McCarter & English
Chair, Government Affairs & Cannabis practice groups
What aspect of the cannabis industry does your firm specialize in (compliance, growth, distribution, etc.)?
"McCarter’s cannabis team helps clients address complex legal issues and navigate current and pending federal, state and local laws and regulations as the cannabis industry rapidly expands nationally. We help clients navigate a broad range of complexities, from licensing to tax planning, applications to financing, and regulatory advice to real estate and environmental issues."
Tell us something someone new to the industry needs to know – that they probably haven’t thought of?
"Many who are new to the industry do not appreciate the importance of knowing how the government and regulators operate at all levels of decision-making. It is imperative to get it right from the beginning, with local support at the outset. Hiring counsel who understand the regulatory framework and who know the elected officials at every level is key."
Give us one element or factor that is key to getting a license.
"Local support and a track record of success are the lynchpins of any successful application."
How do you see the industry growing/changing in the next 12 months?
"The legalized cannabis market has evolved at break-neck speed, and I don’t see it slowing down. I see more companies — both startups and established organizations — wanting to enter the market, and more states introducing legislation and regulations. The regulated adult-use cannabis market will at least double in size in the next year or so."
Give us your elevator speech: Why should someone hire your firm?
"McCarter is a national firm with broad capabilities. Our lawyers advise on all aspects of the adult-use cannabis market and provide holistic business counsel. We have the experience in the market and the relationships in business and in government, and our full-service platform allows us to serve both multistate operators with varying needs, from tax, antitrust, M&A, litigation — to startups, including the husband-and wife entrepreneurs who may be trying their hand in this business for the first time."