Serving Cannabis Businesses and Cannabis Entrepreneurs Nationwide
Cannabis Corporate Documentation Attorneys
For many business owners looking to startup, get established or expand a cannabis business around the U.S., it’s an exciting road ahead.
Great opportunities exist for business owners and investors who can navigate the red tape and position themselves to take advantage of the relaxation of attitudes towards cannabis. An important industry is developing and you can be part of it.
But there’s no escaping the heavy regulations that the industry is saddled with. A multitude of risks exists for business owners who fail to plan, prepare the necessary documentation, and fall foul of the regulations.
The strongest businesses will be those run by people with a good understanding of the local, state and federal regulations, and who take the necessary steps to safeguard their investments.
It’s not just about having the best products and marketing team. You need to establish the fundamentals of running your business in accordance with the laws. Corporate documentation is an important part of this and needs your attention both before you apply for your cannabis business license and after you get it.
The cannabis business attorneys at Cannabis Law Solutions will help you prepare the documentation you need to keep your business protected and the authorities happy.
How can we help with corporate documentation?
Every state that has legalized medical or recreational cannabis to date requires a large volume of corporate documentation before a business can operate legally.
The amount of paperwork involved can be mindboggling for those just starting in the industry but think of it as one of the trade-offs for entering a new and exciting industry that is just emerging from the shadows.
Wherever you are based in the U.S., our cannabis attorneys understand the state laws and requirements for licensing and maintaining compliance with the stringent regulations.
We can help you:
Obtain a cannabis business license
Transfer business ownership
Change corporate structure
Transfer business location
Our attorneys will prepare and file the necessary paperwork to ensure a timely turnaround of your case. We have assisted both new and established cannabis industry clients with such activities over the past decade.
Why is corporate documentation so challenging for cannabis businesses?
With the cannabis business laws still being written in many states—and being revised in others—it’s not surprising that business owners get confused with the corporate documentation and legal requirements when applying for a license or making changes to their business.
State laws require careful planning, drafting and filing all of the necessary paperwork and doing so protects your business for the future.
The challenge of corporate documentation is made considerably easier when you can call on seasoned advice from industry professionals who have helped other business owners get set up within the emerging cannabis sector for many years.
Templates are unlikely to work for your documentation needs in such a heavily regulated industry. Whether you are starting a limited liability company (LLC) or a corporation, you need tailored and specific advice on how to set up and operate your business to stay on the right side of the regulations and avoid internal decision-making issues.
It is not just about submitting business plans, floor plans, products details, security policy information, financial information and so on. The required documentation for cannabis businesses goes a lot deeper into your organization.
Certain challenges stand out in particular with cannabis corporate documentation. Firstly, you need the cooperation of your company members to pass stringent background checks before a license will be awarded.
Some members may baulk at this requirement and create delays and other issues when obtaining your license. Your corporate documentation should, therefore, include a clause that commits all LLC members or corporate shareholders/officers to cooperate fully with such licensing requirements.
Regulatory violations due to criminal convictions
Personal bios must usually be submitted to state authorities outlining personal history information, including residential and employment history and any criminal history. Each member may also be asked for full disclosure of assets and liabilities.
Your state may prohibit the award of a license for a company in which a member has a felony conviction on their record, for instance. This may apply both during an initial license application and after a license is awarded.
So, for example, if a member of your LLC or a shareholder is charged and convicted with a felony while you are operational and does not exit the business, you may be subject to a regulatory violation charge.
This type of issue must be addressed directly in your corporate governance documentation. A member convicted of a felony is not usually compelled to resign their position but your corporate documentation should include a clause to make this so.
Distribution of inventory upon dissolution of a cannabis business
Another reality that your corporate documentation needs to address is what happens if the business fails or doesn’t last the distance for some reason?
No entrepreneur wants to contemplate this but in the event of your cannabis business being dissolved, you need to decide what happens to the assets.
There are complications with this in the cannabis industry because the chief asset is likely to be the cannabis itself. Strict limits apply to how much cannabis a person can legally possess or sell.
Your cannabis business must address the scenario in the corporate documentation you draft, such as your business operation or shareholder’s agreement. Speak with one of our cannabis business attorneys for reliable advice on this.
Get help with corporate documentation for your cannabis business
Whether you are growing, manufacturing, retailing or otherwise part of the burgeoning cannabis industry, the issue of corporate documentation affects you.
Our cannabis business attorneys can help you identify and draft the documentation you need to safeguard your business.
For informed legal advice, call 866-329-0729 for a consultation with a knowledgeable cannabis attorney at Cannabis Law Solutions.
How will our cannabis and psychedelic business services help you
Cannabis & psychedelics 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 & psychedelics business licenses
If you want to run a cannabis or psychedelics 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 & psychedelics 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 & psychedelics administrative law
State authorities watch licensed and unlicensed cannabis and psychedelics 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 & psychedelics 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.
Cannabis & psychedelics regulatory compliance
As the cannabis and psychedelics industries emerge in states around the U.S., they are more heavily regulated than most other industries. We can help your business navigate the red tape and plan to stay on the right side of the regulatory authorities in whichever state you are based.
McKenzie and her firm were definitely awesome. She was conscientious of my money, and made efforts to let me help to decrease the expense of my case. I was not confident about my chances of success before hiring her, but once I did, I slept so much better. Definitely the best choice (and I met with a few!)
These guys rock!!! Met with McKenzie about an issue I needed some help on. She was honest, professional and gave great direction that was easy to follow and solved the problem! Legal Solutions of New Mexico conduct themselves unlike any other lawyers I’ve ever seen – starting with their website, all the way through to the personal attention they provide! They are direct and get the job done while keeping their clients interests at heart. 10/10 would recommend to anyone needing legal help.
