Cannabis

Overview

With the cannabis industry undergoing explosive growth and the law still in flux, it’s essential to have a strategic legal partner who understands the business. Michael Best is that partner.

We represent clients in the industrial hemp and marijuana industry, including a variety of ancillary businesses, trade associations, universities and research organizations, and investors. We also have a long history of serving — and advocating for — clients in the agricultural sector. Our multiple offices, and experience with the legal issues surrounding this ever-changing field, allows us to better work with our clients to ensure compliance with the applicable laws in their jurisdictions.

We can help you plan for the future while navigating today’s shifting terrain of federal, state, and local regulations and enforcement. We have deep experience in regulatory compliance and defense, coupled with the capability to deliver a broad range of legal services.

 

Service Areas

Michael Best is a multi-practice law firm with more than 250 attorneys in 13 offices nationwide, who work in collaborative, interdisciplinary teams. That means we’ve got you covered whether you’re looking to start, operate, grow, or invest in a cannabis business.

Regulatory Compliance

A big part of our work is assisting clients with regulatory compliance and risk management. We know how to demystify complex regulations and help you understand their impact on your business or investments. We have deep experience with the FDA, USDA, and other regulatory agencies that affect the cannabis industry, including inside experience at the FDA. Cannabis-related laws are only one piece of the puzzle. Because our experience spans many different industries and practice areas, we can advise a food manufacturer, for example, on regulatory issues related to food safety, product development, labeling, or siting a new facility.

Corporate

The cannabis industry is still a new frontier, and we can help your company stake its claim. We’re here to support your cannabis business throughout its entire life cycle — from organization, financing, and operation to mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures. Our lawyers provide guidance on ownership structure, entity formation and naming, corporate governance, commercial contracts, deal structuring, franchising, real estate, tax planning, and much more.

Labor & Employment

As cannabis law evolves, we counsel employers on keeping their policies and practices up to date, especially in areas such as disability accommodation or drug testing, while still complying with federal law and government contractor regulations. Our nationally recognized Labor & Employment Relations group also serves as counsel to cannabis industry employers, advising on employee benefits and executive compensation, employment policies and practices, immigration, labor-management relations, litigation, unfair competition and trade secrets, wage and hour compliance, and workplace safety and health.

Banking and Financial Services

Cannabis-related businesses raise unique challenges in the financial services arena. Through our extensive experience and contacts in the financial sector, we help cannabis industry clients find the right solutions for everything from basic banking to payroll, accounting, inventory management, and payment processing services. We also advise financial services institutions on how to legally work with cannabis businesses.

Intellectual Property

Michael Best works with cannabis clients to protect, license, and strategically manage all types of intellectual property: patent, trademark, trade secret, trade dress, and copyright. Many of our IP lawyers and technical professionals have advanced degrees or business experience in areas such as chemistry, plant biology, engineering, physics, and computer science. We can advise you on anything from trademarking a logo to acquiring a portfolio of technology patents.

Funding and Investment

We represent cannabis investors, established companies, and entrepreneurs in forming and growing start-ups, investment fund formation, private equity investments, venture capital and growth capital financing, and securities and capital markets. We understand the added complexities of cannabis industry financing, such as issues related to interstate investment, broker-dealer regulations public disclosure, and licensed vs. unlicensed business activities.

Primary Contacts

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