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Capabilities / 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 in developing 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.


Husch Blackwell has one of the largest and most experienced teams in the nation dedicated to the marijuana industry. 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 2023 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
Blog | January 02, 2020
With a little help from my friends
Articles | December 31, 2019
Cannabis Concerns? Employer Strategies for Maintaining a Safe Workplace

Employers should evaluate and revise their drug policies to comply with the law and protect the health and safety of their workplace.

Blog | September 26, 2019
SAFE Banking Passes the House
Blog | September 23, 2019
SAFE Banking Act – A Legislative Update
Blog | July 30, 2019
TTAB Harshes Vibe
Blog | May 30, 2019
USDA Issues Legal Opinion on Hemp
Legal Updates | April 04, 2019
Clarity at Last? FDA Announces Plans for Meeting on Cannabis-Derived Compounds

On Wednesday, April 3, 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced plans to hold a meeting to discuss its regulatory approach to products that contain cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds, including cannabidiol (CBD).

Legal Updates | March 06, 2019
Colorado Poised to Pass Major Marijuana-Related Legislation

The State of Colorado has taken a major step towards opening its marijuana industry to outside investment in what could be a transformative piece of legislation.

Blog | January 07, 2019
2018 Farm Bill: Opportunities in Hemp
Articles | January 2019
Cannabis Business Times: 2018 Farm Bill: Opportunities in Hemp

Distributing more than $850 billion, the 2018 Farm Bill is an enormous piece of legislation that funds programs such as crop insurance, school lunches and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Integrated into the Farm Bill is the bipartisan-supported Hemp Farming Act of 2018. Steve Levine and Ben Jones explain in this article.

White Papers | 2019
Insurance Risk in Cannabis Operations: Theory versus Practice

Cannabis industry participants face heightened risks when purchasing and using insurance products.

Blog | November 19, 2018
Due Diligence in Cannabis Transactions
White Papers | November 15, 2018
Due Diligence in Cannabis Transactions

While the basic principles of due diligence still apply, vetting existing marijuana and hemp businesses presents some unique variables and risks.

Blog | November 09, 2018
Election Re-cap: Green Wave
Blog | November 01, 2018
Marijuana in the Midterms
Speaking Engagements | January 13, 2023
Speaker, "Navigating Amendment 3 Webinar," The Missouri Chamber
Webinar | March 2021
Colorado MED Rulemaking Update
Webinar | June 26, 2019
The States of Marijuana: The Impact of Changing Cannabis Laws

Hiring to Firing and Everything in Between Webinar Series

Seminars | April 2, 2019
Sweetleaf: An Outlier or Reason for Concern?

Cannabis Seminar

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.

Media Mentions | January 23, 2020
Law360's Weekly Verdict: Legal Lions & Lambs (1/23/20)
Media Mentions | January 17, 2020
5280 Magazine: Denver's Top Lawyers 2020
Media Mentions | January 17, 2020
Ag Professional: Is Hemp the New Soybean?
News Releases | December 03, 2019
Husch Blackwell's Cannabis Law Team Recognized with 2019 Top Legal Innovation Award

Husch Blackwell’s Cannabis team, led by Denver-based Steve Levine, is one of the largest such practices in the United States.

News Releases | September 10, 2019
Husch Blackwell's Scott and Eckelkamp Named 2019 Up & Coming Lawyers

The annual Up & Coming awards “celebrate outstanding legal professionals who are 40 or younger or who are within their first 10 years of practice.

Media Mentions | August 01, 2019
Law360 Names Attys Who Moved Up the Ranks in Q2
Media Mentions | June 10, 2019
St. Louis Business Journal: St. Louis lawyer advises marijuana brand protection — if you can get it

Mike Annis discusses the importance of trademark protection for those in the medical marijuana industry with the St. Louis Business Journal's Greg Edwards.

Media Mentions | May 10, 2019
Milwaukee Business Journal: A Budding Industry
News Releases | April 30, 2019
Chambers USA Recognizes Steve Levine in Inaugural Cannabis Law Rankings

Levine, head of Husch Blackwell’s cannabis practice, is recognized by Chambers USA in inaugural nationwide Cannabis Law rankings.

Media Mentions | April 05, 2019
Kansas City Business Journal: Lawyer: Business law in the cannabis industry is tricky

Steve Levine discusses the intricacies of setting up a medical marijuana business in Missouri with James Dornbrook of the Kansas City Business Journal. Lawyer: Business law in the cannabis industry is tricky

News Releases | April 01, 2019
Husch Blackwell Names Marnie Jensen Office Managing Partner of Omaha Office

Marnie Jensen succeeds Todd Richardson as managing partner of Husch Blackwell's Omaha office.

Media Mentions | March 24, 2019
Safety + Health: Clearing the air on marijuana
News Releases | January 04, 2019
5280 Magazine Recognizes Steve Levine as Leader in Cannabis Law

Steve Levine, who has represented clients in the cannabis industry since 2010, has been named a 5280 magazine Top Lawyer in Marijuana Law for the fourth year in a row.

Media Mentions | November 07, 2018
Kansas City Business Journal: Potential issues posed by medical marijuana

Christopher Ottele discusses potential labor issues for employers as a result of Missouri voters' approval to legalize medical marijuana. 

Media Mentions | October 25, 2018 Higher Law: A 'Green Wave' Legalization Blueprint (log-in required) mention's Marshall Custer's interview with Slate's "Working" podcast about his six years working in cannabis law.

Media Mentions | October 21, 2018
Slate: How Does a Marijuana Lawyer Do His Job? (AUDIO)

Meet Marshall Custer, who co-leads the cannabis law practice at Husch Blackwell (This 47:15 podcast is part of Slate's "Working" series).

Listen to the podcast.

"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