Hemp, CBD and Cannabis

Although the end of full-scale prohibition at the federal level remains uncertain, the already multi-billion dollar cannabis industry is forecasted to grow exponentially over the next decade. Rapid market expansion, fluctuating policy reform, and ever-evolving regulations are compounded by the rise in consumer demand, resulting in a multitude of new legal challenges for businesses involved in or affected by the cannabis industry.

Bass, Berry & Sims formed the CannaBBS Task Force to advise companies on the complexities associated with operating a business in the cannabis space. Our team also guides non-cannabis companies on issues related to medical and recreational marijuana, hemp and CBD.

Led by a former state and federal prosecutor as well as experienced regulatory and business counsel, the CannaBBS Task Force advises on a full spectrum of legal and business issues including corporate transactions, finance, government relations, intellectual property, labor and employment, litigation and investigations, real estate, regulatory compliance, tax and virtually every other area.

The CannaBBS Task Force works seamlessly with lawyers from across the firm on areas critical to this industry:

  • Shaping the Law. We are at the front lines in supporting clients’ interests on cannabis in the state of Tennessee. Our Government Advocacy & Public Policy Practice is drawing on its unparalleled experience in lobbying on behalf of global, national and regional clients in highly regulated industries. Our clients include a medical marijuana company, international distiller of Tennessee Whiskey, association of vaping industry interests, association of electric cooperatives, healthcare systems, and a national agricultural company, among others.
  • Intellectual Property. As with any innovative and emerging industry, cannabis businesses must rely on sophisticated legal counsel to protect their most important assets. Our full-service Intellectual Property Practice blends business savvy advice with the legal nuances of the cannabis industry to advise companies of all sizes on the strategic development, protection, commercialization and enforcement of cannabis-related IP assets. Our experience includes advising clients in the cannabis industry on licensing, patent and trademark portfolio development, branding, and other IP procurement and enforcement matters.
  • Medical Marijuana. With one of the top five largest healthcare practices in the nation, we are well positioned to advise hospitals, health systems and other healthcare companies on cannabis-related treatments. With our base in Nashville, the nation’s healthcare capital, and our office in Washington, D.C., our healthcare attorneys understand both the business and the politics of the industry. Our counsel goes beyond the legal issues to consider all of the operational and management issues a healthcare organization faces when dealing with medical marijuana.

Our areas of focus include:

  • Company structuring and formation.
  • Environmental law.
  • Financing.
  • Government advocacy and public policy.
  • Healthcare law.
  • Intellectual property.
  • Labor and employment.
  • Litigation, government enforcement and compliance.
  • Partnership and operating agreements.
  • Privacy and data security.
  • Private equity.
  • Product liability.
  • Real estate and construction.
  • Regulatory compliance.
  • Supply chain guidance.
  • Tax planning and advice.
  • Transactions.

Possessing, using, distributing and/or selling marijuana or marijuana-based products is illegal under federal law, regardless of any state law that may decriminalize such activity under certain circumstances. Although federal enforcement policy may at times defer to states’ laws and not enforce conflicting federal laws, interested businesses and individuals should be aware that compliance with state law in no way assures compliance with federal law, and there is a risk that conflicting federal laws may be enforced in the future. In addition, possessing, using, distributing and/or selling marijuana or marijuana-based products is illegal under Tennessee law. No legal advice we give is intended to provide any guidance or assistance in violating federal or state law. 

Bo R. Cook
Mallory Farrar
Davidson French
Lauren M. Gaffney
Jeff H. Gibson
Clint D. Hermes
S. Ryan Hoffman
Brian Irving
Timothy B. McConnell
R. Gregory Parker
Lisa S. Rivera
Justin T. Starling
David R. Venturella
Erica Bell Vick
Shannon Wiley
Matthew D. Zapadka