Thursday, January 29, 2015

Franchising Marijuana - Part One

Is franchising going to pot? ... or is pot coming to franchising?

So we are all aware of the buzz about the legalization of marijuana for medical and recreational use. (OK control yourself if you are buzzed, we're talking serious business here, so you may want to re-read this later) But have you considered that the marijuana industry may be ripe for franchising?

Medical marijuana is now legal in one-half of U.S. states.
18 states have decriminalized cannabis, and four states (Colorado, Washington, Oregon and now Alaska) and Washington D.C. have legalized it.

By 2020 a report predicts that 18 states will have joined the legalization wave. I predict that it will be more.

So how far behind can entrepreneurs be in franchising the various aspects of this emerging business?

Not far ... and some are already sniffing around the edges. Check out "weGrow" that states on its website "weGrow is a franchising and consulting company that helps entrepreneurs pursue medical marijuana business opportunities. And now we’re looking for partners in different states around the country so we can keep pace with the booming medical marijuana industry!." See more here.

Although they do not appear to be offering "franchises," take a look at "Your Cannabis Biz" here. They offer "Your Turnkey Promoter's Package" at various prices (sure sounds like a franchise or business opportunity plan to me) and promote their business as "A medical marijuana fulfillment and delivery service, provides private, professional, knowledgeable, and compassionate access (sic) medical marijuana products to its customers."

Exciting! But here is the rub: if you think franchising is complicated, the legal issues surrounding the marijuana industry are hyper-complex and challenging for all concerned ... even for franchise attorneys.

In Part Two (coming soon) we will delve into the challenges. Stay tuned.

Jim Meaney is a lawyer with Zaino & Humphrey, LPA in Columbus, Ohio who has represented franchisors and franchisees for nearly 30 years. Jim is a co-author of “Starting a Franchise System: Practical Considerations, Planning and Development” and author of How to Buy a Franchise
Visit or for more information or contact Jim directly at 614.975.9876 or

1 comment:

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