Cannabis Law

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Cannabis Law

The rapid expansion of the cannabis field, as well as increased hemp production in the United States, has created significant opportunities for new business ventures and investments. Businesses in these highly regulated industries face a myriad of complex federal, state, and local laws governing the cultivation, processing, dispensing, and sale of cannabis, cannabis-derived products, and hemp products. Businesses engaged in, or even considering, this highly complex industry need legal counsel.

Vandeventer Black’s team of experienced business and regulatory attorneys can assist clients in navigating these legal boundaries and achieve success in this rapidly expanding industry. With offices in Virginia and North Carolina, many of our attorneys are licensed in multiple jurisdictions throughout the United States. Our attorneys have significant experience in the following areas relevant to businesses in the cannabis and hemp-production industries:

Banking & Finance

We have represented lenders in billions of dollars of commercial loan closings and have handled virtually every kind of business financing, from acquisition, development, and construction real estate financing to commercial and industrial, and asset-based loans. We have extensive experience with loans from commercial banks and conduit lenders, recourse and non-recourse loans, and virtually all kinds of collateral and security interests. Regardless of the financing structure, our attorneys have the experience necessary to guide clients through the process.

Businesses & Professional Licensing

Our firm provides legal advice and assistance to businesses and individuals seeking to obtain or maintain their licensure and certification with state boards. We assist clients with completing applications and/or renewals as well as represent them in administrative hearings and appeals. Whatever the regulatory scheme requires, our attorneys have the experience necessary to guide clients through the process.

Commercial Litigation

We represent clients in disputes involving commercial transactions, contracts, real estate, tax, UCC, construction, environmental, municipalities, utilities litigation, condemnation, public contracts, trade secrets, unfair competition, and other commercial matters that cannabis and hemp businesses may face.

Commercial Real Estate

Our firm serves local, national, and international developers and acquisition firms that purchase, sell, lease, manage, and finance commercial real estate.  We have represented clients in such matters as property acquisitions and dispositions, mortgage financing, commercial leasing, covenants enforcement, and land use and development. Because of this, we are positioned to represent clients on a wide range of real estate matters.


From construction projects involving commercial buildings to wastewater treatment plants,  we help clients achieve their business goals, solve problems, and resolve disputes.  Our construction attorneys include those with significant field experience, mechanically degreed engineers, a registered professional engineer, and a registered architect with extensive experience in forensic architecture.

Corporate & Business Solutions

Our attorneys have decades of experience in helping develop solutions to a vast array of business issues and in-depth knowledge of all aspects of corporate and business law. From an established medical cannabis or hemp-producing business to a newcomer to the field, we have the business experience and expertise to assist with all types of business issues.

Creditors’ Rights, Bankruptcy & Collections

We represent clients with various types of creditor issues and have significant experience in representing creditors, lenders, and loan servicers in a range of matters. We provide representation in all aspects of commercial lending, debt collections, and lien enforcement.

Cybersecurity & Data Privacy

Any business faces cybersecurity threats, and the cannabis and hemp-producing industries are no different. Our cybersecurity and data privacy team has the experience to guide businesses and help them address issues concerning the HIPAA and HITECH Act, financial data privacy and security, intellectual property issues, and state privacy laws.


Businesses in the medical cannabis and hemp producing industries may face state and federal environmental regulatory issues involving water use, erosion control, pesticide use, nutrient runoff, and wildlife protection. Our environmental team has the knowledge and experience to address these challenges, having regularly dealt with federal, state, and local regulatory agencies in environmental matters.

Government Investigations & Enforcement

As the cultivation and use of medical cannabis and hemp increases across the United States, so do the number of regulations controlling these types of businesses. Our firm has the experienced team necessary, including former prosecutors and government attorneys, to help guide clients through the regulatory framework of the cannabis and hemp-producing industries.

Labor & Employment

Our labor and employment law team advises and assist clients with employee relations and training, employment agreements, non-disclosure agreements, handbooks, policies, employee discipline, employee benefits, internal investigations, and other labor and employment law matters. We are experienced in defending EEOC charges, discrimination suits, wrongful discharge suits, wage and hour disputes, and workers’ compensation claims. We also represent employers in OSHA matters.


Our team works with businesses on their corporate tax planning, including both state and federal tax issues, employee benefits plans, transactional planning of mergers, acquisitions, and liquidations, business taxes, and tax audit issues. We have experience in handling all types of business and personal tax matters.

For any business involved in or considering the medical cannabis or hemp processing industry, access to competent and experienced business legal counsel is a must. Vandeventer Black LLP has the experienced business attorneys you need to help you achieve success.

Please be aware that 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 defined circumstances.  Although federal enforcement policy may at certain times defer to states’ laws and not enforce conflicting federal laws, interested businesses and individuals should be aware that compliance with state laws in no way assures compliance with federal law, and there is a risk that conflicting federal laws may be enforced in the future, regardless of states’ laws.  No legal advice we give is intended to provide any guidance or assistance in violating any federal, state, or local law.

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The Virginia General Assembly’s Joint Legislative Audit and Review JLARC (JLARC) released a briefing comparing Virginia’s recently passed cannabis law to the recommendations in its study released in November 2020.  For background on the 2020 study, review our previous article. JLARC found that the General Assembly implemented 80% of its ...
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A webinar in collaboration with the Virginia Transportation Construction Alliance. This video discusses the new Virginia law and how it will affect construction and mining safety in Virginia.

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This webinar discusses Virginia’s legalization of marijuana and what entrepreneurs need to know about the legal framework of the state’s newest industry. We will provide an overview of the legislation, what is currently known about the Virginia Cannabis Control Authority and licensing, and general considerations for new businesses in Virginia.

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Read about recent developments: “Governor Northam’s Proposed Changes To Marijuana Legislation Would Legalize Simple Possession By July 1, 2021.”

This webinar discusses Virginia’s legislative progress on cannabis, from the limited authorization of CBD oil and THC-A for medical purposes in 2015 to full legalization of marijuana in 2021, to take effect in 2024. In addition, we review the current state of federal law on cannabis and legal considerations for employers regarding marijuana issues in the workplace.

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