Alabama Cannabis Consultant Overview:

How To Open A Marijuana Business in Alabama

Are you interested in starting a cannabis business in Alabama? The cannabis consultants at New Leaf can help you navigate the process!

This summary of Alabama requirements and license application process outlines what it takes to win a marijuana business license. Get started today to meet the demands of consumers! Schedule a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable cannabis consultants in Alabama.

Alabama Cannabis Consulting Firm & License Application Experts

New Leaf Cannabis Consulting is the #1 Top Rated Cannabis Application Writing, Consulting, and Capital Fundraising one-stop-shop in the U.S. We offer a complete range of services from business model formation and planning, to state licensure, to raising capital and finding investors for the business.

New Leaf has worked with over 180 clients in over 16 different states since we opened our doors in 2015. Our success rate is well over 95% across the board. We offer more services than any of our competition.

If you need cash for your cannabis startup, and/or state and municipal license approval for a completely reasonable price, look no further than New Leaf Cannabis Consulting.

Cannabis Market Condition Overview

Business Climate and Timeline

  • Starting September 1, 2022, a person may apply to the commission for a license for an integrated facility or for a license as a cultivator, processor, secure transporter, state testing laboratory or dispensary.
  • Request for Business Applications will be available from September 1, 2022 through October 17, 2022. Applicants must submit a Request for Business Application to receive a Business Application Form. The Business Application Forms will be issued on October 24, 2022.
  • There is a $2,500 non-refundable application fee for all license types.
  • As of September 15, 2022, the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission (AMCC) has not awarded any license types.

Real Estate & Zoning

In most states, you will need to lock down the location for business operations in the form of either a lease, lease with option to purchase, or a purchase agreement.

Most importantly, during the real estate acquisition process, your company MUST make sure that the actual location COMPLETELY adheres to state and municipal regulations regarding distance restrictions from other businesses such as a daycare or school. An example of this would be Dispensary/Retail. Most times you will not be able to locate your dispensary in a section of the city which is not zoned specifically for retail. Your dispensary location cannot be located anywhere else. Check with the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission website for locality resolutions and ordinances.

Usually the next step is Municipal/City/Township Approval. Nine times out of ten, these steps will need to take place before the full license application can be completed and submitted.

Laws and Regulations

As you get started, read up on Alabama’s laws, rules, and regulations. Alabama cannabis information can be found at The Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission oversees the issuance of cannabis business licenses in Alabama.

Need assistance getting an Alabama cannabis business license?  Schedule a Free Consultation

Alabama Cannabis License Types

Currently there are six different types of cannabis business licenses in Alabama. These include:

Integrated Facility. An integrated facility license authorizes all of the following:

  • The cultivation of cannabis.
  • The processing of cannabis into medical cannabis, including proper packaging and labeling of medical cannabis products.
  • The dispensing and sale of medical cannabis only to a registered qualified patient or registered caregiver.
  • The transport of cannabis or medical cannabis between its facilities.
  • The sale or transfer of medical cannabis to a dispensary.

Cultivator. A cultivator license authorizes all of the following:

  • The cultivation of cannabis.
  • The sale or transfer of cannabis to a processor.
  • If the cultivator contracts with a processor to process its cannabis into medical cannabis on the cultivator’s behalf, the sale or transfer of medical cannabis to a dispensary.

Processor. A processor license authorizes all of the following:

  • The purchase or transfer of cannabis from a cultivator.
  • The processing of cannabis into medical cannabis which shall include properly packaging and labeling medical cannabis products, in accordance with the law.
  • The sale or transfer of medical cannabis to a dispensary.

Dispensary. A dispensary license authorizes all of the following:

  • The purchase or transfer of medical cannabis from a processor.
  • If a cultivator contracted with a processor to process its cannabis into medical cannabis on the cultivator’s behalf, the purchase or transfer of medical cannabis from the cultivator.
  • The purchase or transfer of medical cannabis from an integrated facility.
  • The dispensing and sale of medical cannabis only to a registered qualified patient or registered caregiver.

Secure Transporter. A secure transporter license authorizes the licensee to store and transport cannabis and medical cannabis for a fee upon request of a licensee. A license does not authorize transport to a registered qualified patient or registered caregiver.

State Testing Laboratory. The state testing laboratory license authorizes licensees to possess and test cannabis and medical cannabis products cultivated or processed at licensed facilities.

Alabama Cannabis License Process and Scoring Criteria

Alabama Cannabis License Requirements

Cannabis licenses are awarded by having a complete and well written application and all required supplemental documentation as well as city approval. An applicant’s criminal history also comes into play as well as past taxes of the owner/directors of the company. And of course, sometimes there is a required proof of capitalization — i.e. proving that you will have enough money in the bank to build out and run your business.

In highly competitive states such as Illinois or New York, there is a scoring process for an extremely limited number of available licenses. Licenses will be awarded to only the best of the best submissions. It is highly suggested that you hire an agency that can provide you with an “above and beyond” application submission.

Eligibility for an Cannabis License in Alabama

To apply for a marijuana license in Alabama, applicants must meet several qualifications and eligibility requirements necessary to receive a license. Each applicant must be 21 years of age or older and is required to undergo a criminal background check.

Application Requirements for Marijuana Licenses in Alabama

To apply for a cannabis business license, you must show compliance with Alabama laws and local ordinances. To illustrate your commitment to the process, hundreds of pages of technical writing may be necessary.

