Structuring Enforceable Contracts in the Cannabis Industry: Managing Risk Under State and Federal Law
Subject Matter Description and Contract Invalidation, Choice-of-Law and Marijuana-Friendly Courts, Arbitration Provisions
A live 90-minute CLE webinar with interactive Q&A
This CLE webinar will examine contractual enforcement issues presented by the conflict between the legalized use of marijuana in many states and its treatment as a controlled substance under federal law, and guide counsel through structuring contracts with marijuana-related businesses (MRBs). The panel will review how courts have ruled on the interpretation and enforcement of these agreements, explain the potential risks associated with their use, and provide best practices for carefully drafting provisions to mitigate those risks given the current regulatory environment.
- Risks of entering into a contract in the cannabis industry
- Federal law enforcement policies and state law conflicts
- Cannabis-related contract enforceability issues
- Recent judicial decisions
- Specific techniques counsel should consider when drafting arbitration clauses for cannabis businesses
- Preliminary statement
- Express acknowledgment of marijuana illegality
- Subject matter description and contract invalidation
- Choice-of-law, venue and conflict-of-law provisions
- Severability terms
- Independent consideration
- Arbitration and mediation clauses
- Best practices for different types of cannabis-related contracts
- Additional legal considerations for counsel representing marijuana businesses
The panel will review these and other high-priority issues:
- What are the risks of entering into a contract in the cannabis industry?
- What are the practical implications of federal and state law conflicts?
- What are the primary marijuana-related contract enforceability issues?
- How effective is arbitration as a dispute resolution mechanism for MRB contracts?
- What are the specific techniques counsel should employ when drafting arbitration clauses for cannabis businesses?
- What concerns should counsel for MRB have regarding remedies given the illegal nature of the subject matter under federal law?
- What are the most marijuana-friendly jurisdictions?
Jeffrey S. Gard
Gard Law Firm
Mr. Gard represents numerous patients, doctors and marijuana businesses throughout the state of Colorado and has... | Read More
Mr. Gard represents numerous patients, doctors and marijuana businesses throughout the state of Colorado and has advised people from all over the country. He advises both state and local governments in their development of medical marijuana business regulations. Mr. Gard is widely considered one of Colorado’s leading marijuana attorneys. Since the passage of Amendment 64, which legalized adult possession and cultivation of marijuana in Colorado, he has been working with state and local officials in developing regulations for the retail marijuana industry and was appointed by the state to participate in the rule-making progress. Over the last several years, Mr. Gard has been working with the U.S. Congress to assist with an analysis of the Federal Code to determine the various areas which are impacted by the state marijuana laws in hopes of reconciling state and federal law in the near future.Close
Kathryn L. McCall
Sideman & Bancroft
Ms. McCall focuses on helping early stage and mature companies, as well as family-owned and life-style businesses,... | Read More
Ms. McCall focuses on helping early stage and mature companies, as well as family-owned and life-style businesses, succeed. As outside general counsel for many of her clients, she advises businesses on a wide variety of corporate and other legal matters. Ms. McCall also assists businesses in the cannabis industry develop the necessary infrastructure and organization to succeed while remaining in compliance with the complex legal and regulatory framework burdening the industry. Working with other members of the firm’s well-rounded cannabis industry team enables her to create a strategic and coordinated approach to not only business structuring, organizational, and regulatory matters but also IP, tax, estate planning, and business and criminal litigation issues.Close
Nicole Howell Neubert
Ms. Neubert has experience advising hundreds of successful cannabis operators through the corporate, transactional, and... | Read More
Ms. Neubert has experience advising hundreds of successful cannabis operators through the corporate, transactional, and regulatory dynamics of California’s complex market. Her practice focuses on serving as outside general counsel to cannabis operators, providing advice on corporate governance, financing, business transactional matters, entity formation and operation, and local and state permitting and regulatory compliance. Ms. Neubert is actively involved in local and state legislative and regulatory efforts, serves as Chief Policy Advisor to the California Growers Association, is on the Board of California NORML, and is involved in other industry-related organizations, including the National and California Cannabis Industry Associations, and the National Cannabis Bar Association.Close
Katy M. Young
Ad Astra Law Group
Ms. Young’s areas of practice are mainly business and commercial litigation, including partnership disputes,... | Read More
Ms. Young’s areas of practice are mainly business and commercial litigation, including partnership disputes, breach of contract, computer fraud and abuse litigation, financial services litigation, business torts, professional negligence, and general counsel work. She also handled real estate disputes including non-disclosure matters, construction defect, neighbor disputes, and landlord/tenant issues. Many of Ms. Young’s clients are cannabis businesses, breweries, tech companies, and various startups- all of which reflect the San Francisco Bay Area’s best and brightest. Ms. Young is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Cannabis Bar Association and is a frequent presenter on cannabis law issues.Close
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