Cannabis

Tonkon Torp helps clients solve complex business problems within the regulated cannabis industry.

The attorneys in the Cannabis Industry Group bring a combination of deep business expertise and cannabis-specific knowledge and experience to help owners and operators form and sustain successful businesses in this emerging category.

Our Approach

Cannabis-related businesses contend with the same challenges all businesses face, complicated and amplified by a web of state and federal law specific to marijuana and hemp.

Tonkon Torp assembles teams of practice-area experts to meet the individual needs of each client. With regard to cannabis businesses, this includes providing a full suite of legal services in a byzantine regulatory environment with rapidly changing laws.

Our Cannabis Industry Group is a full service business practice that works with entrepreneurs and companies of all sizes and at all life cycle stages. We work to identify strategies and solutions to help our clients achieve financial and structural growth, all while keeping a keen eye on the special risks and liability considerations inherent in a newly regulated industry.

As cannabis companies mature and evolve, Tonkon Torp’s expertise in corporate governance, business formation, mergers and acquisitions, real estate, business litigation, tax, and other specialties provides continuity in the client/legal advisor relationship. We advise owners and operators as well as seed, angel, venture and other investors on all aspects of fundraising and investing in cannabis businesses.

Our Expertise

Cannabis ventures come with a built-in set of complexities, and our clients in these categories benefit from our firm’s multidisciplinary expertise in business law and dispute resolution.

Structure, Formation & Contracts — Advise on corporate ownership, control, and management issues such as entity formation, tax planning, and executive compensation. Contract drafting and negotiation, licensing, and compliance

Fundraising — Negotiate and document private and public capital solutions for startup, ongoing operations, and business expansion

Labor & Employment — Promote positive employee relations, protect competitive positions, deal with union activity, and defend against or minimize exposure to employment litigation

Taxation — Structure businesses and transactions to minimize tax liability while ensuring compliance with various local, state, and federal tax regimes, including 280E considerations

Intellectual Property — Develop and execute strategies for registering, protecting, and leveraging intellectual property assets including trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, and patents. Defend IP disputes through negotiation, litigation, mediation, or arbitration

Business and Commercial Litigation — Resolve business disputes in and out of court, including contract disputes, owner disputes, business torts, product liability claims, regulatory/administrative disputes, civil RICO claims, and real estate disputes

Real Estate & Land Use — Acquisitions, land use approvals, and compliance with enhanced zoning requirements for cannabis-related use, environmental cleanup, and leasing of cultivation, distribution, manufacturing, and retail facilities

Compliance — Manage compliance and develop and implement best practices and long-term strategies to minimize regulatory burdens and risk

Mergers & Acquisitions — Represent public and private companies as buyers, sellers, and targets. Experience in acquisitions, divestitures, spin-offs, control and proxy contests, reorganizations, and joint ventures

Government Relations — Monitor and participate in legislation related to cannabis business operations

Our Clients

Our marijuana clients include licensed producers, distributors, processors, and retailers, as well as ancillary businesses, funds and investment managers, equipment manufacturers, and technology companies.

