Why Cannabis License Applications are Denied

There’s Still Risk of Denied Cannabis Applications

There is so much happening in the world of cannabis now, it’s hard to keep things straight at time! For us, we are so excited that there are so many opportunities for new licenses on the horizon. We have Kentucky, we have Minnesota, we have Delaware. We’re even looking at you U.S. Virgin Islands! With all these applications popping up, it’s essential to see why cannabis license applications are denied so you can avoid making these mistakes and submitting a winning application.


The Primary Reason: Missing Business Documents

The first thing to look at are the big issues that face disqualifying cannabis license applications. Frankly the most glaring one is seeing individuals or applicants not taking the application process seriously. This is especially the case for lottery based applications. The initial thought process for many will be “This is a lottery, it’s completely random, I shouldn’t put much focus on this.” 

That is not the mentality to have. Especially since each state’s lottery is unique, and some, like the Commonwealth of Kentucky, have exhausting qualifying criteria to even enter the lottery. The State has every right (and will exercise this right) to disqualify applicants who fail to submit satisfactory business plans, operational plans, financial documents, and more. Take the process seriously and follow the instructions laid out by the State’s regulations and application requirements. If you submit an application that is missing a critical document, you will receive at least a notice for cure, or worse, an immediate disqualification. Be sure to fill everything out, follow the state’s requirements, and address every regulation you can within these crucial narrative documents to avoid deficiencies or rejections.


Forgetting To Correct Easy Mistakes

This is where the cannabis application process can be most frustrating. When you receive a rejection or a deficiency based on something which so easily could have been addressed with some closer reading or without rushing through the application process itself. A misplaced period or comma can really make all the difference. 

For this, we always recommend reviewing the license application thoroughly before hitting that submit button. It may be tempting, and we understand the eagerness and excitement with wanting to submit your application as soon as possible, but most states now do not do applications “first come, first serve.”

There will be a window of time, anywhere from a week to two months, to submit and you don’t need to submit on the very first day (unless the state explicitly says otherwise, but again this is rare). When in doubt, review, take your time and submit the application when its in its best shape. But be mindful, a deadline is still a deadline so give yourself enough time to submit without having to scramble at the last minute.


Trusting The Lawyer/ Friend For Help on the Application

This may be where our bias at Canna Advisors comes into play, but we have often seen prospective applicants forgo cannabis consultant help with the licensing process because they have an attorney (or in some cases just a friend) who can write the application for them.

While we always recommend having local attorney connections and utilizing their expertise in areas necessary for business operations, and having friends enthused about cannabis is always a benefit (they may very well be your first customer!), it can work against you not having a cannabis industry expert work with you through the application process.

Pro Tip: Not All Attorneys are Cannabis Experts

Plainly put, many attorneys are not cannabis specialists. Most in fact are not. Each attorney or firm will have their own niche, and good cannabis specific attorneys are few and far between. Many too do not have knowledge or professional experience with application processes and requirements across cannabis markets in multiple states, which can lend itself well to the application process. And a friend, while they may be an advocate for you and your business, there is no guarantee they know every updated regulation or compliance nuance from the cannabis governing board or can write a financial plan that meets said requirements.


Work with Proven Cannabis Consultants for Winning Results

When in doubt, stick with the proven cannabis professionals. With decades of seasoned, cannabis industry experience stateside and internationally, we’re more than happy to talk with you some more about cannabis business license opportunities and how we can help craft a winning application for you. 

Contact the consultants at Canna Advisors to start work on your cannabis business application or schedule an hourly consultation to get detailed insights regarding your specific state license application.

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