Cannabis is a rapidly emerging industry. The marijuana and cannabinoid hemp markets present immense economic opportunities for businesses across all facets of the cannabis industry, including: investors, producers, distributors, retailers, and dispensaries.
The cannabis industry also presents businesses with an abundance of complex legal obstacles. Regulations on adult-use marijuana, medical marijuana, and cannabinoid hemp products differ greatly from state to state. Complicating matters further for cannabis businesses; regulations set forth by various state laws are often in direct conflict with U.S. federal cannabis laws.
New York State Cannabis Law
The Marijuana Regulation & Taxation Act (MRTA), which was recently signed into law, has made New York State the newest region to present unique opportunities and obstacles for businesses in the cannabis industry. The MRTA:
- legalizes adult-use cannabis in New York State;
- expands New York State’s existing medical marijuana program; and
- expands New York State’s existing cannabinoid hemp program.
The New York State Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) has been established through the MRTA. The OCM is responsible for issuing licensing for businesses in the adult-use, medical, and cannabinoid hemp industries. New York State has established a tiered licensing structure for the production, distribution, and sale of cannabis. The state is issuing separate licensing for various operations and is prohibiting vertically integrated businesses.
Legal Needs of Cannabis Industry
The success of your business can be greatly impacted by how you address its legal needs. Cannabis businesses are faced with the particular challenge of having to tend with laws and regulations that are unique to the cannabis industry as well as the full range of standard legal issues that businesses face across all industries.
For a law firm to properly serve your cannabis business; the firm must be equipped to successfully fulfill a myriad of responsibilities for you, including:
- Navigate the complexities of state and federal law successfully;
- Obtain all necessary licenses and zoning approval for you to operate your business;
- Defend against any investigations or charges from government agencies and law enforcement;
- Protect all of your business’ assets, including intellectual property;
- Ensure your business is in compliance with industry regulations;
- Anticipate and advise on how to adjust to changes in cannabis law;
- Advocate on your behalf regarding legislation and government regulations that impact the cannabis industry;
- Fight vigorously on your behalf through litigation in business disputes;
- Counsel you on a wide range of standard business needs, including: banking and finance matters, business formation, contract negotiations, employment law, franchise law, mergers and acquisitions, real estate, tax law; and
- Minimize your risk and legal liability.
Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria’s Services for Cannabis Businesses
Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria’s depth of experience and scope of practice areas optimally align with the legal needs of businesses in the cannabis industry.
The firm has worked extensively with clients who conduct business in highly regulated industries. Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria is committed to having a comprehensive understanding of the regulations and operations of the industries it serves. The firm utilizes its legal experience, industry knowledge, and business acumen to successfully serve organizations of all sizes.
Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria is comprised of highly skilled attorneys who have been recognized by peers as leaders in their respective areas of legal practice. The firm takes a multidisciplinary approach to its practice. This approach allows Lipsitz Green to serve as a strategic partner that clients can trust to provide legal guidance throughout all phases of their business.
Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria provides legal counsel to clients that range from small family-owned businesses to large multinational and publicly traded corporations. The firm is depended upon in high stakes legal matters by some of the regions most renowned brands. Lipsitz Green is well versed in bringing matters before all judicial forums, including local municipal courts, state appellate courts, and the U.S. Supreme Court. The firm also has extensive experience representing clients in proceedings before government agencies and professional licensing boards.
Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria is equipped to meet all the legal needs of your cannabis industry business. The firm’s services include:
Business Law and Litigation
Legal strategies for all transactional matters and business disputes, including: business formation, business dissolution, commercial finance, commercial litigation, construction litigation, corporate governance, employment matters, franchising and distributorships, intellectual property, mergers and acquisitions, property rights, sales contracts, stock holder and partnership agreements, and tax matters.
Guidance for employers on all areas of labor and employment law, including: compliance with industry regulations, employee benefits, employee handbooks, employment discrimination and harassment claims, family medical leave, non-compete agreements, OSHA and other regulatory compliance requirements, personnel policies, severance agreements, wage and hour disputes, and wrongful termination.
Government Agencies and Legislative Advocacy
Representation in investigations and compliance issues involving government agencies, including: DEA, FBI, FDA, and HHS. Addressing laws that impact your business by working with lawmakers on new legislative initiatives and challenging the legality of existing regulations in state and federal court.
Legal counsel on all intellectual property matters, including: advertising and trade regulations, co-branding agreements, domain name disputes, copyright fair use and misuse matters, copyright infringement, copyright registration, licensing issues, merger and public domain matters, patents, product labeling, service marks, trademark counterfeiting, trademark dilution, trademark infringement, and trademark registration.
Aggressive advocacy to obtain and defend professional licenses and certifications across government regulated industries, including: architecture, cannabis, construction, education, engineering, finance, law enforcement, manufacturing, medicine, pharmaceuticals, and real estate.
Counsel on all real estate related matters, including: commercial lending transactions, construction and permanent financing, environmental issues, land acquisitions, municipal and public finance transactions, purchase and sales agreements, real estate development, regulatory approvals, as well as zoning and land use issues.
Advising on strategies for all tax matters, including: acquisitions and divestitures, employment tax, executive compensation, ERISA, federal and state excise tax, IRS hearings and appeals, sales and use tax, tax aspects of partnerships and LLCs, tax audit process, tax controversy resolution, and tax exempt issues.
White-Collar Criminal Defense
Vigorous legal defense on all matters before state and federal courts, including: computer crimes, corporate compliance, congressional oversight, embezzlement, environmental crime, forfeiture, fraud, government protocol, health care fraud and abuse, identity theft, money laundering, securities fraud, and tax issues.
Cannabis Industry Sectors Being Served
New York State forecasts that the cannabis industry will generate $3.5 billion in economic activity in the state and create upwards of 60,000 jobs. This economic development will impact a wide variety of business operations. Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria is equipped to serve the particular needs of all sectors of the cannabis industry, including:
- Agriculture operations, including industrial hemp farms;
- Buyers and sellers of cannabis businesses;
- Delivery services;
- Labs and testing facilities;
- On-site use facilities;
- Producers of all cannabis products including adult-use marijuana, medical marijuana, cannabinoid hemp products. and other marijuana infused products;
- Retails outlets;
- Suppliers of production materials;
- Support industries including advertisers, banks, contractors, information technology professionals, insurance providers, real estate developers, security firms; and
For More Information
Members of Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria’s Cannabis Law Practice Group are listed below. Please contact a team member today to discuss your business’ needs and how Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria can help your business obtain all of its goals.
Analysis of Lawsuit Halting New Cannabis Licenses
Attorney Matthew Morey spoke with Spectrum News to provide legal analysis on a recent lawsuit that was filed, which claims the actions of New York State’s Office of Cannabis Management and Cannabis Control Board are unconstitutional. As a result of the lawsuit, a court has ordered New York State to temporarily stop issuing any new licenses or approving any new dispensaries to open. Click the link below for the full report, including Matthew Morey’s analysis.