Cannabis

Surefooted counsel in rapidly changing legal terrain

The shortest distance between your cannabis business and success? Us.

A trusted guide for cannabis businesses.

Our cannabis lawyers have a long history of providing cannabis business with the legal planning, regulatory support, corporate guidance, and compliance strategies they need.

Since 2010, we’ve been helping businesses navigate rapidly evolving cannabis regulation and policy. Our cannabis lawyers in California, Oregon and Washington help cannabis businesses with their corporate legal matters involving company formation and structuring, transactional agreements, IP, corporate governance, taxation, licensing, and the acquisition and leasing of real property. 

With nearly a decade of multi-state experience in the nation’s fastest-growing medical and recreational cannabis markets, you won’t find a more experienced and reputable cannabis law team than Harris Bricken’s, anywhere. Our cannabis attorneys  serve the exacting needs of our California, Oregon and Washington cannabis clients in this high-risk, thriving, and ever-changing industry.

Counsel to Cannabis businesses in California, Washington and Oregon

Harris Bricken’s cannabis attorneys are recognized national leaders at the forefront of the cannabis industry. Even before legalization, our cannabis lawyers were helping educate would-be cannabis operators, state and city council representatives, and an anxious public. 

With legalization, our well-established Corporate Law practice and our deep knowledge of cannabis regulation and extensive industry and regulatory network uniquely positioned us to build a robust and client-centered Cannabis Law practice. We’ve designed our cannabis practice to meet the unique needs, challenges and opportunities of our cannabis clients: the retailers, processors, growers, investors, and ancillary businesses that are the future of a strong, sustainable cannabis industry.

Our Cannabis Law practice has grown exponentially since 2010, but our commitment to our cannabis clients has always remained the same: we help our clients build the durable legal framework they need for long-term growth and success.

An intelligent, timely resource for the cannabis industry 

Beyond advising individual businesses, our cannabis attorneys are committed to fortifying, defending, and building credibility for the industry as a whole. Harris Bricken’s cannabis business lawyer are more than legal strategists—they are thought leaders: forward-thinking bloggers, educators, writers, and speakers.

They regularly write articles for legal journals and frequently post to our acclaimed and widely followed Canna Law Blog. We speak to business groups, academic institutions, and government bodies on a variety of cannabis legal issues, and are cannabis lawyers are frequently quoted by global and local media outlets.

Our cannabis attorneys consistently collaborate with the other lawyers in our firm to leverage our wide range of legal strengths and our national and international network of industry-leading professionals to offer our clients effective and timely support.

Full service planning for legal cannabis business

Our cannabis attorneys actively monitor local, domestic, and international legal and political developments affecting our clients’ businesses, reacting swiftly to keep them informed and in step with local and federal cannabis law.

our services

BUSINESS FORMATION

Entity selection, licensing, operating agreements, employment contracts, corporate shareholder agreements, and partnership agreements can create vastly different rights and responsibilities for new and growth-stage business owners. Harris Bricken attorneys will help you choose the legal strategy that best matches your long-term business objectives.

Our formation services include:

  • Entity selection and registration
  • Drafting of governance documents
  • Financing and capital contribution negotiations
  • Corporate governance and business operations
  • Commercial contracts and corporate transactions
  • Employment contracts
  • Licensing agreements
  • Intellectual property protection
  • Mergers and acquisitions

MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS

From business sales or purchases to shareholder approval or spin-off of company divisions, Harris Bricken attorneys give our clients a critical edge in negotiating and closing their most important deals.

Our M&A services include:

  • Purchase and sale agreements
  • Operating agreements
  • Bylaws
  • Shareholder agreements
  • Investment agreements
  • Contribution agreements
  • Ownership option contracts
  • Consultant agreements
  • Vesting equity agreements
  • Lending agreements
  • Security interest agreements
  • Collateralization agreements

LICENSING AND REGISTRATION

We’ve built a national reputation for making the cannabis licensing process as efficient and successful as possible.

Our licensing and registration services include:

  • Guidance regarding compliance with state regulations and the interplay between governing state agencies
  • Business plan development
  • Education regarding ongoing compliance with applicable regulations
  • Development of required manuals and handbooks to meet state regulations
  • Financial reviews to ensure compliance with state regulations
  • Compilation of license and registration applications
  • License application assistance for cultivators, manufacturers, and retailers

REGULATORY COMPLIANCE

Harris Bricken provides due diligence and careful vigilance regarding changes in state and local regulations to ensure our cannabis clients remain fully compliant with all state and federal law.

