Cannabis in United States


Utilising its global presence, the multi-disciplinary team at Dentons is well equipped to assist clients on the full array of cannabis mandates, including corporate and transactional work, litigation and compliance, as well as strategic counselling and risk mitigation. The team heads are both located in Chicago: Eric Berlin frequently assists significant publicly traded companies, and has also represented non-cannabis industry clients in antitrust as well as healthcare litigation; while Kathryn Ashton is seasoned in representing lenders and borrowers, as well as underwriters, in secured and unsecured financing. Senior managing associate Joanne Caceres in Chicago and Los Angeles-based managing associate Lauren Estevez are among other standout names. New arrivals to the practice include Hannah King in Portland who joined the team from Drummond Woodsum in June 2022.

Practice head(s):

Eric Berlin; Kathryn Ashton

Other key lawyers:

Joanne Caceres; Lauren Estevez; Hannah King; Michael Froy


‘Excellent depth of state by state, province by province nuances.’

‘Client interest and focus.’


Key clients

AFC Gamma

Altmore Capital

Ascend Wellness Corp.

Ayr Wellness

Bespoke Financial, Inc.

Bright Green Corp.

Canopy Growth USA, LLC (Canopy Growth Corporation)

Chicago Atlantic Real Estate Finance, Inc.

Connected International Inc.

Devi Holdings Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advised Verano in its proposed $413 million acquisition of Goodness Growth Holdings, in acquiring 100% of the equity interests in both Caring Nature, LLC, and Connecticut Pharmaceutical Solutions, Inc. Verano also completed the acquisition of Willow Brook Wellness, LLC.
  • Advised Medicine Man Technology in its agreement to acquire all of the operating assets of Reynold Greenleaf & Associates, LLC, and the equity of Elemental Kitchen & Laboratories, LLC.


Goodwin assists clients in cannabis acquisitions, significant capital raises and disputes, as well as transactions. The department also represents private equity, venture capital funds and investors in cannabis investments and regulatory approvals. Joint team heads Jennifer Fisher and Brett Schuman are both located in San Francisco, with the former possessing extensive knowledge of cannabis regulatory and litigation mandates and frequently representing cannabis industry operators. Bill Growney is located in Silicon Valley and assists investors in cannabis related transactions, while Boston based David Apfel represents a diversity of clients in corporate, litigation and regulatory mandates.

Practice head(s):

David Apfel; Jennifer Fisher; Bill Growney; Brett Schuman


‘Brett Schuman and Jen Fisher have significant cannabis subject matter expertise and are up to date on all new legal issues that impact the industry. Both also provide exceptional client management and litigation expertise in the cannabis area and have helped successfully resolve matters and disputes in both the regulatory and litigation aspects of the cannabis space.’

‘Brett Schuman and Jen Fisher are extremely proficient at building teams of very capable cannabis associates to service the firm, and I’ve always been impressed with their management of their teams and quality of the deliverables, whether it come from Brett/Jen or the teams they manage.’

‘What makes Goodwin’s practice unique is that it has an established, national cannabis practice that excels in both cannabis subject matter experience, and all ancillary practice areas that a cannabis client would need.’

Key clients

Ayr Wellness, Inc.

Central Coast Agriculture, Inc.

Cresco Labs

Cronos Group Inc.

Dama Financial

Gotham Green Partners

KIVA Brands, Inc.

Serruya Private Equity

Waitr, Inc.

Combs Enterprises

Work highlights

  • Advised a leading dispensary technology provider, in its $350 million Series D financing round.
  • Advised an entity owned and controlled by Sean “Diddy” Combs on a definitive agreement to acquire certain New York, Illinois, and Massachusetts assets from Cresco Labs and Columbia Care.
  • Assisted Cresco Labs, a publicly traded, vertically integrated cannabis and medical marijuana company with regulatory compliance advice in connection with its $2 billion acquisition of Columbia Care.

