The cannabis industry is complex and competitive, but it is also extremely appealing to young entrepreneurs and investors alike as it continues to shift away from negative stigmas and into a more defined regulatory pathway. The rapid growth of the industry attracts cultivators, extractors, retailers, and more, and like many people entering this complicated space, you may feel overwhelmed with where to begin. Whether you’re considering opening a dispensary business, a CBD business, an ancillary cannabis business, or simply obtaining a hemp license,we’ve put together a guide to starting up a cannabis company to further your understanding of the necessary moving parts and details.
With the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill and the USDA’s release of the interim final rules, the hemp market continues to grow. As many processing services remain hesitant to service the growing hemp industry due to legal uncertainties, companies continue to face difficulties securing a reliable merchant processor for processing payments for the sale of hemp-derivative products, such as CBD oils and edibles. Though organizations such as Square Inc. and WooCommerce recently have begun to provide processing capabilities and support to legal hemp and CBD sellers, many remain skeptical due to confusion on the legal status of hemp and hemp-derived products.
After reading Part I of the Is CBD Legal series, you may be prepared to defend the statement that hemp-derivatives sourced from hemp grown pursuant to a pilot program under the 2018 Farm Bill are perfectly legal at the federal level and that CBD is legal. “Not so fast,” says the United States Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”).