Our cannabis compliance services include:

  • State license application assistance
  • Drafting and managing of operational plans to be submitted to states and municipalities for operational licenses
  • Advice and assistance on local permitting and licensing processes
  • Legal compliance audits
  • Monitoring existing and changing state and local regulations for marijuana businesses

CORPORATE GOVERNANCE & FINANCING AGREEMENTS

Decision-makers owe duties of good faith, loyalty, and good care to their companies, and they must know what those duties entail. Harris Bricken attorneys provide business entities and their leadership with a thorough understanding of their rights and responsibilities so that they can prevent and quickly resolve their internal issues.

Our corporate governance services include:

  • Negotiating and drafting operating agreements and shareholder agreements
  • Drafting corporate bylaws
  • Creating plans to maintain meeting minutes and other corporate documents
  • Identifying and accounting for conflicts of interest
  • Mediating corporate disputes
  • Drafting initial financing and loan agreements

TRANSACTIONAL AGREEMENTS – CORPORATE/COMMERCIAL AGREEMENTS

A sound contract is invaluable for providing stability and predictability to businesses engaged in a rapidly-changing market. Our big picture perspective ensures that we understand the nuances and terms of each deal.

We negotiate and draft virtually all types of corporate and commercial agreements, including:

  • Shareholder Agreements
  • Employment Agreements
  • Non-Compete/Non-Disclosure Agreements
  • Commercial lease review and advisement
  • Company purchase and sale agreements

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

Cannabis businesses contend with a variety of complex legal issues as they seek to register, protect, and license their trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, and other intellectual property. We are well-versed in the unique challenges cannabis companies face with their IP and we take swift action to identify and implement the specific protections they need.

Our IP services include:

  • Branding establishment and support
  • IP licensing
  • IP contract drafting and negotiation
  • State and federal trademark searches
  • Counseling on trademark law, trade secret, and other intellectual property matters
  • Trade secret agreements
  • Non-compete agreements
  • Non disclosure agrements
  • Employee secrecy agreements
  • In-state screening and registration of trademarks
  • Policing and enforcing of registered trademarks
  • Domain name disputes
  • Copyrights
  • IP litigation
  • Trademark and other intellectual property counseling related to secondary merchandise such as clothing and glassware

CANNABIS LITIGATION

Harris Bricken has successfully represented cannabis businesses in legal disputes relating to contracts, corporate governance, intellectual property rights, licensing, administrative appeals, municipal disputes, and landlord/tenant issues. Having both defended and prosecuted a wide range of claims on behalf of marijuana businesses in multiple states, we know how to guide you through this complex process and to help you achieve the sustainable results your business needs.

  • Litigation against cities in defense of your cannabis business
  • Administrative hearings regarding the denial or revocation of business license
  • Administrative hearings regarding the denial or revocation of your state-issued cannabis license
  • Tax litigation against IRS and Departments of Revenue from state to state
  • Civil litigation regarding commercial leases and landlord disputes
  • Civil litigation of zoning compliance issues
  • Litigation of employee disputes
  • Litigation of contract disputes
  • Litigation of trademark disputes
  • IP litigation

ADMINISTRATIVE APPEALS

Failure to comply with the strict timelines and detailed rules mandated by your state can mean compromising your appeal or losing your window to appeal altogether. We will work with you to build the timely, and well-researched arguments crucial to maintaining your successful appeal.

  • Business license revocations and denials
  • Specialty license revocation denials
  • Fines, sanctions and penalties for violations

REAL PROPERTY

Through effective lease, purchase and sale negotiation, Harris Bricken attorneys help build secure and sustainable relationships between landlords, tenants, buyers, and sellers across the country. Beyond lease and purchase and sale drafting and review, our attorneys regularly defend and prosecute a wide range of claims involving eviction, unpaid rent, purchase and sale default, and property damage.

Our real property services include:

  • Developing landlord marketing packages to describe cannabis business models for banks and other lenders
  • Drafting leaseholds to accommodate cannabis businesses
  • Reviewing and advising on commercial leases
  • Drafting real property purchase and sale agreements
  • Amendments to commercial leases
  • Land use
  • Water rights
  • Litigation and mediation
  • Due diligence for real property purchases and sales

AWARD-WINNING CANNA LAW BLOG

Understand your rights, responsibilities, and opportunities everywhere you operate.

Follow our Canna Law Blog for in-depth analysis and up-to-the-minute information on the laws and issues affecting the cannabis industry.

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In the News

Top industry organizations and media outlets throughout the country and abroad turn to Harris Bricken for our perspective on the latest cannabis law developments.