“One of the best for sure”
McKenzie St.Denis is THE best! She’s very thorough and listens to you. She gives the best recommendation based on YOUR needs and wants. She genuinely has the clients best interest at heart—no doubt. I definitely recommend her as she has integrity—super sharp! One of the best for sure. Thank you so much, McKenzie!!!
Opening a successful and legal marijuana dispensary begins with hiring a knowledgeable cannabis attorney and learning all that you can about this industry and the applicable laws. The next step is to set up a corporate business structure and create a retail business plan, which an attorney can also help you with. You will also need to research potential locations for your business to find out where licensing is legal.
Next, obtain the necessary licensing to operate your cannabis business and ensure that your operational infrastructure follows all laws and regulations. If you are not growing or producing your products yourself, you will need to contract with cultivators and product manufacturers to supply your business.
Before you begin the process of applying for a cannabis license, you need to establish a business from which to apply. The state will not consider an application from an individual; instead, the applicant must be a business entity in good standing with the state.
Your business will begin when you choose a legal entity and file the appropriate paperwork with the Secretary of State. After that, you will file with the IRS and obtain a taxpayer identification number.
You would start with articles of incorporation and include other key corporate provisions in the bylaws that state how your company will be governed. If your business is a partnership or limited liability company, you will need an operating agreement. Depending on your line of business, you may also need other licenses to operate.
In addition, you will also need other corporate documents that the Department of Health will want to see when they are considering your cannabis application. Of importance here, your application would ask you to provide:
Your articles of incorporation
Certificate of good standing
An attorney can help you both choose the appropriate business entity and draft and file any necessary documentation. When you are seeking to enter the cannabis field, it is important to get your business formation process right to make the best possible impression on the Department of Health. Doing so will allow you to devote as much time as possible to your cannabis-related business arrangements.
As a precursor to even being able to apply for state approval of your cannabis business, you must have a properly formed business entity. As a result, the first documentation you must file is the documentation establishing your business.
Next, you will need to obtain a tax identification number by registering with the IRS. In addition, the licensing application also asks you to provide your current state business license registration.
Beyond your general business licenses, you would also need specific permission to operate a cannabis business. This involves a very strict registration process where the state will closely scrutinize your application. You can expect the state to review each of the licenses that they request since it wants to be sure that your business complies with laws before they are granted the right to operate in the cannabis industry.
Compliance means making sure that you follow the myriad of laws that apply to your state’s cannabis businesses. Further, the regulatory landscape is fast-changing as the state gains more experience overseeing the businesses.
What this means for you is that knowledge is one of the most important things that you can have. Not only do you need an expert in the current laws, but you also need to be able to anticipate future changes in the law. This means that each business needs an expert who understands the laws and can advise them as to the best means of following them.
Also, compliance also means that you have sound policies and procedures in place that govern your business. The Department of Health is already looking at your policies when they evaluate your initial application. However, they reserve the right to audit and inspect your business to verify that you are complying with the law. You should always be ready for an inspection by documenting how you are following the regulations.
The best way to show compliance is by keeping your paperwork organized and conducting your own internal audits. The Department is interested primarily in your safety procedures, so you should be ready to show how you are following your own procedures. Further, you should always reevaluate your own policies to see if there are any weaknesses or changes that can be made to strengthen them.
The major thing that the Department of Health is interested in is the safety of both the product and the operation. As a baseline, the state wants to know who all of the owners are and the people who will be working in the operation.
While there are common documents among all the application classes that the Department is seeking, there are also special requirements for each of the categories.
For example, when the Department is evaluating a manufacturing application, it will pay close attention to measures that your business takes to ensure proper hygiene and testing methods. The Department also will pay attention to the manufacturer’s procurement practice and the security of its inventory.
With regard to laboratory submissions, the focus is partially on the testing processes and equipment that the business will use. The Department wants technical, scientific details of the exact tests and the quality control that the laboratory will use for testing. The emphasis is on ensuring product safety.
For courier businesses, the Department will scrutinize the safety and security of the delivery process, including the vehicles and the delivery routes that are used. The emphasis is on the safety of qualified patients, primary caregivers, and courier staff in light of the product being delivered. In addition, since there is interaction with patients, the Department wants to see how the applicant plans on protecting patient privacy.
Cannabis legalization often works in a series of steps. Broadly speaking, cannabis policy reform occurs in the following stages:
Prohibition: Criminal penalties apply for the possession or use of cannabis.
Decriminalization: Low-level criminal penalties are removed for cannabis usage (e.g., personal possession) and criminal penalties may be replaced with civil fines.
Medical legalization: Full medical legalization with commercial licensing and testing may come straight away or in a series of stages.
Legalization: State laws are changed to make any cannabis activity a crime no longer. Cannabis must be removed from the Controlled Substances Act and new rules added for the legal commercial cultivation, distribution, testing, and sales of cannabis.
Oregon and Colorado states have decriminalized the use, sale, and possession of psilocybin, which is the active ingredient in “magic mushrooms” and has been shown to have great value in treating certain medical conditions, like depression, anxiety and life-threatening cancers.
Besides these states, the cities of Oakland and Santa Cruz in California as well as Washington, D.C., Somerville, Cambridge and Northampton (Massachusetts) have all decriminalized psilocybin.
It should be noted that all psychedelics are illegal in the United States under federal law and drugs like MDMA, DMT, ketamine, LSD and psilocybin are Schedule 1 controlled substances. This means they are viewed as having no medical purpose and no legitimate commercial application