Weed in the NewsStates Zeroing in on Marijuana Residency Requirements


As marijuana continues to become legal throughout the country for medical or recreational purposes, states are continuing to grapple with the requirements they place on people who are trying to acquire marijuana. One requirement they’re beginning to discuss is requiring people who want to purchase marijuana to do so from businesses that are run by residents of that state. This particular requirement has nothing to do with whether or not the person who’s doing the purchasing is a resident. It’s all about limiting citizens from doing business with weed establishments run solely by people who live within the state.


Listening to the Dissatisfied Masses

People are not happy with this requirement, which has led to a federal lawsuit that seeks to throw it out. This lawsuit could determine if similar requirements remain in place in other states. If the lawsuit results in the requirement being thrown out, people from elsewhere will file a lawsuit in their state and the entire idea of the requirement will become a memory. The requirement is solid on its face because it mirrors what the people who purchase the marijuana need to do to get their hands on the product.


Minimizing the Impact on Outside Investment

Forbidding residents of a particular state from doing business with any company other than ones that other residents of that state limits the amount of outside investment that can come from entities stemming from other states. Similar bans do not exist for other industries and their potential for innovation and expansion remains limitless. This potential is nonexistent as long as out of state entities are not allowed a seat at the table. Bringing in outside companies will allow for partnerships between existing companies and revenue to come in that might not have otherwise been introduced into the system.


Allowing Residents a Chance to Succeed

On the flipside, limiting the business that’s done in the marijuana industry to transactions between residents of a state allows for that state’s residents to have a chance to make their mark. They won’t have to compete with larger outside entities that might have the resources to knock them out of the game. The level playing field presents all sorts of opportunities for people who might be able to step up to the plate. These opportunities create jobs, which in turn brings revenue back to the state. Out of state entities could potentially send a portion of the money they make back to their home state.


Giving Residents an Advantage in the Process

For a resident-only approach to succeed, states need to invest in residents that want to start their own marijuana business. This investment should give residents the ability to get their business off the ground with the understanding that it would be paid back later on. Additional considerations should be written into the law with regards to tax breaks. Businesses in other industries benefit from these perks and then some. In order for the current approach to continue to work, marijuana businesses must have the same benefits.


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