5 Step Process to Getting a Dispensary or Cultivation License in California

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Hi, I’m Chris from BeGreenLegal and I would like to talk to you today about how we help our clients through our paid discovery process with their cannabis consulting needs. Whether you’re an operator or investor looking to get into the legal marijuana industry, you probably are either looking for a good location or need help planning, permitting, or getting a dispensary license on a property you already own or lease. 

The first thing to understand is that the cannabis industry is undergoing significant legal changes in California and will start issuing licenses in 2018, but obtaining a license is dependent on local approval.

At the same time, cities and counties across California are reacting to changes in state law and are responsible for passing their own local laws either allowing cannabis businesses or banning them. Some local governments are very proactive and have already approved marijuana dispensaries, cultivators, manufacturers, distributors, and testing labs, while others are either more cautious or conservative.

While only a few cities and counties are currently issuing permits now, more opportunities will be available over the next 6-12 months as local laws continue to change. What this means is that cannabis investors and operators will have more opportunities with a little patience and thoughtfulness about how they approach setting up a cannabis business.

We start by asking new clients,

  • “What type of cannabis business are you looking to set up?”
  • “Are there multiple parts to your idea and what are they?”
  • “What sort of time line suits you?”
  • “What capital or other assets do you have to set up your marijuana business?

These questions will help us refine your vision and goals so we can help you get there. Different permit and cannabis dispensary license requirements may be needed for different uses and we want to make sure you’re ready to get through the approval process.

The second thing we address is whether you have a location in mind for your marijuana investment or if you’re flexible and looking for a good opportunity. If you already own or lease, we can advise you on the best way to obtain the necessary permits in your city or county if they are available. If you are flexible on the location, we can advise on what cities or counties to watch.

Our firm tracks cities and counties across California, to stay up to date on the latest local cannabis politics. If your locality does not yet allow cannabis businesses, may do so soon. Taking the time to look and plan could present some great investment opportunities.

Third step in our discovery is to conduct a property survey to assess land use and environmental constraints that may inhibit your chances of obtaining approvals. We also review your property and facilities and provide recommendations about the most effective way to set up your marijuana business.

Our survey process includes collecting precision measurements we use to create a base map, which can be used to develop site and facilities plans, or to assist an architect or engineer prepare improvement plans. Our property survey report can also be used to prepare your permit and license applications, or a business plan.

Fourth step in our discovery is to review your bookkeeping records to better understand your current operations or, if you are not already operating, how your assets could be best used. This step is also important for compliance, as local and state regulators will want to know how you are tracking products and cash, paying taxes, financial projections.

The last step in our discovery is to prepare a work plan specific to what next steps you will need to take to reach your goals. This could include preparing permit or dispensary license applications, creating conceptual site or facilities plans, preparing a business plan, or continuing the searching for a property that suits needs better than those you have already found.

Our work plan can also help you phase your project through clear milestones to help with financing or best utilize your resources. 

In summary, the goal of paid discovery is to:

  1. Help steer our clients in the right direction from the beginning to maximize opportunity and minimize costs;
  2. Provide valuable information that can be used to complete a business plan, site and facilities plans, or permit and license applications; and
  3. Help you understand the value our firm brings before having to commit to a larger planning or permitting effort.

If what I have had to say today piques your interest, please check out our discovery eBook.

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