Checklist to Win a Cannabis Business License in Pennsylvania
Medical marijuana has been legal in Pennsylvania for the past 5 years. Now, the state is considering legalizing an adult-use market in the near future. New Jersey and New York recently legalized adult-use marijuana markets and Pennsylvania will quickly follow.
To find out more about a potential adult-use market in Pennsylvania, click here.
Current Application Process for Medical Marijuana Market in Pennsylvania
The expert marijuana consultants at Quantum 9 performed a week-long review of the Pennsylvania cannabis license (PA) Senate Bill 3 and have provided a checklist for applicants to acquire cultivation/ processing or dispensary licenses.
This information is taken right out of the Senate Bill 3 pages 114-120
- Provide verification of all principals, operators, financial backers, or employees. Verification will more than likely appear in the application form and will require the social security numbers of each member involved.
- Provide a description of responsibilities as a principal, operator, financial backer, or employee. Your application should outline the involvement of each member that is listed on the application including investors.
- Provide any release necessary from governmental agencies, employers, and other organizations. This provision is for governmental officials that are trying to enter the industry. This rule would apply for a former state senator or similar political position. It is not illegal for a state official to hold a position or invest in a medical marijuana organization, a certain amount of time would need to pass for that to be possible. Additional releases may be required depending on what position the politician held. Other regulations apply.
- Provide a criminal history record check of all principals, operators, financial backers or employees to Pennsylvania state police. All parties that are listed on the application will need to perform fingerprinting to run federal background checks. In most states, this can be conducted at a location that can handle Live Scan fingerprints. In a state like Hawaii, only the social security number is needed to do the background check.
- Provide details relating to a similar license, permit, or other authorization obtained in another jurisdiction, including any suspension, revocations, or discipline in that jurisdiction. The provision can be fulfilled by showing the state that your team has similar FDA licenses to dispense schedule one narcotics from the government or State medical marijuana licenses. It is vital to partner with a current operating group.
- Provide a description of the business activates in which it intends to engage as a medical marijuana organization. This description will more than likely be checkboxes of what the organization intended to do cultivation/ processing or dispensary or both. A written statement may also be required.
Statements from the Applicant in Pennsylvania
Applicant must be of Good Moral Character
An applicant for a cannabis business in Pennsylvania must be of good moral character. For the purpose of this subparagraph, an applicant shall include each financial backer, operator, employee, and principal of the medical marijuana organization.
- Proving good moral character can be provided by outlining philanthropic acts the members of the organization have done. For example, a Nobel Peace Prize would be an incredible accolade to highlight good moral character. Many of these stories will be told in your business plan. Also, not being involved in illegal activity or not have contacts that are known as unauthorized persons of interest.
An applicant must possess the ability to obtain in an expeditious manner the right to use sufficient land, buildings, and other premises and equipment to properly carry out the activity described in the application and any proposed location for a facility.
- For cultivation and processing applicants, when you submit your application, you will want all of your properties under control. The ideal situation is for the land to be owned by the submitting entity, a close second is an exclusive option on the property. For a retail outlet, it is not as important to own the property since most people lease. For these types of rental contracts make sure there are out clauses if you are unable to obtain licenses. Also, have provisions within the contract that have out clauses about changes within the program that renders the property illegal. The cannabis industry is an ever-changing landscape and changes in the law can make your property useless. Try to get a five-year lease with a five-year extension arm that caps the rent to an acceptable raise percentage. Don’t get caught in a situation where your landlord increases the rent to an unfavorable increase.
Equipment for your Marijuana Business in Pennsylvania
About equipment, you should have an entire asset list including horticultural assets, extraction assets, and all dispensary storage assets identified.
- The ideal submission will have proposals from equipment providers including purchase orders in the event the applicant is successful in obtaining a license.
Security and Safety for your Marijuana Business in Pennsylvania
You have to be able to maintain effective security and control to prevent diversion, abuse, and other illegal conduct related to medical marijuana.
- Your application should submit a security protocol that addresses diversion, abuse, and other illegal conduct related to medical marijuana. Our security protocol is over 100 pages and includes provisions and procedures covering all aspects of the State’s rules and regulations.
