7 Rules of Universal Distribution of Marijuana


Marijuana has two uses that include recreational and medical. Legal implications differ according to nations with regards to its distribution, cultivation, and possession. In comparison to medical marijuana, recreational use is more under stringent surveillance across the world. Recently, the Canadian Senate passed the Cannabis Act, which now regulates the growth, distribution, and sale of recreational marijuana in the country.

In the U.S, both medical and recreational use is legal in 11 states and one district (Colombia). While some other nations entirely prohibit recreational use but follow the policy of decriminalization under which the possession of marijuana becomes a non-criminal offense. Here we will draw attention to a few rules of universal distribution of marijuana.


1. Decriminalization

Laws governing marijuana use in the world are currently divided into three sections- decriminalize, medical-legal, and entirely legal. The first category that decriminalizes means anyone possessing marijuana for no matter what purpose will have to pay a fine, but there cannot be an arrest. In the U.S, 15 states follow this rule of marijuana use where they charge an amount for possessing a certain quantity of the indica or sativa herb. For instance, in Oregon, there is a fine of $100 for an ounce of marijuana.


2. Medically Legal

Medical cannabis is gaining admiration for its healing properties. Doctors choose to prescribe it for chronic pain, insomnia, epilepsy, anxiety, anorexia, and some common symptoms accompanying conventional medical treatments. As of now, countries like Australia, Chile, Columbia, Croatia, Turkey, Mexico, and Italy have legalized medical marijuana/cannabis. In Canada, illegal distribution (selling to a minor, taking across borders, producing with combustible solvents) may lead to a penalty of a certain amount and up to 14 years of jail.   


3. Fully Legalized

 Uruguay and Canada are the two countries to have legalized marijuana on a federal level. The Department of Justice, Govt. of Canada scrutinizes over types of products for sale, packaging and labeling, sizes and potency, restrict promotional activities, and keep track of the marijuana growing and selling throughout. California’s Compassionate Use Act, 1996 allows possession and use of medical marijuana for treating chronic pain. On the other hand, in Ohio, laws limit the growing and selling of medical marijuana in dispensaries. Also, any physician before prescribing such medications has to take a certifying class.


4. The Federal Controlled Substance Act

 The Controlled Substance Act, 1970 divides drugs into five categories among which schedule I drug prohibiting them from being prescribed by registered physicians. Marijuana, according to the act, falls under schedule I drug as it has a high potential for abuse. Since 1981, there has been a frequent introduction of bills to shift marijuana to the Schedule II class of drugs. This will allow permission for its medical use and open for research. The Drug Enforcement Agency, in consultation with the Food and Drug Administration, can accept petitions and reschedule such substances. But they have rejected it consistently.


5. The Fully Legal States

 Colorado and Washington were the first two states to legalize recreational marijuana. With the passing of Amendment 64 and Initiative 502, use and possession of marijuana became legal. Alaska, Oregon, California, Massachusetts, Nevada, and Illinois followed later. You can possess one to 2.5 ounces as per the state laws you live. In Ontario, recreational use is now legal, allowing adults to buy, consume, or grow the herb in the state. Edibles are illegal, including the limit for carrying dry marijuana in public is up to 30 grams. There are now buyers who seek Ontario weed online from authorized retailers to make marijuana food and drinks at home.


Among these states, the majority allow the use of low THC and high CBD products for medical purposes in restricted situations. The National Conference of State Legislatures keeps track of all comprehensive medical marijuana programs. It attempts to see if they refrain from criminal practices. Such programs should allow the use of a variety of strains, including those with more than low-THC.


6. Federal Vs State Laws

 The federal authority controls marijuana according to the Commerce Clause. The state authority regulates it based on the Tenth Amendment, including public health powers. The conflict between federal and state systems results in legislative disagreements. Here the constitutional principles of federalism and pre-emption come into application. The state governments have sovereign powers, but the Supremacy Clause gives the federal government the priority. The state can decriminalize marijuana and form their criminal statutes. But these should not interfere with the federal enforcement laws. The Obama administration in 2009, came out with a memo that stated, federal prosecutors will not take action against the distribution of medical marijuana in accordance with their state laws.


7. Complications and other laws

 Individuals, businesses, and government officials involved in marijuana activities may face prohibitions relating to living in public housings, owning guns, besides facing criminal prosecutions. The federal law has the authority to order marijuana users of these. The discrimination is not in tune with state laws, which doesn’t allow such prohibitions against medical marijuana users. Users are also not sure about how state marijuana laws can impact recruitment decisions. Furthermore, insurance companies are in doubt if they are violating federal laws when they provide coverage or pay claims for any damage to a medical marijuana business. 


The world is witnessing increasing support towards the full legalization of marijuana. As the perception of marijuana as a drug changes, there is a hope that federal and state will harmoniously regulate both recreational and medical marijuana for the benefit of the masses.  


Implications for entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry

If you’re planning to venture into the cannabis industry or you’ve already had, the legalization of marijuana is good news, but maintaining flawless bookkeeping practices remains crucial for cannabis product manufacturers and distributors.

We at Scrubbed have been working in the cannabis industry long enough to be familiar and witness the changes throughout the times. We have the experience to handle all accounting needs to create tailored bookkeeping services in the cannabis industry.

Contact Scrubbed today to learn more about our cost-effective accounting and bookkeeping services.



Brian worked as CPA in various areas of accounting and auditing. He had administrative assignments with an engineering company, and has spent time abroad to help oversee the construction of a Liquefied Natural Gas refinery. At Scrubbed, Brian handles manufacturing, distribution, and other professional services clients, passionate about delivering results for his clients.



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