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There is a constant rapid movement of change within the cannabis industry that some cannabis business owners find a struggle to keep their business in operation. Cannabis business compliance is the leeway to getting things done right at the right time without getting a violation from specific government organizations.

As the industry is very complex, there are cannabis consulting companies that have an expert hand on getting things done the right way. We at Higher Yields Consulting help smooth the cannabis compliance process and ensure each regulation is abode by based on a business’s type from a cultivation facility to an extraction business. In order to best serve your cannabis business, we’ll go over the basic requirements of getting any type of cannabis facility in compliance with your local state cannabis regulations.

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Cannabis compliance in business is an organizations’ ability to adapt to changing standards, regulations, and laws. Before getting your business off the ground, there are important factors to keep in the forefront of your mind. The two primary factors to consider for being on top of cannabis compliance in business is:

1. Understanding every square inch of regulation and standard for any type of business or facility you’re operating.

2. Finding the right source to check if your cannabis business is compliant with regulations based on the specific facility you’re operating.

As you understand these basics before starting a cannabis business, the business will start at a good place and will continue to operate over time. However, there’s more than these basics to remain in accordance with cannabis business compliance.


We can agree that cannabis compliance is the cornerstone to operating your cannabis or marijuana business with efficiency and effectiveness, long term.

But, what do you need if you’re starting or are struggling to be compliant?

1. Start registering for a cannabis business license application through your local state’s medical marijuana license office. When you apply, give proper documentation and write a well-written professional application to ensure you pass.

2. Buildout the operation accordingly. Bring in intelligent niche professionals from an attorney to expert retail managers and train team members under proper certifications.

3. Read the regulations thoroughly from your local state office and remain compliant over time. If you’re struggling to keep business flowing under compliance, it’s imperative to read every guideline, standard, and regulation for the type of cannabis facility you’re operating or have an expert in the cannabis compliance area complete the task.

As the cannabis business you built or building is very well thought for compliance sustainability, it may get easier or smoother to stay in business. In any type of business your operating, each has specific cannabis regulations in different local states based on the business location you’re operating.


In each state, there are different types of businesses to operate such as retail. Operating a cannabis business in retail comes with challenges that some businesses make mistakes. A company called, Sweet Leaf, ran a cannabis retail company geared to medical patients and recreational users. From 2016 to 2017, the company was accused of “loopholing” through cannabis compliance regulations. A news report from MG Retailer quotes:

“ Charges were filed following a yearlong investigation by the Denver Police into allegations of widespread loopholing, which refers to the selling of more than one ounce of cannabis flower to an individual in one day. ” 

The company essentially was selling more flower than their state regulation required them to. They didn’t clarify this within their cannabis retail facility and in their standard operating procedures (SOPS). There wasn’t any responsibility to clearly follow their state’s regulation cannabis business compliance. It led to the closing of their company and delayed years of further licensing approval.

The company essentially was selling more flower than their state regulation required them to. They didn’t clarify this within their cannabis retail facility and in their standard operating procedures (SOPS). There wasn’t any responsibility to clearly follow their state’s regulation cannabis business compliance. It led to the closing of their company and delayed years of further licensing approval.

How can future retail companies protect their business from closing?

The take away for operating in cannabis retail is to always have an updated standard operating system (SOPS) in compliance with the local state. Also, it’s important to have employees or team members trained on the standard operating procedures (SOPS).


When operating an extraction business, it’s essential to operate cleanly according to standards. In each extraction business, it’s necessary to follow proper maintenance cycles.

Below is a following to consider when operating an extraction business:

    • Initiate a cleansing environment especially when handling medical products.
    • Initiate individuals to receive proper certifications depending on their job position.
    • Consistent inspection to follow basic regulations from the local state.

Initiate crucial standard operating procedures (SOPS).

These are factors for operating an extraction business or facility to consider, especially if it’s handling the cannabis product itself and giving it to medical patients. The more you understand on building a well-maintained extraction business, the better you’ll operate from your local state’s cannabis business compliance.


When operating a cultivation facility, you may consider growing cannabis indoors and outdoors. However, both of these options must abide by the local state’s cannabis regulations.
  • When growing indoors, each cultivation facility needs to follow cannabis regulations from size limit, equipment requirements, and electrical wiring.
  • Use the right nutrients based on regulatory compliance in agricultural food production for indoor and outdoor.
  • An indoor cultivation facility using carbon dioxide must have a level rate under 2000 ppm in cultivating places when personnel is present.
  • Instill best processing practices for smooth cultivation operation of handling production abiding by Standard Operating Procedures (SOPS) upon state compliance cannabis regulations.
  • Following strict regulations from OSHA and HIPPA, even if cannabis business isn’t federally legal.
Learn more about the basic requirements for operating a cultivation facility in a report by the American Herbal Products Association. As a business owner, you may find it hard to navigate the complexities of cannabis regulations. Higher Yields Consulting can help with all the cannabis consulting needs in compliance. However, for more information about cultivation facility regulations then connect with your state’s medical cannabis office. Otherwise, follow our state by state cannabis business compliance regulations below, to understand your state’s regulations.


