It’s an exciting time to be in the burgeoning cannabis industry, where timing and positioning are key and the establishment of a brand can be essential for long-term survival and success. Sharing some similarities with both the repeal of alcohol prohibition in 1933 and the Internet boom of two decades ago, the cannabis industry is nevertheless unique unto itself—inviting comparisons to the spirit (and risks) of the Wild, Wild West, yet also demanding an aptitude and appreciation for technical complexity. It is a place for neither fools nor the faint of heart to tread.
The fact is that, as the cannabis industry moves fully out of the shadows, it is establishing itself among the most highly regulated business environments in the world, on a par with financial services, gaming, and health care in terms of depth and complexity within the regulatory framework.
Not only are cannabis businesses subject to state licensing and regulatory requirements, but their stakeholders must adhere to city, county, and federal regulations and authorities as well. Cannabis compliance can be a highly complex endeavor, subject to many pitfalls. If a business is noncompliant from a regulatory perspective, it risks losing its hard-earned privilege to operate, while facing stiff fines, penalties and probationary actions that threaten to handicap it at the very time that it seeks to bloom in the marketplace.