In every industry, rules and policies often evolve. For the cannabis industry, however, the basic rules are still being written. In Illinois and around the country, clients need legal advisors who can help them make intelligent decisions today, prepare for inevitable legislative and regulatory changes, and anticipate the demands of a rapidly growing industry.
Who We Are
The cannabis industry practice at Much Shelist is led by Bob Morgan, the first coordinator of the State of Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program. Charged with developing and implementing the regulatory framework for the use of cannabis by eligible patients, Bob oversaw the efforts of five state agencies and more than 50 employees. Under his leadership, the project team created the program rules and fees, laboratory testing and database systems, and a merit-based selection process for licensed dispensaries and cultivation centers viewed as a national model for medical cannabis states. Bob also managed a multimillion-dollar state fund to create and maintain a system of operations, detailed tracking capabilities, policies to assure patient safety, proper enforcement of laws and regulations, and public education campaigns.
How We Work
We advise clients in three key sectors of the cannabis industry:
Cannabis Industry Businesses: Including Growers, Dispensaries, Retailers, Banking Institutions, Individual Investors and Investment Groups
The cannabis industry offers business owners and investors a unique opportunity to integrate their products and services into this new market. However, supply and demand are unpredictable and legislators, regulators, law enforcement officials and tax authorities continue to refine the laws and policies that will affect the industry. We help clients address day-to-day operational regulatory concerns and develop long-term strategies for success.
Health Care Providers: Including Health Systems, Hospitals, Medical Professionals, and Providers, Insurers and Related Patient Groups
For health care providers, patient care comes first. As one of the primary architects of the Illinois medical cannabis program, Bob emphasized this patient-centered approach when he established the Illinois Medical Cannabis Advisory Board, which consists of both patients and health care professionals. Drawing on the experience of other members of Much Shelist’s team of health care attorneys, Bob helps clients establish best practices in a broad range of operational, transactional and regulatory areas.
State Agencies and Local Governments
As one of the few former cannabis regulators who is also an attorney, Bob understands the objectives of and political pressures facing elected and appointed officials. He works with authorities at every level of government to develop and implement rational laws, regulations and policies, foster local economies and protect the public interest. We also help clients develop communications strategies that deliver clear and effective pubic messaging and contribute to public discourse.
- Business counseling and structuring
- Government licensure and certification, accreditation surveys and regulatory compliance
- Federal, state and law enforcement inquiries and investigations
- Debt and equity financing, and private equity representation
- Federal and state income and sales tax reporting
- Government relations and lobbying
- Intellectual property prosecution and protection, including patents, copyrights and trademarks
- Labor and employment issues
- Marketing strategy and media relations counseling
- Municipal law, real estate transactions and zoning compliance