2021 Guide to Getting Into Growing Medical Cannabis

2021 Guide to Getting Into Growing Medical Cannabis

The cannabis industry has evolved rapidly since California became the first state to legalize medical cannabis in 1996. Today, 36 states and Washington, D.C., have medical marijuana programs. Eighteen states have legalized recreational cannabis. Given that more states have laws for growing medical cannabis, it makes sense for many entrepreneurs to focus on that area of the industry. Eventually, your state will probably make cannabis accessible to all adults. Until then, follow this 2021 guide to getting into growing medical cannabis.

Know Your State’s Laws for Growing Medical Cannabis

Don’t make any assumptions about your state’s medical cannabis laws. Growing medical cannabis in California is not the same as growing medical cannabis in Florida. Each state has its own set of unique laws and guidelines.

Alaska and West Virginia offer a glimpse into the radical differences between cannabis laws in the United States.


The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services lets caregivers and patients grow up to six plants at a time. The state legalized medical cannabis by vote in 1998. The government tried to criminalize cannabis again, but the Alaska Court of Appeals sided with voters. If you want to avoid the restrictions of medical cannabis cultivation and sales, you now have the option to use and sell recreational marijuana. Alaska made recreational cannabis legal in 2014.

West Virginia

As of 2017, West Virginia allows medical cannabis for patients with select conditions, including terminal illnesses, chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder, and cancer. The West Virginia Health and Human Resources Bureau for Public Health has more information about qualifying conditions and the types of cannabis products allowed within the state. The law does not allow any home cultivation. Recreational cannabis is strictly forbidden by West Virginia law. Unfortunately, neither voters nor lawmakers seem keen on legalizing recreational use for adults.

Given the considerable differences between the states’ medical cannabis laws, you should contact your local agency for guidelines that will help you cultivate medical cannabis without breaking any rules. Take this very seriously. One mistake could mean that you don’t receive a license to grow cannabis. If you decide to grow cannabis without a license, you could face serious fines and jail time.

The following links will help you learn more about cultivating medical cannabis in your state:

Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Public Health

Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission

Arizona Department of Health Services Medical Marijuana

Arkansas Department of Health

California Bureau of Cannabis Control

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection Medical Marijuana Program

Delaware Division of Public Health Medical Marijuana Program

District of Columbia Department of Health

Florida Department of Health Office of Medical Marijuana Use

Hawaii Department of Health Medical Cannabis Program

Illinois Department of Public Health

Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry

Maine Office of Marijuana Policy

Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission

Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission

Michigan Medical Marijuana Program

Minnesota Department of Health

Missouri Medical Marijuana Regulatory Program

Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services

Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health

New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services

New Jersey Medical Marijuana Program

New Mexico Department of Health

New York State Department of Health

North Dakota Department of Health Division of Medical Marijuana

Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program

Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority

Oregon Health Authority Medical Marijuana Program

Pennsylvania Department of Health Medical Marijuana Program

Rhode Island Department of Health

South Dakota Department of Health

Utah Medical Cannabis Program

Vermont Department of Public Safety Marijuana Registry

Virginia Department of Health Professions

Washington State Department of Health

West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Bureau for Public Health

Options for Cultivating Medical Cannabis

Medical cannabis cultivators usually rely on three growing options:

  • Indoor cultivation
  • Outdoor farming
  • Greenhouse cultivation

Each option comes with pros and cons that you should know before you invest in a property.

Indoor Cultivation Pros and Cons

Indoor cultivation is the most high-tech option for growing cannabis. It also tends to give you the most product for your space.


  • You maintain extraordinary control over your growing environment, including the amount of light and humidity that plants experience.
  • Cultivators can adjust lighting conditions and temperatures to maximize cannabis flowering at specific times of the plant’s growth cycle.
  • Growers get better protection from pests and diseases, which makes it easier to grow large, healthy flowers that command high prices in dispensaries.
  • Since you control the environment, you can grow medical cannabis throughout the year regardless of seasonal changes.
  • Indoor cultivators can grow a lot of cannabis within small spaces.
  • You get excellent security from humans and animals that might want to access your plants.