DLA Piper LLP (US)

DLA Piper LLP (US) oversees significant litigation, transactional as well as regulatory matters pertaining to the cannabis industry. The department also assists international companies, start-ups, venture capitals in e-commerce, regulatory product development, and contracting work. Stefanie Fogel leads the department from Boston and is frequently engaged in international food and consumer product regulation and compliance, corporate compliance and commercial class action. Washington DC's Sharon Mayl joined the firm from the FDA in September 2022, and possesses extensive knowledge of imports, cannabis products, and food safety, while New York-based Bethany Hills arrived at the firm from Morrison Foerster in April 2022. Also in New York, counsel Jarred Reiling arrived from King & Spalding LLP in March 2022, and possesses extensive experience in FDA and healthcare compliance as well as litigation matters.

Practice head(s):

Stefanie Fogel

Other key lawyers:

Sharon Mayl; Bethany Hills; Jarred Reiling: Maggie Craig

Key clients

Smith & Sinclair

14th Round

Just Brands USA

PureKana, LLC

Simply Better Brands

Massage Envy

22nd Century Group

HEXO Corp.

Casters Holdings Inc (d/b/a Fyllo)

Work highlights

  • Represented Just Brands USA, Inc. in a dismissal of putative nationwide class actions filed against them, the plaintiffs alleged violations of New York and Florida consumer protection statutes, breach of express warranty, unjust enrichment, and fraud related to allegations of improper labeling of CBD levels.
  • Assisted Simply Better Brands in a qualified transaction to merge with an entity, the team also provided public reporting, corporate and regulatory advice, as well as commercial litigation support.

Duane Morris LLP

Duane Morris LLP is able to handle a breadth of issues pertaining to the cannabis industry, including intellectual property, regulatory, litigation and corporate matters. The team also assists a diversity of clients including distributors, dispensaries, as well as private equity and venture capital funds. Seth Goldberg in Philadelphia advises cannabis processors, growers, and raw materials companies on a spectrum of regulatory mandates, while Tracy Gallegos in Las Vegas is often engaged on M&A, corporate rollups, and entity formation. Paul Josephson is located in Cherry Hill and is a constitutional and regulatory litigator, while Los Angeles-based Justin Santarosa is primarily engaged in corporate law, in particular M&A, and security law. Michael Schwamm works from New York and advises public companies, start-ups, and venture-backed companies on the full array of corporate mandates.

Practice head(s):

Tracy Gallegos; Seth Goldberg; Paul Josephson

Other key lawyers:

Justin Santarosa; Nanette Heide


‘What makes Duane Morris unique among peer firms is the entrepreneurial spirit of the cannabis practice backed up by extensive institutional knowledge and experience of business.’

‘Duane Morris’ practice group consists of individuals that have shaped cannabis and hemp law and produced big wins for clients.’

‘Duane Morris has a pulse on state and national cannabis issues. Their work with individual clients and with cannabis associations ensures they know all the ins and outs.’

Key clients

Harborside, Inc.

Devine Holdings, LLC

Jushi Holdings Inc.

Green Thumb Industries

Pennsylvania Cannabis Coalition

LIM College

Trinity Consultants Inc.

Illinois Health & Wellness

Work highlights

Fox Rothschild LLP

Fox Rothschild LLP often assists cannabis investors, growers, distributors, and processors on financial, IP, employment, and litigation matters. The department is also well-equipped to assist cannabis businesses on tax provisions at the state and federal level. William Bogot is located in Chicago and offers deep expertise of regulatory and transactional mandates across the cannabis industry and is coveted for his expertise in the distribution and marketing process of medical and adult-use cannabis products. Joshua Horn works from Philadelphia and advises significant clients on market entry, M&A, capital raises, and general commercial transactions. Seattle-based Joshua Ashby is also noted for his work in corporate cannabis matters.

Practice head(s):

William Bogot; Joshua Horn

Other key lawyers:

Sean Coyle; Matthew Kittay; Joshua Ashby

Key clients


PharmaCann Inc

Cresco Labs


Windy City Cannabis

Cannabis Business Association of Illinois

Curaleaf, Inc.

Green Thumb Industries, LLC

Cannaverse Technologies (Cannaversetech)


Work highlights

  • Acted as U.S. counsel to Trulieve Cannabis Corporation in the $2.1 billion acquisition of Harvest Health & Recreation.
  • Acted as regulatory counsel for Cresco Labs in seven states for its acquisition of Columbia Care, Inc.
  • Acted as legal counsel to Cannaverse Technologies in connection with the world’s first cannabis-focused Metaverse, Cannaland.

