Legalized Cannabis Requires a Whole New Segment of Law Professionals
In 2017 a total of 659,700 people were arrested on marijuana related charges and according to the ACLU
Ever since states across the nation decided to legalize cannabis, lawyers have stepped up to the plate to meet the demand of legal representation, whether it be tax law, patents, real estate guidance and land use. This need is accelerated by regulations and restrictions being pushed out by state agencies that affect cannabis businesses and consumers.
The Shift from Punishing to Assisting
There has been a shift when it comes to marijuana. Before the legalization of marijuana in approved states, an attorney could be a prosecutor, responsible for fining or locking people up for the sale and possession of marijuana. On the other side of the spectrum, an attorney could be hired to prevent imprisonment or fines for a client they were representing.
In 2017 a total of 659,700 people were arrested on marijuana related charges and according to the ACLU, marijuana accounted for 52% of all drug related arrests in 2010. There was a total of 8.2 million marijuana related arrests between 2001-2010, 88% of these arrests were for marijuana possession. These offenders would have the help of lawyers they hired personally or attorneys there were appointed by the courts on their behalf.
Legal needs are now changing drastically in states where cannabis has been legalized. Attorneys now assist people to make money off marijuana versus prosecuting them or trying to prevent them from having to pay fines or serve time. There are many areas where legal assistance is needed in the cannabis industry that the public may not be aware of, that will be discussed further in the article.
Many states require a state issued license to operate a cannabis business. Each state has a different set of requirements that must be met before they begin to operate. Authorization is also required from the city and county that the business owner plans on conducting business in. It’s also important to note that the sell of cannabis may be legal statewide, but it could be banned in certain cities within that state.
Some states have legalized the sale of medical marijuana but continues to outlaw the sale of recreational cannabis. If a business operates as a medical marijuana dispensary or a person wants to consume medical marijuana, there are many regulations they must abide by which include:
- The amount of cannabis allowed
- Qualifying Illnesses
- Registry Identification Cards for the purchase of marijuana
- Written permission or certification from a physician to consume marijuana
- Dispensaries must be located over a specified distance to operate
- A cap on plants that one can cultivate
- Cultivation bans
- A cap on the amount that primary medical caregivers can provide patients
- Limits on the amount of cannabis plants dispensaries can grow on site
This list goes on and on, this is just a small sample of regulations that medical marijuana business owners and patients must abide by to prevent trouble with the law.
Business owners may be filled with excitement, with the news that they have finally received their license to open a dispensary. Location is very important when it comes to operating a successful business. Many businesses may be disappointed to find out that zoning restrictions pose a roadblock to opening dispensaries in prime locations. Regulations can vary according to the proximity of schools, major roadways and residential areas.
Many businesses find out that they need assistance in navigating the confusing and often contradictory language of legislation and constant changes that different states set forth, to control the legal distribution and sale of marijuana. This crates a need for attorneys who offer help dispensaries require to acquire the correct permits and find approved real estate to run their dispensaries.
Dispensaries are not the only ones who have to abide by strict laws. Cultivators must adhere by laws that pertain to lab testing, packaging, public health safety, removal of waste and many more. Growers cannot just set up a patch of land to start growing cannabis for commercial purposes. Like dispensaries, certain states forbid farms that are within a certain distance of transit centers, public schools, libraries, parks and businesses that cater to minors.
Colorado for example requires that production facilities must be in an enclosed location that is secure. Requiring growers to cover up their marijuana plants with semi-permeable roofs and tall fences. Levels of pesticides and chemicals are restricted as well. Testing in labs are conducted to make sure the cultivators are abiding by these laws. A lot of money can be lost if farmers are unaware of the requirements they must comply with. If cultivators fail these rigorous mandates, they can lose thousands of dollars on crops that must be discarded. For repeat offenders, states and cities agencies can revoke permits and licenses to businesses that fail to comply.
Legalized marijuana, whether it be for recreational or medical purposes will require professional legal help. The demand for legal representation will increase as more states legalize medical and recreational cannabis. Consulting a cannabis attorney can safeguard cannabis businesses from losing their license and permits that prove to be very difficult to obtain in the first place. Competent legal counsel can safeguard and minimize loss of profits and prevent the business owners from being slapped with harsh fines because of their lack of knowledge of the law.
The Right Strain
Heading to a dispensary and just picking up weed to start your yoga/meditation session will not yield the results you desire if your aim is to calm anxiety. Consuming the right strain, is important whenever you are trying to combat anxiety and stress.
A dispensary like Harbor Collective has a wide range of tinctures and topicals available for you to choose from. Tinctures of different ratios are available along with ones that are formulated to specifically target whatever you want to address, whether it be increased energy or help with lack of sleep or stress. You can skip the line at the dispensary by ordering online. Don’t miss out on our happy hour specials from 7 a.m. – 10 a.m. every day.