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How to Vet Another Cultivator, Pushing for Changes to State Laws, and More Cannabis Questions Answered

When deciding how to get a license, your first decision is whether cost or speed of approval is most important to you.




How do I vet another cultivator who wants to contract part of my grow facility?

Conduct your own due diligence on the other company. You’ll want to make sure that the company is registered  to do business in the state where you operate (check your Secretary of State’s website for company registrations), has a local business license (typically issued by a municipality) and has a taxpayer ID number (issued by the IRS). Ask the other company for customer references and speak with the customers they cite. More due diligence steps: Tour the other company’s physical facilities if they have them; Review their website; Ask other cannabis businesses about the other company’s reputation for quality and service; Google the other company and its principals, looking for any lawsuits, news reports and press releases.

How do I get involved in the effort to change adult-use marijuana laws in my state?

There are national and local organizations of cannabis influencers like you, whose mission is to pursue changes to the law through lobbying, legislation and legal challenges. We suggest you look into joining a local chapter of NORML, NCIA, the Minority Cannabis Business Association or the Marijuana Policy Project, which are just a few of the better known trade and advocacy organizations.

Is it easier for a new business to apply for a license or acquire one?

The long answer depends on the jurisdiction you’re in but the short answer is that a new business operator should focus on what is more important to limit — cost or risk/time? Basically, buying an existing license will usually cost more but take less time to close and open your business. Acquisition also virtually guarantees you a license to operate at the end of the process, which is a huge plus in jurisdictions with limited licensing. Applying for a new license can be orders of magnitude cheaper but if you’re in one of the aforementioned limited licensing jurisdictions, you run the risk of not getting a license at all. It can also take a lot longer for new licenses to be granted than it does for license transfers to be approved, so your timeline for opening up shop can also weigh in your decision-making process.


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