Complete Guide to Getting a Cannabis Retail License

The whole procedure of opening a weed dispensary can be quite a challenge. Each state's guidelines are unique; the worst part, state officials are enabled to change the guidelines at whatever point they want. Nonetheless, the marijuana business is highly profitable. It is gaining popularity by the day which has led to many states legalizing medical cannabis products. If you are considering opening a dispensary soon and have a list of questions regarding the licensing procedure, this article will be your best friend. 

Why Do You Need a Cannabis Retail License?

The question that comes to the heads of many entrepreneurs looking for starting a cannabis business is why do you need a cannabis retail license? It’s weed! Of course, you need the government’s permission to sell it folks even if it’s for medical purposes.  You can't sell marijuana lawfully until you get a state permit. This permit is a contract between you and the state for you to conform to state guidelines as a trade-off for the right to sell marijuana-based products. 

Licensing makes sure that your business and all related transactions abide by the state’s laws and regulations of each American state.

Type10. Dispensary Licenses for Cannabis Business 

There are different Cal cannabis license types. For the cannabis retail business, you’ll need the license type 10. Dispensaries are offices where clinical marijuana and other cannabis items are either sold in pure form or in any mix, for retail. This license ensures a business that is compliant with state laws for such businesses, clinical marijuana, and clinical cannabis items as a feature of a retail deal. For Type 10 license there are two types:

Type 10 (Dispensary, General) and Type 10A (Dispensary with no more than three retail sites).

Type 10 license doesn’t have many limitations but with the latter type there are some shortcomings like:

Steps for Applying for a Cannabis Retail License

There are six main steps to getting your cannabis retail license. Make sure to follow each correctly and you’ll get yours in no time!

  1. Civil Assessment 

Districts might have local laws or drafting limitations identifying with retail marijuana stores that might sway your qualification for a license. You should contact your municipal government to decide on neighborhood prerequisites before getting an accommodation application to AGLC. 

  1. Preliminary Assessment 

You need to present various records for audit. These might include:

  • License Fees 
  • Application Forms 
  • Personal and Financial Documents 
  • Floor Plan 

Post these all on the AGLC site at for 7 scheduled days. If all’s clear, you will get a notification from AGLC's Inspections office. 

  1. Personal and Financial Assessment 

Auditing of applications is to guarantee that the candidate is suitable for the approval of AGLC and will agree with all appropriate federal, municipal, and public regulations. It is a due diligence assessment to check your background to make sure you’re clean. 

  1. Premises Assessment 

Once your record is proven clean, a site visit will be planned with one of the AGLC Inspectors to guarantee the area and actual premises meets all AGLC requirements. They will also survey the necessary working methodology with the executives. 

  1. Issuance of License 

In this step, you will get your cannabis retail store license. Licenses are not adaptable and void if the premises are sold, rented, appointed or in any case, moved to another individual or party so if you want to move you’ll have to reapply.

  1. After the Issuance of a License 

An Account Management Coordinator reaches the cannabis licenses to start the setup interaction for requesting and revealing purposes. This cycle requires roughly 3 weeks to finish and you’ll need to keep some documents ready like:

  • 360-degree photographs of the premises  
  • Licensee banking data

Important Considerations Before Applying 

There are some things that you need to consider when applying for a USA cannabis retail license. 

Well-planned Business Strategy

A decent dispensary strategy needs to show how you will get capital and subsidize your dispensary. Bank loans are a no-no, so you should present a persuading defense for the solvency of your retail business. You'll likewise have to decide a spending plan, direct statistical surveying, and incorporate an answer for tolerating installments. 

Rental Property Compliant With State’s Laws

Most states implement severe regulations about marijuana dispensary drafting. Remember the laws aren’t the same for every state; some are more restricting than others. In California, for example, a dispensary under 1000 feet from places of worship, schools, private zones, or any other cannabis organization is allowed. You should make sure that your neighbors and local area individuals are OK with you opening a weed dispensary close by. Sometimes they can raise a great deal of ruckus for you no matter how obedient you are to the laws. 


Opening a cannabis dispensary isn’t like setting up your other regular businesses. It is a difficult, costly long-haul pull with immense result potential. If you are new to it, evaluate your motivations and investigate your set of experiences to decide if applying for a license is a smart thought or not. Many states perform foundation keeps an eye on dispensary owners, representatives, and funders. So, if you’ve got a criminal record or any minor problem with your personal record in the past, there is a chance you won’t get a license.

