Marin County, CA – one of the richest counties in the United States. It is also one of the most beautiful regions of our country. In Marin County you can visit the Golden Gate Bridge, Muir Woods, or take in a picturesque view of the Pacific while sipping some of Napa’s finest. In 2017 you will also be able to check out Marin County’s four new Medical Marijuana Dispensaries.
Last week the Marin County Board of Supervisors approved the application process for Medical Marijuana Dispensaries and provided some guidance on how to obtain one of the four coveted licenses. Not surprisingly, the Board didn’t reinvent the wheel. Instead, it implemented guidelines similar to those used in other areas of California and across the country.
This example of consistency in the application process is much needed in the otherwise turbulent cannabis industry. The cannabis industry generates billions of dollars in revenue each year. No doubt it is a legit industry. But, the implementation of uniform rules and regulations throughout the country will reinforce the industry’s legitimacy.
A natural by-product of consistency in the Medical Marijuana application process is the ability to anticipate and plan. This is great news for individuals living in states that are on the cusp of legalizing marijuana. In Missouri, for example, there will likely be a constitutional amendment on the November 2016 ballot that will allow voters to decide if Missouri will be one of the next states to legalize Medical Marijuana.
But that’s, like, six months away. Why would I need to do anything now? Great question. Thanks for asking. The answer is that you should have been working on your Medical Marijuana concept yesterday, last week, and last month! The reality of the situation is that a lot of work needs to be done in advance of legalization.
To give you a better idea of what I’m talking about, let’s take a look at a couple of the application guidelines for a Medical Marijuana Dispensary contained in Missouri’s proposed constitutional amendment. The guidelines, by the way, are very similar to those used in Marin County.
Money. This is likely the greatest barrier for those wishing to enter the industry. While I am no Mark Zuckerberg, the “known” costs are relatively low. There will be a non-refundable $3,000 license application fee and an annual $10,000 fee to keep the license. However, qualified applicants will likely need to demonstrate liquid assets in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Unless your rich uncle is going to bankroll your endeavors, you will need to find investors. That will not happen overnight. Unless you win the lottery. In which case I’d like to talk to you about a great investment opportunity.
Selecting the right location for your Medical Marijuana Dispensary will be another important decision that will require significant planning. Of course, you will want a property that is in a popular part of town with lots of exposure. However, one must also consider local zoning restrictions, site security, and, among other things, whether the dispensary “fits” in the community. Taking all of this into consideration you (hopefully) quickly realize that the number of suitable properties for your Medical Marijuana Dispensary is actually quite limited. There will be a mad scramble to snatch up quality properties if legalization is made a reality. If you are serious about this you may even want to consider purchasing a property now.
Of course, there are many other issues that would be better addressed sooner rather than later. You will need to create a business plan, select an entity structure, form said entity, develop contacts in the industry, and much more.
We’ve all seen those inspirational posters with quotes about how preparation will lead to success. As cheesy as those posters may be, the message still rings true, especially in the cannabis industry. Your hard work now will build the foundation for future success. I wish you much luck in your endeavors. Shoot me an e-mail, Hill@CannaJurist.com, if you’d like to discuss further.