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The newly emerging cannabis industry is one of the fastest-growing markets in those states where cannabis has been legalized under state law. Currently, more than half of the states, plus the District of Columbia, have decriminalized cannabis for either medicinal or recreational adult use. Dickinson Wright is positioned as one of the only full-service law firms to welcome clients operating in this industry and to 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 experienced and knowledgeable Dickinson Wright legal team can help clients navigate the constantly changing state and federal legal landscape surrounding this emerging market. While many states have decriminalized some or all forms of cultivating, distributing, dispensing, possessing and using cannabis, cannabis remains federally illegal and thus manufacturing, distributing, dispensing and possessing marijuana remains illegal at the federal level. The novel interaction between federal and the various state laws is complex and requires lawyers with a sophisticated understanding of the nuances of the applicable state and federal laws combined with a deep understanding of the economic, regulatory and operational challenges facing the emerging cannabis industry.

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

Broad Expertise

Doing business in the cannabis industry involves more than the simple analysis of the legal issues surrounding the product itself. Like businesses in any industry, entrants into this market need assistance with their corporate, financing, real estate, employment, lobbying and intellectual property needs crucial to 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, local 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 where appropriate
• 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 19 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 state and local applications for pursuit of cultivation, processing, and retail licenses and relocation of facilities
• Drafted license and wholesale distribution agreements for the licensing of alterative cannabis delivery systems
• Represented clients in litigation matters involving complex issues respecting corporate structure and revenue allocation and issues related to state and local licensure

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