5 Tips for Getting a Cannabis Retail License Easily

Either it’s a recreational dispensary license in Arizona or Cannabis retail license in Nevada,  there can be many hurdles in the way. Not only the states’ laws have become stricter, but various other factors have also started to affect the whole licensing process which has created problems for many new entrepreneurs in the market.

Here are some tips to get the job done faster and more easily:

  1. Get to Know Your State’s Laws 

Cannabis dispensary license in 2021 might sound daunting but it’s not that hard to get if you comply with the regulations and laws of your state. 

Each state's application method is unique. Just remember that are new to this industry will have a less steady procedure than states with more experienced businesses. Regulators in mature business sectors like Colorado have had more opportunities to figure out the wrinkles in their framework than the ones in brand new markets. 

Many states also put a cap on the number of weed dispensaries that are operating in a particular area so make sure you also look into that before applying for a license. 

  1. Look for Red Flags in the Plan

The first thing you should do is to begin auditing your business plan; find issues that are probably going to get your application dismissed. In states that issue record verifications on weed investors, a past criminal conviction may mean you can't legitimately claim, work, or on the other hand invest in a weed dispensary. 

From that point onward, you need to search for points of vulnerability that regulators may bring up. Since cannabis is illegal at the government level, most governmentally upheld banks don't give loans to entrepreneurs for weed business. Regulators know about a couple of authentic sources of marijuana capital speculation out there and will need to know the subtleties about your dispensary's subsidizing. Be sure to keep clean in that area.

  1. Take Your Item With the Paperwork

Applying for a weed retail store license and the whole application process isn’t a procedure you should rush. It might seem tedious and not as important but the truth is your clean record is all the matters. Taking your time at this stage will ensure you’ll make it through till the end. 

Your state or city government may request you to fill up a few forms and drop them in different offices. Note that your dispensary additionally has to follow the regulations of other states along with the one the dispensary is in like every other private company. For instance, the California Consumer Privacy Act controls how dispensaries can deal with consumer information, make sure to abide by that.

  1. Ace the Interview 

There is a high chance your state will plan face-to-face meets. The states that limit the number of weed dispensaries that can work at any given time mostly do that. Since it puts significant time and assets in checking potential permit holders, it needs to ensure it grants its trivial few, important licenses to the most ideal up-and-comers. 

Regardless of whether your state's laws don't explicitly portray an in-person talk with step, you ought to be ready for the controllers might demand one at any time. Regulators are simply searching for proof to back some case you made on the underlying application. If you're not ready to back up those cases with supporting records, you’ll sabotage the whole process in minutes so make sure you know what you’re doing have solid proof for everything that you say.

Unnecessarily but you might be asked by the interview for the following documents so take them with you regardless:

  • Your Security Plan 
  • A Surety Bond
  • A Neighborhood Map
  • Additional Property or Lease Agreements
  • Your Premises Plan
  • Employment Agreements
  • Your Business and Operations Plan
  1. Resolve Taxes and Other Issues 

Generally, states that have just legalized cannabis will have fewer post-endorsement tax licensing prerequisites than states with mature business sectors. That’s so because the marijuana tax laws frequently change after legitimization began. You know what that means, get yourself ready for the new dispensary taxation rates as they’ll be changing now and again.

Given the state you are applying for, there might be an extra expense and money-related issues and the weed license cost you’ll be paying might be different from other states of the US. These issues might occur before you can authoritatively start a business as an authorized dispensary. For example, Washington requires its weed dispensary license holders to pay a business and occupation charge, which will expect you to make a record on the state's electronic income framework. Hence, be clear about the expenses and resolve the tax issues beforehand. 

Don’t Do it Alone

Opening a new weed dispensary can appear to be overpowering in 2021 with all the new laws and regulations. Getting from the pre-arranging stage to really opening the entryways of your first pot dispensary is a significant accomplishment.

However, you can take help and not do it all alone. Weed consultancies and legitimate specialist organizations can assist with making this process a lot easier, utilizing industry-driving experience and information to help you overcome the challenges. If you are thinking of opening your retail weed business, this article will be your blueprint!

Author - Noah Nicholls

Noah Nicholls is a full-time Writer, Traveler, and Marketing Expert who is Currently Working for CBD-Boxes. Noah Nicholls writing relates to a range of subjects such as CBD and health.


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