The medical and adult-use cannabis industries are nascent and emerging industries in the United States. As of June 2018, adult-use cannabis usage had been legalized in nine states and medical cannabis usage had been legalized in 31 states. And while very few states in the Southeast have legalized medical or adult-use cannabis usage, there are ongoing public policy discussions and legislative efforts underway on both fronts.
McLaughlin, PC understands the complicated and often inconsistent federal, state, and local regulatory structures of highly regulated industries, including the medical and adult-use cannabis industries. We have experience lobbying for and advising clients in other highly regulated business environments such as the alcohol industry, and as a result, have established one of the first public policy and legal service advisory practices in Southeast for the cannabis industry.
Our team stays on top of notable industry trends and legislative developments to provide proper legal expertise to our clients who need assistance navigating the often-conflicting federal, state, and local laws and regulations governing cannabis.
McLaughlin, PC is equipped with a bipartisan team of lawyers and registered lobbyists, as well as impactful relationships with state lawmakers and public officials. We are currently serving as the public policy and legal advisors to Mississippians for Compassionate Care, a coalition of committed medical professionals and others that care deeply about, “helping those who suffer from chronic and debilitating medical conditions by providing physicians with the option to certify the use of medical marijuana to patients.”
The legalization of cannabis is intersecting other areas of business at a rapid pace. With our experience in:
- State licensing for highly regulated products,
- Protecting intellectual property, trademarks, trade secrets, licensing and non-competes,
- Raising capital, commercial loans, banking and U.S. Department of Treasury and other Federal regulations,
- Contract drafting and negotiations,
- Commercial real estate transactions including development, financing and leasing
- Regulatory Compliance
- Employment, preparing handbooks and policies, benefits and compensation, litigation
- Manufacturing and distribution, procuring proper licensing and contract negotiation and oversight
McLaughlin, PC is positioned to take the lead on the growing cannabis industry in the Southeastern United States.
Federal law currently conflicts with state laws, and compliance with state law does not confer immunity from federal enforcement policies. The possession, distribution, and manufacture of marijuana and marijuana-based products are illegal under federal law, regardless of state law which may, in some jurisdictions, decriminalize such activity under certain circumstances. Although the U.S. Department of Justice has noted that an effective state regulatory system, and compliance with such a system, should be considered in the exercise of its investigative and prosecutorial discretion, its authority to prosecute violations of federal law is not diminished by the passage of state laws that may permit such activity. At any time, law and policy may change either to enhance or inhibit the industry.