Having procured and maintained over 300 commercial cannabis licenses, Manzuri Law is skilled at guiding clients through the ultra-competitive commercial cannabis business license application process.
The choices you make when first starting your cannabis business are incredibly important. The cannabis industry is regulated by both state and local laws, and those laws are constantly changing. To set up your business for success, it is important to seek legal guidance as early as possible.
Our cannabis application writers, licensing team, and regulatory compliance experts help start-ups and established busuinesses navigate the various local and state agencies that will evaluate their application requests, a process which includes zoning, economic impact, and environmental-use requirements.
To successfully operate a commercial cannabis business, you must ensure that your strategic goals are in alignment with the many regulatory requirements that govern the California cannabis industry. Before you get started, here are a few tips to consider and discuss with an experienced cannabis attorney.
Choose a Corporate Structure Strategically Aligned with Your Business Goals
Before launching your commercial cannabis business, it is critical to choose a corporate structure that is best aligned with your unique goals especially in light of the complex regulatory considerations.
Your corporate structure directly impacts your tax obligations, how much of your personal assets are at risk, and how much flexibility you have in the way you operate your business. For example, under a c-corporation, shareholders are not personally on the hook for business liabilities but there are strict rules that govern meetings and record keeping. In contrast, a limited liability company provides much more flexibility regarding a business’s operations and tax treatment.
To maximize the legal protection and benefits you enjoy from your business, it is important to anticipate likely challenges associated with your unique business goals and strategically choose the right corporate structure from the start.
Understand the Basic Cannabis Licensing Requirements Before You Get Started
Next, you must determine what type of cannabis licenses you need for your specific business plans. Whether you want to do retail, distribution, delivery, cultivation, or run a microbusiness, a specific license is required and each license has different requirements.
Before launching your business, it is also important to confirm that your desired area allows commercial cannabis. For instance, according to the California Department of Cannabis Control:
- 56% of cities and counties do not allow any type of cannabis business (302 out of 539).
- 44% of cities and counties allow at least one type of cannabis business (237 out of 539).
- 61% of cities and counties do not allow any retail cannabis business (327 out of 539).
Note, even if a city, county, or municipality allows commercial cannabis businesses, it likely limits the number of businesses per license type that are allowed and certainly regulates where they may operate. The laws governing where and when cannabis businesses may operate are constantly changing, so it is wise to meet with an attorney to identify a strategic location to apply for a license and launch your business.
Navigate California’s Cannabis Licensing Regulations By Partnering with an Experienced Cannabis Law Firm
Once you determine your corporate structure and licensing requirements, you will need to navigate the real estate, land use, and zoning laws that apply to your specific location, the relevant application and licensing fees, and any risks associated with your approach to entering the competitive cannabis market.
The web of local and state regulations is complicated and the cannabis market is competitive. Therefore it is important to meet early on with an experienced California cannabis law attorney to ensure you set up your business for success.
At Manzuri Law, we understand the challenges associated with starting a California cannabis business in this highly regulated and ever-changing industry. The first step in satisfying the regulatory requirements is due diligence.
Part of our legal expertise is helping cannabis start-ups plan and prepare for the necessary rules, regulations, and requirements at the state, city, and county levels, so their licensing application and permit processes unfold without confusion or delay.
Contact our California Cannabis Licensing & Permit Specialists at Manzuri Law
Contact our California cannabis licensing and permit specialists today by phone at (310) 912-2960 or online to learn more about how we can help protect your operation from its formation and licensing stages through ongoing compliance and security measures.