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Pros and Cons of Going In House in the Cannabis Biz

By George Khoury, Esq. on December 28, 2018 5:57 AM

With the burgeoning cannabis businesses sprouting up across the country, more and more lawyers will be considering taking on general counsel duties for marijuana businesses.

Some lawyers might even find themselves looking at job offers in the cannabis industry as the amount of regulatory and compliance work isn't paltry. For those lucky lawyers considering the move in house in the cannabis business, below you can find a few pros and cons to consider.

Pros

Better Candy: Sure, the candy may not be kid friendly, and your family might give you odd looks, but times are changing for cannabis and there's more out there than just "special brownies" and "special cookies." And who knows, you might like it, or benefit from it.

Interesting Work: Cannabis is an emerging industry with regulations in constant flux. And while moving targets can certainly be frustrating, they also keep things interesting.

Big Money Potential: Given the massive growth in the industry, and the high risk entrepreneurs are taking to start marijuana businesses, the potential for massive paydays is certainly there.

Cons

Federal Uncertainty: While some states are saying party-on with recreational marijuana, and many more are okay with medical marijuana, the federal government still technically considers pot very illegal and having no medicinal benefit. This uncertainty means that lawyers could be looking at serious ethical dilemmas or worse just for practicing cannabis law and helping cannabis businesses do business.

An Interesting Client: Going in house means giving up all the other clients. And while a prospective marijuana employer may seem to have a big pile of interesting work to keep you busy, sometimes those "interesting clients" look a lot better from afar and will be a complete nightmare to actually work with, or try to get to listen to you.

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