Can't-miss Cannabis Business Opportunities in New and Growing Markets

By Jerrico Perez

Aug 21, 2020

Opportunities for growth through licensing are currently abundant for cannabis businesses in select state and local markets across the nation. Our accomplished licensing team has an unmatched track record of success and is ready to work with you to build an application that will serve as the foundation of your future operations' growth!  

If you are interested in applying for any of the licenses highlighted below, please contact Jerrico Perez at or call 303-860-4501 to get started.

State Opportunities


Arkansas announced its proposed rules for medical marijuana processors in June 2020. We expect to see processor license applications released in the next few months. While licenses are not limited, application requirements included in the proposed rules are extensive.

Ohio - Testing Laboratory

The Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program began accepting new testing laboratory license applications in early August. The application window will be open until October 2, 2020. There is no limit to the number of testing lab licenses that may be awarded by the Department.

Rhode Island

The Department of Business Regulation began accepting applications last month from businesses hoping to win a license to operate one of six additional medical marijuana compassion centers. The application period will be open until 3 p.m. on December 15, 2020, and requires a business plan, security and safety plan, and an operational manual, among various other items. Applications that the Department deems “qualified” will be entered into a random lottery process to select licensees.  


Virginia anticipates opening a competitive Request for Application in the last quarter of this year to award one pharmaceutical processor permit, which is a vertically integrated license. The application process will be incredibly competitive, as Virginia is poised to become a lucrative market. VS’s client won a pharmaceutical processor permit in the initial Request for Application process, making us well equipped to help your team achieve the same success in this application round!

West Virginia - Testing Laboratory

West Virginia announced in late June that the Office of Medical Cannabis would reopen the application process for medical testing labs. The state will accept applications indefinitely and will issue an unlimited number of licenses.

Local Opportunities


Led by the VS California office, our team has helped clients submit dozens of successful local and state applications in California. We are intimately familiar with the HdL application process and materials commonly used by California localities in competitive application processes, many of which are quickly approaching!

Coachella, Riverside County: Currently accepting applications for up to 10 Retail Cannabis Dispensaries. Applications are competitive and the deadline for application submission is August 31, 2020.

Concord, Contra Costa County: Concord City Council recently approved the procedure, criteria, and scoring for a merit-based competitive process to select eligible applicants to apply for available licenses for retailers (3), delivery (3), and microbusinesses with a storefront retail component (2). The Request for Proposal for Retail storefront, Non-storefront, and Microbusiness with Storefront Retail is tentatively scheduled for release on October 5, 2020.

El Centro, Imperial County: El Centro anticipates releasing application materials for two retailer licenses in early September. The process will be competitive, but the city has not yet released review criteria. The tentative date for application release is September 1, 2020, with applications due October 30, 2020.

Fresno, Fresno County: Will allow up to 14 retail businesses (although seven more may be authorized by City Council resolution) and up to a total of 16 cultivators, distributors, or manufacturers.
City staff estimates that applications could be available to the public by mid-September 2020 and will be competitive with much of the criteria focusing on social equity.

Novato, Marin County: The city recently approved its application procedures and selection criteria. Novato will permit unlimited non-store front retailers, two manufacturers, two indoor cultivators, two testing facilities, three microbusinesses, and one distribution-only operator. We expect to see the application released in the next few weeks.

Oceanside, San Diego County: The city will accept applications for medical distribution, medicinal manufacturing, and medical testing facilities until October 1, 2020. The application process will be competitive.

San Bernardino, San Bernardino County: In early August, City Council approved an ordinance that will increase the number of issued licenses to permit up to a maximum of 11 retail and microbusiness permits combined. Additionally, it will allow for an unlimited number of permits for the other license types: delivery, indoor/mixed-light cultivation (outdoor prohibited), distribution, testing, and manufacturing. The city developed a competitive application process and has released draft application materials.

Santa Barbara County: Announced that they anticipate releasing the application for Storefront Retail licenses in September 2020. County Code permits one cannabis storefront retail operation in each of six specifically designated community plan areas within the unincorporated area of the county. The application process will be very competitive and the scoring criteria requires a detailed plan that necessitates significant preparation. Contact us today to get started on putting together a winning application!

Stanton, Orange County: Stanton will allow four of each license type (except for outdoor cultivators). The City Council adopted resolutions solidifying business taxes, permitting fees, and City-to-applicant communication protocols on July 14. Staff expects to release application materials within the next two weeks.

Suisun, Solano County: Currently accepting applications for two Storefront Retailer licenses. The deadline to submit is September 1, 2020.


Vicente Sederberg’s licensing team and our partners at the Michigan based law firm, Cannabis Legal Group, have submitted dozens of local medical and recreational marijuana facility applications, including multiple successful competitive applications, in addition to state license applications. Current and future opportunities are detailed below.

Coldwater: Anticipates accepting adult-use marijuana establishment license applications on September 1, 2020. Zoning restrictions make for a limited number of compliant locations.

Portage: Accepting applications for adult-use marijuana establishments through Thursday, September 17, 2020 at 5:00 p.m.

Royal Oak: A recently approved recreational marijuana licensing ordinance limits recreational establishments to only two retailers, two microbusinesses, three growers, and one processor. The application process will be incredibly competitive, and we expect the Commission to release applications in September 2020.

Sturgis: Accepting adult-use applications for all facility types from September 1 through November 23, 2020. Sturgis lies on the Michigan-Indiana border, making this a very unique and potentially lucrative opportunity for interested businesses. 

Traverse City: Commissioners recently approved new rules allowing up to four adult-use retail dispensaries to operate in the city. The city expects to open the application window very soon for what will likely be a fiercely competitive process for the valuable licenses.

Vicente Sederberg LLP will continue to closely monitor merit licensing opportunities across the country to provide up-to-date information for our clients. We are here to be your trusted partner through these difficult times. If you are interested in new opportunities in cannabis, please contact us.


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