Cannabis-Related Assets in Estate Planning: Critical Considerations for Trusts and Estates Counsel

Federal and State Law Challenges, Income and Estate Tax Issues, Special Powers of Trustee, Distribution of Assets, and More

Note: CPE credit is not offered on this program

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926
Course Materials

This CLE course will provide estate planners guidance on crucial estate planning considerations and techniques for cannabis-related assets. The panel will discuss federal and state law challenges amid recent legalization/decriminalization of medical and recreational marijuana and hemp/CBD products. The group will also explain federal income and estate tax issues, rules regarding the distribution of assets and special powers of the trustee, and other matters when planning for clients with cannabis-related assets.


Cannabis business owners and investors often overlook the importance of accounting for cannabis assets in estate planning. These assets may include intellectual property, real estate, and other assets within the “legal” marijuana, hemp, and CBD industry. Evolving state regulations legalizing/decriminalizing hemp, recreational and medical marijuana, as well as conflicting federal laws, require trust and estate attorneys to carefully consider a variety of complex rules to ensure effective drafting or modifying estate plans with cannabis-related assets.

The unique challenges inherent in estate planning for clients with cannabis-related assets require trust and estate counsel to organize a business succession plan, create an orderly distribution of assets, assign special powers of a trustee, and anticipate federal income and estate tax implications related to these assets.

Also, cannabis business owners and investors must pursue a variety of asset protection strategies to ensure that these assets are appropriately managed while minimizing unintended liabilities and shielding personal assets. Practical strategies such as a properly designed gifting plan or the use of irrevocable trusts could ensure the protection of these assets from third-party creditors and for estate planning purposes.

Listen as our panel discusses federal and state law challenges in planning for cannabis-related assets in light of recent laws legalizing/decriminalizing medical and recreational marijuana and hemp/CBD products. The panel will address critical federal income and estate tax issues, rules regarding the distribution of assets and trustee powers, and other essential issues that arise in planning for clients with cannabis-related assets.



  1. Federal law challenges for cannabis-related assets
    1. Controlled Substances Act
    2. Hemp and CBD products
    3. IRC Section 280E
  2. State law challenges and regulatory updates
  3. Key estate planning issues
    1. Federal income and estate tax considerations
    2. Distribution of assets
    3. Special powers of a trustee
    4. Effective planning techniques
  4. Asset protection strategies
    1. Choice of entity and segregating assets
    2. Gifting and use of irrevocable trusts
    3. DAPTs


The panel will review these and other key items:

  • The status of cannabis and related activities under state and federal laws
  • Federal and state law challenges of cannabis-related assets in an estate or trust
  • Drafting and updating estate plans to encompass cannabis-related assets
  • Developing a comprehensive succession plan and navigating the distribution of assets
  • Selecting an independent trustee, special powers, and fiduciary liability
  • Critical asset protection strategies for cannabis business owners and investors


DeWeese, Andrew
Andrew DeWeese

Green Light Law Group

Mr. DeWeese handles complex civil litigation in state and federal court, as well as employment and civil rights issues...  |  Read More

Peek, George
George S. Peek

Crivello Carlson

Mr. Peek counsels both for-profit and not-for-profit businesses to arrive at organization, succession and...  |  Read More

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