State ballot measures and state legislatures have slowly but steadily legalized the use of marijuana. The specifics of the law have unique ramifications for people and businesses even if they never roll a joint.
As one example, Federal law still prohibits the use, sale and marketing of marijuana. Professionals advising employers, banks, and health care providers have unique issues in determining reactions to events. For example, should a bank do business with an organization marketing and selling marijuana? Can an accountant provide an appropriate audit? Can a lawyer help create a corporation for a weed based business? Can a physician work for one?
Medical marijuana clinics have posed difficult issues for health care lawyers. Most doctors work for clinics which are owned by nonphysicians, which violates the corporate practice of medicine doctrine.
The Week in Weed provides an on-going discussion of the ethical and legal issues of a weed business. In a recent report that independent investment is slow to embrace the business but:
“Overall funding to cannabis-centered startups has ballooned in the past two years, up over 90% since 2014 despite a slight decrease in 2016′s investment levels.
While private investment to the industry remains siloed among a select group of cannabis-focused investors, institutional investors such as Founders Fund, Y Combinator, and 500 Startups are slowly taking notice.”
Keeping up to date in marijuana laws will be a state by state job. The rules will be complex because of the intersection of state and federal law.
By Matt Kinley, Esq. See his profile at KinleyLawPractice.com