Cannabis business owners should seek legal assistance to mitigate risks in the heavily regulated and evolving hemp industry.
Navigating the tricky waters of a federally illegal substance that’s now legalized in a majority of states, in some form or another, is not for the fainthearted.
Every lawyer knows about the complicated legal trapdoors—yet some dive in anyway. “I was first exposed to the industry working in-house at a cannabis business during law school,” said Alex Buscher, founder of the Denver-based Buscher Law LLC, via email. Buscher Law helps companies in the hemp and marijuana industry with business formation, state hemp law interpretation, leasing and licensing agreements, and securities.
The details of the 2018 Farm Bill intrigued him. “The biggest misunderstanding regarding the Farm Bill is the belief that hemp and CBD were legalized nationwide,” he said.
The cannabis business owners that Buscher’s firm worked with wanted to do the right thing and follow the law. The reality is that it can be very difficult because of the tricky interactions between state and federal law, and the varying laws of each state.
“In terms of business development, the most important thing we can do is make sure our clients are aware of the costly and potentially business-ending risks and challenges that are unique to operating a business in the current regulatory climate,” Buscher said.
On the federal level, Buscher is also closely watching the MORE Act, which would remove marijuana from the federal Controlled Substances Act, the STATES Act, and the SAFE Banking Act. “I’m not optimistic about legalization this year because I do not believe Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will bring the bills to the Senate floor until he has a political motivation to do so.”