How to Sell Your Cannabis Business License: Timing and Revenue Strategies

How to sell a cannabis business license to new owners

How to Sell a Cannabis Business licenseTransferring ownership of a cannabis business with a THC license can be a complex process that involves various legal questions and regulatory considerations.

To ensure a smooth and successful transfer, business owners must follow a series of steps that involve a range of stakeholders, including regulators, investors, and legal professionals. Here is a broad overview of the process for selling ownership of a cannabis business:

  1. Determine the type of transfer: Before beginning the sale process, business owners must get ready and decide on the type of transfer they want to make. The most common types of transfers include stock sales, MIPAs, asset sales, and mergers.
  2. Conduct due diligence: Before transferring ownership, buyers and sellers must conduct a thorough review of the business to identify any potential legal or financial issues. This includes reviewing financial statements, tax records, contracts, licenses, and permits.
  3. Negotiate terms: Once due diligence is complete, buyers and sellers must negotiate the terms of the transfer. This includes determining the price, payment structure, and any contingencies or warranties.
  4. Draft transfer documents: After negotiating the terms, legal professionals must draft the transfer documents, which typically include a purchase agreement, MIPA, bill of sale, and other documents needed to transfer ownership.
  5. Obtain regulatory approval: Business owners must obtain regulatory approval before transferring ownership of a cannabis business. This typically involves submitting an application to the appropriate regulatory agency and providing documentation that shows the transfer meets all legal requirements.
  6. Close the deal: Finally, buyers and sellers must close the transfer by signing the transfer documents, exchanging payment, and transferring ownership of assets and licenses. This typically requires the assistance of legal, accounting, and financial professionals to ensure a smooth and legally compliant transfer that the regulators will approve.

Selling a cannabis business can be a complex and time-consuming process, but with careful planning and attention to detail, it can be a lucrative opportunity for business owners. It is important to work with experienced legal, financial and tax professionals who are familiar with the unique legal and regulatory requirements of the cannabis industry. By following the proper steps and obtaining the necessary approvals, business owners can successfully sell their cannabis business and achieve a profitable outcome.

What is the best way to market a cannabis business for sale?

When it comes to marketing a cannabis business for sale, there are a few key strategies that can help you attract the right buyers and achieve a successful sale. Here are some of our tips about the best ways to market your cannabis business for sale:

  • Leverage your network: Start by leveraging your personal and professional networks to get the word out about your business for sale. Reach out to industry contacts, business partners, and other relevant stakeholders to see if they know of any potential buyers or investors who may be interested in your business.
  • Advertise online: Online advertising can be a powerful tool for reaching a large audience of potential buyers. Consider listing your business for sale on cannabis industry-specific websites and marketplaces, as well as general business-for-sale websites like BizBuySell and BusinessBroker.net. You could also consider running targeted ads on social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn.
  • Create a comprehensive sales package: To attract serious buyers, you’ll need to create a comprehensive sales package that includes all relevant information about your business, such as financials, customer demographics, and operational details. This package should be professionally designed and presented in a way that samples and showcases the strengths and potential of your business.
  • Hire a business broker: If you’re not experienced in selling businesses, it can be helpful to work with a professional business broker who specializes in the cannabis industry. A broker can help you navigate the complex legal and financial issues involved in a business sale, and can also tap into their own network of potential buyers to help you find the right fit for your business.

In addition to these strategies, it’s important to ensure that your business is in good standing with all relevant regulatory bodies and that you have all necessary permits and licenses in place before listing your business for sale. This will help to ensure a smooth and successful sale process, and will also make your business more attractive to potential buyers.

Selling a cannabis business can be a complex process, but with the right approach and support from experienced professionals, it’s possible to achieve a successful outcome. By following these strategies and working with trusted legal and financial advisors, you can position your business for a profitable sale and move on to your next venture with confidence.

Are there any tax implications for selling a cannabis business?

Yes, there are tax implications for selling a cannabis business. Due to the current federal illegality of cannabis, many tax deductions and benefits that are available to other businesses are not available to cannabis businesses. This can result in a higher tax burden for the seller.

Additionally, state and local ordinance taxes may also apply to the sale of a cannabis business. It is important to consult with a qualified accountant or tax attorney who is knowledgeable about the cannabis industry to ensure that all tax implications are properly addressed during the sale process. Failure to properly address tax implications can result in legal and financial consequences for the seller.

How can I protect myself when selling a cannabis business?

