Each state legislates the activities licensees are authorized to perform, and each state has different variations of these activities. In order to help normalize this information, Cannabiz Media has come up with the following standard terminology to define what a cannabis license permits. Note that in some states a license may grant one or more activities. Our definitions are as follows:

  • Cultivator: License is for the growing of marijuana. Output is flower or leaf only, not oils, MIPs (Marijuana Infused Products), or other such products.
  • Manufacturer: License is for the processing (manufacturing) of marijuana-infused products, such as edibles or concentrates, but does not include cultivation or retail sale to customers (flower in, product out).
  • Testing: License is to conduct lab tests on different marijuana products or flower.
  • Dispensary: License is for the sale of marijuana and infused products to registered medical patients. Selling for recreational use is not authorized by this activity alone, but some states license both Dispensary and Retailer activities to the same license.
  • Retailer: License is for the sale of marijuana and infused products for recreational use. Some states license both Dispensary and Retailer activities to the same license.
  • Distributor: License is for the movement of cannabis between the facilities described above in the seed-to-sale pipeline. 
  • Delivery: Transports (delivers) marijuana, or marijuana products to consumers.
  • Microbusiness:  Refers to a license unique to California that encompasses businesses that are permitted to undertake multiple activities, such as cultivation, manufacturing, distribution, delivery, or even on-site sales to customers.
  • Research: Permits license holders to engage in clinical studies with patients or other research and development (laboratory) work. Research license holders may also be permitted to undertake additional activities, depending on the jurisdiction.
  • Event: Permits organization of a one-time or recurring event, which may include retail sales and cannabis consumption by attendees.
  • Consumption - License for the on-site consumption of cannabis. Depending on the state, this could be linked to an existing Dispensary/Retailer License , or be stand alone. Stand alone Consumption Licenses might indicate a lounge, art gallery, coffee shop, etc - a place where no cannabis is sold, but consumption is allowed. . 

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