Cannabis Litigation

Cannabis litigators for cannabis disputes

The shortest distance between your cannabis business and success is us.

Winning in cannabis industry litigation requires more than just trial experience and knowledge of cannabis law. You need experienced business attorneys who know the complex and highly regulated areas of cannabis-specific litigation, arbitration, mediation, administrative disputes, and audits/accountings. You need lawyers who understand the importance of safeguarding your business’s cannabis licenses, intellectual property, real property and other assets — someone who can explain the complicated regulatory maze to judge or jury and still make your case. Your law firm must be willing to advocate relentlessly on your behalf amid a backdrop of evolving and complicated cannabis laws. Most importantly, your cannabis dispute resolution team must understand the cannabis industry, regularly speak with cannabis regulators, and be on top of constantly changing state-specific regulatory, legislative, and case law developments.

Harris Bricken meets all these needs. Few firms, if any, have handled as many cannabis-specific disputes.

We know how to fight hard, fight smart, and get the job done. Since 2010, we have successfully litigated commercial cannabis contract claims, cannabis company corporate disputes, cannabis intellectual property claims, and cannabis real property disputes, including land use and entitlement challenges. We have handled cannabis-related disputes through private party mediation, arbitration and courtroom litigation in state and federal courts around the country. We know all about “true party of interest,” “owner,” and “financial interest holder” challenges, and other regulatory obstacles that can put your cannabis business at risk. We also have substantial experience with “cannabis business divorces”—bitter conflicts among partners, companies, shareholders, joint venturers, lenders, and others. In addition, we monitor cannabis litigation developments on our acclaimed Canna Law Blog every day.

Our Cannabis Litigation services include:

  • Business disputes
  • Intellectual property disputes
  • Employment disputes
  • Land use and entitlement disputes
  • Real property disputes, including breaches of purchase agreements and leases
  • Commercial cannabis license disputes
  • Lender litigation
  • Administrative appeals for denial, suspension, or revocation of your commercial cannabis license
  • California Proposition 65 defense
  • Trial and pretrial preparation, including discovery, motions, and negotiations
  • Advocacy in non-binding mediation
  • Advocacy in binding arbitration
  • Serving as cannabis-specific mediators and arbitrators (Harris Bricken attorneys who hear cases)
  • Agreed accounting, valuing businesses, audit and similar nonjudicial methods for reconstructing records

No matter your strategy, we can reduce your anxiety in any forum. We’ve been through it and we know how to win.

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 registrationDrafting of governance documentsFinancing and capital contribution negotiationsCorporate governance and business operationsCommercial contracts and corporate transactionsEmployment contractsLicensing agreementsIntellectual property protectionMergers 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 AgreementsEmployment AgreementsNon-Compete/Non-Disclosure AgreementsCommercial lease review and advisementCompany 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 supportIP licensingIP contract drafting and negotiationState and federal trademark searchesCounseling on trademark law, trade secret, and other intellectual property mattersTrade secret agreementsNon-compete agreementsNon-disclosure agreementsEmployee secrecy agreementsIn-state screening and registration of trademarksPolicing and enforcing of registered trademarksDomain name disputesCopyrightsIP litigationTrademark 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 businessAdministrative hearings regarding the denial or revocation of business licenseAdministrative hearings regarding the denial or revocation of your state-issued cannabis licenseTax litigation against IRS and Departments of Revenue from state to stateCivil litigation regarding commercial leases and landlord disputesCivil litigation of zoning compliance issuesLitigation of employee disputesLitigation of contract disputesLitigation of trademark disputesIP litigationTo learn more about our cannabis litigation practice, please go here.

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 lendersDrafting leaseholds to accommodate cannabis businessesReviewing and advising on commercial leasesDrafting real property purchase and sale agreementsAmendments to commercial leasesLand useWater rightsLitigation and mediationDue 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.