The cannabis industry is in its infancy in Bozeman, Montana and throughout the state. Marijuana businesses want legitimacy and the freedom to build their operations into profitable enterprises. Moreover, because many people who are in pain or suffer from other debilitating medical conditions like cancer, PTSD or epilepsy, they want to make a difference in their communities. I can help.
Montana legalized medical marijuana in 2004. Since then, the legal landscape has changed dramatically. Throughout this time, providers have run a spectrum of risks, from license revocation to prison time for failing to comply with the law. The truth is this will be a risky business as long as marijuana remains a Schedule I substance under the federal Controlled Substances Act. The key to surviving and thriving is managing the risk. I keep abreast of the changes to the Montana Medical Marijuana Act and associated administrative rules. However, knowing the law is not enough. The Department of public Health and Human Services writes and enforces the rules and knowing how it is likely to interpret the law gives my clients an advantage. And if matters break down where negotiating with the DPHHS fails, I will be by your side throughout the administrative hearing process.
The cultivation, manufacture, and sale of marijuana is illegal according to Federal law, even in Montana, where the people have passed initiatives allowing for medical marijuana in two separate elections. The key is minimizing the risk, on both state and federal levels. The medical marijuana business industry offers exciting potential for a prosperous business in Montana.
Whether you are interested in starting a dispensary or you have questions about the business you are currently running, it's important that you work with a knowledgeable and seasoned attorney. At Young Law Office PLLC, I offer clients the insight and experience you need to ensure your business is and remains compliant with the ever-changing Montana medical marijuana laws. I am acknowledged as one of the few lawyers who are well-versed in the practice of medical marijuana compliance. I have presented seminars to other lawyers and participated in a panel discussion at the first Montana Medical Marijuana Convention in 2018.
As a relatively new field with relatively new laws, there are still issues that need to be worked out, whether you live in or around Bozeman, Montana. Licensure, METRC compliance, inspection preparation, and communication with the Department of Public Health and Human Services Marijuana program are vital and are areas with which I can help your business. Compliance can be convoluted for everyone involved, which is why it's important to work with an attorney who has experience in this new practice area.
In addition to criminal liability risks, there are also civil liability risks. If the Department of Public Health and Human Services visits your facility and finds a problem, they could charge you with an administrative misdemeanor. This could lead to a fine, license revocation, or even jail time.
Any type of civil noncompliance could result in a state or federal investigation. While the police might not be interested in pursuing legal action against minor issues, those minor infractions could be enough to make them continue to visit your facility on a regular basis.
The state laws on medical marijuana are constantly changing, expanding, and evolving. In order to keep your business safe and successful, you need to work with an attorney who stays informed of all upcoming and potential changes in the cannabis laws to reduce the risk of criminal or civil liability to your business. A critical component of avoiding criminal liability is to have a comprehensive understanding of the laws.
It's also important to understand that Montana laws are specific to Montana - it doesn't matter what other states are doing. I understand that it can be difficult to hear that something you are doing is considered illegal when you meant no harm or malice, but it's critical that you keep your business practice in line with the law, no matter how irrelevant it may seem.
It's always smart to call an attorney even if you just have a few questions. Attorneys are trained in interpreting statutes and the law, and that helps you keep your business compliant and successful.
I am serious about making things better for providers, whether that is through direct representation, lobbying the DPHHS during the rulemaking process, or training more lawyers to practice in this area by lecturing at legal seminars.
· Lobbying the DPHHS to expand to a new tier level
· Establishing model business acquisition methods
· Negotiating with the DPHHS to open METRC loops
· Negotiating licensing agreements for brand names and trademarks
· Litigating license revocation proceedings