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“Husch Blackwell has been our corporate counsel at Medicine Man for many years. Steve Levine is a now a good friend and trusted adviser to the leaders within our organization. Their firm has a wide range of legal expertise within their ranks and has been phenomenal in helping with our many and varied needs. Their cannabis industry knowledge is unparalleled by other law firms. We highly recommend Husch Blackwell to anyone in the cannabis industry.”

Andy Williams, Founder, Medicine Man

Overview

Steve leads Husch Blackwell's national cannabis practice.

Since 2010, Steve’s major focus has been on the burgeoning cannabis industry, where he guides clients through the tangle of shifting regulations governing the sale and use of cannabis in both the marijuana and industrial hemp sectors.

Prior to cannabis, Steve honed his skills representing midcap public oil and gas companies and acting as a general corporate transactional attorney for numerous industries, guiding clients through mergers and acquisitions, securities laws, the capital markets, regulatory issues and intellectual property issues. He understands that a cannabis business’s success hinges not only on high-quality products and service, but also on smart business and legal decisions regarding corporate structure and financing, lease or real property purchase negotiations, permits and licenses, and employment procedures.

Cannabis clients also rely on Steve for help as their businesses scale quickly. He helps negotiate remediation plans and stipulated settlement agreements with state and local agencies, and he represents landlords and tenants in warehouse leases and development of commercial greenhouses used by cannabis tenants.

Steve serves on the firm’s Executive Board.

“Husch Blackwell has been our corporate counsel at Medicine Man for many years. Steve Levine is a now a good friend and trusted adviser to the leaders within our organization. Their firm has a wide range of legal expertise within their ranks and has been phenomenal in helping with our many and varied needs. Their cannabis industry knowledge is unparalleled by other law firms. We highly recommend Husch Blackwell to anyone in the cannabis industry.”

Andy Williams, Founder, Medicine Man


Industry

Services

Recognition

  • Chambers USA, Cannabis Law, Nationwide Tier 1, 2019-2020
  • 5280 The Denver Magazine, Top Lawyers, Marijuana Law, 2016-2020, Top Cannabis Lawyer, 2017
  • National Law Journal Trailblazers: Cannabis Law, 2018
  • BL Rankings’ The Best Lawyers in America©, Corporate Law, 2016-2021

Education

  • J.D., University of Denver Sturm College of Law
  • B.A., University of Oregon

Admissions

  • Colorado
  • New York
  • California

Professional Memberships and Certifications

  • National Cannabis Industry Association, former Policy Council member
  • Colorado Restaurant Association, Mile High Chapter, Board Member, 2012-2015
  • Colorado Bar Association
  • Denver Bar Association
Experience

Cannabis

  • Negotiated successful purchase of various recreational and medical establishment licenses and businesses in Colorado since 2010.
  • Represented clients in development of commercial greenhouses used by cannabis tenants in Colorado and California.
  • Negotiated warehouse leases for numerous landlords and tenants in Colorado and California since 2010.
  • Developed and licensed proprietary technology and trademarks for technology and intellectual property holding companies in the marijuana and industrial hemp industries operating in the United States.
  • Represented Canadian public companies with cannabis operations in the United States.
  • Represented clients expanding cannabis operations into Canada.
  • Handled corporate formation, financings and commercial contracts for emerging growth cannabis technology and business solution companies.
  • Worldwide market leader and expert in providing data-driven solutions for recall services for durable goods - Assisted large recreational center in obtaining one of the first retail licenses in Aurora, Colorado, in 2014.
  • Obtained medical infused-products license for an infused-products manufacturer in Colorado in 2015.
  • Advised medical and adult-use stores, marijuana-infused-products manufacturers and marijuana testing facilities on licensing issues at local and state levels in Colorado and California.
  • Represented cannabis operators in Colorado in administrative show cause orders, negotiation of remediation plans and stipulated settlement agreements with state and local agencies.
  • Advised one of the largest cannabis testing facilities on its reverse merger into a publicly reporting company in 2014.
  • Represented one of the largest cannabis security companies in its reverse merger into a publicly reporting company in 2015.

Mergers & Acquisitions

  • Represented natural resource company in reverse merger into a public shell valued at $200 million.
  • Represented client in sale of business unit for $18 million, including drafting and negotiating asset purchase agreement and all ancillary documents.
  • Advised worldwide money transfer company on purchase of competitor in California for $4 million, including drafting and negotiating the asset purchase agreement and all ancillary documents.
  • Represented NASDAQ oil and gas company in an acquisition of public oil and gas company, including drafting the merger agreement, Form S-4 registration statement and related ancillary documents.
  • Counseled private company on reverse merger into public shell listed on Over-the-Counter Bulletin Board (OTCBB).
  • Represented private company in the $17 million purchase of membership interests in a Texas LLC.
  • Drafted and negotiated repurchase agreement of convertible debentures for publicly traded company.
  • Prepared private placement memorandum (PPM) for a $3.5 million equity offering for fast food company.
  • Prepared PPM for Colorado gourmet grocery store to providing funding for a second store.
  • Represented two NASDAQ oil and gas companies in $30 million public offerings of common shares.
  • Represented publicly traded company in private issuance of $3.5 million in common stock and prepared subsequent Form S-1 resale registration statement.
  • Prepared and responsible for filing Form S-3 universal shelf registration statements for two different NASDAQ-listed entities.
  • Prepared PPM for $2.5 million equity offering in the United States of a public company.

