Mississippi just legalized medical cannabis, creating a brand new cannabis market ripe with business opportunities. Are you an entrepreneur who wants to start a marijuana business in Mississippi? In this article, our Mississippi Cannabis Consultants provide you with a guide on how to apply for and win a medical cannabis business license in Mississippi.
This article begins with an overview of the program and the license application process, followed by a step-by-step guide on how to win a cannabis business license in Mississippi.
Mississippi Cannabis Consultants
Laws and Regulations Overview
It’s important that you read the medical cannabis laws and regulations in Mississippi if you plan on starting a business. Specifically, you should read:
- Senate Bill 2095 (SB2095);
- Medical Cannabis Dispensary Regulations;
- Proposed Medical Cannabis Processing Facilities Regulations; and
- Proposed Medical Cannabis Processing Cultivation Regulations.
Similarly, you should know that the Mississippi Department of Health (“Department”) will oversee the administration of the overall medical cannabis program. However, the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce will oversee medical cannabis cultivators, processors, and transporters. On the other hand, the Mississippi Department of Revenue will regulate medical cannabis dispensaries.
Timeline for Applications
The bill requires Mississippi to begin accepting applications within 120 days of the passage of the act. Thus, Mississippi will begin accepting applications for medical cannabis business licenses by the end of June 2022. Upon receipt of your cannabis business license application, the Department will then have 30 days to issue you (or deny) a license.
Types of Cannabis Business Licenses Available
Mississippi will issue 9 types of medical cannabis business licenses. Specifically, the types of marijuana business licensees Mississippi will issue include:
- Cultivation (six tiers)
- Micro-cultivation (two tiers)
- Micro-processing (two tiers)
Each medical marijuana business license allows you to conduct specific activities. So you should choose the license that is appropriate for the type of cannabis business you want to start.
Moreover, Mississippi will not place a cap on the number of licenses it will issue. The municipalities, however, have the option to limit the number of licenses allowed within their borders (more on municipal control below).
Eligibility and Qualifications
Before we discuss the Application Process, let’s review the qualifications required to be eligible to receive a license (click here if you want to skip to the Application Process).
First off, you cannot have any owner, board member, or officer that:
- is under the age of 21;
- has had a marijuana license revoked in the past;
- has been convicted of a disqualifying felony offense;
- owes delinquent taxes; or
- is a member or a spouse of a member of the Mississippi Senate or House of Representatives.
For Cultivation and processing licenses specifically, applicants must:
- Prove that at least 35% of the ownership is held by individuals who have resided in Mississippi for at least 3 consecutive years prior to the application;
- For microbusiness licenses, 100% of ownership must be held by Mississippi residents of at least 3 years.
Please note: It seems that Mississippi residency is not required for the Dispensary, Transportation, Disposal, Research, and Testing Licenses.
Application Process for Mississippi Marijuana License
To apply for a marijuana business license in Missippi, you will have to:
- Form a business entity;
- Identify a location for your business;
- Write and submit cannabis Operating Procedures, including recordkeeping and security measures;
- Obtain approval from the Municipality; and
- Pay your application fees (more on this below).
You’ll also have to write hundreds of pages of technical narratives that show you can comply with Mississippi laws as well as your local ordinances.
Mississippi Cannabis Business License Application Requirements:
As part of your cannabis license application in Mississippi, you must submit:
- Operating Plan;
- Business Plan and Management Profile Plan;
- Business Experience;
- Regulatory Compliance Plan;
- Business and Financial Plan;
- Operating Plan Summary – Qualifications;
- Safety and Security Plans and Procedures;
- Standard Operating Procedures for:
- Adverse Event Reporting
- Quality Assurance/Control
- Packaging and Labeling
- Inventory Control, Storage, Diversion Prevention
- Waste Disposal, Sanitation
- Accounting and Tax Compliance
- Security Measures
- Sampling and Testing of cannabis
- Reporting Test Results of cannabis
Seems like a lot? You’ll have to write hundreds of pages of technical procedures and plans for operating your Mississippi cannabis business. Work with our Mississippi cannabis consultants to craft an application that will win you a license.
Yes, you will have to pay an application and a license fee to become a cannabis business owner in Mississippi. The license application fee is due upon submission of your application. Similarly, the annual license fee is due when you are awarded a license and annually thereafter.
Our Marijuana Business Consultants in Mississippi summarize the license application fees below:
|Mississippi Medical Cannabis Business Licensing Fees|
|Type||License Application Fee||Annual License Fee|
|Micro-cultivator||$1,500 – $2,500||$2,000 – $3,500|
|Cultivator||$5,000 – $40,000||$15,000 – $150,000|
|Micro-Processor||$2,000 – $2,500||$3,500 – $5,000|
Municipality Opt-Out Map
Below is a map that shows the municipalities in Mississippi that have opted in or opted out of allowing medical cannabis dispensaries within their boundaries. Contact our Mississippi cannabis consultants if you have questions about your facility or would like help getting city approval.
