EGHB offers clients a vertically integrated approach to cannabis law, guiding clients through licensing, partnership agreements, banking options, risk assessment, compliance, and litigation. Our attorneys provide counsel and advocacy to clients across the cannabis industry supply chain; from companies that cultivate, process, distribute, deliver, and sell state-licensed cannabis to those who invest in this burgeoning industry. EGHB also works with the wide array of businesses that supply the industry with goods and services, such as raw materials, packaging, technology, real estate, and security; and we represent both buyers and sellers in purchase agreements of cannabis businesses. Cannabis law intersects with virtually every major area of practice across the firm. Our deep experience in defending clients in business litigation, construction law, employment law, environmental law, product liability, toxic tort, and trucking and transportation, makes EGHB uniquely equipped to help clients in the cannabis industry identify key issues, devise innovative legal strategies, and avoid risk.
While cannabis remains illegal under federal law, our attorneys can counsel clients on the nuances of California state laws and regulatory compliance issues that govern the cannabis industry. These include Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA); RCRA, the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, Bank Secrecy Act, anti-money laundering (AML) statutes, the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, and the more expansive 2018 Farm Bill that allows more broad cultivation of hemp; as well as regulations established by the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC), California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), California Department of Public Health (CDPH), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In addition to being licensed in California we have attorneys who are admitted to practice in Hawaii, Iowa, New Jersey, New York, Texas, and Washington; one attorney who is a Certified Public Accountant in both California and New York; and partnerships with talented tax professionals who can help with filings and audits.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cannabis Law
Below are common questions about the cannabis industry from a business perspective.
What Is the Biggest Challenge in the Cannabis Industry?
Although recreational cannabis is legal in an increasing number of states, it remains illegal under federal law, which poses unique challenges for the cannabis industry. Staying informed about the latest legal shifts is another hurdle.
What Are the Biggest Challenges that Individual Cannabis Businesses Face?
Navigating the regulatory framework at the state and local level can be challenging and requires skilled legal guidance. Additionally, sound business practices are essential for preventing investigations or costly disputes that could shut the business down.
How Can Cannabis Businesses Thrive in the Current Legal Climate?
As in other industries, a strategic business plan is essential for success. Similarly, as in other highly regulated industries, maintaining regulatory compliance is key to avoiding legal setbacks. Our attorneys serve as valuable strategic partners in helping cannabis businesses address compliance issues.
Areas of Specialization
Construction Law and Real Estate
- Zoning, water rights, and land use
- Leasing and landlord/tenant matters
- Civil forfeiture risk
- Construction defect claims
Employment and Labor Law
- Non-compete and trade secrets
- Executive employment agreements and severance agreements
- National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)
- Workplace compliance and training
- Licenses to cultivate, manufacture, distribute, deliver, and sell adult-use marijuana, medical marijuana, and hemp in a retail environment
- Assessment of business and individual risks under federal and state cannabis-related laws, regulations, and guidance
- Administrative matters pertaining to licensure
- Pollution, groundwater contamination, and exposure claims
- Smoke taint and other wildfire-related claims
- Civil matters, such as RICO actions, breach of commercial contracts, fraud / misrepresentation and partnership / shareholder disputes
- Product liability claims related to alleged defects and failure to warn
- Employment claims
- Personal injury claims related to transport of cannabis-related products and raw materials
EGHB’s Cannabis Law Team includes practice chair, Michael E. Gallagher. Please contact Michael E. Gallagher at mgallagher@eghblaw or 213-412-2666 to learn more about how we can help you navigate the laws and regulations governing the cannabis industry in California.