Selling a cannabis business can be a complex process, and it is important to take steps to protect yourself throughout the process. Here are some tips:

  1. Hire a reputable broker or attorney: A good broker or attorney can help you navigate the legal and regulatory requirements of selling a cannabis business, and can help you avoid potential pitfalls. Look for someone with experience in the cannabis industry, and check references before hiring.
  2. Conduct due diligence on potential buyers: Before entering into a sale agreement, make sure to thoroughly vet potential buyers. This can include conducting background checks, reviewing operating agreements, financial documents, and verifying their ownership of other cannabis businesses.
  3. Protect your intellectual property: If your business has proprietary processes, products, or branding, make sure to protect these assets during the sale process. This can include registering trademarks, patents, and copyrights, and including provisions in the sale agreement to ensure that the buyer cannot use or replicate these assets without permission.
  4. Include clear terms in the sale agreement: The sale agreement should include clear terms covering the sale price, payment schedule, and any conditions or contingencies. Make sure to have an attorney review the agreement to ensure that it is legally binding and protects your interests.
  5. Consider post-sale obligations: Depending on the terms of the sale, you may have obligations to the buyer after the sale is complete, such as providing training or assistance with the transition. Make sure that these obligations are clearly defined in the sale agreement and are manageable for you.

By taking these steps to protect yourself when selling your cannabis business, you can ensure a smoother and more successful transaction. Selling a cannabis business can be a lucrative opportunity, but it is important to approach it with care and attention to detail to avoid any potential legal or financial issues. With the right preparation and guidance, you can position your business for a successful sale and move on to your next venture.

What paperwork is needed to sell a cannabis business?

When selling a cannabis business, there is a significant amount of paperwork required to ensure a smooth transaction. The specific documents needed vary depending on the type of business entity, jurisdiction, and other factors. However, generally, the following paperwork is necessary:

  • Business License: This is the documentation that shows that the business is licensed to operate as a cannabis business in the given jurisdiction.
  • Certificate of Good Standing: This document shows that the business is in good standing with the state and local authorities and that all taxes and fees are up to date.
  • Financial Statements: These documents show the financial performance of the business and include income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements.
  • Contracts and Agreements: Any contracts and agreements the business has entered into, such as lease or loan agreements, vendor contracts, and employment contracts, should be included in the sale.
  • Intellectual Property Rights: Any patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets that the business owns should be included in the sale.
  • Compliance Documents: Any compliance documents such as lab testing results, regulatory compliance reports, and product safety reports should be included in the sale.
  • Corporate Documents: These documents include the articles of incorporation, bylaws, and shareholder agreements.

It is essential to have a knowledgeable cannabis attorney and accountant to assist with these critical documents’ preparation and review to ensure that all the necessary information is included and that the transaction is compliant with all applicable laws and regulations.

What are the potential buyers of a cannabis business?

The potential buyers of a cannabis business vary depending on the type of business being sold. For dispensaries, the most common buyers are other licensed operators looking to expand their footprint in a particular market, while for cultivation facilities or manufacturing labs, the buyers can include large multi-state or international cannabis companies looking to enter the market or diversify their operations. Private equity firms and venture capital funds are also potential buyers for cannabis businesses looking to raise capital or exit the industry.

Additionally, there has been an increase in interest from mainstream companies in related industries, such as pharmaceutical or tobacco companies, looking to enter the cannabis market. It is important to work with a knowledgeable cannabis real estate broker to identify and target the appropriate potential buyers for your specific business.

How can I get the best price for my cannabis business?

Getting the best price for your cannabis business requires careful consideration of various factors. One of the most overlooked factors is timing. The market for cannabis businesses fluctuates, and understanding the market trends can help you determine the best time to sell. For instance, when neighboring cities are looking to grant new licenses or pass ordinances, it may be best to list your dispensary for sale before your business gets cannibalized by the new competition.

Revenue and EBITDA are also critical factors that affect the sale price. As cannabis companies are often valued based on revenue or EBITDA multiples, it is essential to show high sales numbers. Bringing in strong brands that have proven to drive business sales, such as MKX or Platinum Vapes, can drive additional revenue to your dispensary and increase total EBIDTA.

Partnering with data-driven consultants can also help boost sales and increase your dispensary’s value. By driving additional revenue, they can help you get a better purchase price, and in turn, increase the commission that your real estate agent will earn.


In summary, to get the best price for your cannabis business, you need to consider timing, revenue, and EBIDTA. Work with a reliable real estate agent who can leverage their expertise and data-driven insights to help you navigate the market and increase the value of your business.  Call or contact our offices today on your cannabis business license sale. 

Thomas Howard

Thomas Howard

Licensed to practice since 2008, Thomas Howard has represented numerous financial institutions in litigation to enforce their security interests.
Homegrown Cannabis Co's Cannabis Seeds
Thomas Howard

Thomas Howard

Licensed to practice since 2008, Thomas Howard has represented numerous financial institutions in litigation to enforce their security interests.

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