Manatt Announces Integrated, Cross-Industry Cannabis and CBD Practice

The practice brings together legal and consulting professionals from key industries to offer holistic counsel on complex cannabis and CBD issues

Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, a multidisciplinary, integrated professional services firm, today announced the launch of its cannabis and CBD practice, to consolidate and synergize the firm’s already robust offerings in the space. The team is led by real estate partner Anita Sabine, and includes professionals in the areas of banking, government and regulatory, corporate, land use, advertising, digital and technology, intellectual property, litigation, entertainment and privacy. In addition to its core cannabis practice, the group also focuses on the related but unique laws governing hemp CBD commercial activities. The latest addition to the practice is Jan Owen, former Commissioner of the California Department of Business Oversight, who this week officially begins her role as senior advisor in the firm’s Financial Services Group.

For almost a decade, Manatt’s lawyers, advisors and consultants have been representing clients on a variety of cannabis and CBD industry matters, ranging from regulatory challenges to real estate deals. In line with market demands, the firm formally structured the cannabis and CBD practice to capture the industry-based experience of its multidisciplinary and diverse team of professionals. Together, Manatt’s professionals have worked on high profile, influential matters that have helped shape the cannabis and CBD industry’s rapid evolution.

“This team epitomizes the market-leading strength of Manatt’s hybridized model,” said Donna L. Wilson, Manatt’s CEO and Managing Partner. “Each member of the team has been leading the way in their respective industries. By officially structuring a practice where lawyers and consultants from every sector can come together, we can continue to enhance our collaboration with clients to realize solutions to intricate and novel challenges.”

Manatt professionals boast an exceptional depth of experience in assisting clients with complex matters, including drafting regulations and voter initiatives impacting the cannabis industry, representing banks regarding their relationships with cannabis businesses, and advising online cannabis platforms. This experience is bolstered by the arrival of Jan Owen, who addressed the issue of cash-only cannabis retailers during her tenure as Commissioner of California’s Department of Business Oversight. Owen worked closely with state regulators and business owners to move toward strategic and practical solutions.

“We are thrilled to continue helping organizations from virtually every sector find creative, innovative ways to help clients proactively and strategically influence how cannabis regulations and markets develop,” said Sabine. “As we have seen, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to this industry, and our stellar roster of cross-disciplinary lawyers and consultants is perfectly placed to help clients navigate the evolving legal, regulatory and business issues that are unique to the cannabis industry.”