Should You Retain An Attorney Or A Cannabis Consulting Company?

Choosing the appropriate specialist to assist you in obtaining a cannabis business license is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. The two most popular choices for cannabis businesses are cannabis consulting firms and legal firms. Who should you select?

Due to their knowledge of business, tax, and intellectual property regulations, we firmly feel that a cannabis consultant and a few attorneys are the ideal options. Your attorneys will be crucial in some areas, but not as your operation’s project manager; we shall explain why.

To establish the tone for this piece, it is important to note that the cannabis legalization campaign would not have been feasible without attorneys. We owe these crusaders our heartfelt gratitude for the social and economic benefits we have today. Regrettably, the licensing systems developed and executed by the state and municipalities have generally missed and bypassed the value that these barristers generated for us in favor of the corporate and land-use legal expertise that is now necessary to contribute the most value.

Nature Of The Cannabis Licensing Laws & Applications

While the regulations establishing California’s licensing framework may appear daunting to some, they have been carefully drafted (and amended) so that company owners may read them with relative ease. As plainly as possible, they outline criteria for operators across a variety of business models about security, location, and inventory management.

The application and approval processes, especially at the municipal level, are the most perplexing aspect of the cannabis license for most aspiring cannabis companies. If you’re unaware, none of the three state agencies that license cannabis companies will even consider an application until local consent can be confirmed.

Therefore, the true battle for a license is in your host city/county, but only after cannabis permits are examined and awarded, frequently in extremely restricted quantities, and far too frequently beyond the application deadline. You must be prepared to apply when the chance arises and typically must have a corporation and property rights in place.

Where A Professional Cannabis Advisory Company Is Required?

So, if a lawyer is not the ideal person to lead your team, what criteria should you use to find the most qualified Cannabis Consultant so that your application has the highest chance of being approved? Look for the Pros on the other side of the attorney’s list of Cons.

You must pick a firm that has procedures in place to accomplish for its clients what attorneys generally cannot, such as:

  1. The cannabis consulting firm must be able to provide a complete team, led by an experienced Project Manager, capable of locating, managing, and allocating whatever resources are necessary to not only meet the deadline but also appease any local officials who might object to an overly detailed application.


  1. This company should have expertise in the application procedure, each of the needed items, and the processes necessary to get a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) that will follow immediately. Your application must be substantial enough for the City to feel it can be implemented properly and professionally without humiliating them.

Your consultants must be able to effectively interact with you and provide constant transparency and feedback. Too frequently, we hear of clients of attorneys and other consultants who were kept in the dark for too long and, owing to poor time management and leadership, were compelled to submit applications that lacked the requisite level of information to succeed.


Companies that construct a team comprised of skilled, ethical advisors and attorneys such as knowledgeable and experienced in cannabis concerns perform exceptionally well in merit and objective selection procedures. When you combine these specialists with your entrepreneurial spirit, abilities, and insight to determine the best approach for a city to responsibly introduce cannabis to its population, tax coffers, and employment rolls, you may also submit winning ideas.

We have a network of specialists that are willing to serve your best interests and make good additions to your team whether you are in the market for cannabis company startup strategies or are wanting to establish a winning team and submit applications.

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