Partner
Adam
Adkin
503.802.2187
adam.adkin@tonkon.com
Partner
Rachel
Atchison
503.802.5732
rachel.atchison@tonkon.com
Associate
Carlie
Bacon
503.802.2190
carlie.bacon@tonkon.com
Associate
Paul
Balmer
503.802.5745
paul.balmer@tonkon.com
Partner
Eric
Beach
503.802.2182
eric.beach@tonkon.com
Associate
Lauren
Bernton
503.802.2144
lauren.bernton@tonkon.com
Partner
Owen
Blank
503.802.2011
owen.blank@tonkon.com
3499, 3523
Partner
Ryan
Bledsoe
503.802.2120
ryan.bledsoe@tonkon.com
Partner
Jeff
Bradford
503.802.5724
jeff.bradford@tonkon.com
3505
Partner
Kristin
Bremer Moore
503.802.2154
kristin.bremer@tonkon.com
3561
Partner
Claire
Brown
503.802.5731
claire.brown@tonkon.com
Partner
Bob
Carey
503.802.2032
bob.carey@tonkon.com
3423, 3537, 3572
Partner
Paul
Conable
503.802.2188
paul.conable@tonkon.com
Associate
Sadie
Concepción
503.802.5773
sadie.concepcion@tonkon.com
3493
Partner
Timothy
Conway
503.802.2027
tim.conway@tonkon.com
3491, 3559
Partner
Sherrill
Corbett
503.802.2049
sherrill.corbett@tonkon.com
Associate
Timothy
Costello
503.802.2193
timothy.costello@tonkon.com
Partner
Clay
Creps
503.802.2059
clay.creps@tonkon.com
3501, 3569, 3495, 3574
Partner
Jeffrey
Cronn
503.802.2048
jeff.cronn@tonkon.com
Partner
Rocky
Dallum
503.802.2175
rocky.dallum@tonkon.com
Associate
Sam
DeBaltzo
503.802.5772
sam.debaltzo@tonkon.com
Partner
Justin
Denton
503.802.2117
justin.denton@tonkon.com
3531
Partner
Christopher
Erickson
503.802.2177
chris.erickson@tonkon.com
Partner
Michael
Fletcher
503.802.2169
michael.fletcher@tonkon.com
Partner
David
Forman
503.802.2023
david.forman@tonkon.com
3462
Of Counsel
Danica
Foster
503.802.2160
danica.foster@tonkon.com
3543
Associate
Will
Gent
503.802.5767
will.gent@tonkon.com
Associate
Olivia
Godt
503.802.2158
olivia.godt@tonkon.com
Associate
Stephanie
Grant
503.802.5736
stephanie.grant@tonkon.com
Partner
Ronald
Greenman
503.802.2006
ron.greenman@tonkon.com
3567
Partner
Gwendolyn
Griffith
503.802.2102
gwen.griffith@tonkon.com
3572, 3529
Partner
Drew
Hagedorn
503.802.5757
drew.hagedorn@tonkon.com
Associate
Mick
Harris
503.802.5765
mick.harris@tonkon.com
3535
Partner
Caroline
Harris Crowne
503.802.2056
caroline.harris.crowne@tonkon.com
Partner
James
Hein
503.802.2129
james.hein@tonkon.com
3447
Partner
Ted
Herzog
503.802.2033
ted.herzog@tonkon.com
Partner
Karen
Hobson
503.802.2136
karen.hobson@tonkon.com
Associate
Jarell
Hunt
503.802.5776
jarell.hunt@tonkon.com
Associate
Josie
Jeremiah
503.802.2146
josie.jeremiah@tonkon.com
Associate
Jordan
Jeter
503.802.2076
jordan.jeter@tonkon.com
Partner
Jeffrey
Keeney
503.802.2025
jeff.keeney@tonkon.com
3493
Partner
Albert
Kennedy
503.802.2013
al.kennedy@tonkon.com
Partner
Blerina
Kotori
503.802.2055
blerina.kotori@tonkon.com
Associate
Antonija
Krizanac
503.802.2038
antonija.krizanac@tonkon.com
Partner
Melina
LaMorticella
503.802.2122
melina.lamorticella@tonkon.com
Partner
Mark
LeRoux
503.802.2022
mark.leroux@tonkon.com
Of Counsel
Maureen
McGee
503.802.5726
maureen.mcgee@tonkon.com
Associate
Harlan
Mechling
503.802.5733
harlan.mechling@tonkon.com
3503
Partner
Parna
Mehrbani
503.802.2170
parna.mehrbani@tonkon.com
3497
Partner
Brenda
Meltebeke
503.802.2088
brenda.meltebeke@tonkon.com
3569
Partner
Michael
Millender
503.802.2164
michael.millender@tonkon.com
Partner
Max
Miller Jr.
503.802.2030
max.miller@tonkon.com
Partner
Christopher
Morehead
503.802.2035
christopher.morehead@tonkon.com
3525
Partner
Jessica
Morgan
503.802.2165
jessica.morgan@tonkon.com
Partner
Haley
Morrison
503.802.2121
haley.morrison@tonkon.com
Associate
Gracey
Nagle
503.802.5753
gracey.nagle@tonkon.com
3519
Senior Counsel
Janet
Neuman
503.802.5722
janet.neuman@tonkon.com
Associate
Danny
Newman
503.802.2089
danny.newman@tonkon.com
3511
Senior Counsel
Darcy
Norville
503.802.2036
darcy.norville@tonkon.com
Attorney
Steven
Olson
503.802.2159
steven.olson@tonkon.com
Partner
Turid
Owren
503.802.2045
turid.owren@tonkon.com
3525
Partner
Christopher
Pallanch
503.802.2104
christopher.pallanch@tonkon.com
Partner
Thomas
Palmer
503.802.2018
tom.palmer@tonkon.com
3509
Partner
Alan
Perkins
503.802.2127
alan.perkins@tonkon.com
3563, 3513
Partner
David
Petersen
503.802.2054
david.petersen@tonkon.com
Associate
Megan
Reuther
503.802.2174
megan.reuther@tonkon.com
3521
Partner
John
Rosenfeld
503.802.2010
john.rosenfeld@tonkon.com
Associate
Kate
Roth
503.802.2189
kate.roth@tonkon.com
Associate
Ferdinand
Ruplin
503.802.2029
ferdie.ruplin@tonkon.com
Managing Partner
Kurt
Ruttum
503.802.2043
kurt.ruttum@tonkon.com
Partner
Melany
Savitt
503.802.2179
melany.savitt@tonkon.com
Partner
Drea
Schmidt
503.802.5703
drea.schmidt@tonkon.com
Partner
Ava
Schoen
503.802.2143
ava.schoen@tonkon.com
3515
Partner
Jeanette
Schuster
503.802.2114
jeanette.schuster@tonkon.com
Of Counsel
Leon
Simson
503.802.2067
leon.simson@tonkon.com
3423, 3553
Partner
Dan
Skerritt
503.802.2024
dan.skerritt@tonkon.com
Partner
Josh
Smith
503.802.2191
josh.smith@tonkon.com
3574, 3545, 3547, 3555
Partner
Anna
Sortun
503.802.2107
anna.sortun@tonkon.com
Partner
Kimberlee
Stafford
503.802.2062
kimberlee.stafford@tonkon.com
Of Counsel
Darian
Stanford
503.802.2028
darian.stanford@tonkon.com
Partner
Jon
Stride
503.802.2034
jon.stride@tonkon.com
Associate
Samantha
Taylor
503.802.2042
samantha.taylor@tonkon.com
3462
Partner
Alex
Tinker
503.802.5734
alex.tinker@tonkon.com
Partner
Joseph
Voboril
503.802.2009
joe.voboril@tonkon.com
Associate
Alexandria
Wagner-Jakubiak
503.802.5748
alexandria.wagner@tonkon.com
Partner
Frank
Weiss
503.802.2051
frank.weiss@tonkon.com
3503, 3539, 3541, 3545, 3547, 3551
Partner
Steven
Wilker
503.802.2040
steven.wilker@tonkon.com
Partner
Michael
Willes
503.802.5737
michael.willes@tonkon.com
3491, 3559
Partner
Jeffrey
Woodcox
503.802.2039
jeffrey.woodcox@tonkon.com
Associate
Timothy
Wright
503.802.2052
timothy.wright@tonkon.com
Partner
Zachary
Wright
503.802.2041
zach.wright@tonkon.com

