3 Things to Watch for When Preparing a Cannabis License Application

1. Timing/Preparation

A good cannabis license application can take months or years to create. Consultants will frequently put in thousands of hours researching, writing, and interviewing people. In order to make an application more competitive, cannabis consultants will find vendors selling any sort of new product relative to the industry, and then have them sign an exclusivity agreement. Products can be anything from cleaning solution intended for processing equipment, to software that manages employee training. Experienced cannabis business consultants like including these things in the application because it gives them a competitive edge for their clients. However, the process is very time consuming because it requires a great deal of research and negotiation.

The best thing any client, or would-be licensee can do is to plan ahead. Start working months in advance. If that’s not an option, then carefully selecting a consultant who can work quickly under pressure will be key to success.

2. Cannabis Business Compliance

Before the application is released, the state or municipality will publish regulations that spell out how products should be labeled, whether wholesaling is permitted, and even acceptable hours of operation. The application needs to rigorously comply with all of the state and local regulations. This requires careful study, which many clients dislike doing. Regulations are never fun to read but I will read them many, many times over the course of writing an application.

There are also federal regulations that play a part in any application. The business must comply with HIPAA as well as all OSHA standards. Federal labor laws must be adhered to. The Americans with Disabilities Act is a relevant piece of legislation, as well.

3. Writing/Organization

The writing style needs to be cohesive, eloquent, and fast-paced. The single hardest part of preparing an application is presenting the information. I have to find a way to marry dull information with a style that keeps the reader engaged. It’s not easy. Whenever I can, I tell things in the format of a story.

Trial lawyers prepare what’s called a “theory of the case.” It’s a single, unifying statement about why your client deserves to win the suit. Good trial lawyers will boil an entire case into a single sentence that summarizes the entire case. When I write a competitive application, I do the very same thing; I work with the client to come up with one comprehensive statement about why MY client deserves to win a license, then I incorporate that statement into every narrative. It helps tie the whole application together, and it helps the reader remember this applicant.

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