Marijuana Business Booming (and Risky)

As states continue to open their doors to the marijuana business, entrepreneurs are flocking towards the action. This means that states in where medical and recreational marijuana have been legalized, including Colorado and Washington, the economy is being reshaped, creating more room for investors and business operators. According to the New York Times, marijuana industry workers, entrepreneurs and investors are making headway in an industry that is both promising and risky, given the conflict with federal laws.

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While there is legal and financial risk, entrepreneurs also see the potential for huge growth in a quickly evolving industry. Our marijuana attorneys in Los Angeles are dedicated to protecting the rights of marijuana users, dispensary operators, and other investors. We are abreast of the changes in local, state, and federal law and can providing strategic counsel and representation to protect the rights and interests of our clients. We are also prepared to help marijuana business clients in California ensure compliance and avoid liability.

Business growth and job opportunities range from farming and ground operations to large-scale investment projects. Start-up companies have flooded hotel conference rooms and convention centers to pitch investors who also want a slice of the marijuana business pie. Reports also indicate that workers have flocked to Denver to distribute their resumes and hope to get hired in the marijuana business. The industry ranges from farming and high-tech growing systems to creating apps for distribution and to simple growing and distribution. Marijuana is now legal for medical marijuana use and it is expected to be fully legalized in Alaska and Oregon. As trend towards legalization sweeps the nation, investment groups estimate that the industry is also expected to grow to $2.6 billion by 2015.

In Colorado, the number of individuals with licenses to work with marijuana has grown to over 11,200. Since the first retail operations opened their doors six months ago, the state has issued licenses for more than 200 shops selling marijuana for recreational use. In addition to local enthusiasts, tourists have also flooded the market. Some entrepreneurs have gone beyond traditional dispensaries and have catered to the tourism market, offering marijuana “bed and breakfasts.” Entrepreneurial activities can range from farming, to selling water systems, nutrients or offering accounting services. There are also cannabis experts in medical research and technology, real estate, and tourism.

Publicly trading marijuana businesses can be complicated, as federal securities regulators have actively suspended a number of them and continue to issue warnings that many of the investors have fraudulent operations. For many owners, the risk may not guarantee high profits or success, especially given the legal risks and potential liabilities. One of the problems is the inability to procure capital as a result of federal law. They may also face delays in getting permits and licenses. Whether you are a veteran in the marijuana business or you want to explore your options and opportunities, it is important to have a clear understanding of your potential risks and liabilities. Though there are certainly profits to be made, there are also legal and financial traps for the unwary that could result in losses and potentially criminal liability.

The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call us at 714-937-2050.

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