Cannabis is one of the fastest-growing industries in America — and an area of huge potential and unique challenges for growers, distributors, processors and investors, as well as companies seeking to capitalize on the hemp and CBD emergence. As more states move towards the legalization of medical and adult-use cannabis, Kelley Drye offers extensive experience navigating the rapidly-changing environment and conflicting federal, state and local laws and regulations.
Kelley Drye’s interdisciplinary team helps companies navigate the full range of cannabis-related legal and regulatory challenges, including: state licensing compliance, food and drug, advertising, intellectual property procurement, corporate formation, real estate issues, tax consequences, banking concerns, employment issues, litigation, trade secret protection, internal investigations, criminal defense and other issues. We leverage our nationwide footprint to provide holistic advice and representation to those directly involved in or looking to enter the industry.
Our recent experience includes:
- FDA and Advertising Regulatory Advice: Assisting multiple companies in navigating complex federal-state issues relative to product labeling and advertising, particularly with regard to CBD products.
- Corporate and Real Estate: Assisting the largest medical marijuana operation in Maryland with corporate, tax, and real estate issues.
- Intellectual Property: Actively prosecuting patents directly or peripherally related to cannabis in a variety of technical disciplines, including smoking apparatuses, medical treatments for various diseases including HIV and chemical delivery systems and manufacturing methods for edibles; and conducting U.S. trademark clearance searches, prosecuting trademark applications, and advising clients on trademark protection issues for cannabis-related products and services.
- Banking, Securities, and AML: We counsel clients relating to payment transactions, anti-money laundering, and securities issues.
- Compliance, Investigations, and Litigation: We represented a medical marijuana growing operation on business matters, state investigation and litigation matters.
- State Regulatory: Assisting clients in preparing and filing applications for grower, processor and dispensary licensing in multiple states.
- Labor & Employment: Counseling employers throughout the country on cannabis issues in the employment context.
Possessing, using, distributing, and/or selling marijuana or marijuana-based products is illegal under federal law, regardless of any state law that may decriminalize such activity under certain circumstances. Although federal enforcement policy may at times defer to states’ laws and not enforce conflicting federal laws, interested businesses and individuals should be aware that compliance with state law in no way assures compliance with federal law, and there is a risk that conflicting federal laws may be enforced in the future. No legal advice we give is intended to provide any guidance or assistance in violating federal law.