Tonkon Torp Wins Arbitration for Cannabis Farm Manager

Tonkon Torp has secured an award of $647k for a cannabis farm management company based on its work in 2017. 2017 was the first year a large number of outdoor cannabis farms were licensed by the OLCC. This combined with favorable weather conditions resulted in a record bumper crop, and the wholesale price of sungrown cannabis dropped by more than half.

Tonkon Torp Wins Dismissal of RICO Claims Attacking Cannabis Industry – First of its Kind in 9th Circuit

Tonkon Torp secured a dismissal of civil RICO claims filed in federal court based on defendants’ involvement in an Oregon Medical Marijuana Program grow operation. Four civil RICO cases have been filed this year in Oregon against nearly 300 businesses and individuals engaged in state-authorized cannabis activity.

Representative Matters

Breach of Contract

Obtained favorable settlement for landowner who provided land and financing for OMMP cannabis production operation after the grower failed to share profits as agreed.

Civil RICO

Obtained dismissal of civil Racketeering Influenced & Corrupt Organizations ("RICO") Act claims asserted in federal court based on our clients' state law-compliant medical marijuana activities.

LLC Member Dispute

When majority owners tried to squeeze Tonkon Torp's client out by forcing sale of the land where the company planned to obtain an OLCC cannabis producer's license, Tonkon brought counterclaims for minority oppression and obtained a settlement where Tonkon's client obtained all of the majority's interest in the company and the land.

Reverse Takeover of Grown Rogue International, Inc.

Tonkon Torp represented its client, Grown Rogue Unlimited, LLC, a vertically integrated cannabis brand, in its reverse takeover of Novicius Corp. (now known as Grown Rogue International, Inc.), a publicly traded company in Canada. Tonkon Torp advised Grown Rogue on Oregon and United States matters pertaining to the transaction, including tax, securities laws, corporate governance, and Oregon Liquor Control Commission licensing and approval processes. Tonkon Torp also advised Grown Rogue with respect to non-brokered private placements in anticipation of the reverse takeover transaction.

Sale of Form Factory, Inc.

Tonkon Torp represented its client, Form Factory, Inc., a retail cannabis processor, in all aspects of its sale to Acreage Holdings, Inc., a publicly traded company in Canada, in an all-stock merger transaction valued at $160 million. The transaction was extremely complicated and included Oregon Liquor Control Commission licensing and other regulatory issues, complicated Delaware statutory structures, Canadian securities law considerations, complex subsidiary ownership and joint ventures, and numerous third parties.

Shareholder Dispute

When outside investors flexed their power to terminate the founder of a vertically integrated Oregon cannabis company and maneuvered to make her shares worthless, Tonkon Torp brought claims for breach of fiduciary duty and shareholder oppression, ultimately obtaining a favorable buy-out for Tonkon's client.

Successful Business Exit Through Stock Sale

Advised and represented the owners of a hemp processing business in the sale of all issued and outstanding shares of the company to a buyer looking to acquire the operations of the business and related branding.

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