Recreational marijuana sales are legal in Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Alaska and in the District of Columbia and medical dispensaries are becoming legal in more states every year. Both medical and recreational stores are required to follow state-enforced procedures in order to remain licensed in their respective states.
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Every state has different laws governing cannabis sales. While lawmakers have universally set the recreational-use age to customers 21 and over; the majority of regulations surrounding medical dispensaries allow patients to be 18 and over and many states have pediatric programs. Lawmakers map nearly every aspect of recreational stores, from what they sell and how they sell it to where they can open and who can open them. Similar guidelines have been penned for states with medical programs, but the severity and specificity of the laws vary greatly from state-to-state. For example, marijuana business owners in California have had, at best, rough policies in place to govern their businesses and more often than not will still be raided by police, however business owners in states like Vermont and Connecticut work closely with governing officials to report and monitor their daily operations.
Medical states are mercurial in structure and vary greatly. Northeastern medical programs seem to be in competition with one another to see who can enforce the most stringent laws and still remain operational. The focus on over-regulation has left some states dead on arrival with licensed dispensary owners fighting over the few thousand registered patients and little to no options to generate the revenue needed to cover the millions of dollars already invested in the business. Still some states like Vermont and Rhode Island have learned to persevere and work with officials to slowly flourish. Similar to medical cultivators, medical dispensary owners have an emphasis on safe, tested products. While testing requirements in the marijuana industry vary from state-to-state, many medical marijuana dispensaries seek to go above and beyond the requirements held by state-licensed cannabis testing labs in order to constantly improve the safety of their medical cannabis for patients. Several states allow dispensaries to be vertically integrated, meaning that they can be autonomous in the marijuana industry as growers and retailers. Some vertically integrated states still require the dispensary owners to seek-out third-party labs to test products and other states do not, as mentioned above the requirements vary greatly. Medical dispensaries can be either for-profit or non-profit depending on where they reside.
Although legislation for recreational marijuana stores also vary from state-to-state, they still manage to have a universal feel for consumers as compared to their medical counterparts. Recreational stores in Oregon, Alaska, Colorado and the District of Colombia can be vertically integrated, but Washington forbids vertical integration and keeps separate licenses for processors, producers and retailers. Recreational stores in all states carry similar legislation for a multitude of variables like testing, packaging, security and labeling requirements.
Every month Marijuana Venture provides solutions for store owners facing these obstacles. Drawing answers from experts across the globe to contribute original content that cannot be found anywhere else. Marijuana Venture was built to satiate the needs of licensed marijuana business owners regardless of what state, county or city they operate from. The magazine features articles on the following: