The Canna Law Blog™

The Canna Law Blog is a forum for discussion about the practical aspects of cannabis law and how it impacts those involved in this growing industry. We will provide insight into how canna businesspeople can use the law to their advantage; in plain language we will tell you what works and what does not. We aim to help you strategize how to wield the law as both a shield and a sword.

Compliance will be a frequent topic. But we will tell you more than just “here is what the law is” and “here is how you comply.” We will discuss how the laws as written may say one thing, but our experience dictates something else. We will tell you when you need to do more than just follow the law to succeed, and we will set out what that something else is.

Our intended audience is current and prospective industry stakeholders, but we invite constructive input from individuals with diverse perspectives and differing backgrounds. Cannabis has long been the domain of those outside conventional business circles, but as it becomes increasingly legal and legitimate, these two worlds will begin to merge. The ideas and opinions of everyone involved with cannabis will inform what we discuss here.

We want our blog to be a place for both conversation and controversy. We expect many of you will disagree with us at least some of the time and we are fine with that. We are not afraid of being wrong—in fact, we want you to tell us when and how we are wrong.

It has become a blog cliché to implore readers for their input, but it is so important that we must join the crowd. We do not purport to know everything about cannabis law. That is impossible. Our strengths are on the business side of cannabis law — in particular in forming companies, drafting contracts, protecting intellectual property, achieving compliance, and litigating and arbitrating business disputes. We welcome your comments, suggestions and ideas on any area of law relating to conducting a cannabis business. Cannabis is anything but monolithic and we will be relying in large part on you, our readers, to round out this site with your own stories.

Write us early and often. We will review your comments before we post them, but that does NOT mean you should not criticize us or disagree with us. We only filter out comments that are without substance and/or personally abusive. We want to encourage a high level of discussion, so we will not ban or delete your comments just because you come after us.

Finally, we know lawyers are not popular. Though we ourselves are really quite likable, we recognize the need to avoid the things that incite lawyer hatred. We will strive to avoid legal jargon and namby-pamby language that attempts to camouflage our views or to avoid dissension. We will not shy away from taking a stand, and we will strive never to bore you. If you want “legalese” or long strings of caveats, you are going to have to pay exorbitant legal fees to get that elsewhere.

We hope you will find our posts informative, to-the-point, and entertaining.

Welcome to the Canna Law Blog.

The Canna Law Group®

Since 2010, The Canna Law Group has represented hundreds of start-up and established marijuana businesses on their legal matters in multiple states.

The Canna Law Group is a ten-attorney dedicated practice group of Harris Bricken, focusing on cannabis corporate, compliance, intellectual property, litigation, and consumer product issues. Because we are part of a larger law firm, we are able to take advantage of the abilities of other Harris Bricken lawyers when a marijuana legal issue requires more specialized knowledge. We have lawyers licensed in Alaska, California, Florida, Illinois, Oregon, and Washington, and in China, Germany, and Spain. We have the depth and the breadth of expertise you need to operate legally and profitably.

Our cannabis business lawyers have received multiple awards for their work in this burgeoning industry. In 2013 alone, Hilary Bricken was named the Marijuana Industry Attorney of the Year by DOPE Magazine and one of only seven top Deal Makers by the Puget Sound Business Journal. Major media outlets frequently look to The Canna Law Group for expertise on national and developing marijuana issues.

We guide our clients in:

  • Forming, managing, and expanding their businesses
  • Building their brands and protecting their intellectual property
  • Complying with licensing and registry requirements
  • Structuring and negotiating deals and contracts
  • Navigating land use and zoning obligations
  • Addressing employment issues
  • Handling real estate and tenant issues
  • Ensuring compliance with labeling and safety regulations
  • Dealing with banking issues
  • Aggressively pursuing and defending litigation matters

Canna Law Group’s commitment to this industry runs deep. Our lawyers are actively involved in nation-wide organizations like the National Cannabis Industry Association (one of our lawyers is on its national board) and we regularly speak and present at the National Marijuana Business ConferenceNORML annual meetings, state and national legislatures, state and local bar association seminars, and community outreach events. We also host well-attended quarterly seminars and industry parties.

We know this industry because we have done this before.