Finding the right medical marijuana lawyer to represent your cannabis dispensary can be a timely task. You must find a lawyer who is both a good business lawyer and the right lawyer for you. When considering your cannabis lawyer, consult the following five criteria for a profitable match.
1. Is the lawyer nationwide? Unless money isn’t a factor or you are a large established corporation, avoid nationwide firms operating with 100+ attorneys. Large nationwide companies often have minimum fee requirements and hourly billing requirements for their appointed attorneys. There is no need to pay nationwide fees when you are establishing your business in one territory. If you know you will span over two states, retain a law firm that covers both of those states.
2. Avoid solo practitioners and micro-firms. When hiring a law firm to provide your legal advice, it is unlikely that a small firm can sufficiently cover and address all the topics required to represent your cannabis business. Evaluate the law firm’s knowledge on the following topics:
• Corporate law
• Contract law
• Intellectual property law
• State licensing and local zoning issues
• Government relations
• Administrative and employment law
Additionally, avoid law firms that only do cannabis law. A firm specializing in a practice that is still being introduced to the market does not have the necessary information needed to help your business. The law firm you choose should have experience representing companies in other business endeavors, so they will be able to support your company in all its needs.
3. Lobbyists and criminal defense lawyers are not ideal for your cannabis business. If cannabis is legal in your state and you are searching for a firm to represent your business in civil matters, criminal defense or lobbyist will not benefit you. Your company needs lawyers who above all else know business law.
4. What are the credentials of the lawyers at the firm? You need to know who will be representing you and the skills they possess. As you review the credentials, pay attention to the following areas:
• Did they go to the top-tier law schools?
• Does the firm have a variety of lawyers from different colleges, or different states?
• Have the lawyers spoken before other lawyers?
• Do they speak or write about legal issues relating to new cannabis businesses?
• Are there rankings of the law firm on any review sites? (While these sites are opinionated, this gives you an indicator of the firm’s reputation among the legal community.)
5. Make sure you like your lawyer. It is often that people do not “like” lawyers, they have reputations to be cutthroat and cold. But the lawyer you choose for your business must be a good fit for you. This means that while evaluating the firm, choose one that you are comfortable communicating with and feel that they will give you the resources and services you need. Their views on the cannabis business should be the same as yours. Attorney-client relationships are built on capability and trust, and this is essential while merging into the new industry of legalized marijuana.
WJ Cousins and Associates has achieved all five of the above criteria and can represent your cannabis dispensary steadfastly as your medical marijuana lawyer. Contact us to discuss your needs.