Wondering how to apply for a cannabis grower license? You’re among friends!
To begin the application process, here are a few things you’ll need:
- A valid ID and proof of residency in the state where you wish to apply for a license
- Documentation of plans for your growing operation, including an explanation of how many plants you plan to grow and where you’ll cultivate them
- A business plan, including financial projections for your operation
- A background check from the state or local government
- Proof of insurance to cover any potential losses incurred while cultivating cannabis
- Documentation demonstrating that you have the necessary skills and experience to operate a successful cannabis growing operation
Once you have obtained all of the necessary documentation, it’s time to submit your application. Once your application has been received, it will be reviewed, and you may be contacted for an in-person interview.
If approved, you’ll receive a cannabis grower license and can begin legally cultivating marijuana. The license is valid for one year and must be renewed annually.
Keep reading to learn more about cannabis licensure and the operations you’re allowed to run with the right approval.
California Dispensary License Types
Depending on your proposed business type, there are a few different types of dispensary licenses that you may be eligible for:
- Retailer license: allows you to sell cannabis products directly to consumers
- Distributor license: allows you to transport cannabis products from cultivators and manufacturers to retailers
- Cultivation license: allows you to cultivate, process, and package cannabis products
- Manufacturer license: allows you to manufacture edible or non-edible cannabis products
- Testing laboratory license: allows you to test the safety and potency of cannabis products
However, various other licenses exist. Within each of these categories are multiple other types of licenses, as well.
Loving this post? Make sure to check out our other article about what to know about getting a cannabis license in Canada before you leave!
California Cultivation License Types
In addition to the dispensary license types mentioned above, there are 15 different cannabis cultivation licenses in California. They are:
- Specialty cottage outdoor – up to 25 mature plants
- Specialty cottage indoor – up to 500 square feet of canopy
- Specialty cottage mixed-light tier 1 and 2 – up to 2,500 square feet of canopy
- Specialty outdoor – up to 50 mature plants or up to 5,000 square feet of canopy
- Specialty indoor – 501 to 5,000 square feet of canopy
- Specialty mixed-light tier 1 and 2 – 2,501 to 5,000 square feet of canopy
- Small outdoor – 5,001 to 10,000 square feet of canopy
- Small indoor – 5,001 to 10,000 square feet of canopy
- Small mixed-light tier 1 and 2 – 5,001 to 10,000 square feet of canopy
- Medium outdoor – 10,001 square feet to 1 acre of canopy
- Medium indoor – 10,001 to 22,000 square feet of canopy
- Medium mixed-light tier 1 and 2 – 10,001 to 22,000 square feet of canopy
- Large – By law, large-size cultivation licenses cannot be issued until after January 1, 2023
- Nursery – for cultivators that only grow clones, immature plants, seeds, or other types of cannabis used for propagation
- Processor – for cultivators that only trim, cure, dry, grade, package, or label cannabis
License for Growing Hemp
If you’re interested in growing industrial hemp, then you must apply for a Hemp Grower’s License (HGL) with the California Department of Food and Agriculture. The application process is similar to that of other cannabis licenses. You will have to submit an application form along with documentation that includes:
- A description of your proposed location
- The size and type of the planting area
- A detailed plan of operations
- Proof of financial responsibility or bond
- The names, addresses, and contact information of all people involved in the operation
Once your application is approved, you’ll receive a Hemp Grower’s License from the California Department of Food and Agriculture that’s valid for one year. You must renew it annually to remain compliant with state laws.
To stay compliant with state regulations, you must also keep accurate records of your hemp cultivation activities and maintain a secure inventory system to track your crops from seed to sale.
Cannabis Grower License FAQ
How much is a grower’s license in CA?
The cost of a cannabis grower license in California varies depending on the type and size of your operation. It can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars for an annual license.
How much is a cultivation license in Illinois?
A cultivation license in Illinois requires applicants to pay a standard cultivation business application fee of $25,000 in addition to an annual cultivation license fee that costs $100,000.
Is it hard to get a cultivation license in California?
Obtaining a cannabis cultivation license in California can be complex and involves several steps. You must submit an application and provide documentation to prove eligibility, demonstrate financial responsibility, and adhere to the local zoning regulations. After you have submitted your application and all required documentation, it may take up to several months for the state to review and approve your license.