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A Higher Law

Author: Dykema's Cannabis Industry Group

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A Higher Law is your guide to the latest legal developments in the cannabis world, brought to you by Dykema’s award-winning cannabis attorneys. From employment to real estate to emerging trends, A Higher Law features interviews with industry insiders to discuss everything you need to know to navigate this complex legal space.


To hear more episodes, subscribe to Dykema’s YouTube channel, find us on our News and Insights feed, or search “A Higher Law” wherever you get your podcasts. 

23 Episodes
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Like most other practices in the cannabis industry, conducting M&A activity within this space presents its own unique challenges. Federal prohibition restricts traditional financing methods and complicates business valuations, while patchwork regulation across individual states can throw a wrench in due diligence measures.John Fraser sits down with Dykema M&A practice group co-chair Joe DeHondt to discuss these nuances and offer advice for how to navigate them.Find more on John here.F...
A combination of regulatory hurdles, limited market options, and the unique risks associated with the industry has made it challenging for cannabis companies in Michigan to secure comprehensive and affordable insurance coverage. Dykema’s Cannabis Industry group leader Lance Boldrey sits down with Peter Vredeveld of OVD Insurance to discuss what licensees can do to navigate market trends and regulatory hurdles to minimize their costs and properly insure their business.We'll talk a little bit a...
When you’re a cannabis operator dealing with an issue that could impact your reputation, your first call should be to your attorney (trust us). Your second call? Your PR team. But public relations goes way beyond crisis management—for cannabis companies looking to scale up and establish their presence in the marketplace, it’s an essential business consideration.Brett Gelbord sits down with Ricarco Baca—founder and CEO of Grasslands—to discuss the dynamic world of cannabis PR and what operator...
From a spike in M&A activity, to a potentially rescheduling, to more states jumping on the legalization train, 2023 was a year of change and unpredictability in the cannabis industry. As operators scale up production and regulations continue to pass, what can we expect in 2024? John Fraser and Lance Boldrey break out the crystal ball.Find more on John here.Find more on Lance here.To hear more episodes, visit DykemaPodcast.com, our YouTube page, or search “A Higher Law” wherever you get yo...
On November 7th, Ohio voters took to the polls and overwhelmingly voted in favor of a ballot initiative that will make it the 20th state to legalize adult recreational cannabis. Before it goes into effect on December 7th, it’s important to read the fine print and determine exactly what this bill allows, how it will impact the consumer marketplace (if at all), and the implications it could have on federal policy. John Fraser, Michigan Leader of Dykema’s Cannabis group, breaks it all down in th...
You’ve probably heard of PFAS: those harmful “forever chemicals” you can find in non-stick cookware, cleaning products, and even drinking water. As the dangers of PFAS become more evident, regulatory focus has expanded to a wide range of consumer products—including cannabis. Dykema’s Environmental Practice group leader Grant Gilezan sits down with Bill Henderson of Darcy Environmental Consultants to discuss what this means for the industry moving forward.Find more on Grant here.Find more on B...
As the cannabis companies continue to operate under a patchwork of state-level legality, any developments at the federal level will have a significant impact on the industry.On this episode of A Higher Law, Mark Chutkow and Jennifer Beidel—former federal prosecutors and members of Dykema’s Government Investigations and Corporate Compliance group—discuss the evolving policies and enforcement status over the last three administrations, and how these changes can impact investor confidence, marke...
A recent recommendation from U.S. health officials could move marijuana from a Schedule I substance to a Schedule III substance before the end of the year. Perhaps the biggest impact of this move would be on the way cannabis businesses are taxed, as they’d no longer be subject to Internal Revenue Code 280E (IRC 280E). Lance Boldrey (leader of Dykema’s Cannabis group) and John Fraser (Michigan Team Leader of Dykema’s Cannabis group) are joined by Scott Kociensk of Dykema’s Federal Tax group to...
Every link in the cannabis supply chain faces unique challenges that can complicate planning and potentially impact margins. From breeders to consumers, there can be critical regulatory challenges and compliance hurdles to consider.Host Brett Gelbord, together with colleagues Laura Baucus and Lisa Brown of Dykema’s Automotive Supply Chain group, sits down with Nathan Russell and Ben Richards of AE Global to discuss supply chain dynamics in the cannabis industry. Find more on Brett here.F...
