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    Cannabis, Hemp and CBD Services

    Our Cannabis, Hemp and CBD services team provides legal advice on US federal and state legal issues to cultivators, processors, manufacturers, laboratories, researchers, retailers and suppliers in the cannabis, hemp and CBD industry.

    Our team focuses on the rapidly evolving US laws governing cannabis, cannabidiol (CBD) and the hemp industry. We can represent your interests in US government enforcement, litigation, regulatory and public policy matters related to US state and federal laws governing the industry, and advise on the range of legal issues that cannabis, hemp and CBD businesses and entrepreneurs face every day.

    Compliance, Government Investigations & White Collar

    We are familiar with the stringent and often-changing US federal and state regulations facing the cannabis, hemp and CBD sectors. Our compliance expertise ranges from new product inception to international distribution. With our team of experienced professionals, including several who have worked for the US Department of Justice, we are ideally situated to counsel clients on compliance issues, conduct due diligence and compliance audits, and represent clients in administrative proceedings, civil and criminal investigations, and negotiations with regulators.

    Public Policy

    We are at the forefront of the federal and state policy discussions shaping the future of this industry. Under the leadership of former US House Speaker John Boehner, we have formed the National Cannabis Roundtable, the leading voice for advocating common-sense changes to current law. Our work focuses on tax equality, financial services reform and the rights of states and territories to regulate and manage cannabis policy.

    As federal and state policies in this area take shape, our preeminent Public Policy Practice can make sure your voice is heard, at the right time and by the right people. We can also help you assess how government policies could affect your business interests. Through our involvement with the Roundtable, our team is leveraging strong Washington DC relationships and experience with Congress, the White House and relevant federal agencies to help companies anticipate potential changes to current law and take advantage of future developments.

    Litigation

    We combine litigation skills and industry focus to resolve complex legal matters in the US cannabis, hemp and CBD industry. Our litigators advocate for clients in courts and arbitrations across the nation and have helped to develop key legal precedents guiding businesses today. We counsel and defend clients facing pending and threatened litigation and US governmental investigations stemming from regulatory reform. We also represent clients in US state and federal courts in jury and bench trials, administrative procedures and hearings, and the appellate process. These cases include complex, bet-the-company litigation.

    Food and Drug Regulations

    Our regulatory teams are well placed to guide clients through the myriad laws governing the cannabis, hemp and CBD industry, including advising on issues such as product approvals and safety regulations. We help clients achieve key business objectives related to the full array of products regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as well as related health and safety regulatory agencies and complex state, national and global regulatory regimes.

    Tax Strategy & Benefits

    Tax strategy is a key legal concern in the cannabis, hemp and CBD industry. Our Tax Strategy & Benefits Practice focuses on domestic and international tax structuring and advisory work, enabling clients from all sectors to implement their decisions in the most tax-effective manner.

    Labor & Employment

    We assist on matters ranging from employment litigation and risk management to discrimination and harassment, immigration, executive agreements and wellness programs. We also advise on the sponsorship and employment of foreign nationals throughout the world.

    Insurance

    Our long history of counselling insurance and re-insurance companies on corporate, regulatory and operational issues gives us a broad understanding of the risks and issues surrounding potential or future health insurance coverage for medical cannabis in the US. We also understand the complexities cannabis, hemp and CBD businesses face when they seek insurance coverage for their business or employees. 

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    The US Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Act) amended the Controlled Substances Act to declassify hemp as a Schedule I controlled substance, legalizing its growth, and shifting its supervision from the US Drug Enforcement Administration to the US Department of Agriculture. The 2018 Farm Act defines “hemp” as any part or derivative of the Cannabis sativa L. plant containing less than 0.3 percent THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) by weight. This definition includes hemp plants that are processed to produce concentrated crystalline powders or liquid extracts known as Cannabidiol or CBD.

    In contrast, cannabis is still classified as a Schedule I controlled substance by the US Drug Enforcement Agency, and, as such, it remains a federal crime in the US to grow, sell, possess, distribute and/or use cannabis, regardless of any state law that may decriminalize such activity under certain circumstances. Accordingly, there remains a conflict between federal laws that criminalize cannabis and the laws of states that have legalized cannabis. Even though federal enforcement policy may at times defer to state laws that have legalized cannabis, please be aware that compliance with state law in no way assures compliance with federal law, and there is a risk that conflicting federal laws will be enforced. Any content contained on this website is not intended to provide legal advice. No legal advice we give is intended to assist with the violation of any US state or federal law.

    Our US experience includes:

    • Forming, under the leadership of former US House Speaker John Boehner, the National Cannabis Roundtable, the leading voice for advocating common-sense changes to current US law. Our work focuses on tax equality, financial services reform and the rights of states and territories to regulate and manage cannabis policy.
    • Leveraging strong Washington DC relationships and experience with Congress, the White House and relevant federal agencies to help companies anticipate potential changes to current US law and take advantage of future developments.
    • Serving as regulators and counsel to regulators during the development and implementation of key state cannabis programs.
    • Providing regulatory advice on cannabis, hemp and CBD to multiple publically traded companies. 
    • Counselling clients on establishing and improving compliance programs and proactively addressing and mitigating related issues. 
    • Representing businesses facing federal enforcement actions.
    • Providing strategic advice on obtaining market approval, determining regulatory strategies, navigating regulations and the agencies that create and enforce them, and assessing regulatory and business risks associated with a particular strategy.
    • Counselling clients on advertising and promotion of legal and regulatory issues. 
    • Advising on product marketing, including potential enforcement actions by the US Food and Drug Administration, consumer class actions for false advertising or unfair competition, and federal Lanham Act claims.
    • Representing a US state Department of Commerce in lawsuits related to the state’s Medical Marijuana Control Program.
    • Advising in cases involving “hot hemp” and testing issues.
    • Representing a medical cannabis company in response to criminal inquiry and civil RICO and related litigation.
    • Representing real estate development company in investment dispute concerning state-of-the-art cannabis cultivation and manufacturing project. 
    • Representing investors in hemp related dispute. 
    • Representing CBD companies in contractual claims.
    • Representing cannabis companies protect and monetize their intellectual property rights, including successfully obtaining trademark registrations at both state and federal levels.
    • Recommending the most appropriate tax advice to our clients as they implement their investment strategies.
    • Representing clients’ interests and understanding the tax dynamics of this evolving area. 
    • Reviewing and advising on US workplace drug policies as they relate to employee medical marijuana use, as well as whether US employers can consider an applicant’s status as a medical marijuana user in hiring decisions.
    • Conducting US multistate research on the legality of medical marijuana and the restrictions on employers that are subject to federal drug testing requirements.
    • Drafting drug testing policies for US employers. 
    • Advising one of the fastest growing US health and wellness cannabis companies on securing coverage for medical cannabis under private health insurance plans and self-funded plans, as well as Medicaid and Medicare.
    • Advising an international reinsurer regarding state and federal cannabis laws.