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Navigating regulations in more than one state is like navigating a three-dimensional labyrinth.

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Its amazing to see Cannabis Business entrepreneurs getting the usual business advice treatment we have become so used to seeing for start up’s. 


 A legal Cannabis Business operating solely in one state is already a tricky affair. There is a labyrinth of rules and regulations that entrepreneurs must comply with. 


As if this were not difficult enough expanding into other states compounds the problems & challenges. Each state has a unique set of rules and governance. 


Staying compliant and ticking the boxes of regulations has become a very important consideration. 


This guide is great whether you are looking to start a cannabis business in one or multiple states, this guide outlines the core considerations to help you stay legal and on the right side of the law. 


There are 3 Key areas – 



Requirements for testing your cannabis products varies drastically from state to state. 


Take Oklahoma for example. They at present have no requirements for testing whilst Nevada & Washington both have strict testing and labeling regulations.


These testing procedures are generally to do with describing the THC and CBD makeup of cannabis products. 


There are also many laws around edibles and topical products. 


Also in some states there are regulations to do with pesticides and contaminants to consider. Depending on the state you may need a license to conduct testing in the first place. 


Packaging and Labeling 


Any start up cannabis business will have to think long and hard about how their cannabis products will be packaged. Many states will require cannabis to be packaging in child-proof packaging. Others state it only needs to be in tamper proof products. Finding packaging companies that cater for both these safety requirements and your packaging design is often a length process. 


Information on the label is another key consideration which varies by state. Does your cannabis packaging need to state the cannabinoid profile or just warning words with the weight and quantity? Tracking numbers are often needed where dispensary’s ship to patients. You may require a validatable heat sealer to seal, record and ship this packaging. 


Where your cannabis products are packaged too is an area for consideration. Some allow you to package the product in store from larger bulk bags and batches. Others will require that it comes packaged direct and analysed from the laboratory itself. In this case all test results must be available in store for the customers to view on demand. 


Medical Marijuana programs themselves also have a sub set of requirements.  Usually the packaging bags and/or product labeling will need to contain information about the patient the product was sold to and which dispensary sold it. 


Audits & Reporting

The one common denominator among states is that all legal medical marjuana or recreational cannabis sales must be reported. They want to know how much you have sold and what income your have generated, primarily for tax reasons but also to prevent supply to the black market. 


The frequency and detail required does vary by state. In Oklahoma it is a once a month spreadsheet that is submitted to the state. 


Others use software in order to collect and collate the data automatically into a state wide system. Some require you enter the data manually sale by sale. Ouch!


In such a complex space it is essential for budding or already established Cannabis Business owners to know the rules and also stay aware of new ones being introduced in the future.