How To Start A Medical Marijuana Business

For those wanting to get into the business of medical marijuana, there are several kinds of businesses to choose from, each with its own set of rules and regulations. With the current Missouri law, there are specifications set for three types of facilities: cultivation, infused products manufacturing, and dispensaries. Each of these requires its own unique license to operate legally within the state.

Find out what each business entails and we’ll give you some tips on how to best operate your facility.

Types of medical cannabis businesses

Interested entrepreneurs may choose to get involved with one or more of the following medical marijuana facilities:

Cultivation facilities

What are they?: These facilities are used to cultivate and grow medical marijuana to sell to infused product manufacturing facilities and dispensaries.

How much is a license?: A cultivation license has a $10,000 application fee and a $25,000 annual fee if awarded a license.

What do I need to get started?: Cultivation facilities require a great deal of knowledge, ideally from someone who is trained in horticulture. Since marijuana can be a tricky crop to grow, you’ll need to understand the climate in which it thrives and how to keep it from dying. You will also need to choose from an indoor or outdoor facility. You may have more space with an outdoor facility, but an indoor facility provides more safety and protection for your product.

Infused products manufacturing

What are they?: Infused products are any product that contains medical marijuana to be used as medicine. This may include edible products, creams, patches and more. A manufacturing facility would be responsible for making these products.

How much is a license?: Application fees for infused products manufacturing are $6,000, and you will have a $10,000 annual fee if awarded a license.

What do I need to get started?: In order to create infused products, you’ll need a source for your cannabis. This could be your own cultivation facility, or you may need to make a connection with another facility. You will also need to plan what you want your products to be — what kind of infused products do you intend to make? Is there a market for that kind of product?

Dispensary facilities

What are they?: Dispensaries provide medical marijuana to patients who have received a medical card from the State of Missouri.

How much is a license?: A dispensary license application fee is $6,000 with an annual fee of $10,000 once a license is given.

What do I need to get started?: Since dispensaries are the most visible of these facilities, there will be a greater deal of rules and regulations. You should have a consulting team on your side to help you navigate the regulations as they emerge so that you don’t risk losing your license. Since these facilities are so visible, you’ll also need safety measures in place to ensure that you and your employees are kept safe from potential theft or break-ins.

Tips to get your business started

No matter what kind of facility you plan on starting, these tips can help you understand a bit more about the process of getting and maintaining your license:

  • Make yourself stand out. In Missouri, hundreds of applications will be filed on the August 3rd initial application date and each will be competing for a limited number of licenses, so it’s important to find your niche.
  • Getting a license and starting a medical marijuana business doesn’t happen overnight. State and federal regulations could keep you held up for some time, so be aware of the potential delays you may face. Note that Missouri’s rules and regulations have not yet been set, and these rules will determine where your facility can be located and where you can do business in the state.
  • Have someone on your side who understands the process. Lawyers with experience in the field will be able to help you understand the law within the state and ensure you don’t lose your license.
  • You’ll need financial backing, and you can’t exactly head to the bank to get a loan. Start looking for investors early, since medical marijuana businesses typically need a great deal of start-up capital to be successful.


Do you need guidance for starting your medical marijuana business?

Contact Reynolds & Gold. We can provide the legal guidance you need to get your business off the ground and running.