Cannabis Industry Hiring: 4 Legal Implications You Need to Know

Jul 28, 2023

As the U.S. legal cannabis industry grows, so do applicable employment laws. All this bureaucratic red tape can be confusing to navigate alone.

Now, add in all the different federal, state-to-state, and local level regulations and restrictions, and you’re in for one gigantic bureaucratic and legal mess.

At Fortuna, we are here to help you through the complicated and confusing path toward hiring staff the right way in the cannabis industry.

Here are four legal implications to consider when hiring.

1. Compliance with Both State and Federal Laws. Cannabis companies are subject to state and federal employment regulations and laws. Sometimes these laws appear to be contradictory. Be sure to review Knowing what you need to abide in order to remain on the right side of the law can be particularly tricky.

2. State-to-State Discrepancies. Cannabis laws and regulations vary state to state, so what works and what is legal in one state might get you into serious legal trouble in another. It is difficult and overwhelming to learn all the precautions to take and regulations to consider in one state. It can be next to impossible to operate a business with locations serving more than one state without professional hiring help.

3. The Size of Your Company. Certain cannabis employment laws only go into effect after your business has reached a certain size. In some cases, the threshold is 50 employees, but it depends on the specific law and the state.

A successful cannabis entrepreneur needs to either know these regulations inside and out, or consult with a company who does, to avoid legal issues.

4. City and State Ordinances and Statutes. Many counties and municipalities have their own restrictive ordinances, statutes, and hoops to jump through regarding licensing and zoning.

Oftentimes, these local regulations get overlooked, as businesses are more focused on observing the state and federal laws. As a result, business plans get thwarted when they are not allowed to open on schedule due to local compliance failure, or they end up having to move locations.

Ensure Your Business Follows the Law

Because cannabusinesses are still relatively new, many are unsure of the employment laws they need to follow. Penalties for violating cannabis laws and hiring regulations can vary from lawsuits, license revocation, hefty fines, and even jail time. 

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