You have to be able to comply with all applicable Commonwealth laws and regulations relating to the activities in which it intends to engage under this act.
- Your application should include a Compliance Plan that outlines exactly how your company will address all the state requirements. The Compliance Plan should describe security, recordkeeping, transportation, and all other items the State publishes within the bill and the rules and regulations.
Submit an Affidavit
Provide the name, residential address, and titles of each financial backer and principal of the applicant. Each individual, or lawful representative of a legal entity, shall submit an affidavit with the application setting forth: This provision will more than likely appear as a form.
- Any position of management or ownership during the preceding 10 years of a controlling interest in any other business, located inside or outside this commonwealth, manufacturing or distributing controlled substances. This provision will more than likely appear as a form. It is a good thing that your company has this type of experience. The State is looking for operators that have worked previously in highly regulated environments. The ideal situation is from healthcare or the medical marijuana field.
Criminal Offense and Diversion Plan
- Provide a statement of whether the person or business has been convicted of a criminal offense graded higher than a summary offense or has had a permit relating to medical marijuana suspended or revoked in any administrative or judicial proceeding. This provision will more than likely appear as an affidavit.
- Provide any other information the department may require. This provision is wide open, other critical information we suggest providing are protocols and procedures that govern the organization’s operations.
- Provide a plan to maintain effective control of and prevent diversion of medical marijuana. Your application should include a Diversion Plan; this will typically be within the Security Plan, but since they ask for this directly, we would list this as a separate document.
Business Plan for a Marijuana Business in Pennsylvania
- Provide evidence that the dispensing location is in an area of a high regional population. This information should be highlighted in your Business Plan.
- Provide evidence that the area in which the facility is located has a high population of patients suffering from serious medical conditions. This information should be highlighted in your Business Plan
- Provide evidence that the location is close to public transportation. This information should be highlighted in your Business Plan
- Provide a plan that the applicant is ready and able to properly carry on the activity for a permit. This is information that should be included in your Business Plan.
Learn more about a cannabis business plan from our cannabis consulting firm in Pennsylvania.
Provide a plan to implement and maintain security relating to the acquisition, possession, growth, manufacture, sale, delivery, transportation, distribution or dispensing of medical marijuana as required by the department. This provision is in reference again to the Security Plan.
Provide a plan to implement and maintain surveillance systems relating to the acquisition, possession, growth, manufacture, sale, delivery, transportation, distribution, or dispensing of medical marijuana as required by the department. This provision is in reference again to the Security Plan.
Overall, we see many references to security. Your Security Plan should focus on exactly how security will be handled. Start interviewing security providers and draft a Security Plan. Time is of the essence. If you have not already put an executive team together you are already behind most of the major competition in your area.
Tracking and Recordkeeping Plan
Provide a plan to implement and maintain tracking relating to the acquisition, possession, growth, manufacture, sale, delivery, transportation, distribution, or dispensing of medical marijuana as required by the department. This provision is in reference to your Recordkeeping Plan.
Provide a plan to implement and maintain recordkeeping relating to the acquisition, possession, growth, manufacture, sale, delivery, transportation, distribution, or dispensing of medical marijuana as required by the department. This provision is in reference again to your Recordkeeping Plan.
Additional Required Information
You must provide a plan on how the applicant will comply with all applicable laws of this commonwealth. This again is a reference to your Compliance Plan. For additional assistance on your marijuana application in Pennsylvania, contact our expert cannabis business consultants.
NEED LAST MINUTE GROWER/PROCESSOR AND/OR DISPENSARY HELP?
Are you stressing to complete your Pennsylvania Medical Cannabis Grower/Processor and/or Dispensary Application? Want some last-minute help from a top Pennsylvania Cannabis Consulting Firm? Contact Quantum 9 for last-minute assistance on your PA Grower/Processor. For assistant with Dispensary Application submission. Or for assistance on Grower/Processor questions 10-22 and Dispensary questions 10-17. It’s not too late to strengthen your submission, but don’t delay and call your Pennsylvania Dispensary Marijuana Consultants today.
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