Cannabis Business Licenses Attorneys
Exciting opportunities have opened up in the cannabis industry in the U.S. in recent years and these have got business owners, entrepreneurs and investors talking.
The bar of entry remains relatively high, however, because the industry is tightly regulated.
Cannabis occupational licenses are not given out freely and securing one can involve a lengthy process and a considerable pile of paperwork.
You can relieve much of the stress involved with getting started with your cannabis business by understanding the licensing laws and what you need to meet requirements from the outset.
We can advise you on how to secure a business license without the delays, knockbacks, and disappointment that many cannabis business owners have experienced.
What is a cannabis occupational license?
The cannabis industry, like several other industries in the country, is tightly regulated by federal and state governments and subject to restrictions that do not affect ordinary business sectors.
This is because cannabis is deemed to have a potentially major impact on the health, safety, finances or wellbeing of the general public. Other professionals like physicians, accountants, lawyers, and certain tradespeople are also often subject to tight occupational license regulations for similar reasons.
If you want to enter the cannabis industry in a business capacity, you will need a relevant cannabis occupational license (depending on the state in which you are based). By securing a license, you will be qualified to operate your business in the specific sector of the cannabis industry to which your license relates (see more below).
In states that have legalized recreational cannabis, there may be many potential applicants for licenses and the process of securing one can be highly competitive.
Can anyone apply for a cannabis business license?
Most states have appointed a dedicated body to oversee cannabis business licensing and many are still developing the rules for the following:
- Qualifications for licensure
- Procedures for obtaining licensure
- Limits to consumer purchases and possession
- Advertising and marketing regulations
The guidelines vary greatly from state to state and, to prepare your application, it helps to have the support of a cannabis business attorney who understands the local laws and the qualification criteria at play.
Restrictions apply in most states. Some states are strict, allowing only registered medical cannabis dispensaries to obtain a license. In others, only those who hold a wholesale dealer license for liquor may apply for a license.
It’s fair to say that no cannabis business license is awarded in the U.S. without considerable effort from the applicant and license fees are likely to be high in most cases compared to other occupational licenses.
Can you apply for a license with a criminal conviction?
In many states, anyone with a criminal conviction history may face restrictions with applying for a cannabis business license.
If an applicant or “controlling person” of the applicant has been convicted of any felony crime or an offense related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of the applicant’s business, that person can be denied a license outright.
The states vary in how far back they look with a criminal history but most err on the side of caution with past convictions. This can be a huge stumbling block for cannabis business license applicants and one that you must be aware of when planning your business.
What types of cannabis business licenses are available?
The cannabis business licenses available in your state will depend on the local laws. Our cannabis business attorneys can confirm these details once we know more about your location and what you are aspiring to achieve in the industry.
Generally speaking, if you are looking to apply for a license, you will focus on one or more of the following:
- Cannabis courier license
- Cannabis testing laboratory license
- Cannabis manufacturer license
- Cannabis producer license
- Cannabis retailer license
- Cannabis research laboratory license
- Cannabis consumption area license
- Vertically integrated cannabis establishment license
- Cannabis producer microbusiness license
- Integrated cannabis microbusiness license
What is a cannabis retail license?
Any business looking to sell cannabis in the U.S. must possess a valid retail business license issued by the relevant state authority.
While the name of the authority and the license differ from state to state, the requirement to have a valid license does not.
Retailing cannabis without an appropriate license is likely to expose you to criminal charges, fines, or even jail time.
Cannabis business formation application
To legally operate as a cannabis business in any state, you need a license for each type of cannabis-related work you want to perform.
You have already seen (above) the various types of operations in which the cannabis industry provides opportunities.
Your business may be able to apply for an integrated license if you intend to operate in more than one area of the cannabis industry (e.g., growing and retailing) or you may specialize in a particular area for which you require a specific license.
We can help you ready your business to meet the requirements of the licensing process by executing the correct corporate documents, leases, and real estate agreements, such as:
- Articles of incorporation
- Corporate bylaws
- Partnership agreements
- Certificates of good standing
After this has been completed, we can help you with the documentation necessary to secure an occupational business license in whichever area(s) you intend to be active.
You will usually need a detailed business plan and information on personnel, security, compliance measures, technology, and so on.
Licensing and regulatory compliance
Your responsibility to comply with state regulations does not stop after you have secured your cannabis business license. In fact, it has only just started.
Once you obtain your business license, you will need to work hard to maintain full compliance with all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations—or risk severe penalties, including the loss of the license that you worked so hard to obtain.
The cannabis business attorneys at Cannabis Law Solutions can help you maintain regulatory compliance and stay on the right side of the law for the good of your business.
Get help with securing a cannabis business license
Whether you are looking to start a growing, manufacturing, retail or other cannabis business, you need the right advice before you apply for a business license.
Our cannabis business attorneys can help you prepare and apply for your cannabis business license. Call 866-329-0729 for a consultation with a knowledgeable cannabis attorney at Cannabis Law Solutions.
How will our cannabis services help you?
Cannabis business entity formation
Whether you are looking to form a limited liability company (LLC) or a corporation, our experienced business lawyers can discuss the pros and cons of both and help you incorporate your business with the optimal structure to achieve your goals.
Cannabis business licenses
If you want to run a cannabis business, you will need a valid business license issued by your state authority as well as local permits. Eligibility criteria are likely to be stringent and we can help you navigate the often-complex license application process.
Cannabis corporate documentation
Whether you need to prepare for a license application, transfer of business ownership, change of corporate structure, transfer business location, or another business process, we can help you identify and draft the documentation you need to operate legally in your state.
Cannabis administrative law
State authorities watch licensed and unlicensed cannabis businesses closely. If you violate regulations, you could face an administrative penalty. Our attorneys can provide representation or help you prepare for an administrative hearing, settlement conference or appeal.
Cannabis disputes and litigation
Whether you have a dispute with another business, a legal issue with one of your partners or a licensing or administrative issue, you may need legal assistance to help resolve it. We are adept at alternative dispute resolution methods as well as civil litigation.