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Video: How To Obtain A Cannabis Business License

As a part of our continuing Buzzkillas series, we asked Mia Getlin of Lotus Law Group about what question she gets asked most often. No surprise, it has to do with how to acquire a cannabis business license. She is speaking specifically about Oregon, but the process is going to look similar in many of the legal states around the country.



The question I get asked most often from new clients is how do I get an OLCC license, whether it is for a grow, a retail dispensary, a wholesaler, or cannabis processor? And the answer is right now you have to buy one unless you're looking at a lab license. If you want a license, you'll have to buy one.


Interestingly, and this throws off a lot of clients, is OLCC licenses are technically not transferable. However, for all intents and purposes, they are transferable. How it works is you find someone who's selling a license and at Lotus we have connections with a number of business brokers that we're happy to connect our clients to.


And once you find a license to buy, or we help you find one, we will help you negotiate the terms of the transaction, draft the transaction documents, or review transactional documents drafted by another attorney, the contracting party's attorney. And once you've signed those documents, you then go through the OCC licensing process.


For OLCC licensing, you will submit your own brand new application as if you're just applying for a brand new license. What allows you to have that application processed is the purchase. The seller submits a change of ownership form and that gets your application in line to be processed. You then wait for it to be assigned an investigator and then once it's assigned an investigator, they review your materials. Hopefully we've helped you prepare those materials, we know they're in good shape.


And the investigator will come back ask ask some questions. Oftentimes ask for some things to be changed. Many of the investigators have slightly different styles about how they want things to look. And then you get approved and you pay for your license. And there you go. You've got your license.


There's a lot of a lot of questions and issues that come up in this cannabis license process that can be overwhelming and confusing for clients who haven't been through the process before. While most clients will hire us at the beginning of the process. We do with some frequency get clients calling once they're in it and they're worried they're not going to get licensed.


While there are certainly some issues that cannot be fixed. The vast majority of them are not really all that difficult to address. You know there will be land use issues, we can help with that. Hopefully we can resolve them. There can be issues with an applicant's criminal history. In many cases of criminal history, even with felonies, even with drug charges, most often they will not prevent you from getting licensed.


There's a look back period there are other factors that come into play. And similarly most issues with your application can be resolved. And we can help determine whether the issues you're facing can be resolved, and if they are we can help you through that.


Another thing that comes up a lot is can we can we change this license when we purchase it? And depending on how you want to change it, the answer is usually yes. You can't change a license from a producer license to a retail license or any other type of license. But what you can change though is the location, you can change the location when you purchase the license. For a producer license, you can change the tier size, you can change change whether it's outdoor indoor. And so that's really valuable information for a lot of clients, especially if they're buying a producer a producer license, they might find a less expensive tier one license when they want a tier two. You don't have to pay more for tier two, you just submit your application as a tier two.


So again, there's there's a lot of issues that that can come up. But once you've been through the cannabis licensing process a few times, yeah, it's pretty straightforward. And we're happy to help clients with that.

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