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Want to Open a Medical Marijuana Dispensary?

Here Are a Few Things to Consider

So, you want to open a Medical Marijuana Dispensary. Congratulations. We think that's a great idea. Providing medicine to patients in need can be a noble and rewarding pursuit. However, medical marijuana laws in the state of California can be tricky. Navigating this perilous road isn't easy - this path has a few hazards. You might need a roadmap before you get started. Let's discuss a few problems you might encounter.

First of All, What Are You?

Every business in California has a status as some type of legal entity. Even if a person opens a business, gets a license, and never gives any thought to what type of legal entity their business is, they are still something. The law has defaults. So, if you fail to declare yourself as something specific, you could be a partnership or a sole proprietorship. In these instances, you could open yourself to A LOT of legal liability. Someone could sue your business and end up owning YOUR personal assets - your house, your car, and your bank accounts. This is not an advisable course. Many lawyers will tell you to incorporate - that is become a corporation. This type of legal entity will shield you from liability and keep your personal assets out of other peoples' pockets.

However, this isn't our recommendation. Setting your dispensary up as a corporate entity doesn't work for medical marijuana. Corporate bylaws are too rigid for such medical marijuana. We advise setting yourself up as an association. Read more about associations and their benefits here.

California mployment Law & Marijuana Dispensaries

Every business in California must also abide by a complex set of rules that are established by the California Labor Code. Just to give you a taste, every business must: (1) obtain worker's compensation insurance; (2) Provide employees with rest and meal breaks; and (3) pay employees time-and-a-half and double-time for certain hours worked. These rules really just scratch the surface of employment regulation in California.

If a business does not comply with the Labor Code - it can receive stop-orders and penalty assessments that can quickly drive it out of business. Take a look a recent blog post for more on this topic.

Marijuana Litigation with Local Governments

Many (and when I say many I mean DOZENS) of local city governments have enacted bans against medical marijuana dispensaries. Basically, city ordinances will declare medical marijuana dispensaries outlawed within city limits. The cities claim they are able to do so under Land Use and Zoning powers. Effectively, they claim they can regulate what can and cannot be sold within their city limits and are legislating that medical marijuana is one such item that cannot be sold. Cities them file lawsuits against any medical marijuana outlet operating within their city limits. This could be the end for most dispensaries.

Read more about this local problem here.

However, at Anthony Curiale and Associates, A Professional Corporation - we believe that these ordinances are unconstitutional. We have fought back against cities. We have kept our clients' doors open.

What Do I Do Now?

The point of this article isn't to scare you - it is to arm you. We want you to be prepared before you decide to open up a dispensary. If you want to know more about the law and medical marijuana in California - our Orange County medical marijuana attorneys can give you the answers you need. We've opened over 100 medical marijuana dispensaries in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, and elsewhere. We have handled formation of medical marijuana dispensaries, litigation with local government regarding the banning of dispensaries, and we've deal with the EDD and labor codes.

This is what we do for a living. We make sure your doors get open and stay open. We know the law and we know how to help. If you want to know how to open up a medical marijuana dispensary, feel free to contact us or give us a call - you can't forget our number (714)-LAWYER-6. We'd love to hear from you.

Anthony Curiale and Associates, A Professional Corporation - Brea DUI Defense
Located at 265 S. Randolph Ave., Suite 105, Brea, California 92821 View Map

Phone: (714) 684-6922 | Local Phone: (714) 529-9376
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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

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