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State Licensing & Registration

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Legal Representatives for Cannabis Licensing in Key Markets

We are cannabis law experts prepared to strengthen your license application and help you maintain compliance.

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Trust Our Cannabis State License Lawyers

Harris Sliwoski provides legal guidance and representation for businesses navigating cannabis licensure in various states. Our experienced legal team will help you complete the necessary steps to obtain, maintain or defend your cannabis license. We leverage our acute knowledge of the medical and recreational cannabis laws across states to support our clients’ businesses.

As your legal representative or advisor, we will help you understand and meet your state’s cannabis license requirements. Our team will meet with you to discuss the license application process and the documentation you will need to provide. With our support, you can meet all licensure requirements and submit a competitive application.

In addition to applying for a license, we can help you keep it. Harris Sliwoski can send attorneys to your facility to audit your business for compliance with relevant cannabis laws. We can also represent you in court to strengthen your case in the event of a compliance inquiry.

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Learn About Cannabis State Licenses

Cannabis laws vary by state, as does the process of obtaining a license to sell cannabis. At Harris Sliwoski, we focus on cannabis laws as they pertain to California, Arizona, Utah and Washington.


California businesses require a state license, and the applicant must be a California resident. There are seven types of California cannabis licenses that businesses can obtain:

  • Cultivating cannabis
  • Transporting cannabis to sellers
  • Manufacturing cannabis products
  • Testing cannabis and cannabis products
  • Retail licensing
  • Hosting events involving cannabis sales
  • Performing three of the above functions at one location


Businesses in Arizona must obtain one of four state licenses depending on the business’s activity or function. The Marijuana Establishment license covers the cultivation and manufacturing of cannabis. Cannabis distribution is prohibited in Arizona at this time — all sales and cultivation must occur on the same property.

Arizona also offers a medical marijuana dispensary license for non-profit medicinal sales. A third type of license, the Social Equity Dispensary license, is available for qualifying individuals and their families who were convicted of a cannabis charge prior to the substance’s legalization. The state offers a testing license for independent laboratories aiming to analyze medical marijuana and similar products within Arizona, as well.


Businesses may only sell cannabis for medicinal use in Utah, as recreational cannabis remains illegal and criminalized. This state offers a processing license with two tiers. The first tier allows the processing, formulation, packaging and labeling of cannabis products, while the second only permits packaging and labeling. An additional cultivation license is available. Utah also offers a cannabis cultivator license. The processing and cultivation licenses each require annual renewal.


Washington was the first state to legalize recreational cannabis. The state offers a finite number of cannabis licenses for businesses. Licensing for Washington is closed but you can still purchase license from a current licensee.. A business that forfeits its license can follow a reinstatement process. There are six types of licenses with separate applications:

  1. Producer license
  2. Processor license
  3. Retailer license
  4. Transporter license
  5. Research license
  6. Cooperative registration


In Oregon, there are several types of cannabis licenses available, each corresponding to a different aspect of the cannabis industry. Here are the main types of cannabis licenses in Oregon:

  • Producer License: This license allows for the cultivation of cannabis plants. There are different tiers of producer licenses based on the size of the operation.
  • Processor License: This license allows for the processing of cannabis into products such as edibles, concentrates, and topicals.
  • Wholesaler License: This license allows for the sale of cannabis products to other licensees, but not to consumers.
  • Retailer License: This license allows for the sale of cannabis products to consumers through a retail storefront.
  • Research Certificate: This certificate allows for the conducting of research on cannabis, but does not authorize commercial cannabis activity.
  • Laboratory License: This license allows for the testing of cannabis products for potency and contaminants

Each type of license has its own set of requirements and regulations that must be followed. However, at this time licensing is closed and licenses can only be purchased from other licensees.


As of August 1, 2023, Minnesota has decriminalized cannabis for individuals aged 21 and older, permitting possession, use, and home cultivation. The law allows individuals of legal age to use, possess, or transport cannabis paraphernalia, possess up to 2 ounces of cannabis flower in public, possess up to 2 pounds of cannabis flower in their private residence, and possess or transport up to 8 grams of adult-use concentrate. Additionally, individuals can possess or transport edible cannabis products or lower-potency hemp edibles infused with a combined 800 milligrams or less of THC, and may give away cannabis flower and products to individuals aged 21 or older in allowable quantities.

Retail sales for adult-use cannabis are expected to commence in the first quarter of 2025, as the regulatory framework requires time to develop and will involve input from communities across the state. In the meantime, products such as seltzers, gummies, and other consumables made with up to 5mg of hemp-derived THC are available at various retailers and restaurants.

Harris Sliwoski has built a national reputation for making the state licensing process as efficient and successful as possible. We have helped hundreds of clients in leading cannabis markets across the country obtain the operational licenses, permits, and registrations they need, and we are constantly adapting and honing our licensing services to get the job done right for our clients. Each new state that legalizes cannabis brings about new and highly specific regulations, but because of our knowledge and experience, we are armed and ready with all the right questions to ask.

