independent contractor exceptions

California Cannabis Workers: Independent Contractor Exceptions

California deems nearly all kinds of workers employees. There are, however, some important circumstances where workers may be classified as contractors. In my first post of this series, “Classifying California Cannabis Workers,” I explained the basics of employee versus independent contractor classification. Today, I look at some of the key independent contractor exceptions for California

right entity for a cannabis business

Choosing the Right Entity for a Cannabis Business: Corporations

One of the most important decisions a new cannabis business can make is the form of entity it will use. In fact, one of the first questions businesses ask is whether the right entity for a cannabis business is a limited liability company (LLC), corporation, or something else. Like basically every other legal analysis, the

fire season is coming

Fire Season is Coming, Again

Last summer, I wrote a post called “Fire Season is Coming.” Given the massive expected California droughts, it’s pretty safe to assume that fire season is coming, again. Today, I want to recap some of the issues that we’re likely to see in the coming months. As we learned in prior fire seasons, the cannabis

cannabis business

How Cannabis Businesses Succeed

We work with many large cannabis businesses and many small ones too. It’s fun to talk up the bigger fish, but I have a soft spot for the little guys. I really enjoy small business at the end of the day. I like seeing financial statements of disciplined, privately held companies doing maybe $5m to

california cannabis workers

Classifying California Cannabis Workers

California is one of the trickiest states in the U.S. for employers, and especially for cannabis employers. The numerous, byzantine requirements here simply don’t exist in many other states. Classifying California cannabis workers is one of the biggest challenges for local industry. Cannabis companies often think they can get around employment law requirements by calling

cannabis business mistakes

Legal Mistakes for Cannabis Businesses

I recently spoke with a lawyer who was newer to representing cannabis clients. The lawyer asked me to describe the biggest legal mistakes I see for cannabis businesses. Over the years, our cannabis lawyers have seen cannabis businesses make just about every mistake in the book. Today though, I want to talk about what I

cannabis partnerships

Cannabis Partnerships

Many cannabis handshake deals result in the parties forming an inadvertent cannabis partnership. The words “partnership” and “joint venture” are often thrown around casually. Many early stage cannabis entrepreneurs know they want to do some type of business venture, often with a business partner, but they often do not know why or how to avoid

cannabis ponzi scheme

Cannabis Ponzi Schemes

Investors in marijuana businesses face many risks. To name just a few: the subject of their investment is illegal under federal law; the businesses in which they are investing face heavy tax burdens because of IRC 280e; and the lack of access to banking services means businesses operate nearly exclusively cash, which makes tracking sales,

Most people who are (luckily) not familiar with litigation believe alternative dispute resolution (or “ADR”) clauses in their contracts are essentially boilerplate language that’s recycled again and again in every contract. However, well-drafted ADR clauses can not only give you a huge advantage if an issue comes up, they may also cause your counterparty to back away from litigation completely. If done right, arbitration clauses should work for you

Arbitration Clauses Should Work For You, Not Against You

Most people who are (luckily) not familiar with litigation believe alternative dispute resolution (or “ADR”) clauses in their contracts are essentially boilerplate language that’s recycled again and again in every contract. However, well-drafted ADR clauses can not only give you a huge advantage if an issue comes up, they may also cause your counterparty to

cannabis llc operating agreement

Cannabis LLCs Need Operating Agreements

Cannabis businesses are usually limited liability companies (LLCs). There are a lot of reasons for this, starting with the fact that LLCs are more flexible than corporations, which have much more rigid rules. To take advantage of those flexibilities, and for a lot of other reasons, LLC owners (called members) need an operating agreement. Below,