Marijuana Business Disputes and Litigation

Cannabis Compliance Lawyers are known for their ability to navigate the difficult aspects of marijuana law.

We have successfully represented marijuana businesses in their legal disputes relating to contracts, intellectual property rights, licensing, administrative appeals, municipal disputes, and landlord tenant issues.

Having both defended and prosecuted a wide range of claims on behalf of marijuana businesses in California, we strategically guide you through this complex process and help you achieve the results your local business deserves.

Our attorneys understand your legal options and are prepared to fight on your behalf in or out of court. Through effective negotiations we are often successful without needing to go to court.

At Cannabis Compliance Lawyers we know when and how to deploy the precise tools of litigation for our clients, but only whenabsolutely necessary.

No matter the type of conflict, we remain committed to protecting your interests and your bottom line every step of the way.

Let us put our superior knowledge and broad litigation experience to work and help your business succeed.

Photo by Kimprobable/iStock / Getty Images

Make sure to perform due diligence on all your business partners. 

The odds of having a dispute with your cannabis business partners can often be avoided if: a) you are very particular about your prospective business partners; and b) you do your homework.

It never ceases to amaze us is how often we are told by a client locked in a critical ownership dispute regarding a cannabis business is that they “thought they knew” their business partner before they started the business with them.

If you are going to start a cannabis business (or any business), the first thing you should do is find out as much as you can about your presumed partner’s financial and business records and experience.

It is not offensive nor unexpected to ask your potential partners for records showing their financial and criminal history.  The state licensing regulators will eventually ask for this information anyway.

It is even more important to conduct thorough due diligence if you are buying into an existing cannabis business.

At the very least, this due diligence should include investigating and analyzing the assets and liabilities of the individuals involved with the company and both and former current management and employees.

Your due diligence should also include confirming the standing of the company with state and local government regulators, and determining that the company and its principals understand how to comply with all state and local laws.

Always protect yourself, and get your own attorney from the start to make sure someone is looking out for your best interests from the start.

Test the Business Plan. 

Everyone has the next greatest business plan, right?  The devil is, of course, in the details.

These details are best analyzed and tested in the form of a business plan or pro forma.  The pro forma must include great detail on the anticipated expenses, contingencies, assumptions and then the expected income.

We can help you review these pro formas to validate assumptions and test the strength of the business model of your potential venture.

Know your possible dispute resolution options. 

Well drafted corporate documents and contracts should cover the majority of possible breakdowns in the business set forth options for resolving possible internal conflicts.

What happens if there is a deadlock vote on the Board?

What mechanism can be used to make certain the company doesn’t grind to a halt if there are business decisions where certain parties disagree.

Do the parties have to go to Court to get a resolution, or can they agree to appoint a neutral director to break the tie?

What about selling an ownership interest and determining the value of that interest?

What if one partner divorces, becomes disabled or even dies?  What if a partner quits working or refuses to provide additional capital?

All of these scenarios should be covered in your corporate governing documents or in any other contract you sign, and by doing so; you greatly minimize the likelihood of future problems.

Your company documents and contracts should articulate exactly how disputes are going to be handled.

Are you going to want your dispute to be made public in a court, or do you want to make sure it is kept quiet in an arbitration or mediation?

It is much easier to reach agreement on these issues before any problems arise. Proper planning can avoid the need for a hard fought dispute with costly lawyers on both sides.

Be sure to hire a firm that has expertise in both business law and cannabis law.

And if confronted with a dispute involving your cannabis business, make sure to hire a law firm with ethical lawyers who have the actual experience in civil litigation and cannabis law to help.