The Laws for Starting a Cannabis Business are Complex
There are several ways to approach the question “what laws do I need to know to start my cannabis business?” You can either research the laws for starting a cannabis business yourself, engage the services of a specialist marijuana industry lawyer to deal with the legal issues on your behalf, or compromise between the two alternatives and do a little research yourself supported by the knowledge and experience of the lawyer.
For many individuals and enterprises looking at entering the cannabis market, the third option is often the most preferable. Researching what laws you need to know to start a cannabis business is time-consuming and relies heavily on the research material being accurate and up-to-date (not something the Internet is renowned for). Furthermore, the laws for starting a cannabis business are changing all the time.
Engaging the services of a specialist marijuana industry lawyer can be expensive; for, although the lawyer will have knowledge and experience of the industry, each state, county and city has its own laws for starting a cannabis business. Different laws may apply for different elements of the industry (cultivators, distributors, dispensaries, etc.) or there may be a limit on the number of licenses available for each element of the industry.
The “compromise” solution is often the best way to resolve the issue of what laws you need to know to start a cannabis business. Certainly start by speaking with a specialist marijuana industry lawyer in case they are aware of any obstacles that would automatically prevent you from entering the industry. Thereafter, find out as much of the basics as you can before returning to your lawyer to deal with issues such as company formation, your business plan and licensing application.
Where to Start Finding Out What Laws You Need to Know to Start a Cannabis Business
Despite its accuracy issues, the Internet is the best place to start finding out what laws you need to know to start a cannabis business. If your state is one of the twenty-three states that has legalized cannabis for medicinal or recreational use, you should start your research at local level to ensure that the county or city in which you want to start the cannabis business has not opted out of state-wide legislation or passed an ordinance that makes running a business impractical.
If the laws for starting a cannabis appear to permit the type of business you want to start, you then need to look at the element(s) of a marijuana business in which you wish to be involved (cultivation, distribution, dispensary etc.). Areas to look at include licensing requirements, employment laws, restrictions on growing, delivering and selling, and what level of security is required by the licensing authority. As mentioned above, you only need to do the groundwork at this stage. A specialist marijuana industry lawyer will be able to help you with the finer points.
Fees, taxes and company structure are other areas to look at, as there may be more than one set of fees to pay to state and city licensing authorities and more than one set of taxes to pay on your income. Company structure becomes an issue in states with “non-profit” laws for starting a cannabis business, as – in California for example – your venture into the marijuana industry in these states is supposed to be as a co-operative and not as a profit making entity.
Even if the state you want to set up a cannabis business has “not-for-profit” regulations, you will definitely need a good business plan. Your business plan needs to be well researched and show potential lenders, business associates and licensing authorities that you are serious about your intended venture. Naturally, your business plan will develop as you discover what laws you need to know to start a cannabis business, and this is one area where liaising with a specialist marijuana industry lawyer at regular intervals to discuss your research progress will pay dividends.
Speak with a Specialist Marijuana Industry Lawyer Today
In order to learn more about what laws you need to know to start a cannabis business, you are best advised to speak with a specialist marijuana industry lawyer at the first possible opportunity. The lawyer will be able to point you in the direction of the most relevant information sources, advise you on whether there are restrictions on the number of licenses that will be issued in your jurisdiction, and guide you through the preliminary processes for licensing applications.
If there are restrictions on the number of licenses that will be issued in your jurisdiction – and that limit has already been reached – the lawyer should be able to advise you on alternative jurisdictions and the opportunities that exist there. As mentioned above, the laws for starting a cannabis business are changing all the time, and the lawyer may be able to advise you of upcoming legislation that may make your efforts a waste of time – or offer untouched and more lucrative opportunities in the cannabis industry.