General Corporate

  • Advised NASDAQ information technology service provider on renegotiation of information technology outsourcing (ITO) agreements aggregating $150 million, including drafting and negotiating master service agreements, license agreements, statements of work and other related agreements.
  • Represented publicly traded oil and gas company in negotiation of an amendment agreement to a $20 million promissory note.
  • Represented publicly traded software development company in strict foreclosure of $5 million promissory note.
  • Drafted and filed with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) a shareholder rights plan for two publicly traded companies.

Securities Exchange Act

  • Represented public companies in cannabis, oil and gas, banking and business services industries in their respective Exchange Act reports (e.g., Form 10-K, Form 10-Q, Form 8-K, definitive and preliminary proxy statements, Form 13d, Form 13g and Forms 3, 4 and 5).
  • Assisted special committee of the board in connection with potential conflict of interest arising out of proposed public/public merger.
  • Reviewed and revised several audit, compensation and governance committee charters for compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and NASDAQ rules, as applicable.
  • Prepared and was responsible for filing Form S-8 for several oil and gas companies, which also included a reoffer prospectus involving control and restricted securities.
  • Researched and prepared client memoranda regarding fiduciary duties, compliance under the Sarbanes Oxley Act of 2002, and corporate governance of a troubled company.
Blog | May 30, 2019
USDA Issues Legal Opinion on Hemp
Alerts | 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).

Alerts | 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.

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.

Articles | September 19, 2018
Sacramento Business Journal: Husch Blackwell attorney explores California's laws and regulations on emerging cannabis industry

Steve Levine discusses the current state of cannabis law in California.

Blog | March 27, 2018
Will Hemp be Legalized Soon?
Blog | January 04, 2018
The Sessions Memo
Blog | December 26, 2017
Husch Blackwell Expands to California
Webinar | June 26, 2019
The States of Marijuana: The Impact of Changing Cannabis Laws

Hiring to Firing and Everything in Between Webinar Series

Speaking Engagements | May 30, 2019
Keynote Speaker, Canna Compliance West Conference
Seminars | April 2, 2019
Sweetleaf: An Outlier or Reason for Concern?

Cannabis Seminar

Seminars | June 28, 2018
Cannabis Law Now: Criminal Investigations June 28, 2018

Join Husch Blackwell attorneys for a deeper look at the effect of the Cole Memo rescission on federal enforcement efforts, both civil and criminal, and for analysis of what factors will drive federal enforcement moving forward. This program is geared toward cannabis business owners and will provide practical compliance tips.

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.

Media Mentions | January 17, 2020
5280 Magazine: Denver's Top Lawyers 2020
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 | August 15, 2019
Husch Blackwell Places 143 Lawyers in 2020 BL Rankings' Best Lawyers in America®

The firm has eight "Lawyers of the Year" and 11 attorneys appearing on the list for the first time.

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.

News Releases | April 29, 2019
Chambers USA 2019 Ranks Husch Blackwell in 10 Areas of Law; 33 Attorneys Recognized

Attorneys in 10 offices across the firm's footprint are recognized in the 2019 edition of Chambers USA

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 | 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.

News Releases | October 02, 2018
Steve Levine Selected as 2018 National Law Journal Cannabis Law Trailblazer

Husch Blackwell's Steve Levine has been named a "Cannabis Law Trailblazer" for 2018 by the National Law Journal.

News Releases | August 15, 2018
Husch Blackwell Places 143 Lawyers in 2019 BL Rankings' Best Lawyers in America®

The Best Lawyers in America® has listed 143 Husch Blackwell attorneys in its 2019 directory. The firm has eight "Lawyers of the Year" and five attorneys appearing on the list for the first time.

Media Mentions | June 11, 2018
Above the Law: High Times For Cannabis Law Blogs External Link

Husch Blackwell’s Cannabis Law Now blog is highlighted among a number of law firm blogs devoted to cannabis law.

Media Mentions | May 01, 2018
Kansas City Star: Medical marijuana is one step closer to being legal in Missouri

Steve Levine draws on his experience as a top cannabis lawyer in comments to the Kansas City Star.

Media Mentions | April 18, 2018
San Jose Inside: How San Jose Went from Being the ‘Wild West of Weed' to a Bastion for Legal Cannabis

Steve Levine comments on the evolution of San Jose’s approach to regulating cannabis.

News Releases | January 03, 2018
Levine Named Top Cannabis Business Lawyer by 5280 Magazine

Steve Levine is recognized as a Top Lawyer in Marijuana Law by 5280 Magazine.

Outside the Office

Living close to the Rockies, Steve enjoys skiing and hiking. He also enjoys traveling internationally, but the majority of his free time belongs to his young son.

Community Leadership
  • National Jewish Health, Development Board Member, 2016-present
  • Legal Aid Foundation of Colorado, Board Member 2015-present
  • Heroes Like Us, Board Member, 2013-2014
Cannabis

Steve heads the firm’s cannabis practice, focused in Colorado and California.

Because many clients in this emerging industry are startups or are scaling rapidly, Steve and his team effectively act as outside general counsel, advising on regulatory issues, intellectual property, tax, employment and other general corporate issues. Clients include medical and retail centers, medical and retail cultivations, manufacturers of infused products, testing facilities, marijuana technology companies, industrial hemp farms and processors, landlords, private equity funds, credit unions and security companies.

Follow Steven on Twitter

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