How to start a commercial grow operation in Oregon

Oregon spearheaded the medical cannabis movement in the United States.

The state has allowed medical cannabis use since 1998, and as of July 2015, marijuana is being regulated for recreational use as well.

Its medical program and allows for numerous conditions, and the recreational program/grow license allows the use of marijuana by all adults.

Aside from the numerous registration requirements, opening a marijuana growing operation in Oregon is similar to any other business with a few slight variations.

Below is an in-depth look at the information needed to get a successful cannabis growing operation up and running in Oregon.

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What kind of cannabis business can I open in Oregon?

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission manages marijuana businesses in this state. In general, applicants should be at least 21 years of age and have passed a criminal record. Growing operations are one of many marijuana businesses allowed in this state. Others include:

Marijuana plants
Marijuana product manufacturers
Retail marijuana stores
Marijuana extraction services
Marijuana testing facilities
Marijuana distributors

Oregon’s marijuana market

Oregon’s marijuana market is quite popular.

A February 2017 Oregon Liquor Control Commission report revealed that the state received considerably more applications for recreational cannabis businesses than expected.

Instead of the estimated 800 to 1200, over 2000 applications have had already been submitted.

Marijuana License requirements

The state of Oregon provides a lot of useful resources for prospective marijuana business owners on its official website, including a handy eBook called “Business Readiness Guidebook for OLCC Marijuana Operations.

Applicants are expected to submit a detailed record of their growing operation, including name, legal entity, state registration number, and contact information if they want to be considered for the initial stage of licensure.

Generally, the licensing process for growers is not very different from the one for retailers. There are quite a lot of restrictions regarding location. OLCC approved marijuana growing operations cannot be on federal property or share the same premises with another similar business.

Also, growers are prohibited from operating on public land or at the same physical location with another approved grow site.

two men holding pens and a document

Furthermore, the state requires proof that the business has adequate funding for its initial working period. During this stage, you are also expected to pay all the associated fees, which amount to a $3500 registration fee and a non-refundable $500 application fee. The application will not be processed unless payment has been received by the state.

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Applicants will need to provide valid government documentation and undergo a criminal background check. A statement from local authorities and a map clearly showing the storefront location are also needed to verify that the proposed growing operation is not located in residential zones.

Authorities will also need a signed School/Dispensary Proximity Affirmation Form documenting that the proposed location of the growing operation is not within 1,000 feet of any educational facilities or other medical cannabis businesses.

Financial requirements

The costs to start a marijuana growing operation in Oregon vary depending on a lot of factors including which county and city you are in. The registration fee amounts to $3500, and there is also a refundable $500 application fee.

On average, opening a growing operation will cost around $200,000 at a minimum, meaning that prospective owners should possess at least $400,000 in the budget to cover all unexpected and running costs.


It generally takes a while to get any business started, but plan on it taking even longer if you intend to start a marijuana business. Allow at least a year to satisfy licensing requirements, raise the necessary capital, set up your grow operation and hire employees.

Resources that can help you open a growing operation in Oregon

a pile of books on top of stones

Looking to start an Oregon marijuana growing operation? These resources and consulting firms can help.

Oregon State
Canna Advisors
Green Rush Consulting
Medicine Man Technologies
Quantum 9 Inc.
Comprehensive Cannabis Consulting

Download the Free Harvesting Guide to learn more about when and how to harvest your Marijuana plants.

Faq about growing marijuana in Oregon

Is it legal to sell marijuana in Oregon?

Medical dispensaries can sell to people without medical conditions over the age of 21. However there are some conditions, For e.g. each adult may purchase no more than ¼ ounce per day, per visit.

Is it legal to grow and manufacture marijuana in Oregon?

Yes, It is allowed to adults but you can only grow 4 plants of cannabis at home without fines or penalties. If you get caught for breaking this rule you can end up paying a fine up to $2,500 and/or up to 6 months in jail.

Is there any fine or plenty on delivering marijuana in Oregon?  

There are no fines or penalties if you are delivering less than 1 Oz of homegrown marijuana without compensation. However, any amount over 1 Oz is subject to various fines and plenty’s.

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2 comments on “How to start a commercial grow operation in Oregon”

  1. This information is a little inaccurate. Cannabis in Oregon is controlled by the OLCC and they have put a hold on producer licensing and even accepting applications to grow. They are backlogged to applications submitted before June 2018. The cost to buy from another grower and transfer a license to your own business is between $125,000-$500,000+ right now depending on what is included (land, security system, etc.) The wait can be YEARS.