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Alcohol Beverage

We have a nationally recognized alcohol beverage practice having represented suppliers, retailers, and trade associations at the federal, state, and local level in nearly 30 different states.  Having worked in the craft beer and distilled spirits industries for more than 15 years, we have played a critical role in advancing the growth of these industries.

With the demand for craft beer and craft spirits increasing, consumers are becoming more knowledgeable, demanding locally brewed beers and locally distilled spirits that are manufactured using locally sourced and organic ingredients. As a result, the craft beer and craft spirit industries are expanding at a rapid pace, as the breweries and distilleries innovate and bring new and unique products and brands to the market. These artisans are redefining cottage manufacturing in communities throughout the United States.

The market for craft beer and craft spirits continues to evolve in a highly regulated environment, and craft breweries and craft distilleries realize they not only need to create quality products, but also have to be efficient and effective businesses. We are well-positioned and well-equipped to advise these specialty companies on a wide range of legal and public policy issues specific to their businesses. Whether choice of entity, applying for and obtaining permits, real estate acquisition or leasing and land use issues, protecting trademarks and trade secrets, or labor and employment law issues, our attorneys and advisors have the experience and knowledge to advise craft breweries and craft distilleries on virtually all of their legal and public policy needs.


The cannabis industry encompassing hemp, medical marijuana and adult-use marijuana has expanded rapidly in recent years due to changes in federal and state law. These nascent markets present a valuable opportunity for entrepreneurs able to navigate complicated and often inconsistent federal, state, and local regulatory structures. These particular industries are under heightened scrutiny and require thoughtful legal guidance before a business enters or expands into these new markets.

We have been at the forefront of the hemp and cannabis industries in the southeastern United States and understand the complexities and differences between applicable state and federal law.  We also understand the public policy issues driving the heightened scrutiny of these industries and frequently advise lawmakers, state agency leaders and other stakeholders on industry best practices to ensure public safety concerns are adequately addressed. As states allow businesses to operate in these industries, we are well positioned to advise companies as to how to enter those markets.

Our experience advising clients in the cannabis industries intersects with the counsel we provide to other clients in highly regulated industries in such areas as:

  •     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

Food and Beverage

The Southeastern United States is amid a food and beverage renaissance. This cottage manufacturing industry is experiencing a boom of entrepreneurial activity that is setting the stage for the next generation of food and beverage innovators.

We are proud of the heritage and tradition tied to the food and beverage industry in the Southeastern United States. We are even more proud of the many food and beverage companies that consider us their trusted advisors.

At McLaughlin, PC we serve to assist our clients in navigating the regulatory and business landscape throughout the entire continuum of a food or beverage product’s lifecycle. From growing, to manufacturing, to distributing, to retailing, we represent manufacturers, retailers, restaurants, distilleries, breweries, importers, and entrepreneurs from across the industry.

Taking a holistic approach to the practice of law, we bring an unmatched focus and experience to the complexities of food and beverage law. We have the experience necessary to advise clients on regulatory matters, keep them updated on emerging industry trends, and mitigate risk and liability. Our goal is to help you avoid legal challenges; however, sometimes issues may arise where they cannot be avoided. That’s where we come in. You can count on us every step of the way. Our experience will be your gain.

With an impressive track record of representing and counseling some of Southeast’s most visible companies in the food and beverage industry, we are proud to support the industry through numerous affiliations and memberships, including the Mississippi Restaurant and Hospitality Association, the Alabama Brewers Guild, and the Mississippi Brewers Guild.

Nonprofits and Social Innovators

Nonprofit and charitable organizations exist in an environment of high regulation. Statutes and regulations govern every stage of a nonprofit’s life. Regardless of whether your nonprofit organization is a small start-up, an educational institution, a trade association, or a family foundation, it is crucial that your organization has trusted advisors that understand federal and state compliance issues. If you make a mistake, regardless of intent, your nonprofit organization could face penalties or revocation of its exempt status.

We advise nonprofits of all size and with any exempt purpose to improve best practices and expand the capacities of the organization to better fulfill their missions.


Entrepreneurs need advice that combines seasoned legal knowledge with an understanding of their business, industry, market, and risk. We help entrepreneurs create the proper legal foundation necessary to raise capital, attract and retain employees, protect intellectual property and contract with partners.

We also work regularly with investors and venture capital firms to investigate and document investments in emerging companies, giving us both a well-rounded perspective and an ability to connect and introduce clients in need of financing.

We are committed to providing timely advice, responsive service and applying the resources of our network to give your company a competitive advantage in today’s complex and challenging marketplace. We understand every client is different and you have your own unique needs and objectives. We collaborate closely with you to create a custom legal strategy to meet your specific needs as efficiently and effectively as possible.

Government Affairs

The phrase “if you are not at the table, you are on the menu” has never been truer.  Lawmakers and policymakers make decisions every day that impact your ability to operate your business. If your interests are not represented, your voice is not being heard. We serve as government affairs liaisons to trade associations, businesses and individuals dealing with state and federal lawmakers and regulatory agencies. Rather than being reactionary, we proactively engage with decisionmakers to drive the conversations that affect our clients.

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