If you’re wondering which Kentucky cannabis license type to pursue, we’ve listed out some questions to consider as you decide between license types. By example, ask yourself these questions, if you’re considering a Medical Cannabis Dispensary license. Ask yourself these questions, if you’re considering a Medical Cannabis Cultivator license.

According to KRS 218B.080​ and Team Kentucky Office of Medical Cannabis, Kentucky offers the following medical cannabis license types: Cultivator, Processor, Safety Compliance Facility, and Dispensary. Read on to learn about each of the 4 different license types available this round.



Successful cannabis cultivator license applicants will be permitted to plant, raise, harvest, trim, and cure raw plant material. Think of this as the stage where you grow the cannabis plant. A cultivator license authorizes its holder to grow medic​al cannabis (also known as raw plant material) in an enclosed, locked facility and sell medical cannabis to a licensed medical cannabis processor, producer, or dispensary in Kentucky. Cultivators grow, harvest, and trim the cannabis plants used to make safe, accessible medical cannabis products in Kentucky. 

As you further determine if a Kentucky cannabis cultivation license is for you, consider the 4 different canopy tier sizes:

  • Tier I: 2,500 sq. ft. or less
  • Tier 2: 10,000 sq. ft. or less
  • Tier 3: 25,000 sq. ft. or less
  • Tier 4: 50,000 sq. ft. or less (Tier IV cultivator licenses are not available in this licensing round)

Cannabis cultivators in Kentucky are prohibited from growing outside. Cultivation can only be performed indoors.



Cannabis Producer License holders are permitted to process and package the raw plant materials into usable product formats. In other words, if you have this license, you will be permitted to take the cultivated cannabis in Kentucky and create medical cannabis products for patients in Kentucky. Processors may modify medical cannabis through extraction and other processing methods to develop various products for the medical-use cannabis market (tinctures, oils, etc.).

Processors are permitted to produce the following products in Kentucky:

  • Edibles
  • Oils
  • Topical forms
  • Vaporization products
  • Tinctures
  • Dermal Patches
  • Raw Plant Material
  • Nebulization products

Four extraction methods are permitted:

  1. Hydrocarbon solvent-based
  2. Carbon dioxide-based
  3. Ethanol
  4. Non-solvent, mechanical



Safety Compliance license holders are permitted to test for contamination and purity testing of raw plant material and medical cannabis products. These license types are also known as “labs” or “third-party testing labs”. Safety Compliance Facilities are testing to ensure the products are safe for use by patients in Kentucky’s cannabis industry.

According to the Commonwealth, these facilities may also produce and sell approved educational materials related to the use of medical cannabis, produce, and sell equipment or materials including lab equipment and packaging materials, train cardholders and cannabis business employees on medical cannabis topics, and engage in other non-cannabis related business activities that are not otherwise prohibited or restricted by state law.​

Samples from each harvest and production batch must be tested by safety compliance facilities to ensure the quality of medical cannabis in each stage of the process. Testing is performed to identify the following:

Psychoactive Compounds:

  • Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other cannabinoid concentrations
  • Terpene types and concentrations

Production residuals:

  • Residual pesticides
  • Processing chemicals
  • Residual solvents
  • Heavy metals
  • Vitamin E acetate

Impurities and contaminants:

  • Microbial impurities
  • Mycotoxins
  • Water activity
  • Yeast
  • Mold



Winning Kentucky Dispensary License Applicants will be permitted to sell finished medical cannabis products to medical patient cardholders. A dispensary license authorizes its holder to sell medical cannabis products from its licensed premises to registered qualified patients, designated caregivers, and visiting qualified patients. Dispensaries can only sell medical cannabis products acquired from a licensed cannabis business that has passed all tests required by 915 KAR 1:110.

Dispensaries in Kentucky will be permitted to offer in-store purchases of products at the dispensary, delivery, drive-through windows, and curbside pickup! They will be required to put patient education first, providing dosage amounts, usage directions, and potential impairments caused by product usage.



There is a fifth license type in Kentucky called the “Producer”. This license type is permitted to essentially cultivate and process cannabis. They plant, raise, harvest, trim, and cure raw plant material (cultivate) and also process and package the raw plant material into usable product formats (process). However, the program will not be accepting license applications for Producers in this round.



You only have 42 days left to apply. Don’t miss this opportunity to be part of Kentucky’s highly anticipated medical cannabis industry. Contact Canna Business Services today to ensure your application is competitive and complete.

Avoid the common pitfalls that many applicants encounter in a competitive application round when attempting to go at it alone. Elevate your chances of success by partnering with Canna Business Services, Kentucky’s leading cannabis consultant and licensing expert, to ensure your application is submitted prior to August 31st.