Hilary Bricken

Since joining Harris Bricken in 2010, Hilary has earned a reputation as a fearless advocate for local businesses. Hilary’s clients—start-ups, entrepreneurs, and companies in all stages of development—value her bold approach to business strategy.

Hilary Bricken
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The U.S. cannabis industry attracts all kinds of entrepreneurs and investors. That has been true since Colorado and Washington legalized cannabis for adults 21 and up back in 2012, and since other states began creating comprehensive licensing regimes. The ever-emerging nature of the industry and its state-by-state quilt of regulations creates all kinds of business […]

Hilary Bricken
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For some reason, many cannabis businesses believe that because they’re already violating the federal Controlled Substances Act, they’re free to violate other existing federal laws. This of course is not the case, and never has been. Even though cannabis businesses can’t get legitimate recognition or fair treatment from the Department of Justice or the Drug […]

Hilary Bricken
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Due to the federal illegality of cannabis, cannabis businesses don’t receive normal treatment from the federal government (with maybe one or two exceptions, like the NLRB and the 2014 FinCEN guidance for access to financial institutions). This obviously mucks up the ability of a cannabis business to operate in a consistent and reliable way, and […]

Hilary Bricken
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Due to coronavirus, what normally would have been a pretty robust legislative session in the California Assembly for new cannabis bills was generally underwhelming. The set-up is markedly different than the 2020 session, where there were over 30 cannabis-related bills. Nevertheless, here we are. At this point, we have a handful of live bills that […]

Hilary Bricken
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In an inevitable conclusion, the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”) and Department of Justice (“DOJ”) won their federal court case against the California Bureau of Cannabis Control (“BCC”) pursuant to which the BCC must now comply with a recent DEA subpoena regarding alleged criminal activity by certain state-licensed distributors hailing out of (what’s probably) San Diego […]

Hilary Bricken
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I’ve been practicing corporate, transactional, and regulatory law in the marijuana industry for going on 10 years now. I’ve never understood exactly why folks get excited about, or even remotely interested, when various lifetime politicians in Congress push bills on the federal legalization/rescheduling of marijuana. Why? Because these bills notoriously go nowhere (for a number […]

Hilary Bricken
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Over the years, we’ve pointed out when federal agencies opt to ignore the federal illegality of cannabis. It happens more often than you might think depending on the topic (see, for example, the NLRB). One agency, though, that has surprisingly never lifted a finger against state-legal cannabis–though it is taking a closer look at CBD–is […]

Hilary Bricken
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State legal cannabis businesses are used to the specter of the federal government in the rear view mirrors of their lives and businesses. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that cannabis remains federally illegal. And it’s not so much the case anymore that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) or Department of Justice […]

Hilary Bricken
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Given that cannabis remains federally illegal in the United States (despite the fact that more than a majority of states have some form of cannabis legal reform), we get pretty excited when we see other countries undertake legalization experiments at the federal level. Canada was the first country to legalize commercial licensing for the cultivation, […]

Hilary Bricken
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Last week, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), issued new guidance (the “FinCEN Guidance”) for financial institutions working with hemp-related businesses. The FinCEN Guidance centers on due diligence requirements as related to the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA). This guidance follows closely on the new National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) guidance for federally-chartered credit unions, which […]

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The Canna Law Blog™ is a forum for discussion about the practical aspects of cannabis law and how it impacts those involved in this growing industry. We will provide insight into how canna businesspeople can use the law to their advantage…

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Please be mindful that possessing, using, distributing and selling marijuana are all federal crimes and that this blog is not intended to give you any legal advice, much less lead you to believe that marijuana is legal under federal law.