Do you want to be a cannabis grower for dispensaries? If YES, here are states requirements to get a grower’s license in USA and how to go about the process. Even though the United States is a country where marijuana business is legal, you would definitely need to get a grower’s license before you can legally cultivate marijuana.

It became a law in the US, because the Congress, forty years ago, officially placed marijuana in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act because the government felt that the drug had a high potential for abuse. Despite the fact that some states have slowly begun to adopt legislation that will make it easier for marijuana to be legally cultivated and disseminated; the adoption was through public referendum and legislation.

In 15 of the 18 states, patients or their caregivers can grow their marijuana at home. Also, states vary on how much marijuana plants one can have at hand for medical use, from 1 ounce up to 24 ounces. Now let us consider the Basic Legislation and Requirements for States that Allow Medical Marijuana Use

States Requirements to Get a Marijuana Grower’s License in USA

1. Alaska

Alaska happens to be one of the earliest states to pass a ballot initiative allowing medical use of marijuana. Voters approved Measure 8 in 1998. The law went into effect the following year. This law nullifies the criminal penalties for the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by patients who possess written documentation from their physician advising that they “might benefit from the medical use of marijuana.”

Please note that Alaska only permits for nothing more than 12 plants per household, only up to 2 adults. Up to 1 ounce can be transported.

2. Arizona

Aside from the requirements as stated above, Arizona only allows registered qualifying patients to obtain marijuana from a registered nonprofit dispensary and to possess and use medical marijuana to treat the condition. Interestingly, Arizona only issues grower’s license for those cultivating for medical use only and you are only allowed to grow up to 12 plants, only if residing more than 25 miles from nearest dispensary.

The Arizona Department of Health Services recently awarded 31 new medical cannabis licenses for dispensaries. Currently, there are 94 operating in the state, along with another five that have received licenses but are not yet up and running, bringing the total of licensed dispensaries to 130.

3. Arkansas

Arkansas is one of the states that only issue limited grower’s license and you would need to go through rigorous application process and of course it is not a guarantee that you will be issued the license. The state enacted a measure, Issue 6, on November 8, 2016, that allows seriously ill patients to use and obtain medical marijuana with their doctors’ approval.

The amendment will establish between four and eight cultivation facility licenses and up to 40 dispensaries, all of which it will regulate under the auspices of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Division. The law prohibits cultivation. As of now, the state has 120 days to adopt rules concerning the licensing and regulation of dispensaries and cultivation facilities and will begin accepting applications on June 1, 2017.

4. California

N.B: State licenses are not currently available and if you are interested in securing a grower license in California you might have to wait. Interestingly, on November 5, 1996, California became the first state in the united states to legalize medical marijuana when the voters passed Proposition 215 by 56 percent. California only allow for medical purpose and up to 6 plants per residency may be cultivated for anyone that is over 21 years.

For medical card holders, up to 12 immature or 6 mature plants. Up to 1 ounce may be possessed. Governor Jerry Brown signed the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA) into law on October 9, 2015. It establishes a framework for future medical marijuana regulations and a statewide licensing program for growing, manufacturing, transportation, distribution, testing and retail dispensing of medical marijuana. State licenses are not currently available.

5. Colorado

Just like other states, you might have to wait for another window of application to be able to secure a grower’s license. Colorado allows for medical and up to 6 plants per person, with only 3 or less in flowering stage of growth, may be cultivated for anyone 21+. More than 12 plants per residence is not allowed.

If you are interested in obtaining your grower’s license in Colorado, then you might have to visit the governing board to know when and how to apply. A Complete Application Packet Includes:

  • A completed application
  • All necessary supporting documentation, and
  • Check* or Money Order for the full application fee and made payable to DOR

Please note that Checks must be pre-printed by the financial institutions and will only be accepted in the name(s) of the individual(s) or business entity, which has an ownership in the business. No temporary or third-party checks will be accepted. Fingerprints are required for all of the owners and investors or Colorado marijuana businesses.

  • State Tax Licensing:

Applicants must also apply for the State tax license appropriate for the type of business they plan to operate. In order to get more information regarding the necessary tax license, visit the Marijuana Tax Account/License website.

  • Labor & Employment Requirements:

Anyone operating a business within the State of Colorado is required to meet specific State and Federal Labor and Employment requirements. Please visit the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment’s (CDLE) Starting a Business Website for more information.

