do you need a license to grow marijuana

All agricultural operations in California are required to get permits and follow rules set by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and the California Water Boards. These rules help protect water quality and conserve water resources.

Cannabis cultivators have a responsibility to protect the environment and be responsible stewards of the land. That’s why it’s important to understand how your operations may impact the environment.

There are different licenses if you:

Use of pesticides.

You can use pesticides on cannabis plants if they meet guidelines set by the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR). DPR has resources about:

CDFW has profiles of cannabis cultivators who use best practices and tips for managing your cultivation site in a wildlife-friendly way.

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is developing an appellations program for cannabis. Appellations are special names reserved for cannabis:

Pesticide use is enforced by DPR and county agricultural commissioners. Contact your county agricultural commissioner if you have questions about pesticides.

The cannabis appellations program will:

Appellations are used for other products, too. For example, the wine industry uses appellations to tell consumers which region the grapes were grown and wine was made.

Cultivators grow all of the cannabis plants that are harvested, sold as flower, and made into products. Their operations look like other agricultural operations in California. Cannabis cultivation is a multi-step process that includes:

Cultivation licenses.

Cannabis cultivators must have:

CDFW and Water Board rules prevent:

If you want to grow cannabis and sell it in California, you will need a cultivation license. The type of cultivation license you need depends on:

CDFA is working on regulations for the cannabis appellations program. Once they are adopted, CDFA will begin accepting applications to create an Appellation of Origin.

Water permits.

We can look at how other states regulate and issue cannabis licenses to find clues on how New York might craft its licensing process. California, which legalized recreational marijuana products in 2016, is a great example of how this might work.

In a final bit of good news for both business owners and cannabis enthusiasts, we also know that home delivery of marijuana products will be allowed. Cannabis delivery services will bring cannabis to a customer’s home or business, and municipalities will not be able to block these businesses from delivering to customers in their jurisdictions.

States require cannabis surety bonds because they need to ensure that dispensaries and other marijuana businesses operate responsibly. Most dispensaries follow the rules, but surety bonds help ensure that any businesses violating them are held accountable. This will help discourage poorly run or unscrupulous businesses from entering the market, as well as provide a legally binding method for resolving disputes and guaranteeing obligations.

There’s a strong possibility that New York’s cannabis licensing process will include a surety bond requirement. Many other states that have legalized cannabis, including California, Nevada, Colorado, Michigan, and Illinois, require cannabis businesses to obtain surety bonds.

You won’t be able to use any cannabis product at a dispensary, and bars cannot sell both alcohol and cannabis. However, licensed cannabis consumption sites, where New Yorkers can partake in public together, will be allowed. Municipalities will also have the power to ban consumption sites if they wish.

How Will Medical Marijuana Change in New York?

Forty percent of the tax revenues from cannabis sales will go to a community reinvestment fund. The fund is earmarked to finance improvements in communities historically impacted by unequal enforcement of marijuana laws. Funded projects could include anything from healthcare to education to job programs. The social equity provision mandates that at least 50 percent of cannabis business licenses must be issued to people from communities harmed by cannabis criminalization. Eligible groups include:

Eventually, any adult will be able to grow up to six plants in their home or 12 plants in a household with multiple adults. However, the marijuana you grow must be for personal use, as dispensaries are still the only businesses licensed to sell it. People who want to start a business growing marijuana in New York will need a commercial cannabis growing license. The state isn’t issuing these yet, but they will likely do so around the same time they begin issuing licenses for dispensaries.

We do have some information about the rates at which the state will tax cannabis products. The state has set a 13 percent tax rate, with 9 percent going to the state government and 4 percent to county and local governments. New York will collect another wholesale tax on top of that based on the THC content of the cannabis product sold. Based on the type of cannabis product, the wholesale tax breaks down as follows:

Unlike other cannabis businesses, existing medical marijuana businesses will be able to hold multiple types of licenses. As with recreational dispensaries, however, many details remain to be revealed about new regulations for medical dispensaries.

Like other legal states, New York will have a tiered cannabis licensure system with separate license types for growers, dispensaries, distributors, and other types of marijuana businesses. To prevent vertical integration and monopolies, New York will issue only one type of license to each recreational cannabis business. The state will also likely limit the number of licenses issued.

