Medical Marijuana + Hemp

Medical Marijuana + Hemp

Kegler Brown represents clients in the regulated medical marijuana and hemp/CBD industry, including clients providing capital, equipment, devices, research and services to the industry. We assist entities and individuals – such as cultivators, processors, dispensaries, and prospective purchasers or acquisition targets – through every aspect of business operation, compliance, and transactions with related businesses.

Op-ed: Regulation of hemp-derived CBD products misses the mark
The Columbus Dispatch
September 8, 2018
by Rachel Friedman Gold

Legal Medical Marijuana in Ohio Should Lead to Better Environmental Practices
Columbus Bar Lawyers Quarterly Spring 2018 issue
April 9, 2018
by Luis M. Alcalde + Rachel Friedman Gold

On September 8, 2016, Ohio legalized the cultivation, processing and dispensing of medical marijuana within the state. Despite marijuana, in all forms, remaining illegal under federal law, Ohio is now one of thirty-three (33) U.S. states with a legal medical marijuana program. Strict federal enforcement within the legal medical marijuana states is held at bay by a tenuous political compromise that gives safe harbor when state-sanctioned activities are strictly limited by a state’s regulations.

While Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Control Program (“MMCP ”) currently limits marijuana use to twenty-two (22) state-approved medical conditions, ten (10) U.S. states have legalized the recreational use of marijuana, a number expected to increase in calendar year 2019. Additionally, the 2018 Farm Bill authorized states to regulate hemp production and its derivative extracts, such as cannabidiol (“CBD”) from cannabis sativa plants containing less than 0.3 percent THC. The 2018 Farm Bill also authorized interstate transportation and shipment of hemp and hemp products containing CBD. Currently, an Ohio bill, S.B.57, if passed, would create a formal hemp program under the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

Changing societal perceptions around cannabis, including hemp and CBD, combined with state driven legalization, has led to an explosion of new business and investment opportunities in Ohio, the United States and internationally, encompassing health and wellness, pharmaceuticals and new recreational and food products. The cannabis industry (including hemp and CBD-only products) includes all entities directly involved with the cultivation, processing and dispensing of marijuana products and/or hemp/CBD-only products, as well as all entities supplying the capital, equipment, devices, research and services required by the industry, patients and consumers.

Our Services

  • Applications: assistance complying with the diverse requirements of a licensure application
  • Regulations + Licensing: continued compliance issues, product testing, employee licensing, annual application maintenance, caregiver licensure
  • Litigation: guidance pertaining to administrative hearings regarding licensure or related matters
  • Corporate/Finance/Acquisitions: developing best strategies for ownership, transfers and/or acquisitions of marijuana entities, including raising capital and regulatory compliance
  • Employment Relations: workplace drug policies and training
  • Real Estate: all aspects of site acquisition and leasing, zoning considerations and compliance concerns related to MMCP applications, including location restrictions
  • Environmental: assisting with land development, permitting and zoning issues; advising clients on ways to reduce overall environmental impact, energy usage, carbon footprint and wastewater runoff.
  • Administrative: responding to regulatory matters, appeals and hearings
  • Intellectual Property: protection of IP within application; registration, defense and licensing focused on industry-specific technologies and processes, as well as marketing, advertising and branding needs

Our Clients

We represent multinational, midsize and niche companies in all aspects of the business. This includes cultivators, processors, dispensaries, and prospective purchasers or acquisition targets through every aspect of business operation, interaction and compliance with MMCP rules and regulators, and transactions with businesses ancillary to the industry.

Every client associated with the MMCP – from licensed physicians, landlords involved with program-affiliated leaseholders, local municipalities, private funders and more – has unique questions and needs, which is why we’ve established a multitalented team to take on every specific legal challenge and find versatile solutions to them.