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The legalization of medicinal and recreational marijuana is creating unique opportunities and risks for businesses; real estate and capital raising are quickly expanding. Those looking to lease real estate to, finance, invest in, operate, or otherwise engage in business with companies involved in this rapidly developing industry must consider how the new and evolving marijuana laws and regulations will affect them:
- Commercial Landlords: You need to understand the unique business and legal issues that relate to leasing your property to a marijuana cultivation facility or dispensary. What key provisions should you include in your leases? What are the risks of having your property seized and what restrictions might be placed on your normal legal remedies?
- Residential Landlords and Management Companies: What provisions should you include in residential leases related to the possession and use of medicinal or recreational marijuana and infused products? How do you manage the possibility of tenants growing or smoking marijuana on your premises?
- Lenders: Can you safely lend to a marijuana cultivator or dispensary? What limitations might be imposed on your ability to realize on your collateral?
- Investors and Those Seeking Investments: What issues should you be concerned about with respect to investing in marijuana related opportunities? What unique challenges face early and mid-stage investors? What risk related disclosures do you need to make if you are raising capital for a marijuana related business?
- Banks and Credit Unions: How should you respond if a marijuana related business seeks to establish a deposit or merchant account with you? What is the latest guidance issued by FinCEN to financial institutions?
- Employers: What can you do if an employee reports to work impaired? How might the new laws impact your drug testing policies? What if an employee has a prescription for medicinal marijuana?
- Insurers and Insurance Agencies: How do you advise a client seeking to insure inventory consisting of growing equipment, marijuana plants or products, or a landlord seeking to insure against casualty and other risks?
- Food & Hospitality Industry: As edibles and marijuana infused products become legalized and more popular, what legal issues will the food and hospitality industry need to become aware of and consider? What opportunities might become available to you?
- Business Operations: How should a marijuana related business be organized and structured? Are there special provisions you should include in your contracts?
- Intellectual Property: How can you protect a brand name or other marijuana related intellectual property rights? Federal trademark law prohibits marijuana businesses from registering their brands as trademarks. This does not mean that all hopes for obtaining brand protection are lost. What strategies can you utilize in order to get some protection for your brands?
- Taxation: What tax provisions are peculiar to the marijuana industry and how can you best navigate through the tax code and regulations to increase your bottom line?
- Legislative and Regulatory Updates: What legislative and regulatory changes are occurring at the national and local level? What impact might the Trump administration have on state laws that have legalized medicinal or recreational marijuana? What revisions are the Massachusetts legislature making to the recently enacted laws, and what new legislation might the Rhode Island legislature be considering?
If you are involved directly or indirectly with a marijuana related business, you need to remain up to date with respect to new laws and regulations. Changes are occurring on a regular basis.
Partridge Snow & Hahn’s Marijuana Advisory Practice Blog provides updates on marijuana law and policy, covering some of the risks and opportunities in this new industry, and makes recommendations regarding best practices. If you are interested in receiving these updates via email, please click here and let us know.
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