MRTA’s legislative sponsor, State Sen. Liz Krueger (D), stated that one of the bill’s primary purposes is “to end the racially disparate enforcement of marijuana prohibition that has taken such a toll on communities of color … and to use the economic windfall of legalization to help heal and repair those same communities.” To this end, the bill includes three major racial justice provisions: a community reinvestment fund, a social equity provision for licensing, and an automatic expungement program.

From Brooklyn to the Catskills, New Yorkers are now free to enjoy cannabis recreationally. Thanks to the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA), the latest in America’s successful wave of state cannabis legalization initiatives, marijuana is now legal to use and consume throughout America’s largest city and fourth-most populous state.

With cannabis now approved for legal distribution in New York, it’s important to understand the facts about cannabis laws and cannabis licenses in the Empire State.

Yet many questions remain about how New York will regulate marijuana, particularly in regards to the state’s nascent commercial cannabis market. While cannabis became legal on March 31st, 2021, commercial sales of recreational pot likely won’t begin until 2022. State regulators are currently writing the laws and designing the institutions that will regulate the new legal marijuana market, and the final shape of these regulations is currently uncertain.

How Will Dispensaries Work in New York?

California issues over ten different types of cannabis licenses. These licenses cover everything from dispensaries to growers to distributors to testing labs. The Bureau of Cannabis Control issues retailer and distributor licenses, while CalCannabis issues cultivator licenses. A third agency, the Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch, issues licenses for businesses that make edibles and other derivative products. The licensing process varies by agency, but it always involves submitting an application packet that includes:

2021 will bring big changes to medical cannabis laws in New York. The state is preparing to expand the list of conditions for which doctors can prescribe cannabis products, such as autism, muscular dystrophy, Alzheimer’s disease, and others that advocates have long pushed to include. In addition, providers will be able to prescribe marijuana at their discretion for conditions that the law doesn’t specifically list. The expansion will also introduce revamped rules for medical dispensaries. We know that currently operating medical dispensaries will be able to pay a one-time fee for a license to sell recreational cannabis. Whole flowers will also finally be legal for sale.

Cities and towns will be allowed to prohibit cannabis dispensaries from opening within their jurisdiction, but they aren’t allowed to prohibit the use of possession of marijuana. Any municipality that wants to prohibit dispensaries has until the end of 2021 to pass a local law to do so.

Dispensaries, the retail stores where consumers can purchase cannabis legally, are not yet permitted to begin operation. Most news organizations have reported that it will take at least a year for New York to get the commercial cannabis license process up and running.

Law enforcement will no longer be allowed to use the smell of marijuana as a pretext for stopping a car or searching someone. However, it’s illegal to drive under the influence of any form of cannabis or to have a cannabis product open in the passenger area of your car, and law enforcement can still use the smell of marijuana to establish suspicion of impaired driving.

Cannabis distributors, growers, and dispensaries across America use Surety Bonds Direct to get their businesses bonded quickly and easily. We work directly with dozens of U.S. sureties to provide highly competitive wholesale bond premiums to our customers. Investopedia named us the best surety bond company of 2021, thanks to our fast, friendly service and comprehensive selection.

How Will Social Equity Rules Affect New York’s Cannabis Market?

New York will also expunge certain marijuana-related offenses from the criminal records of people convicted of them. Those eligible for expungement won’t have to apply; instead, the charges will be automatically removed from their records. However, the law allows a period of up to two years in which to expunge the charges in the state’s record systems.

A surety bond, to sum it up quickly, is a three-party contract that guarantees a person or business’s financial and/or legal obligations. If the bonded party breaches the agreements established in the bond, that party can be held financially responsible. The surety financially backs up the covered party’s guarantee, up to a limit known as the coverage amount or penalty sum.

In the state of New York, some cannabis products have been legal for medical purposes since July 2014. Medical dispensaries currently operate all around the state, but the law places relatively strict limits on their numbers. Currently, dispensaries also can’t sell certain forms of cannabis, such as whole flowers.

