I’m late to the game in writing about Stock Legal’s work in the cannabis space, but in my defense, we’ve been really busy . . .
The purpose of this blog is not to tell you if/when your application will be approved by Missouri’s Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS). That information can be found here, nor is the purpose of this blog to give you the stats about who has applied for the various licenses. That information can also be found here.
The purpose of this blog is to share my opinion on how to select a lawyer to represent you as you grow and scale a cannabis company.
Let me start by telling you a few things you probably already know:
- On November 6, 2018, voters in Missouri approved a ballot measure to amend Missouri’s Constitution to allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes, and to create regulations and licensing/certification procedures for marijuana and marijuana facilities (Amendment).
- DHSS is authorized and tasked with implementing the provisions of the Amendment (aka Marijuana Regulations).
- “Emergency Rules” regarding Medical Marijuana Regulations were filed on July 1, 2019 to comply with the constitutional amendment, and can be found here.
With that being said, cannabis is here to stay in Missouri. If you are building a cannabis business, you might be struggling with how to choose the right cannabis business lawyer. Here are a few general guidelines:
First and foremost, building a cannabis business is . . . building a business. That means that you need to find a great business lawyer who can address the basic areas of law involved in building any business, including:
- Commercial Real Estate (renting and/or buying)
- Intellectual Property
Secondly, decide what size firm you want to hire. The large national firms are great if you want to build a nationwide cannabis business. They will have lawyers licensed in all of the states where you want to be, and you will have access to those lawyers through one firm. If you are looking locally, consider seeking out a small to mid-sized firm that has expertise in the areas of law I referenced above.
Perhaps most importantly . . . Choose a lawyer that you like. I know, that may sound like an oxymoron to some, but it’s possible to find those lawyers! The reality is that when your business is successful, you will have a long-term relationship with the lawyer you choose. That lawyer should be invested in building a long-term relationship with you, and there should be a clear and open line of communication between you and your lawyer.
Like so many things in life and business, knowledge is power, and this leads to better business decisions. Choose wisely!
*The choice of a lawyer is an important decision, and should not be based solely on advertisements.*