Your Org Chart is Key to Your Cannabis License Application

We work with aspiring cannabis entrepreneurs in every state as license windows open for competitive applications. While there are many pieces that are mission-critical for your application, one important aspect is commonly found towards the bottom of the list of competing priorities:  your application’s organizational chart.

Our best advice:

Pull your team building to the top of your list and don’t wait until the last minute.


While each state has different requirements, the ability to demonstrate cannabis expertise on your application is crucial. If a state is going to award you with one of the few, coveted licenses that are being awarded in a given round, they want to know that your team has the knowledge and experience on hand to start a compliant business and operate it successfully.


Crafting a Narrative for Success

At the highest level, a completed org chart means crafting a narrative that clearly conveys how your team’s relevant educational credentials, quantifiable experience in a similar role or environment, and their ability to draw on past experiences will make your proposed business a success.

Maximizing Points on Your Application

At the most granular level, it means maximizing the experience-related points in the relevant sections of an application – requirements for formal education and for similarly-scaled experience/methodology.  Additionally, depending on the application itself, it could also mean finding individuals with residency in your state or that fulfill specialized requirements such as social equity or diversity initiatives.

Why do we think your org chart deserves more attention and priority?  Simple: It is key to a successful license pursuit. This requirement is often lower on the priority list, perhaps because it seems like the most manageable piece to pull together as the majority of entrepreneurs have conducted a great deal of hiring over the course of their career. However, the credentials and experience of your leadership team are complex and dynamic­­ –– and will be the basis for how you demonstrate your ability to run every aspect of your business. Your leadership team should be a group of people put together with great attention and care.

What if I’ve got my own leadership team assembled from trusted friends, family and those in my network? That’s fantastic news! However, we’ve seen time and time again that a group of partners that work comfortably together and trust one another don’t necessarily earn you the most points possible for knowledge and experience within your leadership team. That amazing Director of Cultivation that you’ve worked with in the past may not have a relevant degree in Horticulture or Agricultural Science.  That Director of Manufacturing that you’ve known forever may not have experience in product formulation, or an advanced degree in Chemical Engineering. These are great examples of people you want on your team as you become operational, but these are not great examples of people that will maximize the points awarded in scoring your application.

If you take one point away with you today, it should be the importance of putting together a team that will maximize your score.


As we all know, if you don’t win your license the rest of the conversation doesn’t matter.

Contact us early in your process of applying for a medical marijuana or adult-use cannabis license.