State-Licensed Cannabis

The cannabis industry has become one of the fastest-growing markets in the country. Currently, more than half of the states, plus the District of Columbia, have decriminalized cannabis for either medicinal or adult use. Dickinson Wright is one of the few full-service law firms that provide specialized counsel both to clients operating with state-issued licenses and to businesses providing goods and services to the industry.

Comprehensive Legal Advice

The Dickinson Wright team can help clients navigate the increasingly complex legal landscape surrounding this emerging market. While many states have decriminalized some or all forms of cultivating, distributing, dispensing, possessing and using cannabis, the federal Controlled Substances Act, along with other federal laws, continues to prohibit manufacturing, distributing, dispensing and possessing marijuana.

Our lawyers provide the timely and proactive advice that clients need to clearly understand the practical implications these state and federal laws present for their businesses. With our guidance, clients are able to pursue their business objectives while avoiding unnecessary risk.

Broad Expertise

Of course, doing business in the cannabis industry involves more than the legal issues surrounding the product itself. Like businesses in any industry, entrants into this market need assistance with the corporate, financing, real estate, employment, lobbying and intellectual property issues that affect their operations.

Taking into account your goals, your business model, and your unique product offerings, our team of experienced lawyers will develop customized solutions to legal issues both unique to the cannabis industry and common to all business. Our services include the following:

  • Private offerings
  • State license applications
  • 280E mitigation strategies
  • Entity formation
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • State and federal regulatory compliance
  • Real estate and leasing matters
  • Banking law compliance
  • Private equity investments
  • Indian tribe matters
  • Government investigations and securities enforcement
  • Manufacturing, sale, and licensing of processing equipment
  • Intellectual property, including trademark matters 
  • Government relations
  • Franchising
  • Employment law matters, including workplace policies

Our lawyers provide specialized legal expertise to clients of all sizes, from start-ups in need of capital to large companies with a significant national presence. And with 18 offices across the U.S. and in Canada, we regularly serve as national, regional, state/provincial and local counsel to clients in the manufacturing, healthcare, agribusiness and cannabis industries, among others.

Cost Effective Service

Comprehensive service and deep industry knowledge need not be expensive. Our size and depth of experience, together with our lean operating model, allow us to provide efficient and comprehensive legal services to clients of all sizes. Our team works with each client to design a pricing plan that delivers both predictability and maximum value.

Representative Engagements

While our experience is too extensive to list all of our representative matters, below is a list of some of our more recent engagements:

  • Represented investors in negotiation of joint venture opportunity for pursuit of state cultivation licenses
  • Assisted company with private placement offering for pursuit of cultivation, processing, and retail licenses nationwide
  • Counseled client on trademark applications filed with U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
  • Provided lobbying support on behalf of investor's pursuit of state-wide ballot initiative
  • Advised company on the acquisition of licenses
  • Corporate formation and advise on 280E tax impact for licensed dispensary
  • Negotiated real estate purchase contracts
  • Represented cultivation and dispensary operator in lease negotiations with landlord
  • Prepared and supported client applications for pursuit of cultivation, processing, and retail licenses
  • Drafted license and wholesale distribution agreements for the licensing of alternative cannabis delivery systems
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