Cannabis in the United States is not yet legalized on the Federal level, but individual states are allowed to legalize it on their own. Because of this, some states have legalized and some haven’t, in various degrees. This creates a situation where there’s no official list of all state regulating license agencies – you just have to hunt them down one by one. There’s also no practical way to answer the question: “Is this dispensary licensed or not?” in one place for all 50 states – a deficiency we aim to address with this post.
We’re going to use this post as an updated guide to each state’s licensing and regulating agencies and licensed facilities, if applicable. We’re doing this as a resource for those who want to find out who to talk to regarding cannabis regulation in each state. It’s also handy to have a list of licensed dispensaries, facilities, and products, where applicable. As much as possible, we are going straight to the government domain holding jurisdiction over that state’s cannabis authority.
Our goal: To answer the question “Is this legit in this state or not?” whether you’re holding a cannabis product or standing in front of a retail cannabis products store.
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
Status: Industrial hemp and hemp products, CBD products legalized for medical conditions but unavailable. All plans to make CBD and hemp available for medical or commerce purposes are currently on hold awaiting further federal law change. The legalization of hemp production in Alabama is deemed to be a “research pilot program.” Cannabis possession is still criminalized.
The Alabama state Senate attempted to pass medical marijuana legislation in 2019, but the state House blocked it.
Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI) – Industrial Hemp
Status: Fully legal!
Alaska – Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development (DCCED) – Alcohol & Marijuana Control Office
Status: Currently medical marijuana only, recreational adult use was just legalized in 2020.
Arizona Department of Health Services – Medical Marijuana – ADHS will also oversee the recreational adult-use program when implemented.
Arizona Medical Marijuana Clinics – State Verified Dispensaries
Status: Medical use only. Strictly controlled.
Arkansas Department of Health – Medical Marijuana
Status: Fully legal!
California Cannabis Portal
Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) – License Search (leave blank and check CAPTCHA to see entire list)
The city of Los Angeles has also implemented an interactive map of licensed dispensaries in the good ol’ City of Angels. Check there if you’re in L.A. There is also a listing for dispensaries with temporary permits just under the map. Also worth mentioning is that the city of Los Angeles’ website also hosts a complaint form for cannabis dispensaries. See a shady dispensary, report it on the form.
Other license searches at BCC – For verifying a license starting with “CDPH,” You need to go to the Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch (MCSB) – License Search page and enter just the numeric part of that license in the second box. The MCSB also has an FAQ for manufacture licenses.
There are also packaging guidelines for vape carts published by the CDPH. They tell you right there that certain kinds of packaging, such as cartoons, candy, or kid-appealing imagery, is forbidden. So you know right away that any cart that violates those standards is not legit.
Status: Fully legal! CANNRA member
Colorado Official State Portal – Marijuana
Retail stores (spreadsheet)
A full menu of links to further spreadsheets for Colorado licensed cultivators, manufacturers, operators, transporters, testing facilities, and more! (Note to other states: THIS is how it’s done!)
Status: Medical use only, for limited conditions. Possession of small amounts decriminalized. Connecticut has recently ruminated about going fully legal in 2021.
Connecticut State Department of Consumer Protection – Medical Marijuana Program
At eLicense.CT.gov, select “Medical Marijuana Dispensary Facility” from the drop-down menu under “Licence Type,” then hit “search” for a list of licensed dispensaries.
Delaware Division of Public Health – Health and Social Services – Medical Marijuana Program
Legal dispensaries in Delaware operate under the name of “compassion centers.” Here is their list.
Status: Medical use only, separate policies for CBD and general cannabis. Highly challenged status, since the law as structured is being contested as unconstitutional and creating a “cartel.” It’s complicated. Casual possession is still an offense, but county and municipal measures are softening state laws.
FloridaHealth.gov redirects its own government domain page to the following commercial site:
Florida Department of Health – Office of Medical Marijuana Use
The closest Florida gets is a list of qualified physicians. Leave the form blank and hit “search” to find all the doctors in the state approved to prescribe marijuana products, presumably they’ll know where the dispensaries are.
Status: Highly limited medical use, CBD only. Possession of small amounts decriminalized in a few locations only. Industrial hemp and CBD is allegedly legalized.
No licenses have been issued as of this time. View the Georgia DPH FAQ here.
