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Whether you are looking to establish a new cannabis business or expand your existing operations, our Washington D.C. cannabis consultants created this comprehensive guide to help you understand the key elements of the process, ensuring you are well-prepared to secure your license.

With applications for medical cannabis retailers and internet retailers opening July 1st, you can use this guide to navigate the application. Also, please feel free to fill out our contact form to speak with our cannabis consulting team in Washington D.C.

Washington D.C. Cannabis Consultants


To start, lets discuss the licensing timeline for Washington D.C. cannabis business licenses.

Important Dates for Licensing:

  • July 1, 2024: Application period opens for non-social equity applicants for Retailer and Internet Retailer licenses.
  • August 29, 2024: Deadline for submitting applications for the current open period.

Ensure you mark these dates to avoid missing the critical windows for your application submission.

Regulatory Agency

The Alcoholic Beverage and Cannabis Administration (ABCA) oversees the regulation and enforcement of cannabis laws in Washington D.C.

Laws & Regulations summary from Washington DC Cannnabis Consultants

Our Washington D.C. cannabis consultants highly recommend that you familiarze yourself with the laws and regulations regarding medical cannabis. Here are the most important items for you to read:

For a detailed overview of the legal framework, schedule a call with our cannabis business consultants in Washington D.C. and we’ll answer any questions you may have.

Types of Licenses – Cannabis Consulting Washington DC

There are several types of cannabis business licenses in Washington D.C., including:

  • Cultivation Center License
  • Manufacturer License
  • Retailer License
  • Internet Retailer License
  • Testing Laboratory License
  • Distributor License
  • Courier License

The main focus of this article will be on the retailer and internet retailer licenses, since the application round is opening for them in July 2024.

License Application Requirements


Applicants must not have felony convictions related to violence, firearms, tax evasion, or fraud within three years before applying.

Also, there are some location restrictions you must adhere to. Cannabis businesses must not be located within residential districts or within 300 feet of schools or recreation centers.


Our Washington D.C. cannabis consultants summarize the retailer and internet retailer license application process below:

  1. Pre-Application Preparation:
    • Secure a location if applying for a non-conditional license.
    • Ensure the location complies with zoning regulations.
  2. Submission:
    • Complete and submit the Medical Cannabis License Application along with supporting documents.
    • Pay the non-refundable application fee.

Required Documents – Summarized by our Washington D.C. Cannabis Consultants

Below are the required documents you must submit as part of license application:

  • Medical Cannabis License Application
  • Trade Name Registration
  • Certificate of Good Standing
  • Clean Hands Certification
  • Certified Surveyor’s Report or GIS map
  • Security Plan (if not a conditional license)
  • Lease or deed documentation


Our Washington D.C. cannabis consulting firm summarize the fees you must pay to obtain a cannabis business license in Washington D.C.

You will have to pay two types of fee:

  • A non-refundable application fee; and
  • if awarded a license, and annual license fee.

Below is a summary of each.

Application Fees

Standard License Type  Standard Applicant Fee Social Equity Applicant (SEA) Fee
(Reduced for first 3 years of operation)
Standard Retailer License $8,000 $2,000
Standard Internet Retailer License $8,000 $2,000
Standard Cultivation Center License $8,000 $2,000
Standard Manufacturer License $4,000 $1,000
Standard Courier License $4,000 $1,000
Standard Testing Laboratory $0 $0

Annual License Fee

Below are the annual licensing fees, as summarized by our cannabis business consultants in Washington D.C.

Description of Annual License Fees Standard Business License SEA License Fee
(Reduced for first 3 years of operation)
Cultivation Center Licenseᶲ Tier 1 – $11,000
Tier 2 – $16,000
Tier 3 – $21,000
Tier 4 – $26,000
Tier 5 – $31,000
Tier 6 – $36,000
Tier 1 – $2,750
Tier 2 – $4,000
Tier 3 – $5,250
Tier 4 – $6,500
Tier 5 – $7,750
Tier 6 – $9,000
Manufacturer License Type 1 – Manufacturing Only $4,000
Type 2 – Manufacturing and Extraction $8,000

Type 1 – Manufacturing Only – $1,000
Type 2 – Manufacturing and Extraction – $2,000

Retailer License $16,000 $4,000
Internet Retailer $16,000 $4,000
Courier License $8,000 $2,000
Testing Lab License $7,500 $1,875

Conclusions from our Washington D.C. Cannabis Consultants

Navigating the cannabis licensing process in Washington D.C. can be complex, but with the right preparation and guidance, you can maximize your chances of success.

Quantum 9’s team of experienced cannabis consultants is here to help you every step of the way.

Contact us today to get started on your journey to becoming a licensed cannabis business in Washington D.C.

Julio Soriagalvarro

Author Julio Soriagalvarro

Julio Soriagalvarro leads BV, a pioneering cannabis marketing agency specializing in SEO, PR, social media, and website optimization. He has scaled dozens of cannabis B2B and B2C brands by helping them secure top Google rankings, boost web traffic, and enhance conversion rates.

More posts by Julio Soriagalvarro

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