailed documentation of your facility’s processes and procedures.

Demonstrating that you have adequate funding to become a fully licensed cannabis business will require gathering all the documentation that shows you have a legal source of funding. This also involves financial documents showing your purchases, such as real estate, design build payments, employee salaries, and all other costs involved in getting your facility operational.

You also need to secure cannabis-friendly real estate. Because this is one of the many requirements for getting your application completed and considered for licensing, a cannabis consulting company can help you with site selection so you can find property that adheres to safety and security standards and meets all the relevant regulations and zoning restrictions for your particular cannabis business type, specifically for your state.

When you allow a cannabis consultant to become an extension of your team, you will have marijuana professionals who will ensure you complete your requirements and meet your deadlines. Using tested processes, they will create a timeline that schedules every aspect of the application to ensure each section is completed in a timely manner.

Gain Competitive Edge and Stand Out

While you may have experience and skill in running a business, you may not have expertise in each aspect of the cannabis industry. These include cannabis laws and regulations, tax compliance, facility safety and security requirements, marijuana cultivation processes, extraction technology, and so on.

Experienced cannabis consulting companies are comprised of teams of experts that specialize in the various fields of the marijuana industry. This includes lawyers with in-depth knowledge of state and federal marijuana laws, policies, and cannabis regulations. The team will also likely have finance experts to ensure you can demonstrate tax and accounting compliance. Expert cannabis marketers know the restrictions involved in marijuana marketing. And skilled marijuana architects and engineers will ensure your cannabis facility design and construction complies with your state’s cannabis safety and operational regulations. Each of these cannabis experts will help ensure that each aspect of your application is completely professional to demonstrate competency.

With years of experience in completing marijuana licensing applications, an experienced cannabis consultancy firm knows what it takes to make your application stand out. Leveraging application templates and customizable formats, your application will benefit from a strong structure that has been effective at winning business licenses.

Leverage the Skills of Expert Industry Researchers and Writers

Cannabis consulting companies have professional application writers who are skilled at technical writing, researching, and proofreading. So not only do they have extensive knowledge in the cannabis industry, but they can also write your application in a concise and clear manner. They will tackle all the tough questions and demonstrate your business’s ability to become successful and profitable.

Whether your business is a grow facility, dispensary, cannabis testing lab, or vertically integrated company in the medical cannabis or recreational marijuana market, the right licensing consultant and professional application writers will ensure your narrative is clear, consistent, and compelling.

Cannabis applications are composed of dozens of worksheets with some applications reaching over a hundred pages. Each section will typically have a word limit, making it crucial that you write your answers in a manner that is concise and clear. It may surprise you that many marijuana applications have been dismissed due to a technicality, such as a missed or incomplete section. Professional technical writers are thorough and diligent about double-checking all their work to ensure your application is complete and competitive.

When you trust a qualified, cannabis application writer to help you complete the written portions of your application, you can be assured that the writing will not only be captivating but consistent, but free of punctuation and grammar errors. They will also ensure that the writing is free of biases that may raise red flags.


Applying for licenses in the highly competitive marijuana industry is time-consuming and complex. It’s almost impossible to complete entirely on your own, without help from marijuana professionals. If you attempt to do it on your own because you believe it is a way to save money, you will likely discover the hard way that you may not meet the deadlines or complete the sections. Becoming a cannabis business owner is costly due to application fees, license fees, cannabis real estate requirements, and equipment and technology. It would be a shame to invest so heavily in launching your business and prepare it for operations, only to lose what may be your only chance to secure a license.

Keep in mind that most, if not all, cannabis application fees are non-refundable. Should you not be awarded a license, not only will the $5,000-$10,000 application fee not be returned to you, but you will need to have a contingency plan for the property you have acquired. Therefore, it would be wise to choose the right cannabis licensing consultant to help you win a coveted license and make the most of your investment.

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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 an initial consultation.

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The Benefits & Limitations of Cannabis Delivery & Transport

The Benefits & Limitations of Cannabis Delivery & Transport

The cannabis licensing process can be long and confusing, and it doesn’t help that there are so many options. Each state offers different types of licenses and refers to them by different names. Cannabis delivery and transport licenses are no different and can easily become overwhelming if you don’t understand them.

The Benefits & Limitations of Cannabis Delivery & Transport

As is true with any cannabis license, you have to know what you’re getting into. A transportation license is not the same as a delivery license. Each has its own benefits and limitations. Knowing these will help you choose the best option for your business.

This is what your cannabusiness needs to know about cannabis delivery and transport licenses.