Per the GDA FAQ, they are “currently working to develop regulations for hemp production in the state of Georgia,” but licenses will not be issued until rules and regulations are in place.
Status: Tightly controlled medical use only. Casual possession still criminalized. CANNRA member
Hawaii State Department of Health – Medical Cannabis Program
Medical Cannabis Registry Program – Dispensaries
Status: Illegal! Boise Hempfest meets annually to raise awareness and educate. Idaho has some of the harshest cannabis prohibition in the country. A medical CBD pilot program is rumored but not manifest.
Status: Fully legal! CANNRA member
A commercial site: Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation – Adult Use Cannabis Program
Licensed Adult Use Cannabis Dispensaries (pdf)
Status: Mostly illegal. Only CBD oil (less than 0.3% THC) is legalized, but instead of medical it is “for any purpose.” The First Church of Cannabis was a protest attempt at wedging open the state’s laws. Industrial hemp is also gaining a foothold.
The Purdue University Office of Indiana State Chemist is the closest thing to official word on the subject.
No licenses issued yet. Purdue’s Hemp FAQ has the closest thing to a resource for future developments.
Status: Mostly illegal. Medical CBD oil technically legalized, under a tightly controlled handful of qualifying medical conditions. Casual possession still criminalized. Iowa governor Kim Reynolds, AKA “COVID Kim,” has stated that Iowa will not see cannabis legalization so long as she draws breath. Despite this, Iowa is also a CANNRA member
Iowa Department of Public Health (DPH) – Office of Medical Cannabidiol
Iowa DPH lists just five dispensaries in the Patients and Caregivers section under Dispensary Locations & Hours of Operation
Status: Illegal! Casual possession decriminalized. There was an attempt at legalizing CBD oil, but Kansas policy still forbids any percentage of THC, which basically makes CBD oil impossible to make available.
Status: Mostly illegal. A medical CBD approval bill has been signed, with CBD (less than 0.3% THC) “broadly legal.” However, Kentucky has a unique relation to industrial hemp, being the state which was the hub of cultivation in the US before it was prohibited.
A commercial site, Kentucky Department of Agriculture – Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program
No CBD licenses issued yet, as current legislation does not provide for the production and distribution of CBD oil, only allowing it to be prescribed and used.
Status: Medical use only, with a special restriction that patients are not allowed to smoke it. Decriminalized for small amounts. CANNRA member
Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry – Medical Marijuana
Nine “marijuana pharmacies” are approved at the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy
Status: Fully legal! CANNRA member
Medical use: eight dispensaries listed
No licenses have been issued at this time for recreational use. Maine’s Office of Marijuana Policy asserts that they will begin accepting applications for licenses “by the end of 2019.”
Status: Medical use only. Decriminalized for small amounts. A General Assembly task force is currently looking into full legalization scenarios. CANNRA member
Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission
Dispensary list (pdf)
Status: Fully legal! – Caveat: Individual counties and cities may still ban marijuana commerce within their jurisdictions. CANNRA member
Status: Fully legal! CANNRA member
Status: Medical use only. However, there is a strong legislative push to fully legalize for recreational use, publicly favored by the governor. Bills to fully legalize have come to the floor before, and there are further possible avenues towards full legalization being considered.
The medical legalization policy is especially weird. It’s only approved for a short list of conditions and medical cannabis may only be dispensed in liquid, pill, or vape form, no whole plants. CANNRA member
Minnesota Department of Health – Medical Cannabis
eight listed under Cannabis Patient Center Locations
Status: Formerly CBD for medical only, casual possession decriminalized. Mississippi has just legalized for medical cannabis as of 2020.
The University of Mississippi – Marijuana Research
None at this time. The Mississippi State Department of Health is charged with implementing the medical cannabis program, due in August 2021.
Status: Medical use only, approved in 2018 but still not implemented. Casual possession of small amounts is decriminalized in some jurisdictions. Industrial hemp is also working its way through legislation.
Status: Currently medical use only. Montana voted to approve full adult-use recreational in 2020.
Licensed Providers by City
Status: Illegal! Governor’s own blog states “Marijuana is a Dangerous Drug.”
In 2020, a voter-driven petition drive attempted to get a medical cannabis measure forced onto the Nebraska state ballot. The petition succeeded with over 100K signatures (during a pandemic!), representing 5% of the entire state’s population. Yet a special interest group and a sheriff managed to get the ballot measure stricken down before Nebraska citizens were given the chance to vote on it.
