Marijuana licenses are at an all-time high in the state but the legal tangles for cannabis companies encounter simply doing business have not changed much. And with a new presidential administration, those tensions might feel more acute than ever.
“You can’t necessarily touch all of the ordinary areas of business,” said Christian Sederberg, a longtime business attorney and founding partner of Vicente Sederberg. “There are significant restrictions, similar to alcohol, but even more so. Even ancillary businesses inherit a lot of the challenges they face.”
Despite the challenges, business is good in the marijuana space. The total number of active marijuana business licenses issued by the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division is consistently growing and, as of April this year, hit a new record of 2,971, an increase from 2,913 in December, according to a Colorado Marijuana Market Report authored by University of Denver business professor Paul Seaborn.
Sederberg’s characterizes Colorado’s marijuana market as built on the backs of innovative entrepreneurs, or “ganjapreneurs” as many media outlets call them. And it’s unique because the market did not arise from the creation of a new product but by taking one that already existed and was the sole enterprise of criminal activity. So all marijuana businesses are startups in the truest sense.