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Cannabis Industry

Farella Braun + Martel is ideally positioned to assist companies and investors in the rapidly developing cannabis industry.  We have significant experience with some of the top players in the industry, and decades of experience assisting companies grow and succeed in other highly regulated industries such as the wine and alcohol beverage industry. We assist clients in all parts of the “seed to sale” chain move into and navigate the newly regulated medicinal and recreational markets in California.

Advisors for All Aspects of Your Business

Our attorneys are well-versed in the intricacies of the laws and the hurdles that our clients in this industry face every day. We are able to assist our cannabis industry clients at every stage: from the initial structuring and formation of their business; through their financings, employment issues, regulatory compliance issues, general contract issues, and other operating issues; to their ultimate liquidity event such as the sale, merger or other exit of the business.

We often act as the outside general counsel for our clients’ businesses, serving as our clients’ attorneys in all their legal matters and applying the wisdom and experience of our 50+ years as a firm to their businesses. In addition to our corporate group that handles most business matters, we have attorneys in the following related practice areas that are able to join our client teams as needed to address our clients’ needs and provide a level of experience unmatched in the industry:

  • Employment
  • Environmental
  • Intellectual Property / Trademark
  • Insurance
  • Litigation
  • Product Liability and California’s Prop 65
  • Real Estate / Land Use
  • Restructuring and Insolvency
  • Tax
  • White Collar Crime Defense and Internal Investigations

Investment for Growth

We advise investors looking to make strategic investments in the industry. Utilizing the experience we have developed from advising our investor clients across a multitude of different industries (including the Silicon Valley investment model), we work hand-and-hand with our cannabis industry clients to review investment opportunities and negotiate fair and protective investment terms.

Established Credibility

While the cannabis industry continues to evolve and gain its own legitimacy, uncertainty abounds. All cultivation, distribution and sale of cannabis remains illegal under the United States Controlled Substances Act. This means that even in states where the cultivation, manufacturing, testing, possession and/ or distribution of cannabis for medical and/or recreational uses has been permitted under some circumstances pursuant to state and local law, the federal government may still take criminal or civil enforcement action against individuals and/or businesses that engage in such activities. Simple business functions such as banking and leasing property can pose significant hurdles for cannabis-related businesses. Different tax regimes apply. Enforcement of contracts by cannabis businesses pose unique problems.

These and the multiple other challenges faced by those operating in the cannabis industry underscore the need for experience and credibility in the service providers