  • Controlling the growing environment means you have to invest a lot of money in equipment, such as grow lights, humidifiers, dehumidifiers, heaters, and irrigation systems.
  • Warehouse spaces in green zones often have high prices.
  • If a virus gets into your grow operation, it can affect your entire crop very quickly. You might have to destroy your plants and start over.
  • Some pests might get into the warehouse and feed on your plants. Unfortunately, your plants do not get protection from beneficial insects like ladybugs and praying mantises.
  • Unless you install solar panels, expect to use a lot of external resources like electricity and municipal water to grow your plants.

Compare cannabis warehouse space for sale listings on 420 Property!

Outdoor Cultivation Pros and Cons

Outdoor cultivation doesn’t yield as much cannabis, but it often has significantly lower costs. The land that you choose, however, will play a significant role in the success of your medical cannabis cultivation.


  • Outdoor cultivation is the least expensive option for growing medical cannabis because you don’t have to invest in expensive equipment. While you need an irrigation system to maintain moisture, most of your inputs come directly from the environment.
  • Some consumers prefer cannabis grown outdoors because they feel the process is more natural, which could lead to better healing properties.
  • Many medical cannabis strains have been grown outdoors for centuries, so they adapt well to farm conditions.
  • You don’t need to use nearly as much electricity and municipal water to grow medical cannabis outdoors, which helps you save money and reduces strain on the environment.
  • You can introduce beneficial insects to help control pest populations.


  • Exposure to the elements doesn’t always lead to positive outcomes. Any extremes, such as a severe storm or excessive heat, could cause significant damage to your crop.
  • You have very little security on a farm. Even if you erect a fence around the property, expect animals, especially deer and rabbits, to eat some of your crops.
  • Depending on your location, you may have a short growing season.

Explore farmland for sale listings on 420 Property!

Greenhouse Cultivation Pros and Cons

Greenhouse cultivation gives you a middle ground between indoor and outdoor grow operations. It’s definitely worth exploring, especially when you want more protection than a farm offers but don’t want to invest in the expensive equipment an indoor operation requires.


  • Companies make a wide range of commercial greenhouses that you can use to meet your production goals.
  • Greenhouses extend the growing season without forcing cultivators to use a lot of electricity and other resources that could harm the environment.
  • Greenhouses generally cost much less than indoor grow operations.
  • You can protect your cannabis plants from severe weather and most animals.


  • Although cheaper than indoor grow operations, greenhouses often cost much more than farmland.
  • The confined environment could mean that a virus or infestation destroys your entire crop.
  • You get an extended growing season, but you might not be able to grow throughout the year.

Browse cannabis greenhouses for sale on 420 Property!

Making Money to Support Medical Cannabis Cultivation

Some people start growing cannabis specifically because they want to grow natural medicine that improves the lives of patients in their areas. Others start cannabis businesses strictly to make money. More often than not, medical cannabis cultivators understand that it takes both attitudes to grow cannabis successfully. You cannot continue growing when you don’t have enough money to support your operation. Then again, you can lose sight of patient needs when you grow exclusively for profits.

With that said, making money is obviously an essential aspect of medical cannabis cultivation.

Creating a Business Plan

Any state’s licensing agency will want to review your business plan to make sure you have the funds and process to meet the needs of patients. Spend time writing and adding details to your business plan. A good one will make it much easier for you to get a cultivation permit.

Your business plan will need to include several sections. You can step outside of the boundaries somewhat, but you must include:

  • An executive summary that gives readers a brief overview of your business plan. Focus on grabbing the reader’s attention with short, punchy sentences that will make them want to keep reading.
  • A solution section that identifies a problem you want your business to solve and how you plan to find a solution.
  • A market opportunity section that provides data about your market size, local trends in medical cannabis, how regulations will influence your processes, and what competitors already exist.
  • A strategic execution section that lays out a timeline of when you plan to reach milestones and how you will measure metrics to ensure progress.
  • A marketing section that discusses what makes your brand stand out, the products you plan to offer patients, how much you think you will charge for your products, how you plan to promote your products while staying within regulatory guidelines, and where you plan to offer your products to patients.
  • An operations section that explains your cultivation techniques. You should also discuss topics like security, personnel requirements, technology for your facility, and whether you already have real estate for your grow operation.
  • A compliance section is important for most businesses. It really stands out in the cannabis industry. Listing the regulations and how you plan to comply shows that you understand your obligations and how seriously the government takes cannabis.
  • A company section that describes essential team members who will make your business successful. If you already have a master grower prepared to work with you, this is the place to talk about that person’s credentials! You might also want to provide information about the professionals you consult when making cannabis business decisions.
  • A financial section that shows you have a solid plan for generating revenues over time. This section needs to provide straightforward information about your finances. If you plan to invest your personal wealth, describe how much you will contribute. If you have investors, list their contributions. Some states will want to see that you have a certain amount of capital before giving you a license. Fudging the numbers to get a license will only come back to haunt you. Be honest!
  • Appendices can include any additional information you think the licensing authority needs to know about you, your team, and your business proposal. It might include sales forecasts, market data, a profit and loss statement, and charts that provide visual evidence of your research.