Arnold & Porter

Often representing financial institutions, funds, and investors, Arnold & Porter is well-equipped to advise clients entering the cannabis industry on issues of compliance, risks and legal requirements. The department is also engaged in the designing and development of policy pertaining to antimicrobials, fungicides and pesticides used for cultivating cannabis crops. Evelina Norwinski oversees the team and frequently advises distributor, manufacturer and retailer clients on federal and state laws concerning cannabis, as well as practical risks. Co-chair of the firm’s life sciences and healthcare regulatory practice Daniel Kracov has advised a breadth of cannabis companies on navigating regulatory frameworks concerning hemp products and CBD. All mentioned individuals are located in Washington DC.

Practice head(s):

Evelina Norwinski

Other key lawyers:

Daniel Kracov; Howard Sklamberg

Key clients

Charlotte’s Web

The Association of the Cannabinoid Industry (ACI)

Allied Concessions Group Inc.

NS Holdings Inc.

RIV Capital, Inc.


Work highlights

  • Represented Charlotte’s Web in its effort to work with the US Food and Drug Administration to develop new regulations and a new policy framework to ensure the quality and safety of hemp and CBD-containing products.
  • Advised a nationwide retail chain on federal and state laws governing personal care products containing hemp derivatives, including the manufacture, import, packaging/labeling and retail sale of such products.
  • Assisted the ACI in drafting and negotiating a collaboration agreement with ADSL and related consortium member supply agreements for the purposes of launching a landmark study to seek novel food authorisation for CBD products.

Dickinson Wright PLLC

The team at Dickinson Wright PLLC works closely with the firm’s corporate and M&A practice, and includes practitioners with expertise in IP, as well as government mandates in the cannabis industry. The team assists clients on state, local and federal regulatory compliance, private equity investments and the licensing of processing equipment. Scot Crow oversees the team and has expertise on business planning, advising public as well as private companies; he also has been active in divestures, mezzanine debt offerings, private offerings as well as venture capital financings. Benton Bodamer routinely advises public and private companies on divestitures, joint ventures, leveraged buyouts, minority investments, and restructurings. All names mentioned are based in Columbus.

Practice head(s):

Scot Crow; Benton Bodamer

Other key lawyers:

Brandon Hubbard; Alex Brown; Colin Ferguson; Katherine VanderVeen

Key clients

Alternative Medical Enterprises, LLC

Farmaceuticalrx LLC (Ohio)





Gage Growth Corp

Clade 9


Choice Consolidation Corp

Item 9 Labs

Gotham Green

Pelorus Capital

Emerald Growth


Irwin Naturals

Hawthorne Hydroponics




Ohio Grown Therapies LLC

Work highlights

  • Represented Gage Growth Corp in a USD 545 million all-stock sale transaction to TerrAscend, a publicly traded entity on the Canadian exchange.
  • Represented Farmaceuticalrx LLC, a vertically integrated state licensed cannabis company, in closing a USD 34 million senior secured debt refinancing transaction with Chicago Atlantic.
  • Assisted Gage Growth Corp. in its ongoing financing needs with its senior secured lender, Chicago Atlantic. DW initially closed Gage’s USD 55 million syndicated term loan facility with Chicago Atlantic in November of 2021.

Farella Braun + Martel LLP

Farella Braun + Martel LLP advises clients on environment, M&A, product liability as well as Proposition 65 matters, acting for cannabis companies, cultivators, investors, manufacturers as well as retailers. The firm’s litigation team has also represented clients on an array of disputes, including employment, insurance and potential federal enforcement actions. Co-head of the team Ryan Lowther is an extremely seasoned practitioner who advises his client roster on the launch, funding, expansion and regulatory issues concerning their businesses. Also co-head of the team, Jeffrey Hamilton regularly represents ancillary businesses, cultivators, distributors as well as investment funds in corporate as well as commercial transactions. All named lawyers are located in California.

