There is nothing like setting up a legal marijuana business to test your knowledge of state and federal law, tax issues and business regulations. While marijuana advocates have made huge strides over the last few years and the plant has become legalized or decriminalized in a number of different states, the federal government does not view marijuana as a legal substance or business enterprise, despite state laws. Therefore, launching a marijuana business that is fully in compliance with all state and federal rulings is a difficult and complex undertaking. Depending on what state you live in and how long you have lived there, you should be able to establish a business as a marijuana grower, researcher, goods manufacturer or dispenser if you go through the appropriate channels and acquire the right licenses and certifications. Here is what you need to know about your state laws and how they apply to marijuana-related ventures.
Your Responsibilities to the State
Growing, processing and selling marijuana and any of its derivatives, including salves, oils, tinctures, capsules, vapors and baked or cooked goods, is an act regulated by the state. Nearly half of the states in the U.S. now have some form of regulation of legal medical or recreational marijuana. Since every state makes its own laws regarding the business of marijuana, the first step in setting up a fully legal enterprise is checking with your state to see what the regulations are. Here are some things you will want to find out.
- Is marijuana legal or decriminalized in the state?
- Does the state require any special licensure or certifications for those who deal with marijuana? What are these, and what are their specific requirements?
- How long do you have to reside in the state before you are eligible for marijuana licensure?
- Are there rules about the amount of capital funding you must have secured before you can apply for licensure?
- What types of taxation is marijuana subject to? Is there an excise tax? Is there a special sales tax?
- Does the state advise on how I should file my federal taxes, since my business will not be acknowledged by the federal government as a legal enterprise?
- What are the laws about the production of marijuana, including who can grow it, how and where it can be grown and what types of products it can be processed into?
- What are the laws about the distribution of marijuana, including in what forms, in what amounts and to whom it can be sold or prescribed?
How to Be Legal According to Your State’s Laws
As you can see from the questions above, your state may have laws on every aspect of dealing with marijuana, from how many plants can be grown at one time in a collective to how old you have to be to legally purchase it. It is important that you learn all of these regulations and maintain your awareness of them, as they are constantly changing and updating. Additionally, you should do the following to uphold your legal status as much as possible.
- Keep careful records and documentation of all of your business dealings, from making copies of your filings for licensure to keeping track of your marijuana-related sales and purchases.
- Conduct business legally by collecting and paying the appropriate taxes and making sure you comply with other state-specific regulations. For example, some states require that marijuana retailers keep a video monitor on their cash register area throughout the business day.
- Keep your certifications and licenses current by renewing them at the appropriate times, submitting any required fees on a regular basis and altering your business practices to adapt to changing stipulations. By following the steps above and staying vigilant to keep up with your state’s changing laws, you will be doing your part to maintain a successful and legal marijuana business.
The content on our website is only meant to provide general information and is not legal advice. We make our best efforts to make sure the information is accurate, but we cannot guarantee it. Do not rely on the content as legal advice. For assistance with legal problems or for a legal inquiry please contact you attorney.