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Capabilities / Cannabis

Cannabis

Our team has been instrumental in the transition of the U.S. cannabis industry into the commercial mainstream.

Formed at the very outset of the creation of the state-level legal cannabis industry, Husch Blackwell’s Cannabis practice is a national leader in the field, serving the first regulated cannabis markets of Colorado, then California, and now advising clients wherever state law permits. We provide to leading industry participants sophisticated transactional, finance, and regulatory legal counsel, including mergers and acquisitions, securities offerings (public and private), debt and equity financings, corporate restructuring, federal and state regulation, intellectual property, tax, employment, and other general corporate issues.

Partnering with our clients, our team has lived and breathed the challenges they face on a daily basis. Operations and processes that many businesses take for granted—such as commercial banking, business insurance, leasing, and access to capital markets—are challenging in the cannabis space, and we have assisted dozens of enterprises develop the necessary legal framework to operate their businesses and manage risk. The experience of our cannabis law practice is a valuable resource for all of our cannabis clients, including medical and retail centers and cultivators, manufacturers of infused products, testing facilities, marijuana technology companies, landlords, private equity funds, credit unions and security companies.

Members of the Husch Blackwell cannabis law team have helped clients navigate the complex and ever-changing regulations governing the state legal cultivation and sale of marijuana, industrial hemp and cannabidiol (CBD). Additionally, the entire firm serves as a resource when the team is dealing with highly complex and novel legal issues on behalf of cannabis clients.

Marijuana

Husch Blackwell has one of the largest and most experienced teams in the nation dedicated to the marijuana industry, with 80 attorneys nationwide. Our clients include not only the nation’s largest cannabis companies, but also large multinational companies making their first forays into cannabis. 

Led by a USA Nationwide Tier 1 lawyer in Cannabis Law in the 2021 Chambers USA legal directory, our team is a recognized leader in the industry with members dedicated to the practice of cannabis law, not merely a collection of attorneys who happen to have handled a few related deals and cases. Additionally, our team tackles marijuana regulatory matters across the nation – including California, Colorado, Missouri and New York.

In the Marijuana industry, we regularly represent medical and adult-use marijuana stores, medical and adult-use marijuana cultivations, manufacturers of marijuana-infused products, marijuana testing facilities, marijuana technology companies, industrial hemp farms and processors, landlords, private equity funds, public companies (U.S. and Canada), credit unions and security companies. Additionally, we counsel investors for these companies.

CBD & Industrial Hemp

Following passage of the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, there are new fields of opportunity for growers, manufacturers and investors in the industrial hemp and CBD industry; however, it is still a highly regulated area of operation, owing to its historical association with marijuana. Our experienced team stands ready to help industry participants adapt to changes in federal law, as well as the patchwork of state-level laws applicable to the cultivation and production of industrial hemp and related products.

Our dedicated team provides the full complement of services to CBD and industrial hemp producers and retailers from the earliest startup stages through ongoing business concerns. Because our team is industry-focused rather than practice-specific, we are widely regarded as thought leaders and regularly publish, speak and advocate for favorable legislation on behalf of our clients.

