Ask a Marijuana Lawyer for Legal Advice
Recreational cannabis or marijuana use has been under debate in the United States for decades, with a lot of pressure from recreational users and natural health enthusiasts in recent years despite the fact that this drug derived from the cannabis or hemp plant has traditionally been prohibited for sale and use by law. In 2019, 11 states and the District of Columbia legalized marijuana for recreational use in small amounts. In other states, medical marijuana may be available to eligible patients. However, many more states have decriminalized small quantities of the drug. This means recreational marijuana use in these states is considered a civil or local infraction, taking jail time off the table though other penalties may exist.
Some lawyers specialize in marijuana criminal defense, working to protect their clients from unfair sentencing regarding marijuana use. However, with the rise in popularity of products containing CBD (cannabidiol - a non-psychoactive chemical compound found in marijuana and hemp), there is a new need for another kind of marijuana lawyer. Cannabis business lawyers help business owners producing CBD and hemp products make sure they are following the law and protecting their company from legal risk based on the cannabis laws in their state.
The Cannabis Industry is Heavily Regulated
With ever-changing laws surrounding the medical and recreational use of these substances, not to mention the hemp and CBD industry, there is a pressing need for legal experts in these fields who know how to defend their clients and help businesses stay up-to-date with cannabis industry regulations.
According to Medical Marijuana Inc., the following statistics represent cannabis use in the United States in 2019:
- Legal marijuana sales are estimated to generate $1.6 billion a year
- Only 8% of American adults say that marijuana should not be legal
- Legal cannabis has created 211,000 full-time jobs in the United States.
- 29% of adults in the United States live where recreational cannabis is legal
- Domestic hemp production increased by 368% from 2018 to 2019
- 14% of Americans use CBD products
Businesses Considering Selling CBD Products Must Follow Compliance Requirements
Starting a cannabis business or beginning to sell CBD products within an already existing business involves substantial start-up complications and extensive licensing. With so many hoops to jump through in the sale of these products and the consequences for failing to follow industry regulations particularly severe, it’s extremely important to get the help of an experienced cannabis business attorney before beginning to acquire and sell any product containing any form of hemp or cannabis. A cannabis attorney can ensure that every box has been checked and proper license obtained to protect the company, management, employees, and even customers from unjust persecution. Ways a cannabis business attorney can be invaluable include:
- Licensing: Approving licensing of cultivators, extractors, dispensaries, manufacturing, and distribution of companies involved can protect all parties from unfair legal recourse. These attorneys can also help business owners apply for the licenses they need to sell CBD products.
- Startup and formation: Specific requirements must be met in the start-up, formation, or addition of businesses intending to sell CBD products. Cannabis business attorneys are well-versed in these requirements and can help ensure that a business owner meets all the necessary legal requirements before opening.
- Marketing/Advertising and Packaging/Labeling: Specific laws govern the way that CBD products can be marketed/advertised and packaged/labeled, and a cannabis business attorney can help identify those laws and help ensure that your marketing/advertising meets legal requirements.
- Banking. Many companies that sell CBD products are hesitant to engage with traditional banking and financing for fear that their actions will be misidentified as money laundering. Cannabis business attorneys know how to set up the right kind of bank accounts and how to clarify that the use of the account is legal.
- Trademarks/Copyrights. Business attorneys are well-versed in trademark and copyright law. Not only can a business attorney help register a trademark or copyright, but they can also help protect it if infringement occurs.
If you are considering opening a cannabis business, reach out to a cannabis business attorney to learn how they can help you create and protect your business from unfair litigation. Similarly, if you have been arrested for marijuana use, contact a marijuana criminal defense attorney to discuss your options. Seek legal counsel to learn more about cannabis law and how it applies to you.