Tips for Winning a Marijuana Cultivation License
In legal states, fans of marijuana have turned to cultivate their own green plant for their personal use. It’s about sticking the seed to the soil in an enclosed space; providing the proper lighting system, watering, ventilation, and nutrients; monitoring growth; and harvesting.
But when it comes to commercial marijuana farming, the basic process becomes complex. It’s not about marijuana cultivation but about gaining a license for marijuana cultivation.
Each state has its own rules and regulations concerning marijuana cultivation licenses. Finding out what are the state requirements for a cannabis cultivator can be daunting. Some states make their fees and application procedures easy to digest, others will require you to plow through piles of reading materials. Some states are not always accepting applications the window of availability varies in each state.
Let us walk you through some tips to create the winning marijuana cultivation license.
Know the State’s Licensing Structure
A cannabis grower should know the state’s licensing structure, which varies from state to state.
There are states that combine cultivating, processing, and selling procedures into one license. Other states will separate these into three licenses, you will be allowed only to grow cannabis, just process cannabis, simply operate a dispensary, or apply for multiple licenses.
In Maryland, an applicant is given 30 days to comply with the requirements, while in Illinois there are only 21 days.
The application fee may be refundable or not and runs from a few hundred dollars to a substantial amount. For instance, in Pennsylvania the fee is $210,000, $10,000 is non-refundable and $200, 000 will be refunded if the application is unsuccessful. Washington has an application fee of $250.
Put a Great Cultivation Team Together
States are very sensitive when it comes to felony records. You are investing your savings and more, a few thousand dollars will not hurt for a background check by a private investigator on your team members. The state will check your team’s criminal record and if someone has something to hide, this will hurt your chances of winning.
An investment partner with available cash will help you with money matters.
You want someone who knows the ropes in acquiring permits and get the facility built.
Hire a good marijuana lawyer who is knowledgeable about state laws and the changing cannabis landscape. The lawyer will ensure that the licensing documents are focused on the rules and regulations by the controlling government agency. Your attorney will prepare and review the application papers and help you understand them correctly.
You’ll need the services of a horticulturist to monitor all aspects of the cultivation process, making sure of a bountiful harvest.
Have a Good Cash Flow and Capital
There are barriers that block a firm from entering the cannabis market this includes the high initial cost of putting up a cultivation facility.
For the application alone, be ready to shell out around $250,000 for professional fees to get it certified. Approval for a license application will require a complete plan. You’ll need professionals to get the job done such as a marijuana consultant, an attorney, an architect, electrical and mechanical engineers, and lobbyists.
Setting up a marijuana cultivation center is the most expensive part of your budget. It involves renovating or building an indoor cultivation facility from the ground up. A ballpark figure as high as $5 million should take care of the construction, materials, and equipment. And there is a waiting time of about six months without income as the plant reaches full growth.
In preparing a budget, you should leave a considerable amount for margin of error for cost overruns, delays, R & D, COVID-19 preparation, and other operational costs. It might take months before your permit is approved, you should have enough capital to keep the business going.
Look for Real Estate with a License Allowing to Expand
In the United States, marijuana sales were estimated at $13.6 billion in 2019 and pundits forecast sales to hit $29.7 million in 2025. Globally, there are countries on the path of fully legalizing cannabis such as the Czech Republic, Portugal, Germany, Mexico, New Zealand, and Australia among others.
A cannabis grower with a 5,000 square foot requirement for a cannabis facility should opt for a larger space if circumstances permit. In your application, you are required to indicate your cultivating space.
The future of the marijuana industry looks rosy, with limited space you won’t be able to expand and enjoy the opportunity of earning green money.
Establish Relationships with Local, State Officials and the Community
Acquaint yourself with local and state officials by attending meetings. It’s important to get your name and face noticed out there to establish the right connections. You’ll be able to know the latest state information which can be helpful in your license application.
Reach out to the people of the community. Host a get-to-know-you gathering to meet with your neighbors personally rather than sending a postcard or a door salesman. You’ll have the opportunity to inform people about the benefits you bring to the neighborhood.
For instance, in Oakland, California dispensaries gained acceptance by providing security guards for the safety of the community. They cleaned the whole neighborhood, and not just their area.
Protect Your Intellectual Property
Never reveal your trade secrets or standard operating procedure (SOPs), identify them as trade secrets in your application for a license. SOPs should not be mentioned in detail. You can submit your company’s records without the trade secrets to regulatory bodies if they request public records. If they demand it, you can submit under seal and label the trade secret under proprietary. The trade secret will be secure from public view it is withheld from public record.
Protect the License
Legal states have modified their rules and regulations about cannabis use and are now in the implementation phase. Expect unscheduled visits from local enforcement authorities to check if your cannabusiness is operating in accordance with state laws. Violators will face sanctions up to revocation of license.
Legit operators should appreciate this state action this will deter the black market players from conducting their illicit activities.
Protect your license with a compliance team in place. They will see to it that all marijuana rules and regulations are followed from seed to sale.
Rebecca Akers is an enthusiastic and creative writer at THC Design. Her main goal is to spread information about growing cannabis and its health benefits.