  • Local Authority Licensing:

You must also confirm that the Local Authority where you plan to operate. Be aware that before your business may begin operation, you must also obtain a license from the Local Authority within whose jurisdiction you intend to operate. Please note that Once you meet all requirements and your application packet is complete, drop it off or have it delivered to the MED Lakewood Office at 1701 Cole Blvd., Suite 300, Lakewood Colorado, 80401 between the hours of 8:00 – 11:00 AM and 1:00 – 4:00 PM, Monday through Friday.

6. Connecticut

If you are looking towards applying and getting grower’s license in Connecticut, you might have to wait a while. The state is not accepting new applications at this time.

7. Delaware

Delaware is amongst the states that are currently accepting applications for new businesses who are interested in getting a grower’s license and this is against the backdrop that in May 2011, Governor Jack Markell signed legislation allowing patients 18 and older with “certain serious or debilitating conditions” to use cannabis, and possess up to six ounces. For now, Delaware has one dispensary (called a “Compassion Center”), in Wilmington.

8. Florida

If you are looking towards getting grower’s license to cultivate marijuana for personal use or even commercially in Florida, you might have to look elsewhere. Although, On November 8, 2016, Florida passed legislation allowing residents to apply to open Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers (MMTC). These entities can acquire, cultivate, process and distribute or administer marijuana and related products, such as food, aerosols and ointments.

Applicants are still waiting but it remains to be determined whether or not regulators will allow stand-alone, specialized businesses for retailing, cultivation, delivery services, edibles or topical. The requirements for obtaining a grower’s license in Florida are;

  • The grower’s nursery must be at least 30 years old.
  • The business should have at least 400,000 plants.
  • The business must provide proof that they can withstand the massive start-up costs, and show that they can withstand any financial downfalls for at least two years.

You can visit the state department for more details to know all that you would need to qualify for the very limited grower’s license.

9. Hawaii

In order to get a grower license in the state of Hawaii, you need to visit the Department of Health to know whether they are issuing the license at the moment because, the bills made no provision for the commercial sale of marijuana. Interestingly, Registered medical cannabis patients and caregivers may possess up to three ounces of usable cannabis and cultivate up to seven plants (three mature, four immature).

The legislature amended the law in 2013 with two bills that took effect in January 2015, House Bill 668 and Senate Bill 642. HB 668 moves the medical marijuana program from the Department of Public Safety to the Department of Health and established a Medical Marijuana Registry special fund.

10. Illinois

If you are currently looking towards applying and getting a grower’s license to legally grow marijuana in Illinois, then you might have to wait or look elsewhere. This is because the state closed the licensing period in September 2014. Cultivators are allowed to create medical marijuana/cannabis edibles and extractions and other marijuana-infused products.

11. Iowa

Iowa is currently not accepting applications for grower’s license and this is because there are no plans currently in place to license commercial dispensaries and cultivators. Although, in 2014, the Iowa legislature passed SF 2360, the “Medical Cannabidiol Act,” which allows licensed neurologists to certify patients with intractable epilepsy to use cannabidiol (CBD) products with three percent or less THC content.

The law does not allow other types of physicians to write qualifying recommendations, nor does it allow for patients with any other conditions to obtain legal protections or marijuana businesses to be licensed to operate.

12. Louisiana

Louisiana is one state that is not accepting applications for grower’s license for now despite the fact that there is an approved legislation (SB 271) that allows 10 pharmacies to distribute medical cannabis, they aren’t viable options for would-be business owners due to the severe limitations imposed by the regulations.

13. Maine

Application for growers license in Maine starts with visiting the department of health to know if they are still issuing a license and if you are qualified for one.

Please note that in Maine marijuana is only legal for medical uses and anyone that is above 21 years or a qualifying patient can possess no more than 2.5 ounces. 12 immature plants and 6 mature plants may be grown by Maine residents only. On November 2, 1999, Maine legalized medical marijuana when 62 percent of the population voted yes on Question 2.

14. Maryland

If you are looking towards getting a grower’s license in Maryland, it is unfortunate that you can not achieve your ambition for now because Maryland closed medical marijuana business applications on November 6, 2015, but continues to move toward licensing cultivators and dispensaries.

15. Massachusetts

If you are looking towards operating a grower’s license in Massachusetts, then you can realize your dreams because Massachusetts is still issuing license but a limited number. Aside from meeting the requirements as stated above, you are expected to visit the Department of Health to get an update grower’s license requirements. Massachusetts (for medical) Anyone 21+ can cultivate up to 6 mature plants, which must be kept out of public view always.