The state legalized medical and recreational cannabis upon cannabis regulations restrictions. The cannabis business license runs by the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board.

Washington D.C.
Legalized medical cannabis and recreational cannabis, but they aren’t accepting cannabis business license applications for either. It may hold a great opportunity for businesses to plan until they do.

Medical marijuana and recreational marijuana is legal in the state. The Department of Public Safety manages the cannabis business licensing for dispensaries.

Rhode Island
In the state, medical cannabis is legal and regulated through the Department of Business Regulation. A Dispensary and cultivation facility can apply upon requirements.

Medical marijuana and recreational marijuana is available to citizens. Growers and dispensaries can apply for registration separately. The OLCC also accepts license applications for recreational retail cannabis.

Ohio legalized medical marijuana in 2016. Their medical marijuana program will give acceptance to a grower, dispensary, lab testing facility, and cultivation facility. However, the application process may be limited in 2018. Learn more about the 2018 medical marijuana program.

North Dakota
Medical marijuana is allowed through their medical marijuana program. However, you may need to wait until the next round of application acceptances are available.

New York

New York allows for medical cannabis within their medical marijuana program. You must apply to become a registered organization upon the time they’re accepting applications.

New Mexico
New Mexico legalized medical cannabis which is operated by the New Mexico Department of Health. In order to run a dispensary facility, you must be a Licensed Non-profit Producer.

New Jersey
The state legalized medical marijuana with business licensing requirements and cannabis regulations from the State of New Jersey Department of Health.

New Hampshire
Cannabis is legal for medical and is operated by the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services. Learn about licensing and regulations for your business.

The state allows for medical marijuana and recreational marijuana governed by the State of Nevada Department of Taxation. The application process for cannabis retail and medical cannabis is available for existing medical marijuana facilities. However, regulations may have changed as of November 2018.

Medical cannabis is legal and runs through the Montana Medical Program. A Lab testing facility, provider, and dispensary facility can get a cannabis business license through an application, depending on the time they accept them.

Medical Marijuana is legal with cannabis regulations. Individuals wanting to operate a business will need to wait until they’re accepting cannabis business license applications through Medical Cannabis Manufacturers.

Medical marijuana is legal in the state managed by the Bureau of Medical Marihuana Regulation (BMMR). If any business is intending to apply for a growers, processors, transporters, provisioning centers cannabis edible facility, and safety lab testing facility, applications are available from LARA.

Medical marijuana is legal in the state with some regulations in place. Businesses wanting top open a dispensary can apply for a registered marijuana dispensary (RMD).

Medical cannabis is legal. The cannabis regulations and licensing are managed through the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission.

Maine legalized medical cannabis and recreational cannabis to date. The Division of Public Health Systems operates the marijuana program. Businesses wanting to open a cannabis retail facility will need to review the recreational cannabis regulations and application process.

Louisiana legalized medical marijuana and are accepting licenses from specialty licensed pharmacies. The Louisiana Department of Health is responsible for the regulating and licensing of pharmacy businesses.

Illinois allows for medical cannabis with specific requirements toward patients. Applying for a dispensary license is issued by the State of Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.

Medical marijuana is legal with a few prerequisites. The State of Hawaii Department of Health manages the medical marijuana program that dispensaries can try to get approval for a business license.

Medical cannabis is legal with restrictions appointed by the Florida Department of Health medical marijuana office. However, they aren’t accepting any dispensary facility within the cannabis business license applications area.

Medical cannabis is legal in the state with restrictions from their Medical Marijuana Program. They have few dispensary centers that are formerly known as compassion centers. This could change as they only have 1 compassion center.

Cannabis is legal for medical but with some restrictions. Any dispensary will need to apply from their Department of Consumer Protection licensing. Only 3 to 10 licenses are given to each individual at a time.

Cannabis is legal for medical and recreational and you can find their cannabis retail business license application and their medical cannabis business license application from their online platform. You can also read through the cannabis regulations as well.

Cannabis is now legally available for medical and recreational, as long as each as a local California License. California has 3 local licensing governed authority centers such as the Bureau of Cannabis Control, Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch, and CalCannabis Cultivation licensing, for cannabis compliance regulations and licensing.

Arkansas has a medical marijuana commission program that regulates business licenses for individuals looking to get a cannabis business license.

Cannabis is illegal in Arizona, except for those with a medical marijuana prescription for specific medical conditions. This may complicate grow and extraction facilities cannabis business license prerequisites, so read more at Arizona Department of Health Services’ medical cannabis program.

In Alaska, it’s legal to have medical and recreational cannabis within their state. The Alaska cannabis business compliance has specific cannabis regulations and licensing requirements for anyone looking to build a cannabis business in Alaska.


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