Practice head(s):

Ryan Lowther; Jeffrey Hamilton

Key clients

Poseidon Asset Management

Next Green Wave

TILT Holdings, Inc.

Growth Leasing

Jupiter Research, LLC

Baker Technologies

Poseidon Garden Ventures

Jiva Life, LLC

Work highlights

  • Advised Poseidon Investment Management with the launch of Poseidon Dynamic Cannabis ETF, the fund seeks to identify companies strategically positioned to benefit from the cannabis industry and its supporting infrastructure in the U.S. and emerging global cannabis markets.
  • Acted as US counsel to Next Green Wave in its sale to Planet 13 Holdings, Inc., a leading vertically integrated multi-state cannabis company and owner of the world’s largest cannabis store, for approximately US $70 million.
  • Represented publicly traded Canadian company TILT Holdings and its subsidiaries with commercial contracts, loan and financing agreements, and employment agreements for top executives.

Husch Blackwell LLP

Husch Blackwell LLP handles regulatory and transactional work, and has overseen cannabis as well as industrial hemp regulatory mandates across all 50 states. The department also assists clients in customs, corporate and securities, drug development, and employment law as well as litigation and tax matters. Marshall Custer co-leads the team alongside Steven Levine who often advises significant domestic cannabis clients. The team heads are supported by associates Megan Beebe, Lindy Martinez and Alyssa Samuel, the latter of whom is noted for her expertise in cannabis related regulatory matters. All mentioned individuals are based in Denver.

Practice head(s):

Steven Levine; Marshall Custer

Other key lawyers:

Megan Beebe; Lindy Martinez; Alyssa Samuel; Yuefan Wang


The team I work with at Husch Blackwell is one of the top teams that provides services to my industry. They have exceptional knowledge in regards to all matters that effect my industry. Along with a comprehensive team of highly skills attorneys that provide specific counsel in areas that effect my business. The team is always available for a quick call or is quick to respond via email to question, concerns and real immediate problems. Within our highly regulated industry the firm has implemented a number of practices that ensure our licenses are all renewed timely and we stay compliant with all governing bodies. We would not be were we are today as a company without the guidance and support that Husch Blackwell has provided us.’

Marshall Custer is exceptional and I always feel he has my company along by my interests at the forefront when faced with decisions and counsel. Marshall is always available at a moments notice when time is of the essence. His ability to look at issues we face with a clear mind and thought process always brings about a clear and concise path forward. When Marshall isn’t the person for a given task he is quick to find the correct individual within the firm to arrive at a quick resolution. I have always thought of Marshall as a true friend and an amazing advisor to myself and my companies.’

Key clients

PharmaCann, Inc.


VCP23, LLC d/b/a Green Thumb Industries

Columbia Care, Inc.

Clear Cannabis, Inc.

Green Sage Real Estate

Los Sueños Farms

Futurevision d/b/a Medicine Man

Nutritional Elements d/b/a The Health Center

LivWell Enlightened Health

Native Roots

NR ParentCo, LLC d/b/a Native Roots

240L Holdings, LLC

Key Investment Partners


Marquee Brands

Lightshade; Buddy Boy; PotCo

MidAmeriCanna, LLC

Work highlights

  • Represented Colorado-based LivWell Holdings, Inc. in its closed sale to PharmaCann Inc.
  • Acted as outside general counsel to Medicine Man in the sale of the business to Columbia Care.
  • Represented cannabis cultivator Los Sueños Farms as seller’s counsel in its recent $67 million sale to Curaleaf.

Zuber Lawler

Zuber Lawler assists cannabis clients with M&A, FDA compliance, finance and litigation matters. The team also has notable strength in intellectual property issues, offering thorough experience on a diverse range of issues including copyright, anti-counterfeiting, and patent prosecution. In Los Angeles, Thomas Zuber is an extremely seasoned practitioner with great experience and co-leads the department with Phoenix-based Janet E. Jackim, who has overseen several acquisitions as well as sales for international, multistate as well as regional clients. She has also represented clients in partner disputes, buyouts, cannabis license applications and business restructuring matters.