In a first-of-its-kind decision, a Michigan-based cannabis business was recognized as an agricultural operation. A potential milestone for the industry, this ruling sheds light on the legal classification of cannabis cultivation and its eligibility for agricultural tax-related benefits. Dykema’s Carl Rashid, Jr. and Mark Magyar discuss how they brought this pivotal victory to their client, and the implications it could have on the cannabis industry moving forward.Find more on Carl here.Find m...
Since the first city ordinance was passed banning cannabis in El Paso in 1915, the legal landscape of cannabis use in Texas has evolved at a different rate than the rest of the country. Where do things stand today in the Lone Star State? Denise Mayfield and Antonio Cifuentes dive in.Find more on Denise hereFind more on Antonio hereTo hear more episodes, visit DykemaPodcast.com, our YouTube page, or search “A Higher Law” wherever you get your podcasts.Subscribe to Dykema’s Cannabis Law BlogLea...
Any facility that handles or processes cannabis is subject to a laundry list of requirements before construction can even break ground. Depending on the type and size of the operation, obtaining an air permit can be one of the more challenging and nuanced steps in this process. Grant Gilezan, leader of Dykema’s environmental practice, sits down with Tony Percha of GZA GeoEnvironmental to discuss how to stay ahead of compliance.Find more on Tony and GZA GeoEnvironmental hereFind more on Grant ...
Whether you’re a dispensary, grower, or transportation service, practically every business that operates in the cannabis industry needs a sound security strategy to maintain compliance and protect its assets. Andrew Scott, member of Dykema’s Real Estate Practice group, sits down with Ed Farrell, owner and managing partner at Silver Star Protection Group (and former U.S. Marshall) to discuss the unique challenges of providing security to a cannabis operation. Find more on Ed and Silver St...
When shareholders part ways, how do they determine the value of their ownership interest? It’s not as simple as adding up assets and contracts. And within the cannabis industry specifically, there are a multitude of unique challenges that need to be considered. Brett Gelbord sits down with Jeff Bagalis—Managing Director of forensic accounting firm Accruity Group—to help navigate the complex process of cannabis industry breakups.Find more on Jeff and Accruity Group hereFind more on Brett hereT...
The cannabis industry is particularly attractive for Native American tribes, as it shares many of the same characteristics as casino gaming. But although advantages like tax exemptions may appear to give them a leg up, tribes face a host of specific issues and red tape.In this episode of A Higher Law, Cheyenne Benyi sits down with Paul Mooney of Dykema’s Gaming and Native American Law industry group to weigh the pros and cons of tribes entering the cannabis space.Find more on Cheyenne hereFin...
For employers, providing a strong benefits package is key to attracting and retaining top talent. But in the cannabis industry, there’s no clear playbook for what this looks like. Brett Gelbord of Dykema’s Labor and Employment group sits down with Adam Blitchok of Kapnick Insurance Group to discuss the unique challenges faced by cannabis employers when it comes to providing benefits, from regulatory hurdles to a shortage of insurers willing to work with the industry.Find more on Adam and Kapn...
One of the perks of owning a small business (along with the freedom to wear shorts around the office) is that you can operate outside of OSHA standards.Right? Wrong! (Just the second part—we’re not here to monitor your attire).Regardless of their size or the type of business they operate, all employers are required to provide a safe working environment for their employees. Dykema’s Cheyenne Benyi sits down with Allen Mires of EHS Support to go over everything you need to know to avoid a knock...
Whether you’re a grow operator, retail location, or anything in between, conflicts between state and federal cannabis laws can create a complex legal landscape for cannabis employers at every level. While employee handbooks can help provide an essential framework for how to operate, navigating these nuanced regulations can still present a major challenge. Brett Gelbord of Dykema’s Labor & Employment Group shares best practices on how to make sense of it all.Find more on Brett hereTo hear ...
From dealing with hazardous materials in the workplace to complying with ever-changing environmental standards, cannabis growers and processors have a multitude of items to keep track of on any given day. So if you’re trying to operate a successful cannabis business, what are the potential blind spots? How do you evaluate which regulations apply to you? We sat down with Jerry Hincka of EHS Support—a global leader in environmental, health, and safety solutions—to separate fact from fiction in ...
Tax codes in the cannabis industry are nearly impossible to keep track of. We sat down with Matthew Abbo of Andrew Dakki of DA Advisory Group to make sense of them. Join us as we talk to Matthew and Andrew on topics ranging from how to navigate Section 280e of the Internal Revenue Code, tips on structuring the ownership of a cannabis business to minimize taxes, and the implications of the Safe Banking Act.Find more on Matt, Andrew, and DA Advisory Group hereFind more on John hereTo hear more ...
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