It wasn’t so long ago that marijuana, also known as cannabis, was completely illegal in the United States. But nowadays, more and more states are legalizing marijuana both for medical and recreational use, creating a boom in cannabis businesses popping up everywhere
As of June 2019, medical marijuana is legal in 33 states, and recreational use is legal in 11 states. This wide-sweeping legalization means that more and more entrepreneurs are deciding to get into the cannabis business, as this industry is slowly becoming a lucrative opportunity.
But when it comes to the law, owning a cannabis company can be quite complex and confusing. Since marijuana use is not regulated on the federal level, and it is not legal in all states across the nation, there are some legal considerations any business owner should keep in mind when starting a cannabis company.
The different types of cannabis businesses
Cannabis businesses can be quite versatile. Generally speaking, there are three main categories to choose from if you want to open a cannabusiness:
This is a business that grows marijuana. Of all three main types, these cannabis businesses are regulated the most.
These are retail companies that offer cannabis infused products such as edibles, salves, and tinctures. Infused products focus only on items that are mixed with marijuana, not marijuana that is used directly for smoking.
Known as dispensaries, these are the places people can go to gain access to high quality cannabis used directly for consumption.
Step by step compliance when starting your business
Once you have determined the type of cannabis business you’d like to open, it is time to follow a series of step-by-step compliance activities in order to legally operate. Some basic steps to follow include:
Creating a business plan
This is where you will list out the specifics of your company. A good business plan will include your goals, costs, and milestones you would like to hit. Think of your business plan as your business’s resume; it will list everything anyone would need to know about your business.
Create a list of local ordinances to work with
In order to keep cannabis businesses regulated, each state has created regulatory agencies as a resource to small business owners. Since the regulations are different in each state, you’ll have to do your research on which organizations you’ll have to contact and work with.
Obtain a permit
As with any business, you’ll have to obtain a permit in order to legally do business in your state. In order to get this, you’ll have to become familiar with multiple local ordinances as they will have list the criteria you’ll need to follow when applying for the permit. It’s important to know that in general, the application for a cannabis business permit does take a few months to be approved.
Choose a location in the proper zoning area
Your business permit will list exactly what areas of town you are allowed to open up a business. These are called zoning laws, and it is important to comply with them before you establish your business.
Comply with security regulations
There are plenty of security regulations you will have to comply with, no matter if you are seeking a business investment or not. These regulations are strictly enforced simply because cannabis businesses aren’t legal everywhere.
If you have any questions when it comes to establishing your cannabis business, it is important to consult with an experienced marijuana business law firm such as McAllister Garfield. Once everything is set up properly, you will be able to reap the benefits of being a business owner in no time at all.