International Cannabusiness Consulting Firm, Higher Yields, Accelerates Commercial Cannabis and Hemp Industries with Record Company Growth


Cannabis global advisors provide insight, oversight, and elevates cannabusinesses from seed-to-scale.

Higher Yields Consulting, the leading international cannabusiness consulting firm, today announced that it achieved record growth in the last year by increasing its new clients by over 400%. Higher Yields provides professional business development services to cannabis startups, existing operators and local, state and federal governments – both domestically and internationally.

“As the cannabis industry continues its massive growth, I’m proud of composing a team of experts with centuries of combined cannabusiness and consulting experience to support the acceleration of the cannabis and hemp industries,” stated Cory Waggoner, founder and CEO of Higher Yields. “Our team works with all types of businesses and governments. Our client profile spans from conceptual startups to publicly traded Multi-State Operators to federal governments.


“As the cannabis industry continues its massive growth, I’m proud of composing a team of experts with centuries of combined cannabusiness and consulting experience to support the acceleration of the cannabis and hemp industries.” – Cory Waggoner, CEO and Founder of Higher Yields Consulting


We help to determine and advise the feasibility of our client’s potential endeavors and expansions of operators, from the onset working with federal and state governments, supporting them with regulatory structure and program development to create vertically integrated supply chains around the world. I look forward to supporting the growth of the industry, continuing to set the benchmark for customer service and to champion global access and education to cannabis and hemp products.”

The company has accelerated commercial cannabis and hemp industries by:

  • Work with clients in 35 states and 15 countries.
  • Drafted more than 500 cannabusiness applications.
  • Won licenses in 15 competitive states.
  • Supporting commercial construction and operational systems support of over 4 million square feet of cannabis businesses.
  • Supporting the continued growth of over 100 client projects.
  • Currently advising clients on over $100,000,000 of projects globally.

Higher Yields provides cannabis consulting services such as licensing, real estate, cultivation management, financial plans, facility design-build services, branding, marketing, compliance, banking access, and more, to learn more visit

About Higher Yields Consulting Higher Yields Consulting (Higher Yields) is a Denver-based, international cannabusiness consulting firm whose founding members have been successfully providing professional consulting services to the commercial cannabis and hemp industries since 2008. From licensing, real estate, cultivation management, financial plans, facility design-build services, Human Resource Services, branding, marketing, compliance, banking access and more, Higher Yields has decades of combined experience working closely with clients across the booming cannabis industry. The company has helped build more than four million square feet of cannabis facilities alone and offers an in-house marketing and branding team. Learn more and chat with us at

Cannabis Investment

In the cannabis and hemp industries, the sky is the limit for investments and ROI. The industry is currently expanding into global markets, sweeping across the United States, and expected to do over $84 Billion dollars in 2028, it’s hard not to be watching this as an investor. Currently, 36 states and the District of Columbia have medical cannabis programs and 16 have established Adult Use programs. In last year’s election, 5 more states voted for new cannabis programs. 

For savvy investors who have already completed their research and heard the 99 horror stories for every one success, this article is for you. At Higher Yields, we have over 100 years of combined experience under our belt in the regulated cannabis industry. We understand where to invest, when to invest, and why to invest in those areas. To be successful, you have to be willing to get creative to develop relationships and gain traction. None of these deals are going to be a home run without some ingenuity and innovation. I will lay out below how to access the market and provide some great pointers for those looking to provide capital in the fastest growing industry on the planet! 


When to invest into the cannabis market? 


Timing is everything! Cannabis is no different from Crypto Currency, Real Estate, or many other markets; you’ve to get in at the right time. One of the most significant differences from other industries is the novelty of cannabis, as well as the differing types of public acceptance and regulations domestically and internationally. These disparate models and programs can make timing difficult and can undoubtedly strain the understanding of risk and reward when moving into an emerging industry. 

The Cannabis Supply Chain 

Investing into the cannabis supply chain at the right time can be difficult for those new to the industry. It involves the ability to predict where the market is headed, not just where it currently resides. For example, if you are looking to enter into the cannabis market in California or Oklahoma, you may want to consider a few things; How many licenses have been issued? How difficult is licensing at the state AND local level? These are essential questions to ask because they paint a picture of where that specific market is headed. The progressive 2015 awarding of licenses to cultivators in Oregon showed new states how quickly a market with little regulation could become very saturated. In contrast, markets like CA, which regulate the sixth-largest economy globally, have seen a lot more bureaucracy and merit-based RFPs at the local level. This has slowed things down and allowed local municipality  government and the state government to get a hold of inventory and cash moving through these facilities.


Cannabis Benchmarks US Spot Index 2015-2017 (Courtesy Cannabis Benchmarks)


Venture Capital in Cannabis 

If you’re more of the venture capital mentality, there are many different options to get creative in the cannabis industry. For instance, one can invest in applications in new competitive states, jumping in on a distressed opportunity with little time for diligence, or even invest in a small startup or ancillary business. All of these are great options, but the timing must be correct, or the juice won’t be worth the squeeze!


