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Hemp

Breaking new ground in the hemp field.

After leading federal and state lobbying efforts to legalize the crop, and founding and serving as General Counsel to the U.S Hemp Roundtable — the industry’s leading national business advocacy organization — we’ve emerged as the leading national full-service law firm representing the industry. Not only have our attorneys been there since the beginning of the hemp resurgence and the birth of CBD, but we’ve done so in a geographical footprint overlapping with what many industry professionals see as the epicenter for hemp seed and crop production.

We currently represent more than five dozen hemp-related companies, and many more traditional companies that have entered the CBD space. These clients range in size from large to small companies, spanning every element of the industry, from seed to farming, to processing and final products. Our services involve a variety of subject matters including FDA counsel, litigation, banking, corporate formation, regulation and intellectual property. We have the substantive legal knowledge, backed by relevant industry experience, to offer the right advice and solutions for your needs.

Sub-Industry Team Contact

  • Jonathan S. Miller

    Office Member-in-Charge

    Lexington, KY

Core Capabilities

Transactions

Since the initial authorization of hemp production in 2014, we have helped clients structure their new hemp-related businesses; negotiated and prepared growing, processing and distribution agreements on behalf of growers, processors and others in the hemp industry; advised both companies and investors in connection with investments in hemp-related businesses; documented loan transactions using hemp as collateral; and advised buyers looking to acquire hemp-related businesses.

Product Labeling, Marketing & Advertising

We assist hemp product companies in the both the routine review of their marketing collateral, both written and digital, and advise clients on the design and development of product packaging and labeling. We bring deep subject-matter knowledge to claims review, helping ensure that our clients’ hemp and CBD products comply with applicable laws and regulations. We understand that in a very public and highly competitive industry, companies must walk a fine line between what’s cutting-edge and what crosses the line with respect to conflicting state, federal and local rules. We invest time to understand the level of risk our clients are comfortable taking and work with them to ensure that their messaging stays well within legal boundaries.

Intellectual Property

We recognize that the intellectual property assets of hemp companies can be as valuable as their tangible assets. Recent changes in policy at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office have opened the door for the federal registration of hemp-related trademarks.  This enhancement of trademark rights facilitates the expansion of hemp-related businesses across the United States and allows for nationwide enforcement of trademarks for those in the hemp industry. We have many IP attorneys who are registered patent practitioners experienced in the business and legal aspects of hemp-related IP counseling, licensing, litigation and portfolio management services. We help clients enforce their IP rights and develop creative strategies for maximizing the return on their IP investments.

Litigation

The expansion and maturation of the hemp industry is ushering in increasing litigation and enforcement action. Because of the nascency of federal and state hemp laws, many of these new cases involve complex legal arguments and matters of first impression, where clients can draw on our experience in establishing the statutory and regulatory framework. We represent clients involved in legal proceedings at all levels of the hemp supply chain, from seed to sale. Our representative experience includes the following:

  • Developing arguments in support of federal preemption of state hemp prohibitions and product limitations.
  • Defending hemp product distributors and retailers against criminal trafficking and wrongful possession charges.
  • Representing hemp clients in front of administrative agencies, including Departments of Agriculture.
  • Prosecuting and defending hemp-related breach of contract and fraud lawsuits in federal and state court.
  • Crafting hemp supply and processing agreements, warranties, and disclaimers in anticipation of litigation.

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