In 2012, Massachusetts legalized medical marijuana when voters passed Question 3 by 60 percent. Please note that the state has yet to establish an application process but the state has started accepting applications from October 1, 2017.

16. Michigan

Even if you are qualified for a grower’s license for medical marijuana in Michigan, you should be informed that the state only allows for medical use and up to 2.5 ounces of useable marijuana may be possessed, or up to 12 plants (must be kept in a secure, locked facility). Some additional restrictions apply.

Under the new regulations (HB 4209, HB 4210, HB 4287), signed by Gov. Rick Snyder on September 20, 2016, Michigan will be open for medical marijuana businesses soon. The regulations contain stipulations for dispensaries, cultivators, processors, testing facilities and transporters. Application is open for new applicants but you must meet the ever changing requirements.

17. Minnesota

Even though on May 29, 2014, Gov. Mark Dayton signed a bipartisan medical marijuana proposal that was crafted by a House and Senate conference committee, making Minnesota the 22nd state to exempt some of the very sick and their caregivers from penalties for using marijuana with a doctor’s certification, the state has no provisions to license commercial to dispensaries and growers.

18. Missouri

Missouri is one of the states that is currently issuing our grower’s license but much more than meeting the requirements stated above, you are expected to visit the Department of Agriculture to know if you are qualified to apply.

Missouri passed HB 2238 in 2014, which creates a legal right for certain patients to obtain, possess and use “hemp extracts” in limited circumstances. The law also allows the Department of Agriculture to license and regulate growers of cannabis plants to produce the oil to make sure they conform to the CBD and THC stipulations.

19. Montana

If you are interested in applying for a grower’s license in Montana, aside from meeting the above stated requirements, you are expected to visit the Department of Health to know if you are qualified to be issued a grower’s license. Interestingly, Montana is amongst the states that only allow for medical use and up to 1 ounce in possession.

For those with grower’s license, you are not expected to grow more than 4 mature plants and 12 seedlings permitted for personal cultivation. Please note that under the new regulations enacted as of November 8, 2016, Montana is currently open for medical marijuana businesses. The regulations of this measure have provisions for medical marijuana dispensaries, manufacturers, cultivators and testing facilities.

20. Nevada

Nevada is yet another state that issue grower’s license due to the fact that Nevada legalized medical marijuana on November 7, 2000, when 65 percent of the populace voted yes. Under the new regulations, enacted as of November 8, 2016, Nevada will be open for recreational marijuana businesses.

The tenants of this measure, which will become effective January 1, 2017, have provisions for retail stores, product manufacturers, cultivators, testing facilities and distributors. Also, under the new law, only businesses that already have medical marijuana certificates will be allowed to apply for recreational licenses for the first 18 months the program is open. However, the state has yet to indicate when it will open the licensing period but is required to establish the rules and licensing procedures by January 1, 2018.

21. New Jersey

New Jersey is amongst the states that are not currently issuing out grower’s license despite the fact that New Jersey signed the medical marijuana program into law in 2010. The implementation of the law has been slow. As a matter of fact, at present, it serves little more than 5,000 patients through five operational treatment centers.

So, if you want to apply and get a grower’s license from the state of New Jersey, then you should continue to check from the office of the Department of Health.

22. New Mexico

If you are interested in applying for a grower’s license in New Mexico, you may have to still wait a bit due to the fact that currently, the state is not issuing marijuana business licenses. The good news is that when the state reopens it’s program to applicants, it will have provisions for medical marijuana dispensaries, cultivators, product manufacturers, delivery services and testing facilities.

23. New York

New York is amongst the states that are issuing grower’s license and this is backed by the limited medical marijuana bill that was signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on July 5, 2014. The bill gives the state and Department of Health 18 months to enact regulations and install a patient and business infrastructure to allow the cultivation and sale of medical marijuana to qualifying patients.

Registered organizations (RO) are companies — either for- or not-for-profit agencies — that the state will license to produce and dispense medical marijuana. Please note that the state will permit no more than five ROs, which can operate four dispensaries each.

24. North Dakota

North Dakota is currently issuing out grower’s license. On November 8, 2016, the state legalized medical marijuana when voters passed Measure 5 by 64 percent. The regulations have provisions for nonprofit dispensaries (also known as “Compassionate Care Centers”), which will cultivate a limited amount of medical cannabis and dispense it to enrolled patients.

