Although public perception has changed over the years, opening a marijuana business is no easy feat due to variations in federal and state laws. As ambitious entrepreneurs rush to take advantage of this growing market, it is important to investigate local policies regarding the sale of recreational and medicinal marijuana. In fact, it is highly recommended that you contact an attorney to ensure that your business complies with all applicable regulations. If you want to start a marijuana business but don’t know where to start, here are some of the benefits of hiring a lawyer in your area.
Understanding Federal and State Laws
While you may have a general understanding of marijuana laws in your state, the federal government still considers it an illegal substance. Fortunately, business owners who comply with local regulations stand a better chance of establishing long-term success in this industry.
In order to legitimize your startup, you must first determine what products or services you plan to offer. Marijuana businesses fall into three basic categories, each of which carries its own standards and regulations.
- Cultivation: Growing marijuana plants takes a strong commitment to horticultural perfection, but you will also need a substantial investment to get started in this business. In addition, cultivation is often highly regulated to guarantee a consistently safe and effective product.
- Infusion: The rising popularity of medicinal treatments has encouraged a significant number of entrepreneurs to begin selling cannabis-infused edibles and tinctures. This means all products should be made with high-quality ingredients and labeled with the appropriate serving size or instructions.
- Retail: Both recreational and medicinal dispensaries fall under the category of retail shops. Also known as collectives, these businesses typically sell to authorized patients or individuals who are over the age of 21. Retail stores are the most expensive in terms of startup costs, but they tend to generate bigger profits than other types of marijuana businesses.
Applications, Finances and Licensing
Once you have categorized your business, you can discuss specific requirements with a lawyer who is familiar with both state and federal marijuana laws. This is the most critical part of building a legitimate business, so don’t attempt to navigate the technicalities on your own and risk losing your investment.
Depending on where you live, the process of applying for a license and obtaining financing can vary significantly. In some regions, application fees are nonrefundable and can cost thousands of dollars with little guarantee of acceptance. A background check may also be necessary to eliminate convicted felons with a history of violent or drug-related crimes. Furthermore, many states limit the number of marijuana businesses that can be established in a given area, causing increased competition and inflated fees. You might even be required to verify your financial resources to prove that you can cover expenses like rent and utilities.
Protecting Your Business
Under federal law, it is illegal to sell, distribute or possess marijuana in any form, but authorities tend to focus more on black market products and underage sales. However, this does not mean that the government will never prosecute your business. A reliable lawyer can help you monitor changes in local policies and structure your business properly to minimize the risk of criminal charges. Without professional guidance, one small mistake could liquidate your finances and land you in federal court. If you plan to hire other employees, an attorney can also assist you with liability laws and insurance.
In the end, every business owner deserves a chance to launch a successful operation without the added stress of tackling legal obstacles. Don’t waste valuable time and resources trying to interpret confusing cannabis laws in your state. Instead, contact a lawyer to discuss your options and secure the longevity of your 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.