Starting up a Marijuana Business
If you are looking to start a marijuana business, there is a lot to consider.
You will want to first familiarize yourself with your state’s statutes
governing the legal cultivation, manufacturing, distribution and use of
medical and/or recreational marijuana. Secondly, you will want to familiarize
yourself with your state’s regulatory structure and authority for
regulating the same, including all rules and regulations for licensing.
Next, you will want to check your local county and municipality’s rules.
Most states that have legalized cannabis in some form have a dual licensing
structure, whereby the state and the local jurisdiction in which your
business operates issues a license.
Next, you will want to properly protect yourself from personal liability
associated with operating a business. You will generally have the option
to form a partnership, limited liability partnership, or corporation.
You should consult an attorney to determine which entity type is most
appropriate for your business. You will then want to determine how your
company will be funded or capitalized. The most common forms of funding
for marijuana businesses are self-funding, debt financing and equity financing.
Which form of funding you choose will be based on a number of circumstances,
including your personal financial situation, what types of funding your
state allows for marijuana companies, and certain restrictions your state
imposes on types of funding.
Next you will begin the license application process. This can be a time
and labor-intensive process, as most marijuana business applications require
in-depth disclosure of personal information, including financial information,
other business interests owned, a criminal history background check and
fingerprinting. While someone can complete the appropriate license application
on their own, it is advisable to have an attorney assist in the process
and complete a final review of the license application prior to submission
in order to ensure the greatest chance of success in obtaining the license.
Typically, each license application will require a floor plan diagram
of your facility, including location of surveillance cameras for security.
You will also need to ensure full compliance with permit requirements
and fire and safety codes. Once your application is completed you will
submit it together with the required filing fee. If your license is granted,
there may be an additional licensing fee.