All businesses must continually adapt to new legislation, but marijuana businesses have to be especially vigilant, with legality of their product itself in limbo. Raising capital, finding and retaining skilled workers, handling banking and payments—these are all issues that may be affected by federal and state legislation.

 

On the federal level, we’ve already seen U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announce that the Justice Department is rescinding the Obama Administration’s policy that eased enforcement of federal marijuana laws. Then a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit seeking to legalize marijuana on the federal level. (In that case, the plaintiff, to no avail, had argued that classification of marijuana as a Schedule 1 substance was both unconstitutional and “irrational.” The suit also alleged that current federal marijuana laws were discriminatory against minorities.)

 

And there are individual state laws that could affect your business. At least 12 states will be considering marijuana legalization this year.

 

No matter what comes up legislatively, though, you can prepare your business to navigate these rough legal waters.

 

  • Stay informed. The best way to make sure your business continues to thrive is to know what’s coming and what’s happening. Something as simple as setting Google alerts, and checking them regularly, can help make sure you’re up to date on laws in your state and the federal level.

 

  • Keep grinding. Every time a court decision is handed down, or legislation is passed, there are bound to be ramifications. If the news is good, you may see an upsurge in interest, but when decisions like the Attorney General’s are announced, potential investors may be spooked. Either way, keep moving forward.

 

  • Hire someone to watch your legal back. If you don’t already have an attorney on speed dial, consider doing so. Someone with knowledge and expertise in the industry can be invaluable as legal challenges arise.

If you’re concerned about how changes in marijuana laws could affect your business in 2018, send us a message or call us at (314) 454-9100 today. We can help.


Mr. Gold is head of AEGIS Chicago office.  He has close to 25 years of experience in structuring and executing transactions on both his own behalf and for a wide variety of primarily middle-market enterprises in healthcare, technology, real estate development, manufacturing and intellectual property.

His primary area of expertise involves tax-related issues with a concentration on structuring businesses and transactions utilizing partnerships and other flow-through entities.  Robert’s legal practice also has involved corporate advice including ownership-transition planning and governance, and the private placement and syndication of securities.

Prior to joining AEGIS, Robert was a Managing Director of The Chicago Corporation, an investment-banking firm, where he currently serves as general counsel and as a senior advisor.