How do US Virgin Islands growers’ fees compare to medical marijuana states?
Before you decide to start a grow operation in the US Virgin Islands, let’s take a look at the application and registration fees you will have to pay before even starting to growing cannabis.
The application fee for a Level III grower’s license in the USVI–which allows a maximum of 1,000 plants–is $5,000 for new businesses and $4,500 for established farmers. This applies in St Thomas, St John, and St Croix.
Once the initial business license is accepted, growers will also have to pay for an Approved Vendor License, which is required by all cannabis-related businesses in the USVI. This adds an additional $1,000 to the fees.
Therefore, the maximum fee for a grow operation in the Virgin Islands is $6,000.
But how does that stack up to other medical marijuana fees in other states?
Got over a half million dollars available? Because that’s what you are going to need. With an application fee of $100,000 and a performance bond of $500,000, Arkansas has limited the entry into the legal grow industry to a select few.
Legislators set this fee thinking that businesses with more start-up capital are less likely to fail. Debatable.
New Jersey set a more reasonable application fee, $20,000 for any medical marijuana facility. So how did this relatively modest fee affect the medical cannabis industry in the great state?
New Jersey currently has some of the highest prices for medical marijuana in the country. The state has a very limited amount of growers, dispensaries, and manufacturers.But it’s the not fees. It’s the application itself.
Applying for a grower’s license in New Jersey makes launching a space probe look like a cake walk. The grading is broken into 3 major categories with 11 sub-categories–a whopping 56 areas in total. Business references, detailed floor plan, pest control policy, and clinical research experience are just the tip of this bureaucratic iceberg.
Take a look at the New Jersey medical marijuana application requirements. After that, you’ll fully appreciate the Virgin Islands grower’s application.
On the surface California has some reasonable fees for starting a grow op. But the devil in the details.
California has a 18 different licenses with application fees from $135 to $8,655, and licensing fees from $1,200 to $77,905 per year. Entry into the cannabis market is supposed to be relatively easy, and available to mostly anyone interest.
But those are just the state license fees. Municipalities in California also charge growers fees to operate. Here the low-level licenses, very affordable at first glance, quickly jump in price.
Now a recreational state, Washington offers some of the most affordable growers’ licenses in the country.There are three tiers of licenses, all the same price–the application fee is $250, followed by a $1,480 annual registration cost. The highest level of license allows a grow operation to cover 30,000 square feet of canopy space–enough room to grow over 7,000 plants!
There are some municipalities in Washington that charge separate fees to operate a marijuana business. However, it is significantly less than what many California towns are charging.
The US Virgin Islands has a cheap start-up cost for growing operations, compared to most other states with medical or recreational marijuana. With the exception of Washington, no other state has lower start-up and registration fees than the USVI.