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. All plans currently on hold awaiting further federal word. The legalization of hemp production in Alabama is deemed to be a “research pilot program.”
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: Medical use only. Further legalization efforts have been strongly challenged, medical legalization questioned.
Arizona Department of Health Services – Medical Marijuana
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!
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. Possession of small amounts decriminalized.
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.
Status: Limited medical use only. Possession of small amounts decriminalized.
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 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.
Hawaii State Department of Health – Medical Cannabis Program
Medical Cannabis Registry Program – Dispensaries
Status: Illegal! Boise Hempfest meets annually to raise awareness and educate.
Status: Fully legal! As of January 1st 2020, recreational cannabis will be allowed in conjunction with existing legalization of medical use.
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 is legalized, “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: Medical CBD oil only, with a tightly controlled prescription. Casual possession still criminalized.
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! 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, but so far with no sign of further activity. 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. Decriminalized for small amounts.
Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry – Medical Marijuana
Nine “marijuana pharmacies” are approved at the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy
Status: Fully legal! However, the Marijuana Legalization Act, even though it was passed in 2016, was delayed in legislation. Due to a highly contested and recounted vote and two gubernatorial vetoes which was later overturned after rewrites of the act, roll-outs of any kind of commercial market have been delayed. A fully operating retail market is expected to launch by spring of 2020.
Medical marijuana has been approved in Maine since 1999, and casual possession of small amounts was decriminalized in 2009. Maine seeded early, but bloomed late.
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.
Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission
Dispensary list (pdf)
Status: Fully legal!
Status: Fully legal! Recreational facilities are expected to open in early 2020. Medical legalization has already rolled out, as has decriminalization of possession for small amounts.
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.
Minnesota Department of Health – Medical Cannabis
eight listed under Cannabis Patient Center Locations
Status: Mostly illegal. Medical CBD has been approved to treat just one condition: Intractable epilepsy. Only a CBD solution of 15% CBD with no more than 0.5% THC is allowed. Casual possession of small amounts has been long decriminalized.
The University of Mississippi – Marijuana Research
None at this time.
Status: Medical use only. Casual possession of small amounts is decriminalized in some jurisdictions. Industrial hemp is also working its way through legislation.
Status: Medical use only, with an extremely contested margin. Medical use is tightly controlled and legislation to either loosen or tighten restrictions have been introduced. An attempt to repeal the medical legalization bill passed Montana legislature but was struck down by the governor. A more recent bill passed loosens the medical controls. What we’re saying here is, don’t get too comfortable in Montana just yet.
Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services – Montana Medical Marijuana Program
Licensed Providers by City
Status: Illegal! Governor’s own blog states “Marijuana is a Dangerous Drug.”
Status: Fully legal!
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: Medical use only. A hardcore legislative battle over cannabis policy has ensued in New Jersey since at least 2009 when the first medical marijuana bill was approved, due to opposition from then-governor Chris Christie who called medical marijuana “a front for legalization” and vowed that recreational use legalization is “not going to happen on my watch.” Since 2018, Christie’s watch has ended and current governor Phil Murphy is more open to cannabis legalization, describing himself as “all in.”
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
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.
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.
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: Mostly illegal. There has been a tentative approval of CBD oil with low 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 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.
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 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.
Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority – Easy to use, clearly laid out.
Status: Fully legal!
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: 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 Department of Health – Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program
Same page – see the interactive map
Status: Medical use only, tightly controlled. Warning: Casual possession is NOT decriminalized, with sentences up to 20 years for merely possessing 5 KG!
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: Mostly illegal, with only low-THC CBD oil allowed for specific 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: Illegal! Quote: “…whether you smoked marijuana or ingested something else into your system in state or out of state, if you get pulled over and you have a controlled substance in your blood stream, that is considered possession. You could also be charged with a felony depending how much is in your system.”
Status: Mostly illegal. Only Non-psychoactive CBD oil is allowed for “Intractable seizures,” with no apparatus in place to fulfill such a prescription. Industrial hemp is allowed.
Tennessee Department of Agriculture – Hemp Industry
Status: Mostly illegal. Tentative CBD medical use has been approved, 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.
None. There is a deadline stated on the Cannabis Program website to have licensed dispensaries operational by March 2020.
Status: Fully legal! Recent legislation approves recreational cannabis as of 2018, but made no provisions for tax-and-regulate commerce. That measure is slated for 2020. Medical cannabis has been legal since 2004 and casual possession has been extensively decriminalized since 2013.
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: Mostly illegal. A token CBD oil bill has been signed, with some dispensary licensing activity running the red tape gauntlet.
Virginia Department of Health Professions –
None currently active.
Status: Fully legal!
Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (looking good there, George!)
Status: Medical use only. 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.
Status: Mostly illegal except for CBD oil for medical purposes, 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.
State of Wisconsin – Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection – Hemp Pilot Research Program
Status: Mostly illegal. CBD oil 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