Cannabis and Hemp Law

The legalization of marijuana in New Jersey and New York presents both unique opportunities and novel challenges. Businesses, entrepreneurs, investors, and individuals looking to enter the emerging marijuana industry need experienced legal counsel to assist them in navigating the complex regulatory and legal issues at the state level, while being mindful of federal level limitations. The Cannabis & Hemp Law practice group at Pashman Stein Walder Hayden has substantial experience navigating the wide spectrum of legal issues related to the marijuana and hemp industries. In addition to specific expertise related to these emerging industries, the group is able to leverage the abilities of other Pashman Stein Walder Hayden lawyers who specialize in ancillary practice areas related to these industries. Together, our multidisciplinary team provides clients with comprehensive full-service legal counsel on all cannabis-related business and legal issues.

Comprehensive Counsel for Cannabis Industry Clients 

Our clients include medical marijuana operators in New Jersey; adult-use operators from other states; businesses and entrepreneurs seeking to enter various sectors of the cannabis/CBD/hemp market in New Jersey and New York, including retailers, growers, cultivators, processors, and distributors; ancillary service providers; and employers and individuals impacted by the effect of cannabis use. In addition, we represent health care professionals, patients, medical practices and other entities regarding compliance with New Jersey’s medical marijuana laws.

Our attorneys have substantial experience assisting established operators in the cannabis industry, as well as guiding companies and entrepreneurs seeking to enter the industry through the licensing application process.

Our Cannabis & Hemp Law practice group provides counsel for every step of forming and operating a cannabis business or ancillary service provider, including: 

  • Corporate Formation and Financing
  • Licensing and Permitting for retailers, growers, cultivators, processors, and distributors
  • Regulatory Compliance
  • Commercial Real Estate, Land Use and Zoning
  • Health Care
  • Business Litigation
  • Products Liability
  • Labor & Employment
  • Intellectual Property
  • Insurance Recovery and Liability
  • Risk Management

There are numerous complexities related to medical and adult cannabis use that impact cannabis business stakeholders, including:

  • Selecting appropriate real estate locations
  • Municipal zoning and land use issues
  • Navigating various regulations related to obtaining cannabis or hemp licenses
  • Mitigating risk
  • Protecting intellectual property
  • Adapting to changing legalization laws and regulations 

The firm also has experience working with ancillary businesses within the cannabis industry that require legal guidance to ensure regulatory compliance on issues related to employment policies and product safety.

Our Team

The Cannabis and Hemp Law practice is led by co-chairs Sean Mack and Gregg H. Hilzer.

Sean is a long-time advocate for legalization in New Jersey, who was named to the InsiderNJ “Insider 100 Cannabis Power” List in 2021 and 2019. Sean has extensive experience representing clients on a broad range of cannabis- and hemp-related issues, including the licensing application process, appeals of the 2018 and 2019 rounds of medical marijuana license applications, advertising, and protections under the Jake Honig Act.

Named to the InsiderNJ “Insider 100 Cannabis Power” List in 2021,Gregg has significant experience representing licensed cannabis operators as well as representing businesses and individuals through the licensing application process.

Raymond Brown and Alan Silber are also key members of the practice group. They have also represented operators and applicants in the cannabis space and have decades of experience working on marijuana policy issues, as well as working with state government and municipal leaders.

Chirali V. Patel has been an influential voice in the cannabis debate since 2016. Named to the InsiderNJ 2021 “Insider 100: Cannabis Power List,” she has experience facilitating vertical applications for medical cannabis licenses and advising individuals on ancillary market opportunities. She was the South Asian liaison for NJ CAN 2020, the successful “vote yes” campaign led by the ACLU-NJ to legalize adult-use. 

Our firm has been involved in New Jersey’s legalization process for years. Beginning in 2015, our team worked with New Jersey United for Marijuana Reform to draft an early version of the adult use legislation that was later introduced by Senator Scutari. As the ACLU-NJ launched NJ CAN 2020, our attorneys provided pro bono legal support, as well as advisory services regarding campaign reporting compliance. In addition, attorneys at the firm have been involved in the cannabis legalization movement by serving on the Board of Directors of NORML and the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey; the Board of Advisors of the Drug Policy Formation; the American Bar Association Drug Policy Committee; and the Drug Law Reform Committee of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

Representative Matters

  • Pashman Stein Walder Hayden worked with New Jersey United for Marijuana Reform and ACLU-NJ to draft the adult-use legislation that was introduced by Senator Scutari in 2017
  • Successfully represented marijuana operator in obtaining local approval to establish satellite medical marijuana dispensary in New Jersey
  • Advised one of the original six alternative treatment centers in New Jersey on a variety of regulatory matters
  • Representing appellants in appeals of the 2018 and 2019 New Jersey requests for applications for licenses for medical cannabis alternative treatment centers
  • Advising retailers of CBD products on regulatory compliance and advertising requirements
  • Advising medical cannabis cultivator on NJ medical cannabis laws and pending adult-use cannabis legislation
  • Advising existing recreational and medical cannabis dispensaries and cultivators on NJ medical cannabis laws and pending adult-use cannabis legislation
  • Advising provider of cultivation products and cultivation consulting services on NJ medical cannabis laws and pending adult-use cannabis legislation
  • Advising existing cannabis testing laboratory in connection with the establishment of cannabis testing laboratory in New Jersey
  • Argued before the NJ Supreme Court on behalf of the ACLU-NJ that the law against discrimination protects medical cannabis users, Wild v Carriage Funeral Homes
  • Represented National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML); Garden State–NORML (GS-NORML); Coalition For Medical Marijuana–NJ (CMM-NJ); and Doctors For Cannabis Regulation (DFCR) as amici before the NJ Supreme Court in Hager v. M&K Construction, arguing in favor of requiring workers compensation reimbursement for medical marijuana
  • Negotiated license agreement between extraction company and alternative treatment center
  • Successfully represented owner of a condo against charges from his condo association that his use of medical marijuana in his condo violated condo association rules
  • Successfully obtained a temporary restraining order compelling a medical service provider to continue providing needed medical services, which had been denied solely because the patient obtained his medical cannabis card from the State of New Jersey
  • Sacramento Nonprofit Collective v. Holder, 552 Fed. Appx. 680, 682 (9th Cir. 2014) (challenging federal ban on medical marijuana on behalf of medical marijuana dispensaries)
  • Advise health care professionals and entities relating to the authorization of medical cannabis and patient policies
  • State ex rel. Sajo v. Paulus, 688 P.2d 367 (Or. 1984) (concerning whether the state followed proper procedures when they did not place the Oregon Marijuana Initiative on the voting ballot)
Resource List: 

For updates and analysis of the dynamics in the cannabis industry, visit our NJCannabis Blog 

Disclaimer: Please be advised that possessing, using, distributing and/or selling marijuana is a federal crime, regardless of whether it is legal in any state. Your compliance with state law does not equate to compliance with federal law. No legal advice that we provide is intended to provide you any guidance or assistance in violating federal law.