The State of Cannabis Legislation & Licensing: Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, Minnesota

cannabis business licensing Wisconsin Iowa Missouri Minnesota

If you are starting a cannabis cultivation or marijuana-related business, then it’s wise to pay attention to the latest cannabis news. Cannabis legislation is consistently developing throughout the United States, creating opportunities for business owners everywhere. But every state is different, especially when it comes to cannabis business licensing.

CannaCon is heading to the Midwest in June, so we’re taking a look at the current conditions of marijuana legislation and cannabis business licensing in Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri and Minnesota.

Wisconsin Cannabis Business Licensing

Cannabis is illegal with the exception of non-psychoactive medical CBD oil. Gov. Tony Evers has made clear he would support legislation to legalize marijuana for medical purposes and otherwise decriminalize the plant, putting measures to do both in his budget proposal.

A license is required to grow or process industrial hemp in Wisconsin. If registered, the grower license allows planting and harvesting of industrial hemp, and a processor license allows storage, handling, and conversion of industrial hemp into a marketable form. Both are lifetime licenses, needed only once. If only hemp grown is processed, then simply a grower license is needed.

The Wisconsin licensing and registration process requires the applicant consent to a background check. If the applicant is a business, the background check will be for the operations manager. A license will not be issued if there are any criminal drug convictions, either federal or in any state.

  • Grower license (one-time fee): $150 (0-30 acres), $5/acre (31-199 acres), $1,000 (200 acres or more)
  • Grower registration (annual fee): $350
  • Processor license: No fee
  • Processor registration (annual fee): $100
  • Sampling/testing: $250/sample and test (each field and variety needs at least one sample/test)
  • License modification: $50/change (plus fee for additional acreage as listed above)

Iowa Cannabis Business Licensing

Only CBD and 3% or less of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) oil are legal from licensed dispensaries. Gov. Kim Reynolds vetoed an Iowa cannabis bill on Friday, May 24th, which would have expanded the state’s medical cannabis market by eliminating the 3% THC potency cap for products, and allow nurse practitioners and physician assistants to recommend marijuana. The bill had passed both legislative chambers with wide approval: 96-3 in the House and 40-7 in the Senate.

Currently, statute is limited to two manufacturing licenses and five dispensary licenses. The Iowa Department of Public Health is not accepting applications for either license type.

Missouri Cannabis Business Licensing

Cannabis is illegal but decriminalized. Medical use was legalized in 2018 through a ballot initiative to amend the state constitution. The Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services will begin accepting applications for cultivation, manufacturing, and dispensing facilities on August 3, 2019, and medical marijuana may be available for purchase as early as January 2020.

  • The method for application is currently being developed. Cultivation Facilities require a $10,000 non-refundable application fee and a $25,000 annual fee.
  • Dispensary Facilities require a $6,000 non-refundable application fee and a $10,000 annual fee.
  • Medical marijuana-infused manufacturing facilities require a $6,000 non-refundable application fee and a $10,000 annual fee.

Locally, Triad Bank, based in a St. Louis suburb, offers deposit services to marijuana-related businesses such as processors, cultivators, and dispensaries.

Minnesota Cannabis Business Licensing

Cannabis is illegal for recreational use, but permitted for medical use. Often called one of the most restrictive medical marijuana programs in the country, the plant itself is illegal in Minnesota, the prescription is available only in pill or liquid form and there are just two manufacturers. Pending the governor’s signature, said two manufacturers of medical cannabis will be able to open twice as many dispensaries, write off their business expenses and buy hemp from local farmers. It is suggested these measures will help bring operating costs down, which will allow for price reductions.

Applications are not being accepted. The current approved bill allows for two manufacturing facilities with four each dispensaries statewide. These manufactures, Leafline Labs and Minnesota Medical Solutions, are already established.

Attend the Best Cannabis Convention in the Midwest

With opportunities throughout the Midwest, now is the time to get involved in the growing cannabis industry. Whether you’re passionate about becoming a cannabis entrepreneur or eager to create a company for acquisition, CannaCon is essential for making connections in the marijuana industry.

Plant a seed at CannaCon Midwest and watch your business grow. Join us in Detroit June 21-22 for two days of educational seminars led by cannabis industry leaders and networking with experienced cannabis businesses.

Register for MidWest CannaCon in Detroit.

Interested in other states? Learn more about Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio.

Cannabis Business Licensing | Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, Minnesota


  1. Vladica on July 24, 2021 at 4:16 pm

    Is medical marijuana growing allowed in Wisconsin.?

  2. Steve on January 7, 2023 at 7:01 am

    you need to be licensed grower ,USDA .

Leave a Comment