Writing a persuasive business plan isn’t easy. Connect with a cannabis business consultant who has ample experience in the industry. Spending a little money now on a consultant could help you save a lot of time applying for your cultivation license.

Securing Funds for Your Medical Cannabis Grow Operation

How do you plan to fund your medical cannabis grow operation? Do you have enough money to purchase equipment, lease warehouse space, and pay employees? Getting started could easily cost $250,000, and that’s for a fairly small operation.

Unless you have quite a bit of money saved, you will need to rely on funders to start your business. Unfortunately, federal law makes it nearly impossible for you to get a small business loan from a bank or credit union. The good news is that private funders and lenders will often step in to fill the gap.

420 Property can help you explore options for:

You don’t necessarily need an excellent credit score to qualify for medical cannabis cultivation funding. You don’t have anything to lose by applying, so you might as well see whether you qualify. It could be a significant step to starting the business of your dreams.

Forming Relationships in the Medical Cannabis Community

Business success often depends on how well you can form relationships with other people in your industry. That applies to medical cannabis just as much as any other type of business.

Take time to get to know the people active in your local community of cultivators, caregivers, and dispensary operators. Attend conferences and meetings. Offer to exchange information and products (assuming that your laws allow this). Get involved in patient advocacy so you can grow opportunities for companies like yours growing medical cannabis.

The more you become a part of your medical cannabis community, the easier it becomes for you to form partnerships that lead to mutual benefits.

You might want to spend all of your time mixing strains to create a unique product for your brand. That’s great, but you have to balance your time in the lab with time socializing. Business isn’t all about numbers. It’s often about who you know and how much you’re willing to help others reach their goals.

Staying Current With Your Industry’s Latest Laws and Trends

The cannabis industry evolves rapidly! The regulations that shape your approach to marketing and sales today may not work within a few years. Make time to pay attention to changes that lawmakers suggest in your state. The introduction of any cannabis-related bill could affect your long-term business strategy.

You also need to keep up with trends within the industry. Know what types of strains patients prefer right now. Do your customers want to buy flowers or edibles? Do they prefer indica, sativa, or hybrids? Information from a few years ago might not mean much tomorrow, so you need to keep your eye on the future.

Choose Cannabis Strains Known for Their Medicinal Properties

Cannabis legalization has encouraged cultivators to create hundreds of new breeds. Patients often feel confused when they first start learning about how different strains can treat their ailments. Luckily, they have experienced caregivers who can narrow their options for them.

You might experience similar confusion when you start growing medical cannabis legally. With so many strains to choose from, how do you know which ones patients will want to buy?

Scientists still don’t have a full understanding of how cannabis and the endocannabinoid system work together to maintain health and remedy symptoms. Until we have concrete data that shows how certain amounts of THC, CBD, terpenes, and other chemicals interact with specific health concerns, you will have to rely on anecdotal evidence.

You might want to grow several types of medical cannabis to give dispensaries, caregivers, and patients some options. The following strains, however, have positive reputations for treating a variety of health problems.

Blue Dream

Blue Dream is a sativa strain that induces euphoria and happiness. Many people report that it helps them regain their appetites. That potentially makes Blue Dream a good treatment for cancer patients struggling to maintain their weight.

Cataract Kush

Technically, Cataract Kush is a hybrid strain, but it often has 20% THC that makes it feel pretty intense for inexperienced users. Cataract Kush is often recommended for people suffering from chronic nerve pain. Many people also find it uplifting and relaxing. Inexperienced users may feel anxious after using Cataract Kush. It’s powerful medicine that shouldn’t be taken lightly.


