VS Attorneys Discuss Competitive Marijuana Business Licensing on Cannabiz Connect

Jan 14, 2021

Watch this CannaBiz Connect presentation with Jeffrey Welsh, Amanda Kilroe, Yolanda Clarke, and Cannabiz Connect host Earl Carruthers for top tips on how to succeed in the marijuana business industry. The panelists also discussed the importance of social equity and participating in local and state rulemaking.

Key takeaways:

The cannabis industry is very competitive:

  • Many states and localities have cannabis licensing caps and/or merit-based application scoring
  • It helps to have experience in the type of business you're interested in starting (cultivation, retail, manufacturing, testing etc.)

Be cognizant of the risks of operating in the cannabis industry, including:

  • Cannabis is still federally illegal
  • Regulations can change quickly 
  • You will likely encounter opposition at the local level
  • Cash environment due to cannabis business banking restrictions 
  • 280e tax code

Tips for cannabis business success:

  • Put together an amazing core team of partners, lawyers and consultants
  • Secure a location early
  • Know what is important to your locality/community
  • Create a great license application (including a business plan) 
  • Make sure you're appropriately capitalized

Reduce the risk of cannabis application denials:

  • Understand the application requirements
  • Read application and FAQs very thoroughly
  • If there are public meetings, make sure to watch or read the minutes
  • Monitor the regulatory agency's website for updates

Secure a location for your cannabis business: 

  • Be upfront with the property owner that you intend to operate a cannabis business at the location
  • Know your locality's regulations, zoning, tax rates, etc.
  • Find a property compliant with local cannabis restrictions (setbacks, proximity to schools, parks, libraries, etc.)

Become an engaged civic member of your community:

  • This is a great opportunity to impact the cannabis regulations you will operate under
  • Go to city council and other community meetings
  • Listen and respond to community concerns
  • Follow up on promises to the community
  • Get involved in expungement events

Interested in starting a cannabis business? VS is here to help. Take a look at our services and contact us!



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