Marijuana for medical use is now legal in 23 states and the District of Columbia. Nearly 76% of doctors say they see positive benefits from the use of medical marijuana, according to the New England Journal of Medicine. At least 92% of patients are happy with the results they get when using medical marijuana as opposed to other treatments. Medical marijuana consulting firms have the following tips for people who are managing dispensaries. It is important for people who are considering starting a medical marijuana business understand them.
You have to develop a reasonable compliance program to prevent anti-money laundering.
While medical marijuana is legal in some areas, the federal government still has laws on the books against it. That means, in a nutshell, they do not have to recognize the state laws. This can have serious consequences for people who run medical marijuana dispensaries. Medical marijuana consulting firms want to remind people who run these businesses that because this is still illegal at the federal level, they need to show they are not complicit in any crimes. If the federal government suspects any crimes are being committed, they can seize the assets of that medical marijuana business.
These include giving minors access to marijuana and any indication of money laundering. The best way to prevent the appearance of impropriety, medical marijuana dispensaries just need to have a policy but also be able to document that all of their cash on hand is from the legitimate business that is being conducted. Dispensaries also need to be able to show they are in compliance with all state laws and regulations. They also need to show the security of their dispensary. This should be built into the medical marijuana facility design.
Having an anti-money laundering protocol in place is important for medical marijuana businesses is something that many banks are requiring. It has been difficult for many dispensaries to use banking services because marijuana is still illegal at the federal level. Being able to show a strong anti-money laundering system can really help in this area and must be completed.
Follow your state’s laws but pay attention to the federal government as well.
Medical marijuana consulting firms want to remind the people they need to go above and beyond what the state requires in several areas. While the current Department of Justice is not prosecuting people who run medical marijuana dispensaries, they are operating under the assumption that the states themselves are adequately policing these operations, this can change. The bottom line is that all of your i’s need to be dotted and t’s crossed so that you can show anyone from a federal agency that you are both in compliance with state laws and regulations but that you are operating a very scrupulous business.
Have a strategy in place for any regulatory and legal developments.
Built into any medical marijuana business plan is a staff member who will monitor any changes that may be made to the law or the regulations that govern medical marijuana. It is not enough to enlist the services of a medical marijuana consulting firm and listen to them, you need to have a strategy for what your business will do should the law or regulations change.
Your business will need to adapt to any changes as they are made. That will require some flexibility on your part but it is absolutely necessary for any business that deals with medical marijuana. Paying close attention to any changes and then being able to adapt and show compliance is critically important to keeping the business open.
Do not neglect the other issues that face all businesses.
Medical marijuana consulting firms like to remind their clients that there are other laws that need to be followed to the letter. It is critical that state labor laws and the rules and regulations set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Because medical marijuana businesses are under such increased scrutiny, compliance with all laws, rules and regulations that apply to all businesses. You cannot be so distracted by marijuana laws that you neglect these other issues and dealing with your medical marijuana operations.
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