Lavender is an indica strain with fairly low levels of THC and quite a bit of CBD. It’s known for helping people feel relaxed and happy. Caregivers commonly recommend it for patients struggling with insomnia. Many people also find that Lavender eases chronic pain. If you have anxiety, this is probably a good option for you since very few people report paranoia and other adverse effects.

Sour Diesel

Sour Diesel is a sativa-dominant cannabis variety frequently used to treat depression and stress. It’s known for its uplifting and energetic qualities. Equally importantly, very few people report feeling paranoid after taking Sour Diesel, which adds to its usefulness as a mental health treatment.

White Widow

White Widow is a hybrid strain with sativa and indica qualities. For many people, this is a “best of both worlds” solution because the sativa properties make them feel euphoric, while the indica properties help them relax.

Other Medical Cannabis Strains to Consider

Other strains popular for their medical applications include:

  • Crimea Blue
  • White Berry
  • Mazar
  • Satori
  • G13 Haze
  • A-Train
  • Northern Lights
  • Jack Herer

Find the Right Property for Medical Cannabis Cultivation

The cannabis industry relies on green zone properties that allow cultivation. When you see the number of properties available in your state, you might feel overwhelmed by the options. 420 Property makes the process much easier with listings that give you detailed information about indoor, outdoor, and greenhouse properties.

Find your property today and start growing medical cannabis!

July 7, 2021Comments Off
The Advanced Guide to Getting Your Commercial Grow License

Before you spend too much time thinking about your commercial grow room setup cost or how you will develop relationships with retailers who will distribute your cannabis products to consumers, you need to get a commercial grow license that lets you cultivate cannabis plants legally in your state.

Since the federal government still considers cannabis illegal, you will have to rely on guidance from state laws. Unfortunately, each state has its own rules and regulations for the cannabis industry. Getting a commercial grow license in Colorado does not follow the same process as getting a commercial grow license in Oklahoma.

Since the legal cannabis industry involves so much diversity, this advanced guide to getting your commercial grow license will focus on generalities that apply to most situations and direct you to state-specific resources that will help you stay within the law.

Since this guide focuses on commercial grow licenses, you won’t find comprehensive information about medical cannabis cultivation. If your state has legalized medical cannabis, contact the appropriate agency to apply for a medical grow license.

Cut Out the Red Tape and Buy a Cannabis License for Sale

Before getting into the weeds of state-based cannabis licensing, take a few minutes to browse the cannabis licenses for sale on 420 Property. The listings will show you licenses for cultivation and retail, but you can use the keyword filter to narrow your search.

If you don’t want to go through the hassle of applying for a license, you might find it makes more sense to purchase an existing license that will let you start your business as soon as possible.

Where to Get a Commercial Grow License in Your State

The following list will help you contact the right agency to apply for a commercial grow license in your state. Keep in mind that state laws change frequently. If you don’t see your state on this list, search the internet to learn more about getting a license there. You could discover that your state does not allow cannabis cultivation or that it just recently started accepting applications for commercial grow licenses.


In Alaska, the Alcohol & Marijuana Control Office processes commercial grow licenses. The office’s website provides useful information that will help you complete all documents correctly and understand the cost of getting or renewing a license.


The Arizona Department of Health Services can give you information about commercial cannabis cultivation. The department also has information about medical cannabis, so make sure you read the application process that applies to your plans.


California was one of the earliest states to embrace cannabis law reform. Despite its early adoption, it has complicated laws for medical dispensaries, recreational storefronts, and cultivators. You can find the information that applies to your licensing needs at the California Bureau of Cannabis Control.


Colorado was the first state to legalize recreational cannabis. It has been at the forefront of cannabis legalization, but it also takes regulations seriously. You can learn more about getting a cultivation permit from the Colorado Cannabis website.


Illinois recently passed recreational cannabis, so it’s still learning how to put some of its regulations in place. You can find the latest information about applying for a cultivation license on the Illinois Department of Agriculture website.


You can access cultivation and other types of permits directly from Maine’s Office of Marijuana Policy.


