Know the Rules to Grow: Learning the Regulations Involved with Legal Marijuana is an Important Step for Personal Growers
Since marijuana (or cannabis) was legalized in certain states despite its federal status as controlled substance, it has become big business. The states that permit the recreational use of cannabis have not faced any penalties for allowing legal growing businesses to flourish although the law remains ambiguous on the subject. For this reason, it is essential for all personal growers to know the rules applying to them in their state otherwise, there are some stiff penalties to face and in some states, even imprisonment.
The states that have legalized recreation use of cannabis have drafted their own rules and regulations for businesses hoping to enter the arena.
Here we summarize the laws and regulations affecting personal growers and those serving the recreational cannabis industry in three specific states where the drug has been legalized:
Following the initiative to legalize recreational marijuana in Alaska in 2014, penalties for adults who use cannabis or are in possession of the drug have been removed. This also applies to home cultivation and retail sales and comes under the regulation of the Alaska Marijuana Control Board. The kind of business licenses marijuana business can have in Alaska include retail stores, cultivation facilities, testing facility and manufacturers of other cannabis-related goods in the form of edibles and tinctures.
California passed its ballot initiative to legalize marijuana in 2016 and it is now no longer a criminal offence for adults over the age of 21 to buy, possess and consume no more than one ounce of cannabis either in their own homes, another private residence or a licensed establishment. The penalty for unlicensed activity is up to 6 months in county jail together with a fine of anything up to $500. California also provides licenses for cannabis distributors and microbusinesses.
Although the state of Colorado is fully supportive of legalizing cannabis for recreational use, the license regulations are among the most stringent. Applicants have to be 21 years old and have been a resident in Colorado for at least two years prior to applying. They may not have had a conviction for a drug felony in the last ten years and can be denied on the basis they are shown to be ‘not of good character’. The license fee is also among the most expensive ranging anywhere from $250-$2,500 and depends on different criteria including the size and scale of the business and other factors.
Don’t Forget to Pay the Tax Man!
For cannabis growers in legal states, there is a tax obligation that needs to be met if you are in the business of selling and distributing the recreational drug. The average tax rate is around $50 for every ounce of cannabis sold from by a grower or retail outlet, although this can vary considerably depending on which state you’re in. Ultimately, there has never been as much opportunity to get involved in the cannabis industry as right now although it’s just not worth swerving the state laws if they apply to you. Whatever your interest in the marijuana business, whether a personal grower or business, it’s important to do your research. A good resource for all the information you need to get you on the right track can be found from people like Origins Cannabis as an example.