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Regulated Substances

From the beginning of the firm, Hall Estill has represented clients involved in regulated substances. This work began with helping clients comply with Oklahoma’s then very restrictive laws regarding wholesale and retail liquor distribution. With the legalization of medical marijuana in states across the country, including Arkansas and Oklahoma, and recreational marijuana in Colorado and Oregon, we are providing business advice for those in the cannabis business, including growers, cultivators, processors and dispensaries, for help in licensing, regulation, corporate structuring, real estate issues, and tax and banking issues. 

Our attorneys represent owners, as well as lenders, investors, producers, sellers, landlords, lenders and various other related businesses. Within this practice we assist software companies, insurers, equipment providers and consulting firms. We also advise clients with respect to cannabis in the workplace. In all cases, the goal is to assist clients in complying with applicable laws while achieving their business objectives. 

Our attorneys have deep knowledge in the regulated substances field. Working to provide the best legal solutions for our client, our services include:

  • Banking and Finance
  • Business Acquisitions & Sales
  • Business Litigation
  • Corporate Services, including company formation
  • Employment 
  • Intellectual Property
  • Licensing
  • Real Estate
  • Regulatory Compliance
  • Tax

Specific experience assisting clients includes:

  • Advising clients in all industries with respect to cannabis in the workplace.
  • Advising food and agribusiness lenders and borrowers with respect to banking, finance and regulatory issues
  • Advising growers, producers and manufacturers with respect to various corporate governance and regulatory matters
  • Advising cooperatives with respect to rights and liabilities under a broad range of agreements with members and buyers
  • Advising producers with respect to USDA compliance and recall issues
  • Advising food and beverage clients, including receivers, with respect to liquor licensing issues
  • Assisting restaurants in obtaining alcohol permits from the Alcoholic Beverage Control Division of the Arkansas Department of Finance, the Oklahoma ABLE Commission, and other regulatory agencies.
  • Advising with respect to applicable Federal BATF regulations. 
  • Representation of investors in the cannabis business of all types from start-up to fully functioning production facilities
  • Assisting owners and investors through the license application process
  • Helping owners of cannabis facilities comply with local zoning laws
  • Working with clients on applications for water rights
  • Providing employment law advice for employers 
  • Providing tax advice for determining what is or is not a proper deduction under IRS Section 280 (E)
  • Assisting clients in providing the optimum business structure to maximize tax benefits
  • Acquisition of real property 
  • Preparing all types of agreements from real property leases, equipment leases and employee leases 
  • Representing agricultural lenders in analyzing risks and opportunities in transacting business with cannabis related businesses
  • Advising clients with respect to protection of intellectual property and branding 
  • Advising owners or real property with respect to landlord/tenant issues 

Be advised that under federal law marijuana is recognized as a Schedule 1 drug and therefore it is illegal under federal law to possess and sell marijuana. The Professional Rules of Conduct preclude a lawyer from counseling a client to engage, or assist a client, in conduct that violates the law; however, a lawyer may discuss the legal consequences of any proposed course of conduct with a client and may counsel or assist a client to make a good faith effort to determine the validity, scope, or meaning or application of the law. Under federal law certain financial transactions connected to unlawful activity may be illegal. This includes transferring monetary instruments or funds with the intent to promote the carrying on of specified unlawful activity, including the manufacture, importation, sale or distribution of a controlled substance.

With respect to our Oklahoma clients, the Oklahoma Bar Association is currently reviewing how rules will apply to legal work that necessarily arises due to the new Statute. As Oklahoma has recently approved the sale of medical marijuana, we will agree to represent you with medical marijuana services in pursuit of your licenses as long as you and your medical marijuana businesses strictly comply with Oklahoma’s laws and regulations regarding medical marijuana.