The California Legal Pot Business

Feb 9, 2018 by

On January 1, California became the latest state to the start selling recreational marijuana through legal weed shops regulated by the state. California is by far the most populous state in the country, with nearly 40 million occupants calling the Golden State home, so this is big news. The legal cannabis industry is expected to generate billions of dollars, and a significant chunk of that revenue is expected to go back to the state in the form of tax revenue. California already offered legal medical marijuana, which means dispensaries are working hard to make the transition to a newer, wider marketplace. But anyone considering trying to break into the California market for legal marijuana should know that it’s not a process that takes a few days. It can take weeks or even months; you better be both well-organized and patient. There’s a lot riding on this, so California isn’t going to give just anyone a license to sell.

The changing landscape

It’s important to remember that marijuana is still illegal on a federal level and will likely remain that way for a while. More and more states are decriminalizing weed or even legalizing it for recreational usage and sales, but the federal government has held firm. Marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug by the Drug Enforcement Administration, which puts it on the same level as drugs like heroin. Schedule I means the substance is considered to have a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use. That’s given some states pause, but many have decided to move forward with legalization plans and hope for the best. But the shaky legal status of the drug means it’s absolutely vital to look for cannabis lawyers in California before deciding you want to be a legal marijuana entrepreneur. An experienced lawyer can go over all the ins and outs of trying to set up your own business. If you have anything in your background that might disqualify you, it’s better to find out now from your lawyer than to fill out a lot of paperwork and get rejected by state regulators. Many people consider the licensing process to be arduous, but that’s because it’s supposed to be arduous. They want to keep away any casual stoners who may not take this seriously.

The money trail

Aspiring marijuana retailers have had a historically tough time finding banks who are willing to deal with them. That’s in large part because banks are skittish about dealing with an industry that is still illegal in the eyes of the federal government. Some of that has been changing in recent years, but it’s tough to say if the changes will be permanent. That means marijuana business owners looking for a small business loan have to look at other avenues. If you’re trying to join the business in San Diego, unconventional loan options are worth looking into. Again, a lawyer’s guidance will be critical in matters like this. They may be able to offer advice on which funding options offer you a decent deal without drawing the attention of the feds. If they can’t, they can probably direct you towards someone who can.

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