Cannabis Law

Businesses in New York State have been involved in hemp farming and the development and sale of hemp products, such as CBD products, since the passage of the federal Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018.  On March 31, 2021, Governor Cuomo signed the “Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act” (“MRTA”) which legalized the recreational use of marijuana for individuals over the age of 21. New York is now poised to become one of the largest state-legal cannabis markets in the nation. The passage of the MRTA creates new opportunities for existing businesses and startups in the cannabis industry and raises a wide variety of legal issues that impact all businesses. 

The Cannabis Law practice is comprised of lawyers from several of the firm’s practice groups to provide clients with legal advice and counseling in this evolving industry:

  • Business Services:  From startups to established businesses, the firm has extensive experience representing clients in a broad range of business and corporate matters. Our attorneys regularly assist clients with forming and structuring business entities; advising on licensing, insurance and regulatory matters; and on transactions involving business sales and acquisitions.  We are skilled at assessing risks and negotiating and structuring business transactions to accomplish client goals. Our business attorneys assist with the negotiation and drafting of contracts at any stage of cannabis business, whether hemp and CBD products or marijuana products, from farming through end products.  
     
  • Commercial Real Estate, Development and Finance: We routinely handle multiple facets of sophisticated real estate development transactions and proactively assist clients through a transaction’s entire life cycle, including pre-development planning, site selection and acquisition, municipal zoning and permit approvals, SEQRA compliance, project financing and funding mechanisms, design and construction contracting, project sales and leasing, and project governance and management.
     
  • Construction Law:  Our attorneys are well-versed in New York State Labor Law (Scaffold Law) and are abreast of the liability questions raised by the passage of the MRTA and related challenges to the industry.  Hurwitz & Fine offers clients a broad range of legal services, including review and advice on construction contracts, as well as expertise to assist clients with understanding and navigating risk transfer options. We counsel construction businesses to narrowly tailor their business agreements and confirm their insurance policies are in alignment with best practices to meet their needs within the boundaries of New York’s statutory and regulatory schemes.
     
  • Labor & Employment:  The MRTA offers broad protection to employees for the recreational use or consumption of marijuana outside of work hours and off an employer’s premises.   The Labor & Employment group has experience advising management on all aspects of the employment relationship, including discipline, workplace investigations, medical marijuana issues, and revising employer drug testing policies impacted by passage of the MRTA.
     
  • Litigation and Dispute Resolution: Our experienced litigation attorneys are ready to strategically defend cannabis-related liability claims, including, contract disputes, commercial and corporate litigation, insurance coverage and regulation, project development, real estate, transportation (e.g., trucking and motor vehicle accidents), and products liability.  Our litigation attorneys are experienced in settlement negotiation, mediation and arbitration as appropriate means of dispute resolution.