Starting a Medical Marijuana Business: Why You Need a Lawyer

As states continue to legalize different forms of marijuana use, more dispensaries will start to pop up. While many businesses can open and function without the use of a lawyer, opening a marijuana business has more legal red tape since the products sold are still illegal under federal law. For your new business to open and stay protected, you’ll want to have someone who can navigate the changing laws and help your business succeed.

High license and application fees 

Some states, although they have legalized marijuana either for medical purposes or recreational ones, have set a limit on how many marijuana businesses can open within the state. This means every other entrepreneur is trying to apply for the various licenses in one narrow window, adding competition and driving the price up.

For medical marijuana businesses, some states require that certain security measures are in place so medical marijuana doesn’t wind up being sold illegally and to those who are underage. In different states, employees must have background checks before the business can apply for a license, as well. These measures before applying become extremely costly, so you want to know what’s required before you apply for a license.

Many states also have nonrefundable expenses, which means you’re spending a lot of money and not getting it back if you don’t get accepted, so you need to make sure you’re following every guideline and regulation when you apply to make the money you’re spending worth it. A lawyer will be able to help you apply and make sure you’re following the correct guidelines so you have a better chance of being accepted. Trying to navigate the technicalities of the state and federal law can cause you to make some costly mistakes.

Federal vs. State Laws

An attorney who specializes in the federal and state laws on marijuana can help you navigate the seemingly contradicting laws. While some states have legalized marijuana, it is still considered illegal to the federal government. If your business follows all the state legislature put in place, however, your business is less likely to be prosecuted.

To start a medical marijuana business, you’ll need to make it legitimate by deciding what kind of services or products you are going to offer. Your business can fall in cultivation (growing the plants), infusion (selling marijuana infused products), or retail (selling marijuana in its plant form). Most medical marijuana dispensaries fall under the retail end of the business, but a lawyer can help you understand the benefits and costs of all three so you follow the law.

Extra protection for your business 

It is illegal under federal law to possess, distribute, or sell marijuana, however, the federal government is focused more on underage sales, black market products, driving while drugged, distribution from an organized crime network, and any other unlawful activities. Just because it’s unlikely for your business to be prosecuted by the federal government, doesn’t mean you won’t be, and one wrong move could put you in federal court. A lawyer can help make sure your employees and your business are following the federal law so you have a better chance of a long-lasting business.

While it’s not necessary, it’s a smart idea to consult an attorney when starting any business, especially a medical marijuana business. The laws for marijuana continue to change as more states add legislation legalizing the use either recreationally or medically. For your business to be successful, you need to keep up with the ever-changing laws so you’re not prosecuted by the federal government. An attorney will help you keep track of the laws and help you save money and make applying for a business license worth the hassle.

If you want more information about opening a medical marijuana business in Michigan and need an attorney for help, contact the business law firm at Fakhouri Law Group today.

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