Some of the necessary documentation includes the following:

  • License Application (Required Measures and/or Exhibits). A well written application will need to be written in lockstep with the State Regulations for each Exhibit/measure.
  • Business Plan. Including executive summary, mission statement, market analysis, 5 to 7 year business life-cycle timeline with expansion events. Products and services, management and staff, SWOT analysis, quality assurance and compliance.
  • Financials. Full 5 to 7 year financial projections, income statement, balance sheet, statement of cash flows.
  • Operations Manuals, Exhibits and SOP’s such as:
    • Inventory and Recordkeeping/Diversion
    • Quality Assurance Manuals
    • Operations Manuals/Procedures for cultivation, processing, dispensary, lab testing, transportation
    • Transportation and Distribution Plan
    • Employee, Staffing and Training Manuals
    • Social and Economic Impact/equity plans/community outreach plan
    • Environmental Plans with water and electrical usage plan/manual
    • Chemical and Pesticide Storage Plans
    • Waste Disposal Procedures
    • Accounting and Tax Compliance
    • Hemp Research Plan
    • Sanitation and Maintenance Plans
    • Odor Control Plan
    • Patient/Customer Education Manuals (mainly for dispensary/retail)
  • Labor/Union Compliance Agreements
  • Training Manuals. New Leaf will design manuals to your specifications, along with state regulations, for all cannabis business models
  • Regulatory Compliance Manuals. These explain all the different regulatory compliance regulations, such as quality assurance, product recall, packaging and labeling, advertising, hours of operation, patient and/or customer purchase limits, staffing and training, inventory and record keeping, security, tax payment and insurance compliance.
  • Security Plan. Video Surveillance, Alarm System, Emergency Procedures.
  • Floor Plans, Blueprints. To-Scale, with Security Overlays. Floor plans of the entire facility.
  • Corporate Structuring. Social Equity Certification and Registration, LLC and Corporation Registration and FEIN filing, Operating Agreements, Capitalization Tables, Shareholder Rights and Regulations Consultation, Corporate Bylaw Strategy.

Post Licensure Support. New Leaf serves as a liaison between you, your company, and the State Licensing Commission to help you get through the application evaluation. The State, no matter how good your application is, most definitely will have follow up questions and requests for additional documentation and/or information.

Denial Appeal. Denial appeal is also part of the Post licensure Support.

Financial Requirements — How much does it cost to get a cannabis license in Alabama?

Many states will require what is known as a Capitalization Attestation. What is this, you may ask? A capitalization attestation is usually done by a CPA. It involves submitting your profit and loss statements, bank account information, proof of funds, and an assumption of the costs for startup CapEx and OpEx.

Need Cash for your Cannabis Startup? New Leaf offers a full suite of Investment Capital Fundraising Services including corporate structuring and partnership agreements, 409 (B) company valuations, 5-7 year pro forma financial projections, and more! New Leaf will act on your behalf in actually SHOPPING the deal to our syndicate of accredited investors from across the globe. We can help you successfully raise the capital needed to get your project off the ground. Find out more here.

Application Fees and Annual License Fees

  • The non-refundable application fee for all license types is $2,500.
  • Integrated Facility Annual License Fee: $50,000
  • Cultivator Annual License Fee: $40,000
  • Processor Annual License Fee: $40,000
  • Dispensary Annual License Fee: $40,000
  • Secure Transporter Annual License Fee: $30,000
  • State Testing Laboratory Annual License Fee: $30,000

How to Win an Alabama Cannabis Business License

A step-by-step guide on how to apply for and WIN a cannabis license in Alabama.

  1. Review the state laws, rules & regulations. Learn about the rules and regulations necessary to operate a cannabis business in the state of Alabama. This will help you and your team understand the requirements to win a cannabis license.
  2. Choose an Alabama cannabis business license type. Alabama issues six different types of cannabis business licenses.
  3. Connect with an Alabama cannabis consulting firm. Consider reaching out to an Alabama cannabis consultant. Cannabis business license applications can be extremely complex and time-consuming to write. The professional Alabama marijuana consultants at New Leaf can manage the entire process for you. We can assist you with license application writing services, increasing your chance of winning a cannabis license in Alabama. Book a free consultation today!
  4. Form a business entity. Forming a legal business entity is the next step in the process of applying for a cannabis license in Alabama. LLCs and corporations are the two types most commonly formed by cannabis applicants. Find out which is the best choice for your business goals — we can help.
  5. Select a location for your cannabis business in Alabama. Choosing a property for your cannabis business that meets all the state and local requirements can be complicated as well. Our experience with zoning processes that can help you find the ideal property for your marijuana business.
  6. Build the best team. The team that you list on your application will have a major impact on whether or not you receive a license.
  7. Write a business plan. After securing a location for your cannabis business, the next step is to develop a carefully detailed business plan. Your business plan will help lay out your goals and track progress as your business begins to grow. Business plans can also help attract investors. Investors use them to determine if a business is on the right path and worth putting money into.
  8. Raise capital for your Alabama cannabis business. Although start-up costs for a cannabis business can be significant, careful planning and the right team can make it a huge success. New Leaf can help you craft a detailed plan and get it into the hands of investors.
  9. Write and submit your Alabama cannabis business application. Depending on type of license, applicants may need to write and submit the following documentation:
  • Business Plan and Financials
  • Corporate Structuring
  • Safety and Security Plan
  • Location Information
  • Waste Disposal Procedures
  • Transportation and Distribution Plans
  • Employee, Staffing and Training Manuals
  • Regulatory and Compliance Plans
  • Quality Assurance and Control Plans
  • and much more!