Cannabis applications in competitive states: States with competitive cannabis licenses are always on the horizon but don’t think because you have a few lobbyists and a pocket full of money, you’re a shoo-in. These permits, once issued, are worth 1-100 million dollars, and the thoroughness and requirements of these applications are strict and require very niche expertise depending on the type of license and the location in which you will be applying.


Distressed cannabis businesses: Distressed cannabis opportunities are, well, distressed opportunities. With little to no due diligence, this is no different from purchasing a house at a foreclosure auction, which turns out to have a bad foundation and plumbing issues. Surprise, it’s now your nightmare! Since this business is distressed, it will bring other motivated cash buyers, provide little time for due diligence and understanding of the current situation. You will have to act fast. Scared money doesn’t make money, and if you don’t get it, someone else will. You may look back on that missed opportunity like I look back at not buying bitcoin in 2010!


Emerging Legal Cannabis Markets 

Emerging markets are great options for investment but when to get in is the question. Most investors believe that first to market in a new market is the route to go. If you have everything in place, you know what you’re doing, and you’re ahead of the following company by a year. Although this may be true, in a market predicted to be very competitive the initial pop could be short-lived, not to mention rushing into market with a mediocre product can significantly affect a brand’s reputation. 


Emerging States from the 2020 Election



New Jersey  

South Dakota  



Where do I invest in the Cannabis Industry? 


In the United States and around the globe, there is much activity surrounding cannabis; it’s hard to pick that perfect area to jump in. The global market is going to be huge, but what does that look like? How does one get involved and how do different types of products move around the globe? Even here domestically in the United States, cannabis can be challenging to determine which markets will survive and falter. Which areas of those markets are the most lucrative and how long will those booms last before a crash? Getting familiar with the “goings on” of cannabis in all areas is almost impossible for someone new to the industry, but with the right trusted advisors like Higher Yields Consulting, you can quickly identify the “where” while also understanding the potential opportunity of those areas.


Cannabis Supply Chain 

You’re ready! You’ve got your money, you’ve selected the state you’re going to operate in, and you know the product you want to bring to market. Investors have to ask themselves a few questions before pulling the trigger on this; Is this sector of the supply chain saturated already? How quickly can I get to market and what will the market look like by then? Will this product and brand last in this market? The supply chain can be tricky. Without an experienced advisor on your side, making the projections without knowing what’s going on in multiple aspects of the territory/state program can be challenging.


Venture Capital in Cannabis 

Nothing better than winning big on the blackjack table. To place chips down and let the dealer lay the cards out in front of you, 21! Yes! Blackjack and cannabis are a lot of like in this way. Where you sit at the table will determine more about the outcome than how much you bet or how you play your hand. Investing in cannabis in Massachusetts is probably a better bet than investing in cultivation in Colorado. Why? They are different decks of cards, other players, and where you sit in the game is essential. If you sat down at a hot deck in cannabis, it might look like the opportunity in Massachusetts two years ago. Massachusetts cannabis market is quickly growing as the only AdultUse state on the East coast. If you showed up to a slow deck with a small stack of chips, that might be more similar to showing up in Colorado today hoping to open a 5,000 sq. ft cultivation. You’re not out of the fight, but it’s going to be a David and Goliath type match-up. 


Emerging Legal Cannabis Markets 

What’s next for the industry? Federal legalization? Federal decriminalization? While Republicans and Democrats argue over the fate of our country and this incredible plant, we see a lot of movement at the state level. New states are opening up medical programs, old medical programs are turning to adult-use programs, and there are additional rounds of licensing in previously smaller competitive markets like IL. 

 This industry will have twists and turns no matter the strategic investment made, or approach taken. But knowing where to lookwhen to execute, and how to place the capital is crucial to gaining that “pie in the sky ROI. It’s out there; you just have to know where to find it. Here at Higher Yields Consulting, we work day and night to track and develop opportunities for our clients throughout all of the United States and into global markets. We understand and have the experience to provide our clients with the vision and foresight to guide them through their journey to success and financial freedom!

Cannabusiness Get a Second Chance? HYC Offers New Pivot Program

As of this year, there are now 33 states that have legalized cannabis in some form, with 11 of those going so far as to allow adult recreational use. But not all legalization programs are created equal, nor do all markets share an equal potential. Every state has its own challenges as well as its own unique opportunities for your budding cannabusiness.

Higher Yields Consulting Cannabusiness Get a Second Chance? HYC Offers New Pivot Program

For many, this will read as the proverbial 20/20 of hindsight. They call it the “Green Rush” for a reason, and countless aspiring cannabusiness entrepreneurs are now struggling for survival as a result of their haste. Why? Because they failed to properly assess the risks and rewards of their chosen marketplace.

If that hit too close to home, the good news is there’s hope — and it lies within the HYC Pivot Program.