Practice head(s):

Thomas Zuber; Janet E. Jackim

Work highlights


With great expertise in cannabis-related intellectual property issues, Benesch advises cannabis cultivators, processors, and dispensaries on a breadth of issues. Bryna Dahlin assists clients on CBD and FDA due diligence processes as well as regulatory compliance. Bill Doran has overseen several significant cross-border transactions including equity and debt finance, joint ventures, acquisitions, and sales. Bob Morgan has served as counsel to government regulators, legislators, and businesses in the development of cannabis programs and laws. Robert Zimmerman, who is based in Cleveland, represents a wide range of cannabis clients with applications for licensure through the Ohio Medical Marijuana Program. All individuals mentioned are located in Chicago, unless otherwise stated.

Practice head(s):

Bryna Dahlin

Other key lawyers:

Kristopher Chandler; Bill Doran; Bob Morgan; Rob Zimmerman

Key clients

Cresco Labs

SpringBig, Inc.

Red Arrow Farm

The People’s Holdings

The People’s Fresno; Nile Cannabis; Denver Cole Farms LLC; SLAP Consulting LLC.

Ayr Wellness

TPCO Holding Corp

Prairie State Cannabis

Chicago NORML

Regennabis Ventures Fund

CMG Partners

Work highlights

Dykema Gossett PLLC

Dykema Gossett PLLC is well-equipped to assist clients across the full spectrum of cannabis mandates, closely collaborating with, among others, the firm’s real estate, tax, intellectual property, political and policy departments. The practice’s client roster includes cannabis growers, processors, testers as well as transport and sellers. Located in Lansing, Lance Boldrey oversees the department and represents a plethora of clients ranging from significant market entities such as lenders and investors to smaller retail clients, and is particularly proficient in legislative, regulatory as well as licensing mandates.

Practice head(s):

Lance Boldrey

Key clients

Michigan Cannabis Manufacturers Association

VB Chesaning

Lume Cannabis


Happi Trails Group, Inc. and Blue Spruce Ventures

Happi, Inc.

Oasis, LLC dba Oasis Wellness Centers

Verano Holdings, LLC, Green Therapy LLC and World of Weed, Inc

Primitiv Holdings, LLC

Pharmaco, Inc.

Work highlights

Greenspoon Marder LLP

Particularly active in M&A as well as regulatory mandates, Greenspoon Marder LLP assists cannabis companies on a breadth of issues such as IP, real estate, as well as corporate planning. The team also assist an array of clients within the cannabis, CBD as well as hemp industries including ancillary industry businesses, investors, retailers, and distributors. Co-head Nick Richards works from Denver and routinely assists cannabis companies, investors and owners on tax, as well as regulatory compliance matters, as well as representing clients in tax audits and trials. Co-head Irina Dashevsky is located in Chicago and supports clients with cannabis product labelling and marketing, state licensing and legislative issues.

Practice head(s):

Nick Richards; Irina Dashevsky

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Ginder; Ryan Holz

Key clients

Combs Enterprises

RIV Capital

1837 Craft Grow et al.

Growcore Investments

Cresco Labs

Work highlights

  • Advised Sean “Diddy” Combs and Combs Enterprises on the acquisition of nine cannabis stores and three production facilities in Illinois, New York, and Massachusetts.
  • Advised RIV Capital following their acquisition of Etain to determine the proper tax treatment of the purchased assets to comply with IRC Section 280E.
  • Represented and advised over a dozen cannabis craft grow license applicants in Illinois in a Rule 384 Motion before the Illinois Supreme Court.

Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP

The multi-disciplinary practice at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP advises on the full array of cannabis mandates, working with a spectrum of global as well as regional clients including investors, high profile individuals, significant brands, and financial institutions. Anita Famili Sabine leads the department and is located in Los Angeles, possessing great experience on FDA matters, media agreements, and joint ventures.