Our state and local licensing and permitting services include:

  • Business plan development
  • Guidance regarding compliance with state regulations and the interplay between governing state agencies
  • Education regarding ongoing compliance with applicable regulations
  • Development of required manuals and handbooks to meet state regulations
  • Financial review to ensure compliance with state regulations
  • Compilation of license and registration applications
  • License application assistance for cultivators, manufacturers, and retailers

Harris Sliwoski’s cannabis attorneys also assist clients in highly competitive local permitting markets, and have helped clients obtain extremely sought after permits in highly competitive local jurisdictions.

Cannabis licenses are not easy to obtain, yet they are your business’ biggest asset. Get your application right the first time with a precise and experienced guide.

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Get in Touch with Our Cannabis State Licensing & Registration Team

With Harris Sliwoski, you can enter the cannabis market in various states and hold your position as the industry evolves. Get started by filling out the form, or call 1-888-330-0010 to schedule an initial consultation.

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Our Clients' Successes

“Harris Sliwoski expertly guided us through the formation of our company. They continue to assist with necessary registrations and compliance with numerous regulations. They were able to promptly answer all our many questions and provide understandable options, explanations and practical advice. We expect to continue to use Harris Sliwoski on a regular basis as our company expands. They were also able to introduce us other professional experts. We would not hesitate to recommend Harris Sliwoski to any companies in need of legal advice.”

user icon Three Continents Foods LLC

This law firm was a huge help as our company went through the process of commercial licensing in the California cannabis industry.  They have helped us with a variety of legal issues in a timely fashion, while clearly communicating with us throughout the process.  Everyone we’ve worked with at Harris Sliwoski is an expert in their field and we have always felt that we were in good hands through our legal representation.

user icon Wil Crummer, CEO PRO Farms

Legal stuff is always scary. And I’ve had to play offense a couple times, begrudgingly. To have Harris Sliwoski have my back? It made things a lot less prickly. They quickly walked me through my options, and were refreshingly consistent in their communications, timing and billing. I’ve been lucky to stay out of the legal side of things my whole career, thankfully. When things went a little wrong, Harris Sliwoski quickly made things right.

user icon Aaron Draplin, Founder Draplin Design Co.

I am impressed with this law firm. They answered all my questions regarding cannabis businesses and the California cannabis framework, and they have helped me with a variety of legal issues in a timely fashion, while always clearly communicating with us throughout the process. They also redirected me to other quality people for my business needs. Everyone I worked with at Harris Sliwoski is an expert in their field, and I was in good hands throughout my legal representation.

user icon Corey T., CEO Thinc Cubed, LLC

I have been working with the lawyers at Harris Sliwoski for more than 20 years both as a business owner and as an executive at a large east-coast health system and that is because they have always efficiently provided high level and clear international law advice. Most recently, Harris Sliwoski provided legal support on many matters related to procuring medical products worldwide. Their support was particularly helpful to during the onset of COVID, when there was a big need for securing PPE quickly, all while navigating complicated international and domestic legal requirements. Harris Sliwoski’s team of international lawyers helped by conducting rapid-fire due diligence on potential suppliers, navigating the legal logistics for getting product from overseas and through U.S. customs, and drafting contracts to protect against various sorts of horribles. They did this by essentially providing what amounted to 24/7 service. I cannot recommend them highly enough.

user icon Dan Pak Hospital Supply Chain Executive

Harris Sliwoski has represented our company in the legal cannabis industry for years. Harris Sliwoski has advised us in a wide variety of legal matters, and they are truly experts in their field. I would highly recommend Harris Sliwoski to anyone with questions about cannabis law, or any legal matters. They have been great for our Company, and will continue to guide us as our industry evolves

user icon Matt Hurt, COO Cannabis Nation

You won’t find a better partner than Harris Sliwoski when trying to navigate the complex world of healthcare regulations.  They not only give sound and reliable legal advice, but they are also very responsive and are able to guide you in a way that helps you reach your business objectives as well.

user icon Joseph Axelrod, General Counsel Irwin Naturals

When we started the process of building a ‘seed to sale’ cannabis company in Oregon, we saw the need for expert legal counsel.  The cannabis sector is fraught with potential peril at every turn, and we wanted the best legal advice we could find.  After talking to several firms and individuals, we feel extremely fortunate to have chosen Harris Sliwoski as our legal counsel.

user icon Tony Theiss, CEO and Co-Founder Redbarn Cannabis 

We use Harris Sliwoski on all our international legal matters, including on our international litigation matters. We have over the last few years been involved in a couple big international legal disputes and Harris Sliwoski’s international dispute resolution team provided us with expert legal assistance on both matters. They were always very careful to explain to us what they were doing and why and what their actions would likely cost us in legal fees. Most importantly, we did extremely well on both cases and I have no doubt Harris Sliwoski was a big factor in that.

user icon Kevin English, CEO We Are Camp

We have used Harris Sliwoski for legal help related to our international manufacturing. The lawyers with whom I worked had extensive familiarity with the international legal issues involved in our various projects and offered us key insights. I particularly appreciated how they always quickly and efficiently do what they say they will do and always within their cost estimates.

user icon Andrea Barona Valladolid, Senior Legal Counsel Fairphone