Licensing & Applications

Catalyst has secured over 46 licenses in merit-based and highly competitive application and RFP processes with a win rate of nearly 96%

"99 isn’t 100"

The application process for cannabis business licensing is time-consuming and requires a tremendous amount of planning, diligence, regulatory compliance, and operational experience. Hundreds of variables and many moving parts and pieces must come together to fit perfectly inside a framework developed by cannabis regulators and local authorities. From business and security plans to facility design and standard operating procedures, many operations and processes specific to the regulated cannabis industry must be understood and accounted for to develop a compelling application. With cannabis prohibition quickly becoming a thing of the past, the application process has become more competitive.

With more sophisticated and well-funded businesses and organizations looking to secure licensing, the margin for error is razor-thin. Typically, a cannabis business application also includes a hefty non-refundable application fee. In some states, these application fees alone cost upwards of $50,000 -$100,000+. Additional expenses to secure real estate, gain local approval, and secure a team of industry experts can run between six and seven figures. With a limited amount of licenses, applying for licensure is an expensive high-stakes endeavor that requires a great deal of experience, planning, and resources to succeed. You can mitigate risk and maximize your chances of winning a merit-based license by partnering with a team of qualified industry professionals who can offer direct industry insight and use proven strategies and procedures.

The Catalyst BC team brings together some of the most experienced, knowledgeable, and passionate cannabis experts, including award-winning cannabis cultivators, scientists, and successful business owners. Our diverse team of subject matter experts can add or supplement your team’s existing executive and operational expertise to make your application stand out above the rest. Depending on your needs, Catalyst BC can provide strategic advisement throughout the application process. Additional assistance, up to full-service support is available. Catalyst BC can project manage, develop, organize, and compile all segments of the cannabis business application in collaboration with your team to ensure the application aligns with local and state regulations and your company’s vision, mission, and goals.

Catalyst BC has completed and secured over 46 applications in seven states and six countries, including highly competitive limited-license and merit-based application processes. Catalyst’s team of experienced operational advisors and technical writers will custom-design every section of your application to develop a cohesive application that is unique, compliant, and comprehensive. There is a fine line between winning and losing, and no detail is too small; we like to say: “99 isn’t 100”.

If you’re interested in learning more about Licensing & Application support, and service offerings, fill out this form, and we will contact you to schedule a no-cost introductory consultation.

Key Points To Consider Regarding Cannabis Licensing


Cannabis licensing is governed by the laws and regulations of the specific jurisdiction in which you intend to operate. Different countries, states, and provinces have their own regulations, and it's important to understand and comply with the specific requirements of your location.

Types Of Licenses

Licenses can vary depending on the stage of the cannabis industry you wish to enter. Common types of licenses include cultivation licenses (for growing cannabis plants), processing licenses (for converting cannabis into various products such as oils or edibles), distribution licenses (for transporting cannabis products), and retail licenses (for selling cannabis to consumers).

Eligibility Requirements

Licensing authorities typically have eligibility criteria that applicants must meet. These may include factors such as age, residency, criminal background checks, financial stability, and compliance with specific regulations.

Application Process

The process for obtaining a cannabis license typically involves submitting an application to the designated regulatory authority. The application may require detailed information about your business plan, security measures, standard operating procedures, personnel qualifications, financial records, and more. 

The application process may also involve fees and timelines for review.

  1. Compliance and regulations: Once licensed, cannabis businesses are subject to ongoing compliance with regulations. These regulations often cover areas such as security, record-keeping, product testing, packaging and labeling, advertising restrictions, employee training, and more. It’s crucial to stay up to date with the evolving regulations and ensure ongoing compliance to maintain your license.
  2. Local considerations: In addition to meeting general licensing requirements, some jurisdictions may have additional local regulations or zoning restrictions. It’s important to understand and comply with these local considerations, which may include rules regarding the proximity of cannabis businesses to schools, parks, or residential areas.

It’s worth noting that the specific details of cannabis licensing can vary significantly, so it’s important to research and consult with local regulatory authorities or cannabis licensing professionals to ensure you have accurate and up-to-date information for your specific jurisdiction.

Cannabis licensing consulting is a service provided by Catalyst BC to offer guidance and support to individuals or businesses seeking to navigate the complex process of obtaining cannabis licenses and establishing compliant operations.

Some Ways In Which A Cannabis Licensing Consultant Like Us Can Assist Your Business

Licensing Application Support

Cannabis licensing consultants can help clients with the entire licensing application process. They have knowledge of the specific requirements, documentation, and information needed for successful applications. They can provide guidance on filling out the application, ensuring all necessary details are included, and increasing the chances of approval.

Compliance And Regulatory Expertise

Cannabis consultants stay updated with the evolving cannabis laws and regulations. They can help clients understand and navigate the specific compliance requirements for their jurisdiction. They provide guidance on security measures, record-keeping, product testing, packaging and labeling, advertising restrictions, and other regulatory aspects to ensure ongoing compliance.

Business Planning And strategy

A Cannabis licensing consultant can assist with developing comprehensive business plans tailored to the cannabis industry. They can help clients identify target markets, assess competition, establish pricing strategies, and develop operational plans. Consultants with experience in the cannabis industry can provide valuable insights and help clients make informed decisions especially in choosing the most appropriate business strategy.

Industry Connections And Partnerships

Cannabis consultants often have established networks and connections within the industry. They can help clients connect with suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, and other key players in the cannabis supply chain. These connections can be invaluable in building partnerships and sourcing reliable resources for a successful cannabis business.

Local And International Market Insights

Consultants with experience in multiple jurisdictions can provide insights into different cannabis markets. They can offer information on market trends, consumer preferences, and potential challenges or opportunities in specific regions. This knowledge can assist clients in making informed decisions about market entry and expansion strategies.

Ongoing Support And Training

Cannabis licensing consultants can provide ongoing support beyond the initial licensing process. They can offer training programs for staff on compliance requirements, industry best practices, and operational efficiency. Consultants may also provide periodic audits to ensure ongoing compliance and identify areas for improvement.

Other Services

Frequently Asked Questions

The process of obtaining a cannabis license varies depending on the jurisdiction. Generally, you would need to research the specific requirements and regulations of your location, prepare a comprehensive application, and submit it to the designated regulatory authority. It is advisable to consult with professionals or a cannabis licensing consultant to navigate the process effectively.

The types of cannabis licenses available can vary depending on the jurisdiction. Common license types include cultivation licenses (for growing cannabis plants), processing licenses (for manufacturing cannabis products), distribution licenses (for transporting cannabis), and retail licenses (for selling cannabis to consumers). Some jurisdictions may have additional license categories or variations.

Eligibility requirements for a cannabis license can vary. They may include factors such as age, residency, criminal background checks, financial stability, compliance with specific regulations, and sometimes experience in the cannabis industry. The specific requirements will depend on the laws and regulations of your jurisdiction.

The timeframe for the cannabis licensing process can vary significantly. It depends on various factors, including the jurisdiction, the complexity of the application, the efficiency of the regulatory authority, and the overall demand for licenses. The process can range from a few months to over a year in some cases.

Some jurisdictions impose limitations on the number of cannabis licenses issued to control the market and prevent oversaturation. These limitations may include caps on the total number of licenses or restrictions on the number of licenses per category. However, the specific limitations will depend on the regulations of the jurisdiction.

Contact Us

Enough about us. We want to hear more about you, your project, and your vision! Get in touch with a real live person today. Don’t worry, we don’t have a long, confusing phone menu, and your email isn’t going to the abyss, we promise. At Catalyst, we provide the service and support we’d want to experience ourselves!