Rose Law Group, Part 2

Cannabis practice group profile with The Kush Chronicle. A dialogue on the current trends in the cannabis legal space with Laura A. Bianchi, Justin Brandt and Jessica Hale. Continued from the Rose Law Group, Part 1.

Laura Bianchi

How has the legal cannabis landscape changed in 2019? 

We’ve seen an incredible amount of activity in the cannabis industry in 2019 as well as a number of significant changes. One being, the rapid growth and expansion of cannabis-based businesses and so many continue to expand their businesses and brands over state lines, establishing themselves as multi-state operators. We’ve also seen a greater influx of funding capital, from more traditional sources, to meet the growing consumer demand for accessible, more specialized, medical and adult-use cannabis products and modes of consumption. In addition, with both the SAFE Banking Act and the STATES Act on the table, we have seen an even greater federal focus on the lack of traditional financial, banking and lending resources in the industry, as well as recognition of the unfair complications and hurdles placed on the industry as a result.  

What developments in the past few months have you found to be of most interest to the clientele you represent?

Banking has emerged as an even hotter button issue for many inside and outside the cannabis industry. Without full access to the traditional banking services and resources every other industry enjoys, cannabis businesses continue to spend an incredible amount of time and money addressing the complications, difficulties, and hurdles which exist as a direct result of these access issues. As the industry continues to grow, more investors join the space, and companies expand into new states, these banking issues will continue to exasperate and cause frustration and concern.  

Have you had personal experience with cannabis? Do you find it helps you understand your clients better? 

I’m not a traditional attorney in any sense. To meet the ever-evolving needs of my clients, its essential I am involved in every aspect of their business, often simultaneously acting as strategic business advisor,  director of compliance, COO and in-house counsel, providing guidance on everything from human resources, to expansion, to best business practices, to compliance and regulatory issues, to expansion efforts, to deal due diligence, to financing, and more. By really digging in and having this hands-on approach, I’ve developed a comprehensive understanding of the complications, difficulties, and hurdles my clients, as well as so many in the industry, face. It gives me an incredibly unique perspective, which allows me to accurately forecast issues at an earlier stage, better identify existing problems and then craft resolutions and a clear path forward that addresses my clients’ specific needs, ensuring greater long-term success.

What is your favorite moment working with cannabis clients? Why?

Working in such a burgeoning industry brings with it complications, unique difficulties, and often seemingly unreasonable deadlines, which can certainly be challenging and stressful. However, when you dig into your clients businesses, work side by side on complex issues and pour so much of your time and energy into these matters, the sense of accomplishment and the results you achieve on behalf of your clients when you get to the other side is incredible and really does make it all worth it. At the end of the day we have to remember we are part of history in the making and we are providing advice and direction that will allow our clients to cement their names in those history books – so it truly is an honor. 

Jessica Hale & Justin Brandt

How has the legal cannabis landscape changed in 2019?

“The cannabis industry is still in its infancy, but continues to grow rapidly with more and more states implementing or expanding their cannabis programs. As a result, the legal landscape is constantly changing. For example, in Arizona, we are seeing an increase in legislation focused on safety and patient protection, which furthers the overall legitimacy and longevity of the industry.” – Jessica Hale

What developments in the past few months have you found to be of most interest to the clientele you represent?

“Many clients are eager to see what happens with the SAFE Banking Act as it currently makes its way through the Senate. The House Committee passed the proposed legislation back in March 2019. The lack of access to traditional financial institutions is a big problem for cannabis businesses and their operations. Many clients are frustrated with their inability to secure funding through traditional lending services, which creates a real hurdle for those trying to expand.” – Justin Brandt

Have you had personal experience with cannabis? Do you find it helps you understand your clients better?

“We believe the more you know about your client’s business, the better you can service their needs. For example, becoming familiar with cannabis cultivation and the intricacies of the seed to sale process allows us to help clients minimize risk and maximize their success.” – Justin Brandt 

What is your favorite moment working with cannabis clients? Why?

“Our clients are really salt of the earth kind of people – helping them navigate the uncharted waters of this industry is rewarding on a daily basis. There’s never a dull moment.” – Jessica Hale