Marijuana Legalization Applications: What Are The Most And Least Difficult States?

Do you want to be the next billionaire from marijuana? It’s a wise strategy to get a piece of the fast-expanding pot pie early on. By 2022, sales are expected to have grown from $6.6 billion to $9.7 billion in this burgeoning industry. A record-setting $2 billion market valuation was reached by MedMen Enterprises, the nation’s top cannabis-only firm, in 2018, a new benchmark for cannabis revenue.

But there are also low moments. Those who want to establish a cannabis company need a law school education to be legally compliant in an industry rife with gray areas and red tape. Every state has its unique set of rules and regulations governing the cannabis industry, and these laws, taxation, licenses, market demand, and community support differ greatly.

With so many things to keep track of, it’s critical to get your cannabis company off the ground in a situation where it’s not only viable but likely to succeed. So we’ve compiled a list of the most and least challenging states for legalizing marijuana.

The Best Places to Start a Cannabis Company

  • Oregon

In Oregon, there has always been something going on. It’s no surprise that California is the nation’s top in coffee, microbrews, and cannabis. In contrast to neighboring California, Oregon is an economic state to establish and maintain a cannabis company. The nation’s lowest application price of only $250 is accessible for all types of cannabis businesses, making it viable to apply for a cannabis company license at this time. 

Compared to the other states on our list, Washington is the only one to have a significantly lower percentage. Though Oregon has one of the lowest cannabis sales prices at $6.65/gram, it also has no excise tax on medicinal marijuana, a lower than average excise tax of 3 percent on recreational marijuana, and no sales tax.

  • Colorado

Getting high in Colorado is simple, thanks to a cheap application cost of $4,500 for all sorts of marijuana businesses. Colorado is a fertile ground for marijuana innovation. The price per gram at $7.14 for one gram in Colorado suggests that the state may be oversaturated and face intense competition. 

No surprise, really; Colorado was the first state to legalize recreational marijuana in 2013. Cannabis entrepreneurs might take hope, though, since the demand for all forms of the drug increased state income by $1.56 billion in 2018. In other words, Colorado still has a lot of ganja potential.

  • Michigan

Michigan, once known as the “auto capital of the world,” is now the third-best state in the country to start a cannabis company. It will cost you $6,000 to apply to be a cannabis company, which is a little more than the average of $5,000 in the country. 

However, because of a low 3% excise tax and a higher-than-average selling price of $9.74/gram, it ranks No. 3 on our ranking of the best marijuana states. As the second-largest population in our top 10, it’s primed for new cannabis suppliers to enter the market.

  • Alaska 

Alaska, one of the country’s wildest states, is also the fourth-best location to launch a cannabis company. The typical start-up cost is $5,000, and applications are accepted for all cannabis businesses, including medicinal and recreational sales of marijuana. Because of increased excise taxes, their average sales price of $10.82/gram is above the national average. There are no income or sales taxes in the state, though.

  • California

Cannabis is not a new phenomenon in California. Legalized medicinal and recreational usage places it at number five on our list for market potential. A $5,000 bond is required for all cannabis company applications, which are now being accepted across the board. 

With a total population of over 39 million people and an annual cannabis income of $2.75 billion, California has a big potential market (as of 2018). Cannabis businesses may thrive even in this high-tax state, which imposes a 15 percent excise tax and a 10 percent sales tax on the drug’s recreational use.

  • Massachusetts

Beans are not the only things being cooked in Boston. Massachusetts preserves its revolutionary heritage in the 21st century as it ranks sixth on our list for launching a cannabis company. There is a retail license cost of $40,000 in Massachusetts. 

However, this compares favorably to states like Illinois, where a $200,000 cultivator-licensing fee is required, or Hawaii (which charges $100,000 per dispensary facility). The state’s 10.75 percent excise tax is mitigated by a higher-than-average per gram sales price of $10.18. There is still a lot of room for development in the cannabis industry in Massachusetts, which generated $106 million in sales in 2018.

States with the Toughest Medical Marijuana Card Applications

  • Maryland

In Maryland, you must first register with the state to acquire your medical marijuana card, unlike most other states. Obtaining a Maryland driver’s license or state-issued photo ID is as simple as providing the state with your valid email address and the last four digits of your SSN. You may book an appointment with a licensed physician after you have received your patient number. Getting your card typically takes 3 to 4 weeks from start to finish.

  • Virginia

One of the states that have seen numerous changes since the first state to allow medicinal marijuana was Virginia. As a result, a certification procedure has emerged, one that has been gradually improved through time. Even though the procedure has been streamlined, a patient must still wait an average of 7-10 days before being approved for medicinal marijuana in Virginia. This may be a time-consuming and tedious operation. However, you may rely on the assistance of our patient care staff at every stage.

  • New York

This state’s medicinal marijuana policy is well known for being one of the most difficult and restricted in the country. To become certified, you only need to talk to a doctor, receive your certification from the state, and pay a small fee. While many states allow you to acquire your card in the mail within a day or two after filing your application, this is not the case in New Jersey. However, if more delays occur, you may continue to use your temporary card for up to 30 days.

  • Missouri

To help those with chronic conditions, several states have made obtaining certification for medicinal marijuana easier. Missouri, unfortunately, isn’t one of those states. As in other states, you must see a doctor and acquire a recommendation before submitting your application with your evidence of residence. 

If your doctor prescribes you medication, there are many applications you’ll need to fill out, making the procedure more complicated. As a result, most patients have to endure lengthy waits, often exceeding 30 days.

  • Ohio

You will have to wait a long time to get your medical marijuana card in Ohio since the state’s medicinal marijuana program was implemented with more limitations and hoops than others were. Your application fee will be paid, and the state’s application will be submitted when you have received your certification from a state-licensed physician and booked your appointment. Once you have received your approval and your card, you will need to activate it via your email to use it.

  • Oklahoma

In a state where the medical marijuana program is relatively young and continuously developing, the procedure for certification is still a touch long in Oklahoma. A doctor’s visit and referral, several types of identification, and evidence of in-state residence are all required for the application process. Your wait will begin after you have submitted your application to the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority. It may take up to 14 days for you to learn whether your application was accepted.


To avoid getting tangled up in the labyrinth of taxes, regulations, and application costs, knowing which state is the hardest to launch a cannabis company in is important. The ideal situation is where marijuana usage is legal, there are no restrictions, and there is a substantial market for the product. 

Keeping in mind that cannabis is still in its infancy in the United States, it is crucial to remember that rules are always evolving. As a result, the green business sector is expanding.

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