Cannabis Counsel


Steptoe & Johnson’s Cannabis Counsel has the experience and ability to represent cannabis organizations in a heavily regulated legal environment.

The Cannabis Counsel actively assists numerous cannabis organizations through a comprehensive understanding of the cannabis industry, a proactive approach to regulation and corporate compliance, and a demonstrated ability to apply its knowledge and experience in furthering the client’s business goals.

Experienced in all facets of the cannabis industry, team attorneys provide thoughtful advice on everything from making applications for a hemp license or medical cannabis permit to guidance on day-to-day operations and compliance obligations for growers, processors, and dispensaries. The Cannabis Counsel also advises employers and healthcare organizations on workforce and workplace issues.

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Representative Experience

  • Successfully awarded high-scoring medical cannabis processor and dispensary permits under the West Virginia Medical Cannabis Act, including facility plans, standard operating procedures, security/surveillance considerations, product labeling, and employment policies and procedures
  • Provided general counsel services to international vertically-integrated medical cannabis organization, comprising general corporate counsel, state-specific regulatory compliance, drafting, review, and submission of permit applications, real estate concerns, and lobbying efforts
  • Provided general counsel services to wholesale distributor of Delta-8 THC products in six states, comprising federal and state compliance under both the Controlled Substances Act and Federal Analogue Act, as well as compliant labeling and provision of sale under the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act
  • Provided general counsel services to the largest hemp grower in West Virginia
  • Provided general counsel services to the largest wholesale distributor of hemp and hemp products in West Virginia
  • Ensures federal and state-specific compliance under the 2014 and 2018 Farm Bills
  • Represents hemp growers and processors before their respective state-specific Departments of Agriculture for THC-sampling matters, responsible authority concerns, and interstate transportation of embargoed hemp crops
  • Responded to notice and comment rulemaking by the USDA and WVDA and has an active role in dictating policy on behalf of the cannabis industry
  • Frequently published and presented legal and policy issues facing the cannabis industry
  • Drafted employee handbook, guidelines, and policies for hemp growers and processors

Areas of Focus

  • Regulatory Compliance
  • Licensing and Permitting
  • Banking and Finance
  • Capital Formation
  • Tax Counseling and Advocacy
  • Corporate Formation and Structuring
  • Employment Considerations
  • Government Relations and Policy
  • Intellectual Property
  • Litigation

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