Practice head(s):

Anita Famili

Other key lawyers:

Thomas Poletti

Key clients

A.G.P./Alliance Global Partners

MedMen Enterprises Inc

Ghost Management Group dba Weedmaps


Farming First

Travis Scott/Cactus Farms

Keevia Group LLC

Post Investment Group

Hello Again


Flat Planet Holdings (dba Omura)

530 Cannabis

Work highlights

  • Represented A.G.P./Alliance Global Partners as investment advisors to Cresco Labs in its approximately US$2 billion acquisition of Columbia Care.
  • Advised Travis Scott with creating and launching his cannabis brand through his subsidiary, Cactus Farms, in partnership with Gold Leaf and Ideal Cannabis.
  • Represented Farming First in a $30 million secured debt facility.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP

Solely dedicated to cannabis disputes, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP possesses a track record of solving contentious matters before trial and arbitration. The team is also active in domestic and global arbitrations, and has represented clients in disputes relating class actions, copyright, management, and ownerships. Head of the team Robert Becher works from Los Angeles and alongside associate Gregory Fuoco. Leonidas Angelakos is an associate in the teams’ Silicon Valley office.

Practice head(s):

Robert Becher

Other key lawyers:

Gregory Fuoco; Leonidas Angelakos

Key clients


Ray Akhavan

Playboy Enterprises International, Inc. and Products Licensing LLC

Tilray Inc.

Diversified Panels Systems, Inc.



MedMen NY, Inc. and MM Enterprises USA

Tradeinvest Asset Management Company (BVI) Ltd.

Techview Investments Ltd.

Cresco Labs

Acreage Holdings

Work highlights

  • Represented MedMen in a dispute over the sale of a controlling interest in MedMen NY.
  • Defended Cresco Labs Inc. in a breach of contract and fiduciary duty lawsuit.
  • Represented investors in a securities lawsuit against Parallel.

Seyfarth Shaw LLP

Seyfarth Shaw LLP routinely assists cannabis industry clients on intellectual property, contractual enforcement, and employment law issues as well as environmental compliance. The practice also advises on the use of ETFs, M&A, taxation, and venture capital. Head of the department Stanley Jutkowitz is located in Washington DC and routinely assists clients on cannabis risk assessments, real estate lending and corporate transactions.

Practice head(s):

Stanley Jutkowitz

Other key lawyers:

Patrick Muffo

Key clients

AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF

Viridescent Realty Trust

Work highlights

  • Advised AdvisorShares on its latest ETF, AdvisorShares Psychedelics ETF.
  • Advised lender Viridescent on various issues related to lending against cannabis use real estate.

Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP

Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP works in close conjunction with the firm’s litigation team, often handling commercial disputes and class actions. The department also assists clients with M&A as well as other corporate mandates, and advises on risk management support issues, medical liability, transportation, and IP issues in the cannabis industry. Co-head Ian A. Stewart works with insurance companies on new policy forms and underwriting practices, while co-head Dean A. Rocco assists ancillary businesses and financial institutions that work with cannabis companies on regulatory compliance. All named individuals are based in Los Angeles.

Practice head(s):

Dean A. Rocco; Ian A. Stewart


‘They have industry knowledge in a relatively newer market that other firms don’t possess.’

‘Ian Stewart has the most knowledge out of every cannabis attorney I have spoken to. He recognized potential coverage issues and is able to assist in creating contracts that enable our company to navigate around them.’

‘They have built an excellent practice across the industry and indeed across their firm, they are very knowledgeable and practical.’

Key clients


Avant Specialty Claims

BellRock Brands

Berkshire Hathaway

BIC Corp

Blitz Insurance

BRH Enterprises

Cannasure (through Topa Insurance Co.)

CannGen Insurance Services

Canopius US

Farmers Insurance Co.

Golden Bear Insurance Company

Hudson Insurance Group


Knight Insurance Co.

Mammoth Distribution

Markel Corp

Marsh / Mercer / Guy Carpenter Group


Monterey Botanicals

National Cannabis Risk Management Association

Obsidian Specialty Insurance Co.


Trisura Specialty Insurance Co.

Triton Claims Management

WR Berkley

Work highlights

  • Represented a cannabis edibles brand in one of the first product liability claims involving marijuana products in Michigan after a plaintiff alleged she ingested cannabis edible trade sample products labeled as THC-free.
  • Represented a cannabis producer in a first-of-its-kind cannabis edible product liability wrongful death litigation that was being closely watched by the cannabis industry.