We still know only a little about how New York will regulate its legalized marijuana market. Right now, a limited basic framework is in place for commercial marijuana regulation, and aspiring cannabis entrepreneurs are waiting for the state to provide more details as regulators fill in the details on relevant laws.

For entrepreneurs planning to open New York cannabis businesses, following the evolving laws will help you stay on the inside track for the cannabis license application process. Beyond that, a solid knowledge of the state’s new regulations is important for any New Yorker who wants to understand their rights and responsibilities regarding marijuana. In this guide, we’ll cover the key questions you might have about New York cannabis legalization.

To purchase a surety bond, the business will pay a small percentage of the coverage amount as a premium. The percentage varies according to several factors that the surety assesses in the surety bond underwriting process, including the business owner’s credit score and financial history. Thus, the easiest and most accurate way to find out the cost of a surety bond is to get a free surety bond quote from a reliable surety bond producer.

Since March 31st, it’s been legal for people 21 and over to consume or possess cannabis in the state of New York. A person can smoke it, vape it, eat it, or otherwise consume it, and they can do so in any public space where tobacco smoking is allowed. You may carry up to three ounces of cannabis with you and store up to five pounds at your home. It’s still not legal to sell cannabis in New York, and the only legal sellers will be state-licensed dispensaries, not scheduled to open their doors until sometime in 2022. Bringing cannabis in from another state is not legal, either, which means that New Yorkers still don’t technically have a legal way to purchase cannabis.

CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing : CalCannabis operates as a division of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), and is responsible for licensing businesses that are cultivating medicinal and adult-use (recreational) cannabis. They also manage the track-and-trace system used by the state to record the movement of cannabis product through the distribution chain.

This is the case in the city of Mill Valley. Votes were 74 percent in favor of Proposition 64 (the 2016 voter initiative to legalize cannabis in California), yet the city is adhering to local regulations that strictly prohibit any commercial cannabis activities, including cultivation and selling.

In some states you may need to file your organizational paperwork with the Secretary of State’s office, but in many cases you will need to work with local licensing agencies.

In order to operate legally, it is essential that you meet all necessary business license, permit, registration, and other requirements. Here are some licensing basics you should know about before you plan to start up a cannabis business.

Which department is responsible for licensing?

Know your cannabis licensing regulations.

Most businesses are subject to various licensing, permit, and registration requirements. These are put in place for public safety, tax, or other reasons.

For example, California’s Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA) gives local jurisdictions the right to control what activities are permitted in their jurisdiction. Some cities require a local license for approval, while others may prohibit your business activities altogether.

How licensing differs based on business category.

Because the cannabis industry is heavily regulated, licensing for cannabis businesses is particularly complicated. Compliance requirements not only vary from state to state, they can change depending on your business category (cultivation vs. retail, for example) and which city or county you’re planning to operate in.

Support employee : This is required for any employee that works within the business but isn’t involved in making operational decisions. For example, a “budtender.” As such, the majority of occupational license holders are in this category.

Colorado has two types of licenses that stem from the MED Occupational License. This allows holders to work for MED licensed Medical and Retail Marijuana facilities or for vendors that provide services to MED Medical and Retail Marijuana business licensees. The two categories of this license, as explained by, include –

There are also restrictions related to residency and background (those with previous convictions may not be eligible), which can apply to owners, contractors and employees.

Pay close attention to local regulations.

Note: A home-based or online business often requires the same level of compliance as a traditional bricks-and-mortar commercial establishment.

Basic legal requirements.

While running a cannabis business may be legal at the state level, you may encounter roadblocks at the local level.

Nevada requires all employees or volunteers of a cannabis business to apply for and receive a registered agent card. According to, this agent card requires a background check and is issued by the state.

As a cannabis business, you’ll be regulated based on a variety of factors. One of them is category of business—whether you’re cultivating, selling, manufacturing or investing. Here are a few examples of how licensing differs based on business category.

There are also licensing requirements for employees working for a cannabis business. Some states require that any employee be licensed to work for a cannabis-related business, in addition to meeting standard state requirements concerning employees for any type of business.

Licensing for employees.