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Why Having a Lawyer Who Is a Cannabis Expert Matters


Lawyers play a key role in the life of a cannabis business, and not just when things go sideways. The industry is new, unique, and still finding its legs, which means that a lawyer with an understanding of the ins and outs of regulatory demands and business transactions is a prime asset for any company navigating the turbulent waters of legal cannabis.


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In medicine, when addressing severe illnesses, a specialist with advanced knowledge of the ailment provides an advanced level of care. The same can be said for lawyers with extensive experience in cannabis; they have a level of knowledge that goes beyond that of the standard attorney.

Speaking the Language of Cannabis

Cannabis law is no different or more difficult than any other type of legal practice with a governmental/corporate law / regulatory compliance focus. But a cannabis law expert knows the industry jargon and is familiar with the interests of people working within all levels of the industry. They know the differences between one type of product and the next, and how to protect cannabis IP. They understand the concerns of operators branching into new markets.

Additionally, they know what the regulators are looking for when investigating a cannabis company. Or, conversely, the regulators might not know what they are seeking because they are part of a new governmental agency in a new market filled with people learning as they go.

Many regulators have not been in cannabis for very long because it is such a nascent business sector. A lawyer can work in tandem with regulatory investigators and owners to figure out how a business can address not only issues regarding compliance but also how the business can work within the 280e tax code and other federal and state restrictions to stay ahead of the curve, prosper and grow.

A legal team that knows the cannabis industry—both locally and across other state markets—can be the difference between whether a business succeeds or fails. Experienced cannabis lawyers don’t view regulatory relationships as adversarial. They forge relationships with regulators and policymakers to know what is happening at the compliance level and support their clients.

Cannabis Experience Matters

Top cannabis lawyers who have been in this industry since its inception often speak of their love for due diligence. In an industry that has been deemed a Wild West and incorrectly seen as a way to make easy money, due diligence often got overlooked in the rush to get businesses up and running. The hype surrounding the industry is slowing and owners and operators are discovering that their lack of in-depth business knowledge and well-meaning DIY practices could put them out of business.

Experienced cannabis lawyers have seen how mistakes happen, where businesses run into trouble, and how to avoid those similar pitfalls. They also know how to spot opportunities that attorneys with less industry expertise might overlook. A top cannabis lawyer will provide a grounded perspective on government investigations and set realistic expectations for corporate transactions with an eye on the peculiarities of the industry.

As one of the top cannabis law firms in Colorado, Cantafio & Song understands the complex nature of the cannabis industry and the business issues that can lead to contract disputes. We are also a full-service law firm, and assist clients in other areas of law such as criminal defense, estate planning, litigation, real estate, and more. If you have needs in any of these areas, contact Cantafio & Song’s legal team today.
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