More and more states are enacting laws to legalize the use cannabis for medicinal and adult usage.  The application process is daunting both financial and in effort and although there are many similarities with respect to drafting plans for operating cultivation, processing, distribution, and dispensary businesses, the nuances for each state are significant enough that having experienced assistance will increase your changes of winning a license.  That said, there isn’t a better time to jump into the fray and MBA Growth Partners is here to help you navigate the rough seas of cannabis licensing. 


Once the state that you are interested in has legalized the use of cannabis, it is time for you to start thinking about what you will need to prepare. Although you’ll still need to see the final draft of the state’s regulations, you must start thinking some of the questions you will likely need to answer.  These questions include the land or facilities you will acquire or rent, how you will obtain financing, how you will operate your business, who will be part of your team that will have the necessary expertise to convince the regulators that you have a viable plan. 


Requested information from applications tend to be quite complex and regulators evaluate these required pieces of information in great detail. 

Usually, a state will award a few licenses to applicants in the first round and then wait several years before awarding additional licenses. The reason for the staggered way in which states tend to give out licenses is that they want to give enough time for the programs to mature so that they can be evaluated and improved upon where appropriate. 


Another important consideration for most states is the focus on social equity. Social equity is the attempt by most states to address and redress the fact that many people in poor and minority communities have been disproportionately and adversely affected by the justice system when it comes to cannabis.  One of the methods employed by most states that are seeking to address these injustices is to set aside licenses or give priority to license from people who are members of communities that were adversely impacted by laws prohibiting the use of marijuana.  What constitutes a member of such a community will vary from state to state with many states putting emphasis on socio-economic factors and/or race-based factors.


If you are an applicant who may be a member of the community that was disproportionately impacted by the justice system or if you live in a geographic region in your state that may have high unemployment, poverty, or high law enforcement activity, reach out to the Growth Partners to see how we can assist with the application.



Due to the newness of this industry, the regulations and laws surrounding it are always changing. It is normal to underestimate how complex and detailed the cannabis licensing application process is for businesses. Applying for and obtaining a license in your state is the first hurdle, and the stakes are high. You might only have one chance at applying for a license, so success is your only option. 

Once the final draft of your state’s regulations has been completed, it is time for you to be prepared and determined to be one of the early winners of a license. States usually only award a few licenses to winners in the first round and then wait several years before allowing for more businesses. Additional licenses may not be issued until the program has matured and been evaluated. There is also the chance that legislation can change; as such, regulations will follow suit.

Applications are assessed in great detail. Regulators remain concerned about the legalization of medical cannabis and are scrupulously evaluating all aspects of your business plan, your team, and your ability to create an outstanding case for your business license.

Further complicating the process, each state has its own, unique licensing requirements. For example:

Some may only allow dispensaries to sell cannabis they grow themselves

Others require separate licenses for cultivation and dispensing

The regulatory framework for processing cannabis varies by state


Acquiring a license in your state is not a simple matter. Each state provides a limited number of cultivation, processing, and dispensary licenses and you will have many applicants vying for those limited number of licenses.
Although Growth Partners cannot guarantee that you will be awarded a license, we can greatly improve your chances by guiding you through the process. The first step is to meet with you so we can provide an honest opinion of your potential for success and so we can determine if we are fit to assist you in your application. If we determine that there is a mutual fit, we will Partner with you to help you succeed.
Below are what we will provide for you as part of the application process:
  • Cannabis licensing applications customized expressly for your business
  • Plans for establishing local support industry
  • Standard operating procedures tailored to your states regulations.
  • Security plans that meet the needs of the regulators.
  • Design of facilities

Let us help you secure a license in your state.

When Success is Your Only Option,

Cultivation, processing, and dispensary licenses are often limited and it is becoming more difficult to obtain them as market competition increases. Applying for and procuring a state license is not only a complex process, but a high-stakes endeavor. You might only have one chance at submitting an application, so success is your only option. MBA Growth Partners has an unparalleled track record of winning competitive licenses for clients. We only work with a limited number of well-qualified groups to increase your chance of success and eliminate potential conflicts of interest.
  • Custom-written cannabis licensing applications for each client
  • Best practices for regulated industry
  • Development of standard operating procedures specific to local compliance
  • Sustainable facility designs: warehouse, greenhouse or hybrid plans
  • Systemized security plans and overlaysEstablishing local support.

We’ve prepared winning applications across the country and in international markets. Let us help you secure a license in your state.


MBA Growth Partners will partner with you to develop a comprehensive plan tailored to your state’s regulations and your needs. You will be guided by a team that brings 100 years of regulated industry experience, has won licenses, and supported startup operations in 31 states, plus Canada, Europe, Guam, and Puerto Rico.


Applying for and obtaining your local and state licenses is the first hurdle to starting your own cannabis business.  The process is complex, and your goal is to be an early winner in the quest for first-round licenses in your area. You may not have another opportunity for years.


How can you ensure that you submit your best possible plan, complete with all the operating procedures, building plans, security designs, job descriptions, operation manuals, financial projections, marketing plans, and time tables? To get it right the first time, you’ll likely need some expert assistance.


Each state has its own marijuana licensing requirements for facility design, operating procedures, product offerings, operational practices, facility locations, security features, and inventory con


More than half of states now have a form of legal marijuana, and more states join the movement every year.