All About Legal Cannabis and Cannabis Beverages

Seth Goldberg
Seth A. Goldberg

Beverages infused with cannabis are becoming increasingly popular categories in both the beverage and cannabis industries. However, the regulatory regime resulting from the federal prohibition of cannabis inhibits the growth of this category in unique ways. Seth Goldberg, a Duane Morris trial partner and Team Lead of the Cannabis Industry Group, was a guest of the popular alcohol industry broadcast “On & Off” to discuss the current state of the cannabis industry, the rising popularity of cannabis beverages, and unique aspects of cannabis beverage regulation.

Duane Morris Helps Steer Harborside’s Purchase Of Calif. Co. Loudpack

California cannabis retailer Harborside Inc. announced Tuesday that it had closed a deal to purchase cannabis manufacturer and distributor Loudpack in a cash-and-stock deal steered by law firms Duane Morris LLP, Aird & Berlis LLP, Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP and Feuerstein Kulick LLP.

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Under the terms of the deal, Harborside acquired all equity in Loudpack through the issuance of approximately 91 million subordinate voting shares and 2 million warrants, which can be used to purchase subordinate voting shares at $2.50 each within the next five years. Harborside also assumed $50 million in Loudpack’s debt and paid approximately $5 million in cash.

The deal adds 15 new California retail locations, manufacturing facilities and 230,000 square feet of cultivation space to Harborside’s portfolio.

Harborside, which currently trades on the Canadian Securities Exchange and the OTCQX, a U.S. over-the-counter exchange, is expected to change its name to StateHouse Holdings by the end of the month, the company said.

Harborside received legal counsel from Aird & Berlis LLP and Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP in Canada and Duane Morris LLP in the U.S., led by partner Nanette Heide.

To read the full text of this article, please visit the Law360 website (subscription required).

2022 Trailblazers Cannabis Law: Nanette C. Heide

Duane Morris partner Nanette Heide was named to The National Law Journal‘s list of 2022 Cannabis Law Trailblazers.

What was the genesis of the idea/path that has made you a trailblazer?

The Cannabis industry continues to be a trailblazer industry as a whole but the companies and transactions have grown larger and more sophisticated, making experience with complex mergers and acquisitions and securities laws more important than ever. As a corporate partner in a large law firm that has embraced the cannabis industry for many years, utilizing my knowledge and experience from private equity investments, mergers and acquisitions and securities laws allows me to bring this substantive knowledge to transactions in the cannabis industry.

To read the full text of this interview, please visit the firm website.

Interest Rising in Cannabis Beverages

Seth Goldberg
Seth A. Goldberg

Beverage companies are looking to enter the cannabis sector. An article in FoodDive about Jones Soda entering the sector quotes Duane Morris partner Seth Goldberg:

Seth Goldberg, a team lead for Duane Morris’ cannabis industry group, said more companies are recognizing beverages as a way to expand their product offerings and connect with a new segment of consumers. Unlike smoking and vaping marijuana, consuming it through a drink is more publicly accepted and allows the individual to enjoy a smaller amount of the drug — making the liquid form more appealing to beverage and cannabis consumers alike.

Seth co-authored an article in Cannabis Industry Journal with Michael Bronstein, president of the American Trade Association for Cannabis and Hemp (ATACH) discussing the fast-growing cannabis beverage sector.

Soft drinks, beer, juice, tea, coffee and bottled waters are major categories of the beverage industry, valued at approximately $1.5 trillion globally and $150 billion in the U.S. It’s no secret beverage companies have long eyed the next big growth opportunity in the cannabis market. Beverage makers, large and small, are now experimenting ‒ some even bringing to market ‒ cannabis-infused drinks in each of these categories.

Tunnel Vision: How Cannabis Lawyer Paul Josephson Scored a Front-row Seat to a $13B Piece of Infrastructure

Duane Morris partner Paul Josephson was featured in this article published in New Jersey Super Lawyers magazine.

Josephson came to cannabis law after learning state contracts and licensing skills from mentor Clive Cummis, who died in 2010.

Thanks to Cummis’ deep infrastructure work, Josephson spent the ’90s as outside counsel for the New Jersey Turnpike. Then like Cummis, Josephson got into political law, and has spent the last two decades representing gubernatorial campaigns. And when Gov. Phil Murphy pushed legalizing weed, Josephson says he was already in the right place at the right time.

To read the full text of this article, please visit the New Jersey Super Lawyers website.

More Investors Eying Ways to Tap the Higher Returns of Cannabis Real Estate

Duane Morris partner Michael Schwamm was quoted in an article on WealthManagement.com.

The past few years have brought cannabis legalization to multiple states, giving real estate investors a new alternative asset class to put their money into. It looks like this trend is only going to intensify in the months ahead.

As we get further into 2022, all U.S. states without current medical cannabis legalization are now considering legislation or ballot initiatives to legalize it. In addition, some states where medical cannabis is already legal may take the next step this year to allow adult recreational use. […]

Twenty-one additional states may legalize cannabis use in some form this year, according to Michael Schwamm, a partner in the New York office of the law firm Duane Morris.  […]

“Real estate investing (along with ancillary services) is often the entry point for many investors,” Schwamm adds. “As the industry continues to gain acceptance, I am seeing more and more traditional real estate investors taking a look at this market as they are able to get higher returns in the cannabis sector vs. other [real estate] markets.”

To read the full text of this article, please visit the WealthManagement.com website.

New York State Cannabis Update

By Michael Schwamm

More than 520 cities, towns and villages (1/3 of all municipalities in New York state) have opted out of allowing cannabis retailers and consumption lounges in their municipalities as of the December 31 deadline, according to new data released by the OCM.  Of that number, 75 municipalities opted out of consumption lounges, but will still allow cannabis retailers. On the other hand, three towns are banning retailers, but will allow consumption lounges. Continue reading “New York State Cannabis Update”

Harborside to Combine with Urbn Leaf and Loudpack to Create StateHouse Holdings

Harborside Inc. (CSE: HBOR), (OTCQX: HBORF) a California-focused, vertically integrated cannabis enterprise, is pleased to announce that it has entered into definitive agreements to acquire UL Holdings Inc. (“Urbn Leaf”),  a top California cannabis retailer with a dominant position in Southern California  and  LPF JV Corporation (“Loudpack”), a leading manufacturer, cultivator and distributor of award-winning cannabis brands in California . Following completion of the Transactions, Harborside is expected to be renamed StateHouse Holdings  (“StateHouse”), subject to shareholder and regulatory approval.

Duane Morris partner Nanette Heide, who led the team that acted as United States legal counsel to Harborside, commented, “We are super proud of Harborside for taking on the challenge of pursuing two opportunities almost simultaneously and delighted to be the legal team that led them through this intense process.”

To learn more about the transaction, please visit the New Cannabis Ventures website.

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The opinions expressed on this blog are those of the author and are not to be construed as legal advice.

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