Keeping pace with the rapidly evolving cannabis industry
One of the most volatile and rapidly evolving industries in the country is the cannabis industry. As the first state to legalize marijuana for adult recreational use in 2012, Colorado has been a proving ground for all aspects of this emerging and highly regulated market and BHGR’s attorneys are here to help you and your business stay ahead of the curve. Our attorneys represent both corporate and individual clients seeking entry, growth, and ongoing regulatory compliance in the cannabis industry. These clients range from large-scale, vertically integrated companies to small businesses and individuals participating in the cannabis industry as cultivators, retailers, product manufacturers, owners, landlords, financiers, and employees. Led by Drew Gottlieb, one of the first attorneys in Denver to provide legal services in the marijuana industry, our attorneys can help you navigate the complexities of marijuana licensing, government and regulatory compliance, corporate transactions, real estate acquisition and leasing, zoning and land use, water, intellectual property, employment, transportation, and litigation. Mr. Gottlieb is a pioneer and national leader in the cannabis industry, performing work for clients who operate all over the United States, including Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, Maryland, and Oregon.
Before an individual or business may cultivate, manufacture, and sell recreational adult use marijuana in states where it is legal to do so, they must obtain all necessary local, state, and federal licenses. Applications and requirements vary widely from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and are always in flux. Our attorneys have helped hundreds of clients obtain and maintain the necessary licenses to run their cannabis businesses.
Notably, our attorneys are industry leaders in helping clients apply for and obtain merit-based, limited licenses in Colorado and other states. In 2023, BHGR’s cannabis attorneys successfully helped one of our cannabis clients compete with hundreds of applicants and obtain one of only five highly sought-after merit based, limited integrated cannabis facility licenses awarded in Alabama. Integrated facility licensees may grow, process, transport, and have up to five dispensaries in Alabama.
After obtaining all necessary federal, state, and local licenses, cannabis industry businesses must ensure compliance with the requirements of their licenses and with all other applicable federal, state, and local laws. These laws and regulations are unique to each client and dependent on the nature of each client’s business. For example, those in the business of cultivating cannabis, must adhere to agricultural laws and regulations. Those engaged in the manufacture of marijuana products must adhere to environmental regulations as well as food and drug regulations and those engaged in the retail sale of marijuana products may be required to comply with specific business registration and sales and use tax requirements. Our attorneys help their cannabis industry clients navigate and comply with government and regulatory requirements by:
- Identifying, analyzing, and advising clients on all applicable federal, state, and local cannabis laws, regulations, and policies and undertaking a thorough risk management assessment related to those laws, regulations, and policies;
- Helping their clients maintain and comply with the terms of their licenses and any applicable federal, state, and local cannabis laws, regulations, and policies;
- Developing risk management strategies;
- Engaging with lawmakers and government agencies and departments on behalf of our clients to strengthen relationships and communication; and
- Participating in the legislative and rule making processes on behalf of our clients and their interests.
Cannabis industry businesses must adhere to specific business marketing and advertising standards and constraints. Our attorneys help their clients meet these objectives by:
- Developing a strategy for marketing and advertising in compliance with federal, state, and local laws;
- Navigating the complexities of multi-state cannabis markets, including supply, demand, and pricing; and
- Providing clients with regular legal and industry insights to empower them to make informed and strategic businesses decisions.
Full-service business support | at-a-glance
BANKING, INSURANCE, AND FINANCING
REAL ESTATE, ZONING, LAND USE, AND CONSTRUCTION
Drew Gottlieb’s practice focuses on corporate, administrative and regulatory matters primarily within the cannabis industry in which he has been assisting clients since 2009. His expertise navigating the state and local licensing frameworks for cannabis and hemp within Colorado has been invaluable to both corporate and individual clients seeking entry, growth, and ongoing compliance. His clients range from large-scale, vertically integrated companies to small businesses and individuals participating in the cannabis industry as cultivators, retailers, product manufacturers, owners, landlords, financiers, and employees. Likewise, Mr. Gottlieb assists corporate clients with liquor license matters in various local jurisdictions across Colorado. Regardless of the industry, Mr. Gottlieb works closely with his clients to develop legal strategies that aid in long-term business development, whether its start-up formation, corporate governance, contract negotiations, real estate transactions, asset sales, stock issuances, or mergers and acquisitions. He has assisted hundreds of clients with countless marijuana and liquor license applications for new licenses, ownership transfers, premises modifications, location transfers, and renewals. He stays actively involved with state and local regulatory agencies during the frequent rulemaking and legislative updates that affect the cannabis industry.
RESOURCES + INSIGHTS
The Colorado Department of Revenue, Marijuana Enforcement Division’s website is an excellent repository of the latest information needed to run a marijuana business: https://sbg.colorado.gov/marijuana-enforcement
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