So You Want to Get Into the Legal Pot Business
November 13, 2017 (Investorideas.com Newswire) So you live in one of the states that allows the sale of legal marijuana for recreational purposes, not just medicinal ones. And you've always wanted to start your own business, and you figure weed makes people happy, right? So you figure you'll apply for a license to sell it and be on your way. How hard can it be?
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Pretty darn hard, actually. The United States is in a bit of a no-man's land in regards to legal weed, and it's only gotten worse after the last presidential election.
See, states like Colorado and Washington have been in the legal weed business for a few years now, while other states like Massachusetts and Nevada are just jumping in. Then there are the states that allow medical marijuana but not the recreational stuff. Then there are still plenty of states that don't want you to have any marijuana at all for any reason. However, some cities within those states have instructed police to make marijuana arrests a low priority. Others definitely have not.
See how confusing it is? And we haven't even gotten to Attorney General Jeff Sessions yet. This is why you need a marijuana business attorney to help guide you through the patchwork quilt of pot laws. If you're going to open a pot shop, you can't just assume it will be a smooth process. States and cities tend to be pretty strict about who they'll let operate those places. You're selling a drug, not tacos (although especially delicious tacos might feel like a drug, but that's an argument best left for another day).
Then there's Jeff Sessions. The former Alabama senator has been very clear in his stance regarding marijuana: he doesn't like it, and he thinks people who use it are generally bad humans. This would be fine if marijuana were legal on the federal level, but it's not. It's very much illegal, in fact. This has some weed-friendly states wondering if a crackdown is imminent. There are signs it could be headed that way, but no one is quite sure what that might look like. He could go whole-hog and try to shut down every single legal pot shop in the United States, or he could just target certain aspects of the legal weed industry. He might even decide to allow pot shops to stay open while arresting people who buy from them. It's hard to know right now. And if there is a plan, it could fall apart if Sessions is fired or resigns from office.
In light of all that uncertainty, some would-be pot entrepreneurs are taking a wait-and-see approach. Congress could remove some of the confusion by passing legislation making marijuana legal, but have you seen Congress lately? They might not even be able to pass a budget to avoid a government shutdown. Passing legislation is a worthy goal, but it's definitely more of a long-term solution than a short-term one.
So in the short-term, you need a sound legal mind to help you out with all this. Oh, and before you apply, how's your rap sheet? The best answer is “I don't have one.” Speeding tickets are probably fine, but beyond that, it can get tricky. Keep your nose clean during the application process. If you're going to partake of legal marijuana, do it at home. Don't do it and then go out for a nice drive around the countryside (if you must go somewhere while stoned, get a ride from a friend or hire a car service). You can get a ticket for driving stoned just like you can get a ticket for driving drunk.
And what if you live near a state line and your friend in a state that doesn't allow marijuana asks you to buy him some and bring it to him? That is incredibly illegal. Don't do that either. A state trooper in Idaho isn't going to care that you bought your stash in Washington.
None of the above means you can't get a license and start running your very own pot shop. But you do need to proceed with caution. Considering the state of marijuana laws in the country, this is no time to be careless.
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