The cannabis industry is rapidly growing and evolving. The 2020 elections saw voters in five additional states approve expanding access to marijuana. This brings the total to 35 states that allow consumers to legally purchase marijuana for medical and/or recreational purposes. The companies serving these clients need the same sophisticated legal and regulatory guidance that all consumer products need in corporate law/transactions, intellectual property, regulatory compliance and litigation.

So with that in mind, Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP has launched its Cannabis Practice Team. Lawyers on the team already are working closely with cannabis companies and other market participants to grow their business, protect their innovations, fulfill their regulatory and compliance responsibilities, and legally defend their products and services. 

To serve the cannabis industry, Womble Bond Dickinson can draw on decades of experience serving highly regulated industries, such as tobacco, food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, dietary supplements, personal care products, and medical devices. 

Sara Deskins Tucker (litigation) and George Kurlyandchik (transactions) are serving as co-leads for the new team.

“The cannabis sector is particularly tricky to navigate because laws vary so much from state to state, and state laws often come in conflict with federal restrictions,” Tucker said. “This naturally leads to disputes. Our approach is to help cannabis companies proactively avoid such disputes when possible, and aggressively defend their interests when it isn’t.”

“Our background in advising similar industries, along with our deep national bench strength across practice areas, allows Womble Bond Dickinson to be a full-service law firm to the cannabis industry,” Kurlyandchik said. “Jurisdiction permitting, we serve companies at all stages of the cannabis supply chain.”

Womble Bond Dickinson provides legal services to clients in the cannabis sector in such matters as:

  • Equipment leasing transactions;
  • Corporate finance;
  • Mergers & acquisitions; 
  • Strategic alliances & joint ventures;
  • Corporate entity formation and governance;
  • Commercial contracts and agreements;
  • Class action litigation;
  • Employment litigation;
  • Insurance litigation;
  • Product liability risk mitigation and litigation;
  • Regulatory compliance;
  • Land use and zoning; 
  • Environmental audits;
  • Intellectual property litigation;
  • Trademarks, licensing and brand protection; and
  • Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) compliance and dispute resolution.