As society evolves at an ever-shifting, rapid pace, so do its norms. Never has this been so readily apparent than in the recent, successful efforts to legalize marijuana in an increasing number of states across the country. The cannabis industry that has grown from these legalization efforts is just as rapidly evolving. As a result, those in the cannabis industry are presently left to navigate complex legal frameworks that are changing just as quickly, which vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and involve legal issues presented across a wide spectrum of practice areas. This leaves businesses and insurers in the space exposed to address new developments in the law in short order to avoid adverse impact on their bottom line.

C&W’s Cannabis Law practice is engineered to service our client’s needs in a fluid manner, including integration with the firm’s core practice group areas, including:

By cultivating a multi-disciplinary approach to Cannabis Law and in collaboration and coordination with our industry partners and vendors, C&W will be able to advise clients in various aspects of the cannabis industry such as land owners, growers, processors, packagers, distributors, and retailers. This approach will benefit the Firm’s clients not only individually, but collectively by way of cross-pollination of ideas and opportunities with the Firm’s other contacts whose businesses may be complimentary to their own. It also provides a more uniform experience in services to clients across multiple jurisdictions. In doing so C&W’s Cannabis Law practice serves as a “one-stop shop” for its clients, which results in savings of their time, effort, and money as compared to having to coordinate efforts between multiple law firms.


The possession, distribution and manufacturing of marijuana are illegal under federal law. State law, which may in some jurisdictions decriminalize such activity under certain circumstances, is superseded by federal law. Violation of federal drug laws carries serious penalties, with the federal government reserving the right to seize and seek civil forfeiture of real or personal property facilitating the sale of marijuana and money or proceeds accruing from such transactions. Although the U.S. Department of Justice has noted that an effective state regulatory system and a marijuana operation’s compliance therein should be considered in the exercise of investigative and prosecutorial discretion, its authority to prosecute violations of federal law is not diminished by the passage of state laws that may decriminalize such activity. Law or policy covering this industry may change at any time.

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