The trend is clear: today, two-thirds of U.S. states have legalized the use of medical marijuana and 11 of these states—representing 20% of the nation's population—have also legalized recreational cannabis. And while there remains an ongoing conflict between federal and state positions on the regulation of products containing more than 0.3% THC (the psychoactive component of cannabis), the U.S. Congress recently legalized the production of industrial hemp.

In other words, cannabis is the ultimate "growth" industry.

Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP helps investors, growers, distributors, dispensaries, pharmaceutical companies, supplement manufacturers, retailers, and other participants navigate the complex and sometimes contradictory legal and business challenges facing this emerging marketplace. We have attorneys licensed in and on the ground in nearly two dozen of the U.S. states that have legalized some form of cannabis use, including Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and New York.

In addition to advising individuals and entities pursuing business opportunities in this sector, we also counsel hospitals, health systems and other healthcare providers on issues involving marijuana prescribed for medicinal purposes and in the context of clinical trials, and help employers understand their responsibilities and obligations with respect to employees who may engage in the legal use of medical or recreational cannabis.

We draw on experienced attorneys in a number of the firm's core practices to provide cost-effective counsel in the following areas, among others:

  • Regulatory and licensing compliance, including policy development, product recalls, and government relations
  • Business and commercial transactions, including entity formation, governance, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, debt and equity financing, taxation, and banking
  • Real estate, including zoning, site selection, construction, and leasing
  • Insurance, including crop loss, theft, and liability 
  • Intellectual property, including patent, copyright and trademark registration, and trade-secret protection
  • Employment, including policy development, documentation and communications, background checks, drug testing, employee benefits and compensation, wage-and-hour compliance, and litigation
  • Dispute resolution, including administrative appeals, breach of contract matters, product liability, shareholder disputes, and white collar and criminal defense
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