Aside from meeting all the requirements as an applicant for grower’s license, you are expected to pay a $5,000 non-refundable application fee and if approved, a $25,000 licensing fee.

25. Ohio

If you are interested in applying and getting a grower’s license in the State of Ohio, then you might have to wait a bit because at present, the state has not indicated when it will open the application period.

This is against the backdrop on new the regulations which was enacted as of September 8, 2016. The law shows that Ohio is ready to welcome medical marijuana businesses. The regulations of this measure have provisions for dispensaries, cultivation facilities, processors and testing facilities.

26. Oregon

Application for grower’s license is open to qualified applicants and this is based on July 1, 2015, Measure 91 legalized the possession and cultivation of marijuana by adults 21 and older for recreational use. The Oregon Liquor Control Commission allows dispensaries, retail stores, cultivators and manufacturing businesses to operate legally within the state. Oregon established the Medical Marijuana Act by Ballot Measure 67, a citizens’ initiative, in November 1998.

It modified state law to allow the cultivation, possession and use of marijuana by prescription for patients with certain medical conditions. Please note that during your application, you are expected to pay a $250 non-refundable fee at the time of application. The initial license fee is $4,750.

27. Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is another state that is currently issuing a grower’s license to applicants. This is because Pennsylvania enacted regulations on April 17, 2016, that include provisions for dispensaries, cultivators and product manufacturers. Please note that there will be a capital requirement for each type of business.

An applicant for a grower/processor permit must provide an affidavit that the applicant has at least $2 million in capital, $500,000 of which must be on deposit with one or more financial institutions. An applicant for a dispensary permit shall provide an affidavit that the applicant has at least $150,000 on deposit with one or more financial institutions.

28. Rhode Island

Rhode Island is amongst the state that is still issuing out grower’s license and this is done under emergency regulations, enacted as of October 25, 2016, Rhode Island will accept applications for medical marijuana cultivation businesses until April 30, 2017. Under the Act (R.I. Gen. Laws § 42-35-2.10), the Department of Business Regulations (DBR) will be responsible for licensing would be entrepreneurs.

Please note that aside from meeting the basic application requirements, you are expected to pay a $5,000 non-refundable fee at the time of application. The Grower’s License fees range from $20,000 to $80,000 depending on the class of license issued.

29. Vermont

If you are interested in obtaining a grower’s license from the state pf Vermont, then you might have to wait for a while because for now, the state is not issuing marijuana business licenses to anyone. But most likely, when the state reopens its program to applicants, it will have provisions for medical marijuana dispensaries, which may acquire, possess, cultivate, transport, sell and dispense marijuana and related products and supplies to enrolled patients and their caregivers.

30. Virginia

If you are interested in getting a grower’s license in the state of Virginia, then you might have to be on the lookout because the state is yet to come up with a law backing the provision for any marijuana business. This is against the backdrop that on February 26, 2015, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed HB 1445 into law.

This measure will provide an affirmative defense to patients who have intractable epilepsy (and, for minors, their parents or legal guardians) for the possession of marijuana extracts that contain at least 15 percent of either cannabidiol (CBD) or THC-A and no more than 5 percent THC.

31. Washington

You can apply and get a grower’s license in Washington as backed up by the law. The law requires state licenses from all sellers, distributors, cultivators and producers of marijuana.

The Cannabis Patient Protection Act — SB 5052 integrates the medical market with the regulated recreational market. Under the act, the Department of Health adopted rules for a medical marijuana authorization database, training and certification of medical marijuana stores, consultants and product compliance.

32. Washington D.C.

If you are interested in applying and getting a grower’s license in Washington D.C., then you must be ready to compete for the limited license that is available in the state. This is so because for now, Washington D.C. only licensed a very limited number of dispensaries and cultivation centers in 2013 and 2014. There is no system presently in place to permit the issuance of additional licenses.

33. Wisconsin

Despite the fact that Gov. Scott Walker signed a very limited medical cannabis bill (A.B. 726) into law, the state is yet to start issuing out grower’s license for those interested in cultivating marijuana in commercial level. The law also exempts a distinct class of individuals from criminal penalties for the use and possession of cannabidiol “in a form without a psychoactive effect.”

Joy Nwokoro