Legal Cannabis States and Resources

Cannabis Business Licensing Across the Country

States with Open Applications

Below are states that legalized medical and recreational cannabis that as well as those that legalized medical or adult use during the 2018 election cycle.  Included in this list are states that have had programs for years and are currently accepting cannabis business license applications.  States that legalized in 2018 are going to be rolling out their cannabis regulations and opening up cannabis business license application processes in 2019. 


We at KanaVate strongly suggest being as prepared as possible before embarking on your cannabis business license application process.  Cannabis business license applications can be hundreds of pages, and the more you get ahead of time, the more competitive your application will be. We suggest being prepared by having the following completed early and before the cannabis business license application process opens in your state:


  • Acquire real estate with proper zoning.

  • Write business plan.

  • Write standard operating procedures.

  • Secure talent.


Alaska – Medical and Recreational Cannabis

In 2014 Alaska legalized recreational cannabis use.  The measure went into effect on February 24, 2015, allowing Alaskans age 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of cannabis and six plants. Alaska also has a medical marijuana program.  Alaska Department of Commerce is accepting applications for retail, cultivation facility, product and concentrate manufacturing facilities at this time, applications are open ended with no anticipated due date.

Alaska cannabis business license application page:


Application for retail, cultivation facility, product and concentrate manufacturing facilities FAQ:


California – Medical and Recreational Cannabis


California legalized medical marijuana in 1996, with each municipality making its own rules, and legalized recreational adult use in 2016.  California has open ended applications for Retailers, Distributors, Microbusiness, Testing Laboratory, Cannabis Event Organizer. There is a social equity program, but it has not been rolled out yet and there is no information on the BCC website.  Each municipality has its own regulations regarding recreational cannabis.


California main page:

Licensing main page:


Colorado – Medical and Recreational Cannabis

Colorado legalized medical marijuana in 2001 and has an open-ended application process for municipalities that have opted into the program.  Colorado legalized recreational Cannabis for individuals 21 and older in  has open ended applications for both Medical Marijuana dispensaries and retail locations.  The Marijuana Enforcement Division has a list of municipalities currently accepting cannabis license applications.




Colorado retail license:


Medical Marijuana

Colorado application:

Florida – Medical Marijuana


On May 1, 2018, the Florida Department of Health filed a Notice of Proposed rule which provides for the registration of additional medical marijuana treatment centers (MMTC).  This rule coincides with the legislation that requires that within 6 months after the registration of 100,000 active qualified patients in the medical marijuana use registry, the department shall license four additional medical marijuana treatment centers. 


MMTC Applications Page:


Dispensary application process:



Massachusetts – Medical and Recreational Cannabis


Massachusetts has legalized medical marijuana and also legalized Cannabis for individuals 21 and over.  The state also allows social use for cannabis clubs and “bars.” Massachusetts has open ended applications for Registered Marijuana Dispensary (RMD) Certificates.  There is also a social equity program in Massachusetts that provides “a pathway for individuals and businesses to enter the cannabis industry, regardless of their desired specialty.”




Applications for dispensaries is open:


In order to get access to the application you must register:


Medical Marijuana


Massachusetts Medical Use website:


Resources for established business in Mass:



Michigan – Medical and Recreational Cannabis


Voters in Michigan approved Proposition 1 which legalized adult use of cannabis for individuals over the age of 21.  They will create a regulatory system, which were expected to be laid out by December 6, 2018 and will include licensing information.  The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs is accepting applications for Medical Marijuana Facilities with no anticipated end date.




Laws and FAQs:,4601,7-154-89334_79571_90056---,00.html


Medical Marijuana


Laws and FAQs:,4601,7-154-89334_79571_78089---,00.html


Medical Marijuana Facility Application:,4601,7-154--453929--,00.html



Missouri – Medical Marijuana


Missouri legalized medical marijuana in 2018 and will be accepting applications for cultivation, processing facilities, and dispensaries on June 6, 2019.  Amendment 2 provides for 192 dispensary licenses, 61 cultivation licenses and 82 infused-product manufacturer licenses. In the meantime, they have begun collecting non-refundable pre-filed application fees.  Early submission of application fees does not guarantee a license or provide any advantage in the application process. 


Rules, pre-file application/fees and FAQs:



Montana – Medical Marijuana


Montana has open applications for Provider/MIPP (Chemical Manufacturing Endorsement) licenses, once you have obtained this license you may apply for a dispensary license.  Must be a registered MIPP before you can apply for a dispensary license (all providers must have at least 1 dispensary license associated to their provider/MIPP license).  Applications must be submitted using their online portal, no hard copy applications will be accepted.


Montana website:


Montana Provider page:


Montana Dispensary Application page:


Temp Lab Application:



North Dakota – Medical Marijuana


Beginning July 10, 2018, the division will accept applications for entities interested in obtaining a registration certificate to operate a dispensary in the Bismarck and Fargo regions. In September, the division will open applications for the Grand Forks and Williston regions. The remaining four dispensary regions (Devils Lake, Dickinson, Jamestown, and Minot) are anticipated to have an open application period in January 2019.


North Dakota Website:


Medical Marijuana regions map:



Oklahoma - Medical Marijuana


Medical Marijuana was legalized June 26th 2018, the legislation of Oklahoma State Department of Health has established a regulatory office and made applications available for patients, dispensaries, growers and packagers. Applications and payment will be collected through an online system.


Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority:


Application Instructions for Business:



Oregon – Medical and Recreational Cannabis


Oregon is accepting applications for both medical and recreational cannabis. 


New application:

Renewal application:



Oregon main page:


Online retail dispensary application:


Lab application:


Cultivator application:


Washington State – Medical and Recreational Cannabis


Washington state is accepting applications for transportation, research and cooperatives - no other applications are open at this time.


Transportation license:


Research license:


Cooperatives Registration license:


Expanding Plant Canopy license:


Splitting a Producer and Processor License:



Vermont - Medical and Recreational


Vermont legalized recreational cannabis, but there is no regulatory frame work in place for sales.  Medical marijuana has been legal since May 2004.   The Department will publish an announcement when opening the application period for the sixth dispensary registration certificates, including application requirements and deadlines for acceptance. An application period for a sixth dispensary will be announced once the number of registered patients reaches 7,000. As of March 29th, 2018, there were 5,571 patients enrolled with the Vermont Marijuana Registry. 




Recreational main page:




Vermont MMJ main page:



Utah -Medical Marijuana


Utah voters passed ballot Proposition 2 which creates a medical cannabis program in Utah that allows patients with certain qualifying conditions to purchase and use medical cannabis with a medical provider’s recommendation. While Utah voters have approved Proposition 2, the Utah State Legislature updated the proposition to reflect changes to the number of dispensaries, edibles rules and a change to some of the listed conditions.   The Utah Department of Health will begin accepting applications for dispensaries by March 1, 2020 and the Utah Department of Agriculture will handle applications for cultivators and processors.