Cannabis Law

With the passage of Amendment 2 in November of 2018, Missouri became the 31st state to legalize medical marijuana for medical use.  In anticipation of the passage of the ballot initiative, Summers Compton Wells pioneered one of the state’s first cannabis practice groups.  The lawyers of the cannabis practice group provide assistance to a wide array of individuals and businesses who intend to enter Missouri’s brand new medical marijuana market, including startups, license applicants, vendors, lending institutions, investors, landlords, developers and local governments.  


The lawyers of the firm’s cannabis practice group provide full service representation for license applicant groups, including:


  • Business formation, entity selection, organization and tax classification
  • Financing and funding, securities law compliance, debt and equity investments
  • Strategic partnership initiatives, mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures
  • Leasing, acquisition and site control of cultivation and retail locations
  • Real estate development, including incentives and opportunity zones
  • Zoning and outreach to local government and elected officials
  • Pre-application work, including assistance in building the application team, employment agreements and equity/incentive plans
  • Interfacing with government relations and regulators
  • Preparation of license applications
  • Miscellaneous services to assist with maximizing application success


Once in operation, cannabis related businesses will face unique challenges in this highly regulated market, but will also encounter many of the same issues as other businesses.  Like other businesses, our attorneys can represent marijuana-related businesses and their owners in a wide variety of legal areas, including:


  • Assistance with development and construction
  • Strategic mergers, growth and acquisitions
  • Development of employment policies covering cannabis related issues
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Continuing interface with government relations and regulators post license
  • Protection of intellectual property and licensing agreements
  • Resolving disputes with vendors, contractors, employees, or competitors
  • Sale transactions, acquisitions, and reverse mergers
  • Estate planning for wealth accumulated in the cannabis sector.


The firm’s cannabis practice group also provides assistance to entrepreneurs and businesses interested in the potential of hemp derived products, including cannabidiol “CBD” and the commercialization of industrial hemp.