Marijuana legalization efforts in several states have created an entirely new industry in the U.S. which has given rise to startups from weed delivery services to marijuana social networks.
However, the government's Schedule I classification of marijuana has made it difficult for pot-based businesses to grow and expand as the drug is still considered illegal at a federal level.
The disparity between state and local laws has proven to be a major set back for all kinds of marijuana-based businesses except one—lawyers.
Differing Laws Create Challenges
Small businesses operate in fear that federal government officials or law enforcement agents could shut down their operations at any time.
Although President Obama has promised to allow states to determine their own rules governing marijuana, many worry that next year's presidential race will result in an administration with a completely different perspective.
Related Link: New Marijuana Bill Would Protect Legal Pot Sales
A New Need
Lawyers have seen this gap between federal and local laws as an opportunity to fill an unmet need and specialize in marijuana litigation. Many major firms have set up marijuana divisions which provide clients with tailored knowledge to protect their pot businesses.
Litigators can help businesses interpret the law for everything from marijuana product packaging to investment rules.
Many say the field is growing as most marijuana-related cases that arise have no precedent. Because the marijuana market only sprung up over the past decade, there are very few cases on which to base current issues that businesses have.
However, as marijuana legalization continues to grow, most expect lawyers specializing in drug legislation to crop up across the country.
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