News & Insights

Dykema Introduces New Cannabis Law Practice

May 11, 2016

Dykema, a leading national law firm, today announced the launch of its Cannabis Law practice, creating an integrated and specialized offering for clients navigating the myriad issues that arise from operating in the cannabis industry. The practice group’s expertise spans the political, licensing, regulatory compliance, and business services space, and includes senior lawyers and lobbyists in states across the country. The practice will be led by Lance Boldrey, a member in the firm’s Lansing office, who focuses his practice on regulated industries.

Dykema has a long history of representing businesses in heavily regulated industries. While the firm has been engaged in the development of the emerging cannabis sector for nearly a decade, serving as counsel to Michigan’s 2008 medical marijuana initiative, the formal group is now launching in response to increasingly sophisticated and complex client needs. While the rapid industry growth provides unparalleled business opportunities, the uncertain political environment imposes extraordinary legal complexity and uncertainty.

“Dykema understands the complex nature and volatility of the laws and regulations in this area. Further, we have the experience and a proven track record of success advising those involved in the cannabis industry,” said Boldrey. “This booming industry has a host of brand-new legal minefields to navigate, and our team is providing counsel to support our clients’ business objectives.”

Among other cannabis-related matters, Dykema lawyers and lobbyists have:

  • Served as counsel to the Coalition for Compassionate Care, the committee that drafted and won passage of the 2008 ballot initiative that created the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act
  • Helped draft Michigan Public Act 512 and Public Act 514 of 2011, amendments to the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act
  • Represent the National Patients Rights Association advocating on behalf of medical marijuana patients
  • Provided advice with regard to labeling regulations for edible cannabis products
  • Counseled cannabis-related clients with regard to intellectual property laws, including trademarking names and logos for cannabis-related businesses
  • Advocated on behalf of an entity seeking a medical marijuana dispensary license in Illinois
  • Oversaw zoning and real estate matters for an Illinois-based dispensary company
  • Represented a company with cannabinoid medications in pharmaceutical litigation
  • Counseled various business clients with regard to employment matters and policies related to employee cannabis use
  • Assisted various cannabis-related organizations with nonprofit and campaign finance compliance
  • Advised investors in dispensaries and CBD oil companies
  • Handled SEC-related issues for a California cannabusiness executive

“Dykema lawyers and lobbyists have represented our organization on a number of state and local issues,” said Robin Schneider, Legislative Liaison for the National Patients Rights Association, a medical cannabis advocacy organization. “Not only are they extremely knowledgeable about the legislative and political processes, but they have also worked closely with us to learn more about the cannabis industry and all of the issues that cannabis-related businesses face. Dykema’s lawyers and lobbyists have always been professional, passionate about their work, and proactive in keeping us informed.”

The members of Dykema’s group come from a wide range of practices areas, including administrative law & regulation, business and financial services, food & beverage, government policy & practice, intellectual property, land use & zoning, labor & employment, leasing & property management, political compliance, elections & campaign finance, product safety, real estate, and taxation. Dykema lawyers in the CannabisLaw practice serve as members of the National Cannabis Industry Association, the National Cannabis Bar Association, and the State Bar of Michigan Marijuana Law Section. To keep apprised of developments related to marijuana law and policy, visit Dykema’s Cannabis Law Blog at www.cannabis-law-blog.com.