Medical Marijuana Law & Policy

The marijuana industry continues to grow rapidly, even as state and federal laws and policies remain mired in conflict and uncertainty. A majority of states have legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes and many are laying the groundwork for recreational use. While generating significant excitement among businesses and investors, the opportunities also present unprecedented challenges in navigating complex local and state regulations. Clashing federal laws have complicated matters even further.

Success in this emerging industry requires counsel from a legal team that offers more than just a comprehensive knowledge of its evolving laws. Equally critical is an understanding of the intersection of these laws with federal and state consumer protection regulations that impact an array of business and operation matters including licensing, marketing and advertising, product labeling, sales practices, and consumer outreach.

With previous experience as former state regulators, the M&S team brings an intimate and practical knowledge of consumer protection law, deftly applying insight gained through decades of work in highly regulated industries to our medical marijuana clients. Whether you are a cultivator, processor, or dispensary, we can assist through every step of the process, from obtaining and maintaining licensing, to achieving and sustaining compliance with local and state regulators, to protecting your investment against the threat of litigation.

We provide our medical marijuana clients with a full range of services that address their current business challenges and proactively identify and protect against future ones, including:

  • Licensing and Registration. Permission to produce and sell marijuana products comes in the form of licensure, which varies depending on the nature of the entity. From cultivator to dispensary, we help companies obtain and maintain the licensing needed to operate legally.
  • Regulatory Compliance. Proactive compliance is critical to success in the marijuana space, especially in complicated regulatory regimes like Ohio, subject to some of the strictest industry governance in the nation. We advise clients on how to comply with the complex web of federal, state, and local regulations affecting marijuana businesses.
  • Compliance Audits. We provide comprehensive internal audits of our clients’ operations as well as audits of their vendors and other partners to identify and remedy compliance gaps throughout the distribution chain. We also regularly conduct enterprise-wide compliance training to ensure employees understand applicable laws and the actions you can take to reduce risk.
  • Litigation. Whether a lawsuit is filed by a regulator, competitor, or customer, the threat of litigation looms large in the marijuana industry. Whether you seek early resolution to litigation or require comprehensive representation through trial, our team provides effective, efficient representation to achieve your goals.
  • State and Federal Investigations. We can help you navigate and respond to investigations brought by state regulators and federal agencies.
  • Regulatory Advocacy. Protecting our clients’ positions doesn’t stop when the case is over. We advocate for client interests in policy matters on both statewide and national levels.
  • Marketing & Advertising. Viewing content through the perspective of former regulators, our team thoroughly reviews advertising and marketing materials across all media to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements.
  • Consumer Complaint Response. Consumer complaints are often the “the canary in the coal mine.” We regularly assist companies in responding to and resolving consumer issues before they lead to a governmental investigation or lawsuit.

M&S is a member of the National Cannabis Industry Association.