Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck is pleased to announce the launch of its new practice group, Emerging Regulated Industries. As more state and local governments and businesses confront growth in emerging and highly regulated areas, Brownstein’s team can help map out complex legal and political strategies based on years of experience and proven results across the country. Communities and public and private entities are facing significant legal and practical challenges related to the use of cannabis, powdered alcohol, e-cigarettes and other new but quickly expanding industries that have high consumer demand.
Given that Colorado was the first state to legalize medical and recreational cannabis, the Brownstein team has in-the-trenches experience navigating marijuana implementation and its impact on employers and communities. The Emerging Regulated Industries practice group is made up of seasoned attorneys and policy advisors with extensive knowledge in this unique arena, including: Melissa Kuipers Blake, legislative attorney and political strategist; Bill Berger, respected employment and labor law attorney; Will Moschella, former senior Justice Department official and congressional staff counsel; and Gina Tincher, former narcotics detective turned litigator.
“With many states facing legislative proposals or ballot initiatives this year to legalize marijuana for medical or recreational use, there is no question that communities and businesses are going to have to navigate this new world of compliance and implementation on day one of legalization,” said Melissa Kuipers Blake, senior policy advisor and counsel at Brownstein. “For most public and private entities, this is uncharted territory that is often confusing and overwhelming and our team is uniquely situated to help. We are not focused on assisting the marijuana industry, but rather those impacted by it. We were at ground zero of the Colorado legalization experiment and can offer the precise knowledge, perspective and guidance needed to help others facing this enormous undertaking.
The state-level legalization of medical and recreational marijuana raises a host of workplace issues that are complex and create significant questions, especially since marijuana is still illegal under federal law. Our clients in this area include hospitality companies, theme parks, hotels, casinos and dining venues, as well as universities, hospitals, health care companies, pharmaceutical conglomerates, state and local governments and law enforcement agencies. These entities look to Brownstein when facing uncertainty about how new regulations apply to their business, the rapid pace of political and public policy efforts at the state and federal level, and implementing or complying with current regulations while still meeting strategic goals, particularly while operating in an often contentious environment.
Whether the goal is to keep a substance-free workplace, protect communities and kids, create compliance documents, or monitor lobbying efforts to influence laws or regulations, our team of attorneys and policy professionals have worked in multiple states facing these issues, notably in Colorado, California, Florida, Nevada and Washington, D.C.
If you have clients who are based in or operate in one of the markets where legalization of marijuana is on the November ballot—specifically, Florida, California and Nevada—with questions about ballot measures related to marijuana or other emerging regulated industries, including how this could impact their business or what they need to know before the November election, please put them in touch with a representative from our Emerging Regulated Industries practice group.