Never ask a plumber if you need a plumber to fix a plumbing problem. You both know the answer before you even ask. Sometimes you can afford a plumber, sometimes you want to go it alone. Still, with more and more states making marijuana legal in some form, and many more states with pending legislation, the business of cannabis is growing in leaps and bounds. This opportunity has attracted investors from all over the world. As with any emerging frontier, the future is not certain or clear. The legal marijuana market is also constantly changing as new laws and policies are enacted. For this reason, if you are at all interested in entering the legal marijuana business, and you are not going to hire a lawyer, it is not something that you should do without careful preparation. Here are a few things to consider, including how a marijuana attorney could aid you in getting started.
Research The Marijuana Industry
As with any industry, the marijuana business is not for everyone. While the legal cannabis market is seeing all-time highs in sales, it is best to look at past sales figures along with future projections in order to gauge stability. Additionally, the cannabis business has a few distinct sectors including grow and processing, retail, and ancillary services. Each sector has its unique challenges and processes. Finding which best fits your goals and skillset is important to identify before moving forward.
Choosing A Location
With over half of the country currently offering recreational or medical marijuana, there are plenty of options on where to locate your business. It’s important to remember that each state where marijuana has been legalized has different laws. Some states’ laws are more favorable to marijuana businesses than others. Critically, even though a state has legalized the drug, this does not mean that you can operate your marijuana business in any part of that state that you want. For this reason, it is essential that you ensure that your proposed business location complies with all zoning and inspection ordinances before you open your business.
Incorporating Your Marijuana Business
The next step in entering the marijuana business is typically known as incorporation. Incorporation consists of filing the proper documents to establish and create your business entity. This is another step that will require research as the choice of which state you incorporate makes a difference on what you are able to do legally and how your business affects you from a tax perspective. Incorporation typically requires fess that must be paid upon submission of your forms and documents.
In most states where marijuana is legal, entering the industry in any of the sectors requires a license issued by the state in which the business operates. Depending on the state that you choose to enter, the license application process can be expensive and time consuming. A few states have opted to introduce programs that are meant to assist applicants from disadvantaged communities. If you are considering entering the marijuana industry, it may be wise to consult with a marijuana attorney to best guide you through this process. Lastly, if you are looking at the California market for a license, consider reading Mio Asami’s in-depth article on getting a cannabis license in California. Cultiva Law is the west coast premiere full-service cannabis business law firm, offering a multitalented team comprised of well-versed and strategic legal counsel. Our experienced attorneys can help you establish and maintain your cannabis business. When you are ready, we will be here.