Starting a cannabis company in Louisiana? We’ve put together a state-specific guide covering everything from available license types to fees, requirements, and what you should include in a Louisiana cannabis business plan. Jump to a section by clicking below, or go straight to our sample cannabis business plan.
Since SB 271 passed in 2016, Louisiana adults can possess a 30-day supply of cannabis if they have a recommendation from a doctor. Licensed medical marijuana businesses can grow and sell cannabis in some forms; flower and vaporizable forms are not allowed, but products like oils, edibles, and capsules are.
There are currently about 5,000 medical marijuana patients in the state of Louisiana; it is hard to determine the exact number because the state has yet to set up a registration system. The total sales of medical marijuana in 2021 is expected to be about $25 million.
Louisiana issues licenses for two broad categories of cannabis businesses: licensed pharmacies (aka dispensaries) and cultivators, and testing companies. The state only permits two cultivator licenses (both filled) and ten pharmacy licenses. Nine of the 10 pharmacy licenses are distributed and there’s no indication from the state that it will be accepting applications for the remaining license anytime soon.
Pharmacy: This is a dispensary where patients can purchase medical marijuana. Louisiana dispensaries must follow strict state-mandated protocols for product labeling, packaging, testing, and more.
Cultivator: These businesses, also called grow operations, grow cannabis plants, process them into legal forms such as tinctures, and sell them through a dispensary. Like dispensaries, grow operations also are required to keep thorough documentation, including water sources, smell abatement procedures, and so forth.
Ancillary business: If you don’t want to grow, test, or sell cannabis in Louisiana, there are plenty of other ways to be part of the state’s cannabis industry. You can create a marijuana app, payment processing service, consulting firm, pest management product, accounting firm, automated plant watering system, security service, packaging labeling service, or legal firm--and that’s just the tip of the iceberg!
Local governments may forbid cannabis companies or certain locations, so check city and county regulations.
Application fees: Applying for a cannabis business license in Louisiana costs $450.
License fees: The annual fee to operate a cultivators is $100,000. There is no annual license fee for pharmacies.
Financial requirement: You have to have $100,000 in escrow, bond, or letter of credit to open a medical marijuana business in Louisiana.
A business plan is not required to get a medical marijuana business license in Louisiana, but it will certainly make the process easier. Your application already has to include information on your facility, location, management, and operations, some of which naturally overlaps with a business plan. And if you plan on raising funding from investors, you definitely need a business plan.
Google your city or municipality name and “cannabis regulations” or “marijuana laws.” If your city or municipality’s website doesn’t have information about cannabis, contact your city clerk, city manager, or town hall.
Confused or overwhelmed yet? That’s normal. With such a highly regulated industry, and one with different rules in every state, starting a cannabis company can be very complex. Get help with your cannabis business plan from Masterplans, the industry leaders. We’ve worked with hundreds of cannabis entrepreneurs like yourself to create investor-ready documents and presentations so you can not only meet regulations but get the funding you need. Click below for your free, confidential consultation: