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Cannabis Industry

Benesch’s Regulated Industries Group is a nationally-recognized leader in the legal cannabis industry. As a leading provider of legal services in a dynamic and ever-changing area of law, we not only offer a full spectrum of legal services, we also help shape the policies that govern the legal cannabis industry and its future. Our team of attorneys and professionals combines broad-based legal experience across numerous practices areas including corporate, healthcare, intellectual property, information technology, transportation and logistics, labor and employment, regulatory, environmental, litigation, real estate, construction and public law in both the private and public sector, in order to help our clients handle the business challenges and opportunities in this unique industry.

The firm’s attorneys have considerable experience across the country and understand the regulations and laws that vary by state. Benesch has the experience to help your business navigate through the multi-faceted and ever changing regulatory framework for the cannabis industry.

Of critical importance are the legal services related to the underlying purchase or lease of real estate that will be utilized in connection with the operation of the cannabis-related business. Formation of investment vehicles necessary to fund these projects requires extensive corporate and securities expertise, and intellectual property protection is fundamental to marketing the finished product and building brands that will grow in value.

The legalities of cannabis also reach into the sphere of public policy. Currently, dozens of townships and municipalities are placing temporary moratoriums on cannabis operations as they weigh how to respond to the new and fast-changing laws. The attorneys at Benesch are able to help communities draft ordinances reflecting their sensibilities and core values.

Our range of experience is extensive and covers all areas to help businesses navigate the complex state licensure requirements applicable to cannabis cultivators, processors, and dispensaries as well as advising clients on medical and recreational cannabis programs and how such programs would affect business.

Services include:

  • Preparing and processing medical marijuana applications with state regulatory agencies and boards
  • Legal support for cannabis businesses raising capital and entering into investment transactions
  • Legal analysis on marijuana and hemp programs
  • Strategic counseling for entities operating in the cannabis industry
  • Counseling for entities expanding current cannabis operations into other jurisdictions
  • Legal analysis on Hemp and Cannabidiol (CBD) products including analysis of relevant FTC and FDA regulations
  • Preparing and filing United States Trademark applications for cannabis products Master Brand licensing and white label arrangements and state by state specific agreements
  • Government relations, including providing regulatory compliance support and advocacy before legislative and regulatory bodies
  • Drafting and negotiating contractual agreements, including negotiating the purchase and/or lease of property for cannabis producer sites & zoning
  • Counseling for employers regarding employment policies procedures related to employee cannabis use
  • Counseling for health care providers in developing, implementing and monitoring policies for patient/resident use of medical marijuana in the health care settings including inpatient settings
  • Investigations related to drug diversion including medical marijuana in health care settings

Recent representative experience:

  • Preparation of winning merit based applicants for cultivator, dispensary and processor licenses in various jurisdictions
  • Successfully represented multiple clients awarded large grow cultivator licenses in legal actions challenging those awards
  • Representation of a client in positioning them to win a $1 million contact with the Ohio Board of Pharmacy to run the toll-free hotline for the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program
  • Provided legal analysis in regards to medical marijuana programs throughout various states (Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Michigan).
  • Provided operational support for marijuana licensees in the form of responding to governmental inquiries and producing proposals to submit to relevant governmental agencies
  • Provided business support to cannabis entities in the form of drafting contractual agreements and general business guidance 
  • Provided United States Trademark applicable services for cannabis products
  • Negotiation for the purchase of property to be used as a marijuana grow sites in Ohio
  • Provide ongoing employment advice to a medical marijuana company in Massachusetts, Maryland, Nevada, Illinois and Pennsylvania
  • Analysis of status of various legal cannabis markets
  • Guidance on packaging and labeling of cannabis products in various jurisdiction
  • Global brand licensing and white label agreements at a global level and at the state level
  • Analysis and guidance on intersection of FDA requirements and CBD products
  • Successful appeal of processing license in Ohio
  • Assist in capital raise activities, structuring, and corporate guidance for various cannabis entities in various jurisdictions