Harris Bricken’s cannabis practice began in Washington State’s vibrant and fast-growing cannabis community. Headquartered in Seattle but serving the needs of clients across Washington State, we are proud to remain on the front lines of the industry as an advocate and resource for local businesses as the state’s marijuana markets continue to evolve. In 2012, voters legalized the recreational use of cannabis through Initiative 502. The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) is charged with regulating the industry and determining when and how to issue marijuana producer, processor, and retailer licenses for the cannabis industry. Though the license application process for those licenses in Washington is currently closed, our cannabis attorneys regularly assist clients with the transfer and sale of licenses. The WSLCB also issues research and transportation licenses, and interested parties can still apply for those license types. To learn more about our licensing services, please go here. Because of the closure of the application process for producer, processor, and retailer licenses and the profitable and competitive nature of the industry, Washington cannabis licenses are huge assets that require thoughtful protection through strict regulatory compliance and the proper corporate agreements and governance. Failure to comply with Washington law and WSLCB regulation can result in severe penalties, including license cancellation. Our Washington cannabis attorneys are well-equipped to set you up for success with your license and your business in general. Further, if you do receive license violations, our attorneys can work with the WSLCB to mitigate fines or represent you in administrative litigation if your license is in danger of being canceled. In addition to our extensive representation of cannabis clients, Harris Bricken’s Washington cannabis attorneys also speak and write regularly on Washington cannabis matters. To read more about Washington cannabis, please visit the Canna Law Blog.
Surefooted counsel in rapidly changing legal terrain
The shortest distance between your cannabis business and success? Us.
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.
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
- 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
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
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 agreements
- Employee secrecy agreements
- In-state screening and registration of trademarks
- Policing and enforcing of registered trademarks
- Domain name disputes
- IP litigation
- Trademark and other intellectual property counseling related to secondary merchandise such as clothing and glassware
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
To learn more about our cannabis litigation practice, please go here.
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
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
Get in Touch with our Cannabis Law Team
Our experienced cannabis business attorneys want to learn about your marijuana business and partner with you to build a strong foundation from which your business can continue to grow. Find out how Canna Law can support and strengthen your marijuana business.
Get started by filling out the form, or call any one of our locations to schedule a free initial consultation.
11111 Santa Monica Blvd.
Suite 1700, PMB #518
Los Angeles, CA 90025
Tel: (424) 273-5500
511 SE 11th Ave.
Portland, OR 97214
Tel: (503) 207-7313
100 Pine Street
San Francisco, CA 94111
Tel: (415) 200-0648
600 Stewart Street
Seattle, WA 98101
Tel: (206) 224-5657
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.