You can get guidance for cultivation permit applications from the Cannabis Control Commission in Massachusetts.


Reach out to the Marijuana Regulatory Agency for help applying for cultivation permits, opening storefronts, and understanding the state’s commitment to social equity within the cannabis industry.


After years of trying to pass recreational cannabis laws, the State of Nevada finally succeeded in 2019. You can search existing licenses and learn more about applying for a commercial grow license from the Cannabis Compliance Board.

New York

New York only passed recreational cannabis laws in 2021, so it doesn’t have all of its licensing requirements in place yet. Unfortunately, the state has faced numerous setbacks. Visit the Office of Cannabis Management website to learn the latest news about the state’s progress.


All cannabis applications get processed by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. You can find applications and requirements on its website.


Vermont’s Cannabis Control Board processes, approves, and rejects applications for commercial and medical grow licenses. See the board’s website for more information.


You will need to apply with the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board to get a commercial grow license. The website also offers regulatory guidance to help you submit a successful application.

How Much Do Commercial Grow Licenses Cost?

Obtaining a commercial grow license can cost quite a bit of money, but the price varies significantly from state to state.

In Washington, you must pay a $250 application fee and an annual license fee that costs about $1,500. Vermont charges considerably higher fees. Expect to pay an annual fee of $25,000 after your first year of production.

California has a rather complex fee system. The amount you pay depends on several factors, such as where you plan to grow your cannabis and how you expect to make money from your product. For example, a small outdoor grow operation can expect to pay $535 in annual license application fees, while a medium indoor operation will pay $8,655.

California also has diverse fees for renewing annual permits. A specialty indoor operation pays $19,540, while a medium indoor operation pays $77,905.

Considering the vast differences in commercial grow license costs, you should take extra care when filling out your application. You don’t want to waste money on an application that doesn’t accurately describe your cultivation location and methods.

The Expected Commercial Grow Room Setup Cost

Assuming that you plan to create an indoor grow room that will give you more control over your crops, you should consider how your setup costs will affect your budget. On average, commercial grow room setups tend to cost about $42 per square foot.

The type of facility and the equipment you choose can change that estimate significantly, though. Converting a warehouse into a grow room might not cost as much as building a greenhouse. Your irrigation, nutritional, lighting, pest control, and other systems will also influence how much your grow room setup costs.

Higher setup costs aren’t always a negative thing for commercial growers. If you want to care for 500 plants, you might find you can accomplish much of the labor manually. If you want to care for 5,000 plants, though, it potentially makes more sense for you to spend more money on an automated system that can measure moisture and soil pH to optimize growth.

Other Expenses to Expect Before Getting Your Commercial Grow License

Getting into the recreational cannabis industry isn’t a cheap endeavor. Spending money on the right products and services, however, can help ensure your success. You don’t want to lose thousands of dollars on permit fees and real estate because you didn’t want to spend money on helpful services and products.

You can use 420 Property to find trustworthy professionals with the experience you need to build a successful cultivation business. Some of the professionals you should talk to include:

  • Business consultants who can review your business plan and offer advice for improvement.
  • Accountants and CPAs who can help manage your money.
  • Architects and designers who can make the most of your indoor cultivation space.
  • Environmental experts who can recommend soil supplements to improve crop growth and health.
  • Appraisers who can help ensure you pay a reasonable price for your cultivation real estate.
  • Insurers who will make sure you have all of the policies needed to protect yourself, business partners, and company from liability.

If you do not have enough capital to fund your cultivation startup, 420 Property can help connect you with private lenders that work within the cannabis and hemp industry. Unfortunately, banks must follow federal laws, so they will not work with cannabis cultivators even when they operate in legal states.

Considering how quickly the recreational cannabis industry has grown over the last decade, it often makes sense for entrepreneurs to start their commercial grow operations as soon as possible. Otherwise, you could miss opportunities as states limit permits and other companies gain prominence with retail stores and customers.

Get a Commercial Grow License on 420 Property

Obviously, it can take a lot of work to get your commercial grow license. Save yourself the trouble by browsing the cannabis licenses for sale on 420 Property. Instead of filling out mountains of paperwork, you can buy an existing license directly from the current owner. As more states legalize commercial cannabis, permits will become available on 420 Property.

July 7, 2021Comments Off
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