How to Start a Medical Marijuana Business in California

Article Provided by Elon Berk

California’s passage of SB 420 has allowed more business growth for the legal, recreation marijuana industry. If you’re thinking of opening your doors, you may want to do some reading on the legalities first. The industry is still highly regulated, and has what you might call a slow rollout. Here’s a few ideas to keep in mind.

Licensing and Location

California’s cannabis business licenses and laws are largely jurisdictional, meaning you need to pay close attention to the location of your business. Make sure you’re licensed for the correct city or county. At this time, LA County is no longer accepting applications for marijuana-based businesses.

Don’t try to get around this by opening business in an unincorporated part of town. Licenses are not legal for operation in these areas, and illegal businesses can impact future legal prospects.

Whether you’re selling or cultivating, you need to be sure you’re licensed by both the county/city, and the state. Be aware that property owners also have discretion over the types of businesses they allow on their property.

Your best option is to be upfront about your business operations, your licensing, and work on educating newer property owners on the benefits of working with you. You may find it difficult to rent your first space as a new business owner, but it is possible.

Operating a medical marijuana business is subject to local laws, but the industry is growing. Avoid crossing the line into illegality, and make sure you’re licensed within your jurisdiction.

Elon Berk is a Criminal Defense Attorney and managing partner at “Gurovich, Berk & Associates.”  Elon Berk is also the co-founder Enkrypt, a secure communication app for the iPhone.


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