Representative Experience

  • Advised LivWell Holdings Inc., in sale to PharmaCann Inc., largest privately held, vertically integrated U.S. cannabis company. 
  • Advised Medicine Man on the sale of business to Columbia Care. 
  • Assisted The Health Center in the sale of the company to a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). 
  • Represented cultivator Los Sueños Farms in $67M sale to Curaleaf. 
  • Served as Colorado regulatory counsel for Columbia Care in connection with the acquisition of The Green Solution in Colorado. We assisted with transactional documents as well as obtaining regulatory approval at state and local jurisdictions. At close, Columbia Care became the largest cannabis operator in Colorado, the second largest cannabis market in the world. 
  • Represented Nutritional High International in $10M acquisition of California dispensary and cultivation facility.
  • Represented Green Thumb Industries in closing of its acquisition of Fiorello Pharmaceuticals, as well as providing counsel on New York medical cannabis license regulatory issues.
  • Represent clients in commercial cannabis greenhouse development and financing in multiple states.
  • Negotiated warehouse leases for numerous landlords and tenants across multiple states throughout the last nine years.
  • Assist IP holding companies operating in the U.S. to licensing proprietary technology and trademarks.
  • Represent cannabis clients in complex commercial litigation and regulatory matters related to marijuana.
  • Develop client’s consolidation strategy and address antitrust issues using HB developed data-mapping technology.
  • Assist state-medical marijuana client’s transition to a FDA/DEA compliant drug development company.
  • Represented one of the largest cannabis testing facilities in connection with the reverse merger into a publicly reporting Over the Counter Bulletin Board (OTCBB) company.
  • Represented one of the largest cannabis security companies in connection with the reverse merger into a publicly reporting OTCBB company.
  • Negotiated the successful purchase of various recreational and medical center (including cultivations) licenses in Colorado.
  • Represented numerous clients, landlords and tenants in leasing warehouse space in Colorado.
  • Represent several clients in the development of commercial greenhouses used by cannabis tenants in Colorado and California.
  • Develop and license proprietary technology and trademarks for technology and intellectual property holding companies in the marijuana and industrial hemp industries operating in the United States.
  • Represent emerging growth cannabis technology and business solution companies in connection with corporate formation, financings and commercial contracts.
  • Represent several cannabis clients in commercial litigation matters.
  • Provide ongoing regulatory, employment, tax, corporate and securities legal advice to various recreational and medical cannabis clients.
  • Represented a large recreational center in successfully obtaining one of the first retail licenses in Aurora, Colorado.
  • Represented an infused-products manufacturer in successfully obtaining a medical infused products license in Colorado.
  • Represent various medical and recreational centers, infused-products manufacturers and testing facilities with licensing issues at local and state levels in Colorado.
  • Represent cannabis operators in Colorado with regard to administrative show cause orders, negotiation of remediation plans and stipulated settlement agreements with state and local agencies.
  • Represent Canadian public companies with cannabis operations in the United States.
  • Represent clients expanding cannabis operations into Canada.
  • Assisted Lightshade Labs in the acquisition of Frosted Leaf, a dispensary in Denver, out of receivership for $3.5 million.
  • Represented Nutritional Elements in the sale of the company to a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).
  • Helped keep the Colorado cannabis industry open during the COVID-19 pandemic by writing and reviewing proposed legislation regarding essential business status for cannabis companies.
Video | January 04, 2022
[Video] Location Intelligence Solutions
Blog | April 20, 2021
4/20 Marijuana Legislative Update
Blog | March 23, 2021
USDA Final Rule Takes Effect
Articles | October 26, 2020
Marijuana Venture: Innovation on the Rise
News Releases | October 18, 2021
Husch Blackwell Guides LivWell in Sale to PharmaCann
News Releases | December 06, 2021
Husch Blackwell Elects 36 to 2022 Partnership Class
Media Mentions | February 16, 2021
NACS News: Cannabis Industry Grows on Capitol Hill
News Releases | May 19, 2020
Husch Blackwell Represents Schwazze in Landmark Cannabis Transaction

The transaction is the first to close after a change in Colorado law pursuant to House Bill 19-1090, allowing for publicly traded companies to own Colorado cannabis licenses.

News Releases | February 12, 2020
Husch Blackwell's Banking and Finance Group Adds Two in Wisconsin

“Growing our Wisconsin-based banking and finance team has been a priority for our firm over the past few years,” said Eric Lenzen, leader of the firm’s Financial Services & Capital Markets group.

"My company is in the cannabis space where it is sink or swim for minority entrepreneurs. And finding good, affordable legal support has been very difficult for me. HB is walking me through a comprehensive review of my corporate structure and helping position us best to raise money. The program has been great for us."

Jarell Wall, Co-Founder & CEO, Gentleman Quinns