How to win a cannabis business license in Mississippi
Okay, so now that you are familiar with the Mississippi cannabis license application process, let’s now discuss how to win the license. What follows is a step-by-step guide on how to apply for and win a medical cannabis business license in Mississippi.
Step 1 – Read the Laws and Regulations
The first step to winning a medical cannabis license in Mississippi is to read the laws and regulations. By doing so, you’ll have a better understanding of the application process and the types of licenses that are available.
Step 2 – Choose a license type
Once you’ve read the laws and regulations, then you choose the type of license you will apply for. Read the regulations surrounding the license and make sure you qualify. Our Mississippi cannabis application writers provided a list of the types of marijuana licenses above.
If you’re having trouble deciding the type of license that is best for you, then skip to Step 3 and engage a consultant who can help.
Step 3 – Engage a Mississippi Cannabis Consultant
To significantly increase your chances of winning a license, your best tool is to work with a Mississippi marijuana business consultant that specializes in cannabis licensing.
For instance, our Missississipi cannabis application writers can manage your application from start to finish. We’ll write your business plan, operating plan, and all technical writing requirements of the applications. Our Mississippi cannabis consulting firm can also assist with team recruitment, facility selection/design, supplier agreements, and more.
Step 4 – Form a business entity
At this point, you’ll want to form a legal business entity for your application, if you haven’t done so already. Work with your attorneys to determine the entity type most appropriate for your goals. We most commonly find cannabis applicants forming limited liability companies (LLC) or corporations for their applications.
Step 5 – Choose a location
You must identify a location for your proposed cannabis business, and show that you will have control of the property if issued a license. Also, your facility must comply with state laws and local ordinances, including appropriate zoning.
You can accomplish this by purchasing a property, leasing a property, or entering into an option to buy/lease the property that is contingent upon the issuance of your license.
Our Mississippi cannabis consultants can help you choose a location that is compliant and will help you receive the highest score on your application. So, feel free to reach out if you’d like to speak with our cannabis license application writers in Mississippi:
Step 6 – Build a team
One of the major areas that the state will score your application on is your team. Put differently, the team that you list on your application can have a significant impact on whether you receive a license or not.
Mississippi wants to see that your team has experience in business management, the cannabis industry, and related expertise relevant to the operation of your cannabis business type.
As mentioned earlier, Quantum 9 offers talent acquisition services and can help you build a rockstar cannabis team for your marijuana business in Mississippi.
Step 7 – Develop Business Plan
Now you should work with your Mississippi cannabis consultant to build a business plan. You can use your business plan to raise capital, attract team members, garner local support, begin forming your brand, and more.
Moreover, you can use portions of your business in your marijuana license application.
Step 8 – Raise Capital
Starting a cannabis business can easily cost millions to tens of millions of dollars to start. Obtaining the license alone can cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars.
With a solid business plan in hand, raising capital becomes a lot easier. Work with our Mississippi cannabis business license consultants to pitch your venture to investors and raise capital.
Step 9 – Garner Local Support
While the application has not been released, now is a good time to begin building local support. Applicants with support from the municipality and local organizations tend to win licenses over those who don’t have local support.
Aim for obtaining a letter of support from these local organizations. You can include these in your application.
Step 10 – Write and submit your license application
Lastly, it’s time to sit down and write your cannabis license application. Have you ever applied for a cannabis license? The application can easily require hundreds to thousands of pages of technical narrative writing.
You’ll have to describe the business plan and procedures that you will implement at your proposed cannabis business. This includes plans for security, financing, reducing your environmental impact, seed-to-sale tracking, community impact, and more.
Allow our Mississippi cannabis consultants to do the heavy lifting for you. We’ll write your application and help you win a license, while you save time and money.
As shown above, obtaining a cannabis business license in Mississippi is an extremely competitive endeavor. You’ll compete against multi-state operators, consultants, and attorneys putting together strong applications.
So why risk your chances of winning? Work with our Mississippi marijuana business consultants, who are experts in the market and have one of the highest success rates at winning licenses in the industry (90.12%). We’ve won licenses for clients in some of the most competitive markets in the world (here is a video highlighting some of our top-scoring applications in the past decade).
Reach out today to learn how our Mississippi cannabis consulting firm can help you win a license and become a cannabis business owner:
Supplemental Information from our Mississippi Cannabis Consulting Firm
Mississippi will impose limits on the number of cannabis licenses you are allowed to have ownership in. In short, you cannot have an ownership or economic interest of greater than 10% in:
- More than one (1) cannabis cultivation facility license
- More than one (1) cannabis processing facility license; and
- More than five (5) medical cannabis dispensary licenses.
Important to note, you only have to disclose persons or entities who directly or indirectly own 10% or more.
The main point of entry of a medical cannabis establishment shall not be located within one thousand (1,000) feet of the nearest property boundary line of any school, church, or child care facility.
Additional Resources from our Mississippi Cannabis Consultants
- Summary of the Senate Bill 2095 (2095)
- Pre-application checklist for Mississippi cannabis license applications (except dispensaries)
- Pre-application checklist for dispensaries