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- Cannabis has been a growing market for both big and boutique law firms in recent years.
- That’s in part because companies involved in cannabis often have to navigate the difficult grey areas that exist due to the compound’s federal illegality, even as it has gained legal status on some level in many states.
- As cannabis companies have expanded either nationally or internationally, both boutique law firms that specialize in cannabis and bigger corporate law firms that have gotten involved have had to grow with the industry.
- Business Insider asked some of the top VCs, startups, and multi-state operators in the cannabis industry who their picks for best law firms were.
- They came back with dozens of names. Here are the top seven firms that were mentioned the most.
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Cannabis companies in North America are engaged in an incredibly complex business.
They’re selling a substance that remains illegal on the federal level, even as it has become legal in some shape or form across many states in the US.
This often means seeking the advice of experts who can help companies follow laws and regulations, which are often in flux and vary from state to state. The industry’s growing size, expansion plans, and public-market debuts have only added to the complexity.
Enter law firms that are either geared specifically to the industry or that have developed teams to tackle the questions that arise from working in a market like no other.
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When the cannabis market was beginning to develop, bigger law firms were for the most part reluctant to get involved with cannabis companies because of the implications of assisting businesses that are technically illegal. The ones that did get involved early decided to stay relatively quiet about their client list until recently.
Today, the landscape looks very different. Boutique firms specializing in cannabis have grown with the market while law firm giants, like Reed Smith, Locke Lord, and Dorsey & Whitney have formed teams to take on cannabis clients, and are promoting their expertise with newsletters, blogs, and podcasts.
Business Insider reached out to 29 players in the cannabis industry, from VCs to startups to multi-state operators, to get their take on the best law firms in the industry. Here are the seven top firms, based on which names came up most often.