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How to Navigate a Marijuana Business License Application: Part 2

by Sarah Cawthon October 01, 2020

This is part two of a two part series. To view part one, click here.

As mentioned in Part 1, to help you navigate the application, we have selected key steps to highlight as you begin preparing for a marijuana business license. With that being said, it is still important to be familiar with the requirements and laws in the state in which you plan to apply.

Develop Procedures
You will need to create procedures for things like payment processing, shipping, distribution, compliance, recordkeeping, accounting, security, etc., and many states require that you include written standard operating procedures, or SOPs, with your application. shutterstock_692559100-jpg

You will need to hire an expert to develop SOPs for your company. The person who crafts your SOPs should have experience in the industry and understand the operations and compliance requirements of the type of business you are applying for.

If the license application in your state requires that you provide written procedures for specific operations, make sure you provide details to demonstrate that you have clearly thought everything through and have a strong chance to be successful.

Some procedures to develop, depending on your local regulations and type of business, include; procedures for safely dispensing marijuana to consumers, procedures to ensure accurate record keeping, safety and security procedures, including a disaster plan with procedures to be followed in case of fire or other emergencies, personal safety and crime prevention techniques and procedures, as well as several others needed to safely and successfully operate a marijuana business.

Create a Security Plan
Because cannabis is a highly regulated product, there are often strict security requirements. By drafting a comprehensive security plan that addresses all the minimum requirements and implementing others that are beneficial to your business, you will be able to demonstrate how well you will be able to secure your facility and transportation of the cannabis, if needed.

You will need a security plan to protect your equipment, inventory, products, and most importantly, your people. There are added security challenges that cannabis facilities face, so be sure to consider all policies, procedures and systems that provide sufficient protection.

You will likely need a basic address for your facility, the name and information of any security consultant or company you may be contracting with, the name of the person responsible for implementing the security plan, the name of the security manager, any documents or letters you have received from local law enforcement and physical details regarding your facility building and how you will secure and monitor each point.

To get started on your cannabis security plan, our Marijuana Security Plan Template is an excellent place to start.

Complete and Submit the Application
Once all of the research is done, the information is compiled and the application requirements are in place, it is now time to complete and submit your application. This process takes some applicants several weeks and thousands of dollars with the help of consultants and industry experts to complete.

As you work on your license application, be honest and thorough — explain everything in detail to accurately show your expertise, planning and preparedness for opening your cannabis business correctly and successfully prove that your business is able to assist the community in the way the state intends.

Those reviewing and grading your application will be looking to ensure you have included all of the required material and that you have displayed that your business will be able to run effectively with no delays or problems, which could jeopardize the state’s cannabis program. Demonstrate your confidence in you, your team and your business model.

For example, this criterion could include information provided related to the qualifications and background checks of the applicant, their ability to operate, the projected economic impact, the community benefits plan, diversity, their financial standing, their security plan, etc.

The application process is a competition, so your application should do more than just meet the minimum requirements. It should stand apart from others through careful and thorough detail.

You will likely benefit from providing comprehensive information for all aspects of your business, and remember, it takes time to craft a high-quality application.

If you are interested in partnering with a company with over ten years of cannabis industry experience that can ensure a high-quality application will be submitted along with ongoing operational support, connect with our Unity Rd. team.