Cannabis & Hemp

Recent rulings legalizing medical marijuana come as good news to business people wishing to dispense marijuana at the retail level. Nevertheless, many municipalities place heavy restrictions on exactly where and under what conditions people can operate these facilities. The future success of any medical marijuana operation depends on its ability to adhere strictly to local, state, and federal laws. This starts with selecting and forming a business entity.

Entity Selection and Formation

Currently, in some states, the law commands medical marijuana dispensaries to operate as nonprofit organizations. This means that instead of distributing surplus funds to shareholders, the organizations must use funds only to further their nonprofit goals, cover business expenses, and pay appropriate salaries.

There are three basic ways in which to set up your nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary. They are:

  • The Collective. In this business form, a group of like-minded individuals or entities works in concert to achieve a specific shared objective.
  • The Cooperative. This involves a set of people engaging in a productive collaborative venture and sharing profits according to the amount of labor or capital contributed by each.
  • Benefit Corporation. Benefit corporations provide specifically targeted benefits to the communities and objectives that they seek to advance.

Anyone desiring to set up a medical marijuana dispensary must remain alert to possible legal complications at the local, state, and federal levels. The business law attorneys at Macchi Law Group can assist you regarding this process.

Client Counseling

Since the goals of your medical marijuana dispensary will intertwine thoroughly with individual state and local laws, we strongly advise that you take no steps in this direction without first obtaining expert legal advice. The attorneys at Macchi Law Group can counsel you on your ownership structure, product distribution, contract concerns, and financing matters. Anyone opening a medical marijuana facility will benefit from our dedicated advice and attention to detail.

Business Plan Revisions

Every business needs a plan. Unfortunately, your current business plan may not stand up to the test of time. The day may come when you feel the need for some updates. This can happen in response to:

  • Shifting markets.
  • Changing business assumptions.
  • New and unexpected competition.
  • Internal structural variations.
  • Hostile takeovers.
  • Declining client numbers.
  • Rapidly changing laws.

Regardless of the motivating factor, no business should attempt to change its basic strategy unless it is certain that no better way exists. Legal advice is usually necessary.

Business Management Consulting

In an effective enterprise, owners and managers work together to identify and deal with all issues affecting the business. Any disagreement can stymie growth and slam the brakes on operations.

When the going gets rough, the business-counseling attorneys at Macchi Law Group will help you work through your problems and serve as backup to your ultimate decisions. With our personal and confidential assistance, you can get your enterprise out of the doldrums and back on the track toward success.


The financial dealings of a medical marijuana dispensary can be fraught with difficulty. Despite the federal government’s assurances to the contrary, some banks fear that any provision of financial services to these dispensaries could leave them open to charges of money laundering. Others fear that an inadvertent failure to comply with regulations will lead to loss of coverage through the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

Some banks agree to service such accounts while adhering to stringent legal parameters. Others deny such services altogether. This recalcitrance can force medical marijuana dispensaries to conduct business on an all-cash basis.

Final Considerations

Due to the unique legalities involved and the rapidly changing legal environment of medical and recreational marijuana, it is vital that anyone planning to open a marijuana dispensary secure the assistance of experienced attorneys. At Macchi Law Group, a strong familiarity with the medical marijuana laws allows us to assist and advise you on all issues that may arise in the formation and operation of your marijuana business.