Status: Fully legal! CANNRA member
Nevada Cannabis Compliance Board – license search (type the first letter of a company name and a list drops right down)
State of Nevada – Department of Taxation has a full page listing of all licensing information, including links to lists of open dispensaries, approved delivery companies, cultivators, testing laboratories, and more! (Note to other states: THIS is how it’s done!)
Status: Mostly illegal. A token medical marijuana bill was signed in 2019, but is so restrictive that “patients may only use marijuana after other traditional treatments have failed” and furthermore limits the treatment options to a small list of conditions, plus patients can’t grow their own plant at home. Casual use has been decriminalized from misdemeanor to small fines.
New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services – Therapeutic Cannabis Program There is a miniature blog run there by some merciful soul documenting the updated progress of their medical cannabis system.
No licensed dispensaries appear to exist yet, but the Therapeutic Cannabis Program linked above has directions on how to obtain a card or medical recommendation.
Status: Currently medical use only. New Jersey voted to legalize for full adult recreational use in 2020; HOWEVER, the legislation is only a referendum, which merely paves the way for legalization laws to be created, which have so far not seen the light of day in the state’s Senate or House. New Jersey governor Phil Murphy has been an outspoken advocate for marijuana legalization. Check here to write your lawmakers about the subject. CANNRA member
New Jersey Department of Health – Division of Medical Marijuana – A well-maintained site with extensive resources.
Coalition for Medical Marijuana – New Jersey – Activist site, may be able to provide additional resources
New Jersey’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) is charged with eventually implementing cannabis policy.
Alternative Treatment Centers
Status: Almost fully legal. Currently medical use only, but a recreational bill has passed the state House, stalled in Senate, and been championed by the governor who promises to add it to the 2020 agenda. A cannabis legalization task force has been commissioned. Cannabis has also been decriminalized as of 2019. As of the end of 2020, support for legalization remains strong in New Mexico.
New Mexico Department of Health – Medical Cannabis Program
Producers and Distributors list – Also documents the Personal Production License process, which is helpful.
Medical Cannabis Licensed Non-Profit Producer List (pdf)
Status: Almost fully legal. Currently medical use is legal and casual possession is decriminalized. New York’s Health Department has recommended full legalization and a recreational bill has been floated in the legislature. That bill failed at the end of 2019, but New York governor Andrew Cuomo is promising 2021 will be the year. CANNRA member
New York State Department of Health – The New York State Medical Marijuana Program – A full resource with comprehensive information.
Public List of Consenting Medical Marijuana Program Practitioners – Medical practitioners who prescribe cannabis in New York state.
Registered Organization Locations – Dispensaries in New York state
Status: illegal! There has been a tentative approval of CBD oil (less than 0.3% THC) for epilepsy patients, and there’s an industrial hemp industry budding based on North Carolina’s heritage as one of the original cultivation centers for hemp. North Carolina still criminalizes casual marijuana possession, even to felony levels.
North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services – Epilepsy Alternative Treatment Act
North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services – Industrial Hemp Pilot Program in North Carolina
No licensed facility exists at this time, nor any sign of plans for same in the future.
Status: Medical use only. Only recently has North Dakota made moves towards cannabis legalization of any kind. The North Dakota Department of Agriculture is floating an industrial hemp pilot program. Ballot measure groups have expressed optimism for legalization after two neighbors of North Dakota legalized in 2020. CANNRA member
North Dakota Health – Division of Medical Marijuana
Dispensary Locations in North Dakota
Status: Medical use only. Casual possession has been decriminalized. Medical cannabis has only recently been approved with the first legal dispensaries starting in 2019. Ohio has been dragging its feet on opening dispensaries.
Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program – A clear and direct website that walks you right through the steps to treatment.
Interactive map of Ohio dispensary locations – That’s what we call service!
Status: Medical use only. The medical program is a lot more liberal than in other states, with both cannabis in any form and CBD oil supported, and even allowing out-of-state patients.
Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority – Easy to use, clearly laid out.
Status: Fully legal! Oregon in 2020 also became the first US state to decriminalize personal use and possession of all – repeat: ALL – drugs. CANNRA member
Oregon Liquor Control Commission – Marijuana Business Licenses (pdf) – A list of every cannabis-related business in the state, including retail, wholesale, producers, labs, and all. At 75 pages, they might want to break it up by category, but we still have no complaints.
