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Cannabis Litigation

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Quinn Emanuel has represented some of the world’s most prominent businesses and investors in the cannabis industry in litigation and arbitration. As the largest firm in the world dedicated to litigation and arbitration, we are well-positioned to successfully represent companies in the cannabis industry in virtually any type of dispute. Our team of cannabis industry litigators knows the industry and the patchwork of federal, state, and local regulations that govern cannabis. We constantly monitor the ever-changing legal landscape and keep our clients abreast of the latest legal and regulatory developments impacting cannabis through our client alerts.

Our deep bench of trial lawyers has the expertise to represent companies in the types of disputes that have been prevalent in the cannabis industry, including disputes with investors and shareholders over management and ownership, securities litigation, class actions, and patent, trademark and copyright litigation. We also have vast experience arbitrating disputes and have appeared before virtually every domestic and international arbitration institution. In addition, we have a track record of successfully resolving disputes amicably, before a trial or arbitration hearing, when that is the client’s objective.

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Recent Representations

Some of our representative cannabis industry engagements include the following:

  • We defeated a motion for preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order which sought to prevent stockholders from selling more than $125 million of stock in a publicly-traded cannabis grower and retailer.
  • We represent a cannabis retailer in a lawsuit in Delaware Chancery Court that seeks to unwind complex business transaction involving cannabis dispensaries.
  • We represented the founders and directors of a major, publicly-traded cannabis grower and retailer in two lawsuits pending in California state court and a related arbitration in which investors alleged that the directors breached their fiduciary duties.
  • We represented an entrepreneur in a corporate governance dispute related to a publicly-traded cannabis company and succeeded in facilitating his nominee’s appointment to the company’s board.
  • We represent Juul Labs in a design patent-based investigation pending in the International Trade Commission against numerous respondents, including importers and sellers of vaporizer cartridges containing CBD.
  • We represent an executive and entrepreneur in a dispute over his entitlement to an ownership interest in a cannabis company.
  • We represented the founder of the renowned Los Angeles Kush cannabis brand, and several companies comprising the brand’s operations, in a dispute resulting from a failed merger.  The dispute consisted of three separate actions in JAMS arbitration (FEM Ventures LLC  v. Kawasaki), Los Angeles Superior Court (also named FEM Ventures LLC v. Kawasaki), and Orange County (FEM Ventures LLC v. Los Angeles Kush, Inc.), collectively alleging over $30 million in damages and disputing ownership of Los Angeles Kush’s flagship trademarks.  Six months after we were brought in, the client was able to negotiate an advantageous global settlement. 
  • We represented a publicly-traded cannabis company in a federal court lawsuit and an international arbitration in which our client alleged it had been fraudulently induced to enter into a consulting and patent-licensing agreement.
  • We represented an investor in a vertically integrated multi-state cannabis company who alleged the company failed to honor its contractual obligations.
  • We represented a financially distressed cannabis company in connection with foreclosure proceedings instituted by a creditor.
  • We represent Sol Global Investments f/k/a Scythian Biosciences Corp., an investment company focused on the cannabis industry, and its Chief Investment Officer, Andy DeFrancesco, in a class action. The plaintiffs allege that Sol Global and DeFrancesco violated securities fraud laws by misrepresenting the value of certain assets Sol Global sold to Aphria Inc. and allege they were harmed when the true value of these assets was revealed to the public.
  • We represent a criminal defendant charged with conspiracy to commit bank fraud by allegedly deceiving banks into processing over $100 million of credit card and debit card payments to marijuana retailers.
  • We achieved a favorable settlement against a cannabis company in a confidential breach of contract arbitration.
  • We represent CBD company HeavenlyRx in a civil suit in Florida state court involving alleged breaches of a promissory note.
  • We represent an executive at a cannabis investment company in connection with an SEC investigation.
  • We represented a multi-state operator in connection with cannabis licensing proceedings.
  • We advised an investment fund regarding regulations governing the manufacture and distribution of CBD products.
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