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 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.