Marijuana Law

Joel’s experience and expertise in General Business Law and Real Estate come into play for medical and recreational marijuana businesses. As the legalized marijuana (MJ) industry and the regulations governing it continue to evolve, so do the challenges and opportunities. Joel’s deep background and involvement with the industry since its inception make him the ideal attorney to work with MJ businesses.

Joel counsels MJ clients on most business aspects, including:

  • Buying and selling MJ businesses
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Leases
  • Contracts
  • Licensing matters
  • Investing and financing
  • Interpretation of laws and regulations
  • MJ–related disputes

When it is more cost-effective to do so, Joel calls on his network of MJ experts to help.

MJ Dispute Resolution

Every business has to deal with conflicts between vendors and retailers, bosses and subordinates, landlord and tenants, and even between owners. In spite of the “laid-back” reputation of marijuana, those involved with MJ know there can be more business conflict than in other industries. Joel always seeks first to engage the parties in discussion and negotiation, as an agreed-upon settlement, if possible, is always preferable to litigation or arbitration. If settlement is not in the cards, Joel’s 35 years of litigation experience kicks in to provide the most cost-effective representation possible.

MJ Real Estate

Since 2010, Joel has been advising MJ businesses that, to be successful, they must control the real estate in which they operate. Moving the location of licensed premises, spending gobs of money on improvements that later become the property of the landlord, and facing continually-rising rents, can easily sink an MJ business. While ownership of the land is best, adding significant value to the MJ enterprise, not all businesses can afford to purchase the property. In rental situations, leases must effectively address all of the quirks of federal, state and local MJ laws and regulations to protect both landlords and tenants. Few MJ lawyers have the decades of experience necessary to understand the nuances of real estate law and how to best navigate the pitfalls.

MJ Business

A marijuana business lawyer needs to know every facet of business law, plus the idiosyncrasies of this highly-regulated industry. The Marijuana Enforcement Department (MED), for example, may consider a lender who takes a security interest in fixtures or equipment to be an “owner” for licensing purposes.

Because Joel has been a business advisor his whole career and a marijuana business specialist since legalization, he has developed both deep knowledge and a vast network of resources. His advice is sought by those seeking to start, grow or change marijuana-related businesses in Colorado; as well as those learning about Colorado’s marijuana marketplace and regulation. Potential investors ask his help in setting up new operations or expanding existing ones into other states.

“I am positioned at the intersection of roads that help connect investors and entrepreneurs, buyers and sellers, lenders and borrowers, and providers of services/products from insurance to extraction of cannabinoids. This is becoming a thriving sub-practice in its own right,” Joel says.

On a scale of 1 to 10, Joel’s representation to help our marijuana business grow and succeed merits 100. We love Joel. He’s a great person. We had 30 days to vacate our property in the mountains. Joel helped negotiate the deal to help us purchase it at the end of 2013. Since then, he’s become our go-to lawyer. When we were trying to sell another property, he wrote the contracts. When some associates wanted to come aboard in our business, he helped develop those contracts. When we were dealing with a huge conglomerate, Joel was able to talk to them on their level—he brought a more formidable presence to the transaction. I can pick up the phone and reach him. He’s also a friend. We recommend him to everyone who has issues in business law, real estate law and overall law. The money we pay Joel is worth its weight in gold.

Ash Garg