The HYC Pivot Program: What We Do for Your Cannabusiness

The Pivot Program was conceived to assist both new market entrants and struggling veterans alike in avoiding the pitfalls of overly competitive and unstable markets. The program also helps cannabusiness owners leverage their individual skills and experience to ease the barriers of entry into the cannabis marketplace.

If you fall under the “struggling veteran” category, know that your efforts haven’t been for naught. We’ll work with you to repurpose the structure you’ve already built and the investments you’ve already made to help you access the state regime most conducive to your individual success.

Understanding that there’s no “one size fits all” solution for such a diverse and unpredictable market, we cater our approach to your vision, your budget, and your needs to help you find the perfect pathway for your success, providing continual guidance as you grow.

Cannabusiness Is Complicated: The Devil Is in the Details

There are myriad factors that come into play when assessing the best regime in which to operate, and each unravels with even more intricacies upon closer inspection. For example, a tightly regulated state market with high barriers for entry can and often will be the wrong choice for industry initiates for self-evident reasons. Hence as a general rule, (though there are exceptions to every rule) restrictive states — like Florida, Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, New York, Missouri, and New Jersey — should be avoided.

But it’s not so cut-and-dried as to say that a more liberally regulated market is an automatic win. Otherwise, a state like Oregon would be a sure bet. Unfortunately, their market bottomed out from oversaturation years ago — a direct result of the lax standards and obscenely low barriers for entry.

Meanwhile, Oklahoma has also suffered from oversaturation caused by their similarly low bar for entry. However, the resulting high failure rate is helping to keep the market open to more experienced entrepreneurs with proper backing. It’s all about having a knowledge of the industry that’s both deep and wide, which is why it’s essential to work with a group like HYC who can provide the expertise necessary for lasting success.

The Process: How It Works

Though the program must calculate a seemingly infinite number of factors, we’ve managed to break the process down into three basic steps.

  1. Application Assessment. This is where we leverage what you’ve already built. We look at your experience, expectations, team, work completed, and more to determine your position and the best course of action.
  2. Business Profile. We create a custom profile of the cannabusiness that best matches your assets and criteria.
  3. Consultation. Based on your business profile, we’ll help steer you to the state marketplace that demonstrates the greatest potential for your individual success and continue to provide invaluable expertise and insight along the way to give you the edge over your competition.

The possibilities that can be derived from these steps are nearly as infinite as the factors we calculate to complete them. One option could be as simple as utilizing your momentum to shift to a state like Oklahoma where the barriers are low but the potential is high. Or perhaps you have the capital to buy a business outright. In such a case, we can help you find the ideal acquisition.

Higher Yields Consulting Cannabusiness Get a Second Chance? HYC Offers New Pivot Program

For others, though, direct handling of cannabis may not be the best option — and that’s just fine. There’s any number of ancillary businesses — payment processing, accessories, grow equipment, or security, just to name a few — many of which carry far lower risk. HYC can guide you through these choices and subsequent processes as well.

Whatever the roadblock, we can help you surmount it and move to the next challenge. If it’s an issue of residency, we can help connect you with locals in the state industry in need of investors. If it’s a budgetary concern, we’ll point you to the state with the lowest fees and highest potential. If your vertical is burdened by unnecessary regulations in one state, we’ll steer you to a state with more generous accommodations.

HYC is here for you, to empower you to make the changes to your cannabusiness that are essential to your growth. With our cumulative knowledge, expertise, and network at your disposal, you can move in confidence knowing that our success is your success.

If you’re one of the umpteen players in the cannabis industry who rushed in early and now feels trapped, pause, take a deep breath, and remind yourself that you can still pivot to higher ground.

Contact us today to set up a consultation and learn more about how we can guide you in a new direction.

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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Cannabis Security: Keeping Things Under Lock, Key & Camera

Cannabis Security: Keeping Things Under Lock, Key & Camera

As with most big opportunities, cannabis businesses of every size face risks. A robust cannabis security system mitigates some of those risks while doing more than meets your security camera’s eye. A holistic approach will help protect your business against losses that affect your bottom line and attract negative attention from the press, regulatory agencies, and law enforcement. Learn what a successful security plan entails and how an ounce of loss prevention can be worth many times its weight in cannabis security.

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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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National Trends for Social Equity Programs in the Growing Cannabis Industry

National Trends for Social Equity Programs in the Growing Cannabis Industry

As people began discovering gold at the end of the cannabis rainbow, some communities were missing out on the bonanza. Notably, people of color, those with prior marijuana convictions, and members of communities hardest-hit by the war on drugs were running into barriers to entry into the profitable cannabis industry. To maximize your potential for success in the cannabis market, learn about social equity programs in your state or city. Here are some common themes to be aware of, along with figures that illustrate the power of including previously underrepresented individuals in this booming industry.

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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 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 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 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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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 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.

The Latest from our cannabis consulting blog