How To Get A Grow or Cultivation License

Marijuana retail is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world and has plans to grow spectacularly high in the upcoming few years. The majority of growth stems from the gentle flowering marijuana plants which can be easily cultivated anywhere. But not anyone is allowed to grow these plants, you need to get approval from the federal government and a cultivator license from the state to get into the growing business.

Each state has a set of different regulations and guidelines for an individual to go through before allowing them to open up a growing facility. Undoubtedly, the process is time-consuming and competitive, but with updated cannabis law knowledge and correct planning, you can possibly get a commercial cultivation license and be a part of this immense industry.

What is Cannabis Grow or Cultivation License?

A cannabis cultivation license is a state-issued license that allows an adult who is above 21 years to cultivate a certain number of marijuana flower plants in specific locations. A grower may cultivate & propagate marijuana in the growing facility which is not less than 15,000 sq ft.

As states and local laws vary in terms of legality. Hence to protect your business from the legal repercussions, you need to obtain a cannabis cultivation license for smooth growing.

Look For A Suitable Location

Looking out for a suitable property where you can start growing your marijuana plants is an essential step. A perfect location is not only a law requirement and also an operational need in order to get a grow license. You can consider the option of leasing, renting, or buying a property. However, these locations should have a good distance from schools, public parks, public libraries, residential areas, and spiritual areas. 

After finalizing a location, you need to pay attention to security measures. For instance, follow the cannabis regulations instruction on wall thickness, adequate lighting, chain link fencing, camera, video surveillance, and many more. 

Choose the Type of Production

Indoor Production: You can grow marijuana plants within a fully enclosed area that has a secure indoor facility. You can also grow plants in a greenhouse that has thick walls and doors. 

Outdoor Production: Outdoor production is basically a non-rigid greenhouse that has clear ground but it is fully enclosed by physical boundaries. When you’re growing cannabis in an outdoor location, then you need to ensure it has an obscure sight like a fence or wall which is at least eight feet high to prevent incidents of theft. 

Growing Facility Site Plan

In order to obtain a commercial growing license your designated growing facility should meet the minimum standard site plan requirements. 

  • Storage areas allocated for immature plants 
  • Storage areas allocated for mature plants 
  • Canopy areas include aggregate square footage if these areas are noncontiguous 
  • Common areas such as bathrooms, hallways, break rooms, etc. 
  • Harvest storage area
  • Composting area (if applicable)
  • Cannabis-waste-storage area (if applicable)
  • Designated administrative-hold area
  • Agricultural-chemical & pesticide storage area
  • Processing area (if applicable)
  • Packaging area (if applicable)

How Much Does It Cost?

As each state has its own laws and regulations. Hence, growers’ licenses cost may vary from state to state. Most cannabis entrepreneurs and investors are mostly not updated with license requirements. Fees are often associated with applying for licenses and permits. The cost of application fees, license fees, renewals, policies, and required documents also vary as per the location of the facility. An application fee will cost $ 5000 for 22,000 sq ft premises which you need to pay in the first phase. Cultivation and retailer licenses will cost you around $ 70,000 to $ 80,000. 

What are License Requirements?

Just like any other business, the cannabis industry also requires some basic legal provisions to obtain a grow and cultivation license. However, these requirements may vary depending on the facility location, local regulations and state agencies.  So here are some basic license requirements.

Business and Operational Plan: This plan provides a current snapshot of your business and lays out your growth plan for the upcoming five years. Business plans give a roadmap and strategy for achieving your set goals. 

Odor Control Plan: Marijuana odors are almost impossible to ignore and that is why most of the grow facilities neighbors complain about it. To prevent such incidents and unnecessary problems, many jurisdictions want to know your plan to control them. Odor issues are an essential step for obtaining a license or approval for a cultivation license.

Security Plan: The security plan includes fencing and security gates of the facility. The building, open areas and greenhouse should be locked at all times and require access ID cards or fingerprint sensors to enter into the premises.  

Other requirements:

  • Energy efficiency plan
  • Community relations plan
  • Cultivation business may require several permits like zoning, signage & land use.

Cannabis business is a very complex and competitive industry where success is anything but certain. However, the continuous growth in the sector makes it one of the best and trending businesses for entrepreneurs and investors. 

If you’re interested in obtaining a cultivation license, then you need to be fully prepared to start your cannabis business before applying for the grow license. To ensure you get the grow license in the first attempt, check out your federal & state regulations to get a complete application checklist.

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