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Hinshaw Launches Cannabis Industry Team

December 6, 2019

Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, a U.S. law firm, today announced the launch of a Cannabis Industry Team. The firm’s practice will address the growing and complex legal needs of companies active in or impacted by the rapidly expanding recreational and medical cannabis industry sector.

Currently, Hinshaw attorneys are licensed to practice in in more than 20 states which have legalized some form of cannabis use, including New York, Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts and Minnesota. To date, 33 U.S. states have approved medical marijuana, while 11 states have legalized recreational marijuana use.

Drawing on its experience working with a series of heavily regulated industries, the firm is well positioned to advise investors, growers, distributors, dispensaries, pharmaceutical companies, supplement manufacturers, retailers and other companies with the wide array of challenges facing the emerging industry in the absence of federal legislation. In addition to industry participants, Hinshaw also counsels hospitals, health systems and healthcare providers on issues involving medical marijuana, matters regarding clinical trials, and the wide range of legal questions employers encounter in the workplace with regard to employees and medical or recreational cannabis use.

“With legalization initiatives now adopted in many markets in which we operate, a growing number of our clients are seeking advice about the risks of working with the cannabis industry,” said Mellissa Schafer, a Los Angeles-based partner and current co-chair of the Hinshaw Labor and Employment Practice. “Since the industry touches on many different business services we currently offer to clients, we felt the time was right to formally consolidate our work in this area.”

The Hinshaw Cannabis team will provide counsel on corporate issues, including business formation, finance and governance; real estate issues, including zoning and commercial leasing; intellectual property issues; licensing, regulatory compliance and lobbying; and employment issues, including employee benefits, wage and hour compliance, employer handbooks, and employment litigation. The team also offers robust dispute resolution services, including commercial litigation, insurance coverage, government investigations and government enforcement actions.

Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP is a U.S. based law firm with offices in 11 states and London. The firm's national reputation spans the insurance industry, the professional services sector—including representation of law firms and lawyers—and other highly regulated industries, such as banking and finance and the debt collection sector. Hinshaw also provides a series of closely coordinated litigation, business advisory and transactional services to clients of all sizes as well as governmental and public sector entities.

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