To become a medical marijuana patient or business in the United States depends on the state you reside in and may involve involves different requirements.
There are now several states in the US allowing medical marijuana for recreational use, and there are still states on their way to full legalization. States that allow medical marijuana follow a similar law and structure requiring a valid doctor’s recommendation.
Medical Marijuana States Application Process
In most medical marijuana states, the law allows non-profit collectives to grow medical marijuana for patients and allows caregivers and patients to reimburse the collective for costs associated with producing medical marijuana.
To be a legal medical marijuana patient in such states, you need a valid doctor’s recommendation, which can be obtained through an appointment with a medical marijuana doctor. Recommendations are tracked through the state and private HIPAA compliant systems.
In medical marijuana states there are limits as to how much medicine a patient can grow or carry. Localities often specify these limits and numbers. Collectively, patients are often allowed to combine these limits and give proxy to a collective to grow for them.
In medical marijuana states, a valid doctor’s recommendation often not only allows you to produce or obtain medical marijuana through a collective, it also gives you some afforded protection from arrest and criminal sanctions and prohibits job hiring discrimination from an employer against individuals on the basis that they are medical marijuana registration cardholders.
Often various entities issue and verify medical marijuana ID cards. Typically it takes about 24 hours for these entities to issue or verify your recommendation and produce your card. Medical marijuana ID’s are valid for one year and are renewed annually. Medical information is confidential and protected under the HIPPA act.
Starting a Marijuana Business License in Your State
Recreational legalization of marijuana in states throughout the United States has opened up a vast array of money making opportunities for business entrepreneurs. As with most any business, starting a business in the cannabis industry takes hard work and a solid business plan to be successful. Because each state is different, you must learn about the many rules and regulations to comply and make sure your business is legal. While medical and recreational marijuana may be legal in various states, it is still illegal federally, although eventually it may be fully legal even on the federal side.
Below are some guidelines on some steps and recommendations for getting your business up and running:
Develop a Solid Business Plan
As with any business, a business plan lays the groundwork and outline for future success. Identify potential obstacles and competition and formulate ways to overcome obstacles and beat the competition. Address key considerations such as funding, marketing, competition, legal compliance, and essential components required to run your business. Have a good research team and know the rules and regulations to comply with the law. Have a good attorney and tax planner as well.
Find a Good Place to Setup Your Business
When setting up a marijuana-related business, you can’t just set up shop anywhere. You have to check on laws regarding where you are zoned to do business. Certain localities may require licensing and special approved permits. Become familiar with laws and have a good attorney on your side in the event that you run into issues with authorities.
File the Proper Paperwork for Your Business
As with any business, you will be required to file as a sole proprietorship, a partnership, or a corporation. You will need to file the appropriate paperwork and get your business structure in place before you open your doors. You make want to review with a specialized marijuana attorney to make sure your paperwork and planning complies with the state’s laws and regulations.
Get the Proper Licenses and Permits
If a medical marijuana or recreational marijuana state, know the rules and regulations and obtain and renew proper permits and licenses required to make sure that your business meets all of the rules and regulations of your area.
Establish Security at Your Location
Marijuana businesses can attract the wrong crowd at times or theft due to most cannabis businesses being cash businesses. Be wise in terms of security and safety when opening your cannabis shop. Invest in camera or in person security to prevent possible issues or catch criminal activity on tape.
Invest in Proper Marketing
To get customers, like any business, you need to get your name out there. Research online advertising opportunities such as online cannabis directories or local newspapers. Another way of promoting can be through industry-related trade shows.
Starting a cannabis dispensary or business is similar as starting may other businesses, although the important area is that of regulation and complying with the law. Take the time to educate yourself about these requirements to get your business running the proper way. Don’t be afraid to seek outside help if you need it, such as with attorneys and tax planners. Help from experienced experts can go along way and help you to stay in business.