What Are Cannabis Delivery & Transport Licenses?

Although the lines between transport and delivery are blurred in some states, more often than not, they require two completely different types of licenses. Understanding the function of each license can help you determine which type best accommodates your business.

A cannabis transport license essentially acts as a courier license. Licensees may move product from point A to point B, so long as both points are licensed businesses. Transport licenses do not include delivery to consumers.

Delivery, on the other hand, allows the movement of product from a licensed business to the end consumer, only. A delivery licensee cannot move product from one business to another.

Neither cannabis delivery nor transport licenses allow for the interstate movement of product. All licenses exclusively pertain to the transportation or delivery within the borders of a particular state.

Cannabis Delivery & Transport by State

With the cannabis industry regulated wholly at the state level, some key differences exist in transport and delivery between states. Keeping up with where states differ on cannabis delivery can help determine the best state to do business in.

Cannabis in California 

When it comes to cannabis delivery, California is the OG. The state’s laid-back attitude toward delivery has made it a beyond-popular way for consumers to enjoy edibles, flower, cartridges, and more. In fact, it’s become so pervasive that you’d have a tough time finding a stretch of highway without a billboard for cannabis delivery.

Often referred to as “non-storefront retail,” cannabis delivery is beginning to replace brick-and-mortar operations. Part of its appeal comes from delivery licensees’ ability to deliver to consumers across municipality boundaries.

It’s also worth noting that California does not offer a cannabis transport license. Instead, businesses require a distribution license to move product from one business to another.

While transportation and distribution licenses are pretty similar, some differences still exist. For example, a cultivator in California cannot use branding on its products. Rather the distributor handles the packaging, labeling, and branding of all products — in addition to moving them from business to business.


Way back in 2014 — on a day known as Green Wednesday — Coloradans flooded dispensaries to buy recreational marijuana for the first time. However, it took many years for cannabis delivery to be permitted. 

Colorado saw the first delivery license for medical marijuana issued in the spring of 2020, and it wasn’t until 2021 that Denver allowed the delivery of recreational marijuana. Though cannabis delivery has grown more popular in the age of social distancing, it hasn’t taken off nearly as much as in California.

The Benefits & Limitations of Cannabis Delivery & Transport

Although delivery is relatively new to the Centennial State, cannabis transport has been around for some time. Referred to as a courier license, it allows licensees to move product between licensed businesses. 

Additionally, all regulated marijuana businesses in Colorado are granted some transport privileges, as well. 

New Mexico

Under the Cannabis Regulation Act, recreational marijuana became legal in New Mexico on June 29, 2021. This nascent cannabis market presents unique opportunities as well as challenges for cannabis delivery and transport. 

Knowing and understanding the nomenclature in your state is crucial. Applying for a courier license in Colorado means you’re a transporter, but being a courier in New Mexico means you deliver directly to consumers. 

Working with a professional can help you understand the different types of licenses and decide which is best for you. It also prevents you from accidentally getting into cannabis delivery when you really wanted to get into transportation.

New Mexico’s legislation also shows some promise for the future of cannabis delivery. In anticipation of federal legalization, lawmakers included provisions for interstate commerce, when it becomes legal. If your operation has big future plans, New Mexico may be the place to go.


With transport and delivery licenses, the Bay State continues to manage cannabis properly. State officials took their time rolling it out, but when they did, licenses were clear and straightforward, making it easy for existing businesses to move into the space with little confusion.

Since they launched the program, cannabis delivery and transport have taken off. Massachusetts business owners have even been pairing licenses to maximize success, much like what we’ve seen in New York.

How to Win a Cannabis Delivery or Transport License

No matter what state you’re in, there are a few general guidelines to follow when applying for a transport or delivery license — the biggest of which is staying compliant. Keep up with regulations and changes so that you can be ahead of the curve and avoid any costly penalties.

Your business must also be compatible with your state’s mandated tracking software — in California, Colorado, and Massachusetts, this is Metrc. However, relying solely on Metrc can be problematic.

Using a supplemental software, like OnFleet, that matches the needs of your business keeps operations running smoothly. In addition to tracking products, OnFleet allows you to consolidate routes, scale your business, and maximize efficiency.

At the end of the day, a successful cannabis delivery or transport business must be prepared for scrutiny. The state will keep a close eye on you, so take all the necessary steps to protect yourself. 

Although the barrier of entry is still low for transportation and delivery, cannabis is still a highly regulated industry laced with critical compliance benchmarks. In order to maximize your time and money, work with an experienced professional.

Book a consultation today to explore your options for securing the best license for your business.