Despite the fact that more and more states are passing laws to legalize marijuana for both medical and recreational use, there are numerous legal obstacles that marijuana businesses face. At the outset, all marijuana businesses operate with the fear of federal prosecution. While individual states may have legal marijuana, the federal government still regards it as a Schedule I narcotic drug, and considers the sale, use, and possession to be illegal.
In addition to the concern over federal prosecution, local and state laws tend to require marijuana business operators to cut through quite a bit of bureaucratic red tape before opening up shop. While the red tape may seem like a hurdle that can be easily overcome, local permitting often requires the payment of hefty, cost-prohibitive application fees, as well as lengthy processing times, that make setting up a marijuana business even more cost prohibitive.