Cannabis Business Law

Business Formation

Operating in the highly regulated cannabis, medical marijuana, hemp, and newly legal adult-use industry, means navigating evolving state and local laws that govern the cultivation, processing, and distribution of cannabis/hemp and its derivative products. Among the challenges facing entrepreneurs seeking to enter this area is deciding the right structure to successfully operate your business.

Kelly Law Practice, PLLC can assist you with formation of the following:

|| C Corporations
|| S Corporations
|| Limited Liability Companies (LLCs)
|| Not-for-profit entities (501(c)(3)
|| Partnerships
|| Sole Proprietorships
|| Partnership agreements, LLC operating agreements, shareholder agreements, non-disclosure agreements, non-compete agreements, and confidentiality agreements

Licensing & Regulatory Compliance

Entrepreneurs seeking to enter the cannabis business must be properly licensed before being allowed to operate. Under the newly enacted law, separate adult-use licenses for the cultivation, processing, distribution, and sale of cannabis to consumers are required. The Office of Cannabis Management (OCM), an independent agency of the New York State Liquor Authority, will be tasked with implementing regulations governing the application process for licensing growers, processors, and distributors in New York.

Intellectual Property

Kelly Law Practice, PLLC assists businesses in securing protection for original works including writings, photographs, logos, slogans, and other artistic works, which protection allows an individual or business to seek redress if its original work is used without express permission.

|| Trademark

Protecting your Company Name, Logo, or Slogan that perfectly encapsulates what your business is about is of paramount importance and should not be left to chance. Registering your trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ensures that your mark is legally protected and makes it easier to enforce any unauthorized use.

|| Licensing Agreements

Individuals or businesses may decide from time to time to grant permission for others to use its works. A licensing agreement lays out the express scope of such usage and provides protection to both parties to the agreement.

|| Copyright

While copyright protection is automatic from the moment an original work is created, registering your copyright is highly recommended. Registering your copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office allows you to establish a public record of your original work, a prerequisite to bringing a copyright infringement action for unauthorized usage and being awarded statutory damages and attorneys’ fees. Written description of your product, photographs, paintings, or sculptures of your product, your business website, and/or computer programs/software related to your product, are eligible for copyright protection.

Banking Law

While New York is the 15th state to legalize recreational cannabis, cannabis is still classified as a Schedule 1 drug by the federal government and thus illegal under federal law. Federally chartered banks are therefore prohibited from providing banking services to cannabis businesses. Navigating this potential legal minefield and handling business revenue where banks are reluctant to transact with the cannabis industry will require the expertise of an attorney with solid knowledge of New York State and federal banking laws as they pertain to cannabis businesses.

Real Estate Purchase/Commercial Leasing

Cultivators and distributors looking to acquire land for growing or dispensary operations may elect to purchase or lease real estate. Kelly Law Practice, PLLC can assist and advise your business on available state and federal tax credits and public financial incentives which can be utilized for real estate development projects, including Excelsior Jobs Program and Start-Up NY benefits. Kelly Law Practice, PLLC can provide additional guidance to ensure compliance with any applicable zoning regulations.

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