Woody Harrelson Weighs Medical Marijuana Business Entry

It’s no secret that actor Woody Harrelson has been a long-time supporter of legalizing medical cannabis and recreational marijuana. Harrelson, along with some of his friends, like Willie Nelson, have been featured in magazines like High Times for decades supporting the legalization movement, and this began at time when very few Americans would be willing to vote for legalization, unlike today where it is supported by the majority of voters.

lawandorder.jpgAccording to a recent news article from Fox News, Harrelson is one of 66 people and corporations who have applied for a medical marijuana dispensary permit in Hawaii. Technically, it his company, Simple Organic Living, that applied for the permit.

The law went into effect last year that would allow for the state to award up to eight licenses for dispensaries throughout the islands that make up the state. There is no question these applicants are not your typical small business startups; the law requires any applicant to have $1 million in cash as a condition of applying and be willing to pay an additional $100,000 per individual dispensary once a license has been awarded. The law established a maximum of 66 applicants, and also requires that anyone who applies has been a resident for at least five years.

This five-year provision is actually more restrictive in some ways than the requirement to have a minimum of $1.1 million, because the United States Constitution as interpreted by the United States Supreme Court typically prevents these types of residency requirements. This is based on a provision that provides for freedom of travel between the many states of the Untied States. As the Supreme Court interpreted travel, it means that one state cannot generally prevent the resident of one state from coming to another state to engage in business, as this was thought as being paramount to the formation of a strong union.

In addition to Harrelson, other local celebrities and well known entrepreneurs were among the other 65 applicants that applied for medical marijuana dispensary permits. This newly passed law will allow each person or company who is awarded a dispensary permit to own and operate two production centers for cultivation and product preparation and two dispensaries that will serve individual patents. There will be a total of 16 total dispensaries allowed, with a certain number being allowed on the various islands.

Even though this medial marijuana law is just becoming a reality with dispensaries to set up later this summer, medical marijuana was technically legalized 16 years ago, but like a lot of jurisdictions, it was a long time coming.

One of the reasons for this was that when medical marijuana was legalized in California, that was one of the few states that actually allowed things to get started by passing a legislative framework in which legalized medical marijuana could actually exist. Without this, there can be major problems. For example, in Washington, DC, it is legal to buy up to two ounces of marijuana, and it is legal to give marijuana as a gift to another person, but it is illegal to sell any amount of marijuana. This basically fuels a black market economy.

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

Additional Resources:
Woody Harrelson applies for Hawaii marijuana dispensary, February 6, 2016, Associated Press Wire
More Blog Entries:
NAACP Supports California Marijuana Initiative after Changes are Made, Jan. 27, 2016, California Medical Marijuana Lawyer Blog