Rhode Island Cannabis Business Formation
With the legalization of cannabis usage for adults age 21 and older in the state, the time may be right to open your Rhode Island cannabis business.
To do that, you’ll first need to form a viable business entity, ensure you meet all of the state and municipal regulations, and secure a cannabis business license.
Abiding by the legal and regulatory requirements can be challenging if you have never opened a cannabis business before — and even if you have opened a business elsewhere in the country, the regulations vary from state to state.
With the assistance of our cannabis business attorneys, you can form a profitable business that stays on the right side of the authorities from the start and works to achieve your short, mid and longer-term goals.
Getting it right from the start
To obtain a license and be in a position to start operating your cannabis business in Rhode Island, you need extensive preparation.
The assistance of an experienced cannabis business attorney from the start can ease the way and maximize your chances of getting up and running without expensive delays.
To form a viable cannabis business, you will need to:
- Ready your business entity to meet the requirements of the licensing process by executing corporate documents, leases, and real estate agreements. You will need corporate documents, such as Articles of incorporation, corporate bylaw documents, partnership agreements, certificates of good standing, and so on.
- Secure a state license to operate — this is a competitive process that leaves no room for error. The state application process is very detailed and with adult-use cannabis recently legalized in Rhode Island, you are likely to be up against numerous other entrepreneurs seeking the same outcome.
An experienced attorney at Cannabis Law Solutions can assist with both elements of your business formation to ensure a smooth business startup.
What types of cannabis businesses can you operate in Rhode Island?
You don’t have to grow cannabis to get a Rhode Island cannabis business license.
In fact, cannabis cultivation businesses are among the most complex to set up because of the land requirements and expertise required to grow cannabis commercially. This leads to relatively high startup costs.
However, there are numerous other ways to contribute to the development of the cannabis industry in Rhode Island, such as by opening a retail or manufacturing business (which processes the raw material into cannabis-based products).
Certain ancillary businesses that do not involve growing or selling cannabis can also provide a possible entrance into the industry.
Regardless of the type of cannabis business you want to start, there will be some significant startup costs and strict licensing requirements.
Types of Rhode Island cannabis business licenses
Rhode Island issues five types of adult-use cannabis business licenses that allow you to conduct certain cannabis-related business activities in the state. These are:
- Product manufacturer (or Processor)
- Hybrid retailers (for both medical and adult-use cannabis)
- Testing laboratory
Talk over your options with one of our cannabis lawyers if you are unsure of the license type that you need.
Eligibility for a Rhode Island cannabis business license
To apply for a cannabis business license in Rhode Island, your business needs to meet each of the following requirements:
- All owners must be over 21
- No owner can have any disqualifying convictions
- Your applying entity must comply with all tax obligations
Rhode Island residency is not currently an eligibility requirement so you can apply for a cannabis license here regardless of where you live.
However, with the laws rapidly evolving here (and in many states), it remains to be seen whether residency will be a future eligibility requirement.
The Rhode Island business formation and licensing process
Whether you want to grow, manufacture or retail cannabis in Rhode Island, trying to form your business without the right legal advice is inadvisable.
Cannabis businesses face licensing and compliance requirements that few other industries face. It’s important to go in with your eyes wide open to the risks and requirements, as well as the potential gains.
The license application process is complex and competitive, with a limited number of licenses available. The first license application round in Rhode Island will be for adult-use cannabis retail licenses, with the state issuing 24 cannabis retail licenses to new applicants in different “zones” around the state.
Amongst other documents, you will need to submit the following as part of your cannabis business license application:
- Operating plan
- Inventory tracking plan
- Financial plan
- Local municipal approval
Regulators will scrutinize each application, so you must be fully prepared for the process and submit a flawless application.
If you are fortunate enough to be awarded a license, you can expect your business to face ongoing scrutiny as industry regulations in the state bed down and continue to evolve.
How can our Rhode Island cannabis attorneys help you?
Our attorneys can assist you with both forming your business and managing the application process. We’ll share our knowledge of the regulatory landscape and the process of securing business licenses in other states that have legalized recreational cannabis.
We can also assist with inspections that may be required in the future after your business is up and running.
Developing a partnership with a knowledgeable attorney at the start of your journey in the cannabis industry in Rhode Island can help you not only establish your business but protect it and grow it.
For informed legal advice, 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.