Status: Limited medical use only. Governor Tom Wolf has called for deep thought about recreational legalization as well. The state also has an industrial hemp program. Pennsylvania has slowly inched towards broadened medical use and decriminalization.
Pennsylvania Department of Health – Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program
Same page – see the interactive map
Status: Medical use only, tightly controlled. Small personal possession has been decriminalized. CANNRA member
State of Rhode Island Department of Health – Medical Marijuana
There was also once a Rhode Island Patient Advocacy Coalition, but the domain appears to have gone dark.
State of Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation – Medical Marijuana Program – Approved Applicants & Licenses – This lists both applicants and those issued a license.
Status: illegal! Only CBD oil (less than 0.3% THC) is allowed for a short list of medical conditions. However, the state has embraced the growing of industrial hemp.
South Carolina Department of Agriculture – Hemp Program
None – In fact, over-the-counter CBD and hemp retailers have been raided.
Status: pending fully legal! South Dakota has taken a dramatic turn from being one of the most strictly prohibitory states to legalizing for both medical and recreational purposes in 2020. It has become the only state to move from full prohibition to full legalization in a single vote.
The South Dakota State Department of Revenue is charged with issuing cannabis business licenses, with a mandatory deadline to be operational by April of 2022.
Pending – Watch the South Dakota Department of Revenue’s newsroom blog for further developments.
Status: illegal! Only CBD oil (less than 0.3% THC) is allowed for “Intractable seizures,” with no apparatus in place to fulfill such a prescription. Industrial hemp is allowed. One Tennessee senator has called for change.
Tennessee Department of Agriculture – Hemp Industry
Status: illegal! Tentative CBD medical use has been approved for a narrow list of conditions, but due to a unique wording of the law, most doctors cannot prescribe CBD oil for a patient. Austin, Texas, is the central point of outspoken cannabis advocacy and activism.
None known at this time.
Status: A very “iffy” medical use legalized. CBD use and medical marijuana has been legalized, but as recently as 2016 a gubernatorial candidate’s wife was arrested for possessing cannabis used to treat her arthritis pain. The influence of the Mormon religion (which prohibits cannabis) in Utah may make this a tricky state to figure out what is and is not legal. CBD oil is legalized only for epilepsy or those terminally ill, even though medical marijuana is legalized for more conditions. A 2018 vote approved medical cannabis, but then the state legislature rescinded the decision at the direct involvement of the Mormon Church. CANNRA member
Status: Fully legal! Vermont has long had a status similar to Washington D.C. – Legal to own it and trade it, but no infrastructure set up to produce it and sell it. That changed in October 2020, with a senate bill allowing the taxation and regulation of marijuana.
Vermont Department of Public Safety – Marijuana Registry
Registered Dispensaries (medical)
As noted, recreational cannabis is legalized but not formally set up for commerce in Vermont yet. Stay tuned for further updates.
Status: Medical use is legal for CBD oil and some cannabis with a short list of medical conditions, and personal possession decriminalized.
Virginia Department of Health Professions – Pharmaceutical Processors-Cannabis Oil
No official source exists. So far the first medical dispensary has opened as of October 2020, with five more companies approved eventually.
Status: Fully legal! CANNRA member
Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (looking good there, George!)
Status: Mostly illegal. A medical law has been signed into effect as of 2017, but not enacted as of 2019. No other legalization efforts have gone through.
West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources – Office of Medical Cannabis
None at this time. As of October 2020, West Virginia has only approved out-of-state cannabis providers for its medical program.
Status: Mostly illegal. CBD oil (less than 0.3% THC) for medical purposes has been approved, with the typical phantom pharmacy and doctor support behind it. Casual use is emphatically not decriminalized. Wisconsin does have a reviving industrial hemp scene, thanks to the state’s history as a major hemp producer up until the 1950s. Wisconsin governor Tony Evers has chewed out the state legislature for not approving legalization, even though its approved by 80% of voters.
State of Wisconsin – Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection – Hemp Pilot Research Program
Status: illegal! CBD oil (less than 0.3% THC) is technically legalized but unsupported. Wyoming is notorious for some of the harshest cannabis possession penalties in the nation, with jail and fines even at the misdemeanor level and felony mandatory minimum sentencing.
Wyoming Department of Agriculture – Wyoming Hemp Program