As a constitutional amendment, the November medical marijuana vote requires a 60 percent majority to become Florida law. Even with no law in place, any number of entrepreneurs already see high profits and early retirement in their futures. Still, businesses cannot predict their profits without knowing all business expenses. With no official law on the books, medical marijuana businesses should seek consulting assistance. An attorney dedicated to business issues can help entrepreneurs prepare for the best chance at financial success.
It is important to understand that the medical marijuana law subject to the November vote is not related to the low-THC medical marijuana law that was signed into law in June. While the current law’s potentially devastating expenses for dispensaries may form a pattern for the proposed law’s regulatory requirements, the new law may prove to be more or less costly. Law firms that offer consulting stay on top of regulatory activities, providing them with better-than-average insight into current and future costs.
Even Before the Vote, Entrepreneurs are Making Preparations
As of June 31, some businesses in Broward and Palm Beach counties are already registered as marijuana businesses in Florida, according to the SunSentinel. These entrepreneurs are banking on a “yes” vote in November and want to hit the ground running. However, a positive Florida vote for medical marijuana is no guarantee of any specific regulatory requirements. One major planning question involves possible costs imposed by the state.
Fees and Operating Costs Can Be Higher Than Those For Other Businesses
While there are no absolute predictors of costs, prospective Florida medical marijuana businesses that turn to law firms with business consulting experience can obtain the estimates they need to make preparations. Some anticipated expenses relate specifically to the cannabis business. Other normal business expenses may be elevated due to the nature of the business. The following are a few examples:
- Licensing fees: Any Florida medical marijuana business can expect the state to take its cut. For example, in Colorado, these fees run from $2,750 to $3,870. Massachusetts, on the other hand, requires $500,000 to be placed under consideration, with initial applications costing an initial $1,500 consideration fee and another fee of $30,000 for the next consideration phase.
- Taxes: Colorado dispensaries pay about 7.6 percent for state, local and federal taxes on medical marijuana sales. It is reasonable to estimate that Florida taxes will be at least that amount based on the state’s 6 percent sales tax.
- General business costs: Any business needs to pay for rental or ownership of property plus costs for inventory and employees. These costs are likely to be higher than normal for medical marijuana dispensaries. Rents can easily go up when landlords know the nature of the business. Additionally, if the new law follows the example set for low-THC dispensaries, employment costs will be higher as well. In addition to paying anyone working in any part of the operation, owners may have to add a doctor’s salary and benefits if one is required to oversee the process.
Prospective Florida Businesses Need Experienced Legal Assistance to Help With Planning
In many ways, medical marijuana is a specialized operation, but it still requires good business planning. Early in the planning process, entrepreneurs can benefit from the services of a Florida medical marijuana consulting firm with experience in business law and a vigilant eye on medical cannabis regulations. To help reduce unexpected financial and legal surprises, call National Cannabis Law Firm at 844-WEED-LAW.