- Business Insider compiled a list of the top lawyers who’ve worked on the biggest M&A transactions in the marijuana industry to date.
- Check out our exclusive, subscribers-only list here.
With the rapid spread of marijuana legalization in the US, lawyers are discovering that the tangled web of regulations guiding the rapidly growing industry is a boon for business.
After last year’s midterm elections, some form of cannabis is now legal in 33 states, and many in the industry say it’s only a matter of time before legalization sweeps the nation.
Big money — and big law — has followed. The opportunity could be huge: some Wall Street analysts say marijuana could become an $80 billion market in the US alone in the next decade, with the global market hitting close to $200 billion.
There are several key reasons lawyers are attracted to the marijuana industry. For one, as cannabis companies grow, merge, and start getting the attention of Fortune 500 corporations as acquisition targets, they need more sophisticated advice on financing, tax planning, corporate structure, and M&A.
Publicly traded cannabis companies were on a dealmaking tear in 2019, scooping up competitors and signing multibillion-dollar tie-ups with pharmaceutical, alcohol, and tobacco corporations. It’s a trend heating up this year.
In addition, many marijuana companies still directly flout US federal law, despite being publicly traded and posting multibillion valuations.
That’s an opportunity to a select group of lawyers who have cut a trailblazing path into the industry. Once reluctant, some of the biggest law firms, like Duane Morris, Baker Botts and Dentons, are building out specialized cannabis practice groups as the industry continues to grow in profitability and complexity.
And even some of the most world’s most prestigious law firms, like Sullivan and Cromwell, have gotten in on the marijuana mergers-and-acquisitions action.
Business Insider has pulled together a list of the top lawyers who’ve worked on the largest deals in the past year in the growing marijuana industry.