The rapid influx of investor capital into the cannabis—marijuana and hemp—industry has been paralleled by a significant increase in legal disputes involving federal and state securities laws. These laws are intended to protect investors and they impose comprehensive disclosure requirements on issuers of securities. Over the past several years, high-speed industry growth and ongoing regulatory uncertainties have combined with administrative missteps by securities issuers to drive a sharp increase in litigation, much of which appears to have been preventable.
Since 2010, we’ve been helping businesses navigate rapidly evolving cannabis regulation and policy, helping 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 property. Our securities litigators work closely with our corporate team, so we know cannabis securities from the perspectives of both issuers and investors, and time and time again we have seen that careful planning and comprehensive disclosure can result in substantial savings for our clients, as well as the avoidance of regulatory problems relating to financial guidance, internal controls and other issues.
Our litigation team has settled and defended many complex, high-stakes securities cases involving claims ranging from fraud to violations of disclosure obligations, breach of fiduciary duty and insider misconduct, at both the federal and state levels. Our starting point, however, is the development of legal strategies that will not only mitigate the risk of future litigation but also help our clients build the durable legal framework they need for long-term growth and success.