Growing, ordering or distributing marijuana for medicinal use is now allowed in several states as many doctors now recommend it for various conditions. In order to become a producer of medical marijuana you will need to get a license with your state and check on local requirements. In Canada, the licensing process for a marijuana producer is done through Health Canada. The following steps will help you become a licensed producer of medical marijuana in North America.
1. Learn federal requirements.
Even if the federal government's policy is to stop treating marijuana users as criminals, it's important to realize the risk and stigma involved with the drug. Whether you are a caregiver or patient, you may still face federal law enforcement at some point, in which you may need to present a license. In some cases, dispensaries have been shut down even when they were licensed due to changes in local ordinances. Canada's new marijuana law in 2014 no longer allows patients to grow marijuana at home unless they have a production license, although the courts have temporarily overruled the law in favor of home growers.
2. Find out local requirements.
Local governments actually have the final world on marijuana as far as restrictions. Cities and towns with anti-pot sentiments can be found in states or provinces that are pro-pot. In order to be a licensed producer of medical marijuana, you will need approval from the city, town or unincorporated area where you want to do business. Bigger cities tend to be more lenient on medical cannabis. Chances are you will need to meet a series of requirements, such as a seller's permit, a federal tax ID number, a state employer ID number as well as a DBA. In many states, dispensaries are required to incorporate or structure as an LLC.
3. Get a doctor's recommendation.
Most jurisdictions still require a note from a doctor in order to grant patients permission to grow cannabis at home. You will more likely to be able to become a caregiver if you register as a "Cannabis Club" patient. In some places, especially Canada, fines can be severe for not getting a recommendation from a doctor to grow marijuana. Even though a majority of doctors now think marijuana has legitimate medicinal value, many still only recommend it for certain extreme conditions, such as chronic pain, cancer and glaucoma. Many times the process gets easier after getting past the hurdle of the doctor's note.
4. File application and Pay Fees.
An application to become a licensed producer of medical marijuana can be obtained through government websites. Some applications may ask information about your transportation or delivery service. They may also ask about the quantity of marijuana that will be involved and how it will be produced. Separate applications usually must be filed for operating separate dispensaries. In some places, you may need to provide documentation of your medical history. You will certainly not be allowed to operate a dispensary or cannabis farm near a school or place where children are normally present.
5. Stay Updated on Licensing.
Many states in the United States require that you get a medical marijuana card to become a marijuana patient or a caregiver who assists marijuana patients. The card protects you in the event of a law enforcement raid, although federal officials reserve the authority to still arrest individuals even if licensed. With Canada's new marijuana laws causing confusion it's important to keep up to date with developments on regulations and requirements. As long as marijuana is against federal law, there is risk using it even with a license.