CFN Media Interviews GreenSpoon Marder

Rachelle Gordon

July 10th, 2017

Policy, Top News

As the number of states legalizing cannabis for medical and/or adult-use continues to climb, so does the need for experts in navigating the complex laws being passed.

Greenspoon Marder is a full-service law firm that retains a variety of attorneys dedicated to the emerging cannabis market. From compliance to intellectual property (IP), Greenspoon Marder provides the legal assistance canna-businesses need. We sat down with Matthew Ginder, Senior Counsel for Greenspoon Marder, at the recent Marijuana Business Conference & Expo in Washington, D.C. to learn more about the firm and their integral role in the cannabis industry.

Rachelle Gordon:  What different services does Greenspoon Marder provide?

Matthew Ginder:  Greenspoon Marder is a full-service, national law firm with over 200 attorneys practicing in more than 60 areas of law.  The firm offers services in corporate law, real estate, litigation, employment law, intellectual property, regulatory and compliance, and tax law, among others.  All of these services are beneficial to business, including cannabis related businesses.  In recognizing the legal needs of the emerging cannabis industry, the firm began building a cannabis practice group out West where markets were developed already or at least ahead of other states.  We started retaining attorneys within the respective states because cannabis is a very state-specific industry, as we all know. We’ve been gradually growing in that respect. We have offices now in Colorado, Oregon, California, Nevada, and we’re continuing to open additional offices.

RG:  How do you manage the different laws between the states?

MG:  Because every state legal cannabis program is different, it’s important to have attorneys with knowledge of the laws specific to a particular state.  Also, many states are in different stages.  For example, the cannabis programs in Colorado and Oregon are more developed.

Those states continue to amend their laws as issues in implementation arise. Florida’s medical marijuana program is in its infancy and will face many of the same issues that have been addressed in Colorado and Oregon.  Our cannabis practice group is able to bring the experience and skills that have been developed out West and utilize those in states that are emerging like Florida.

RG:  What brought Greenspoon Marder into the marijuana business?

MG:  We’ve historically represented many clients in regulated industries. For example, we have a large alcohol and beverage department. Also, we’re a full-service firm that provides traditional legal services. The firm’s co-founder – Gerry Greenspoon — recognized that legal cannabis is an emerging industry that requires multiple disciplines of law in addition to having state-specific industry knowledge. Being able to provide a client with an array of legal services benefits the client and sets us apart.

RG:  What advice do you have for attorneys looking to break into the cannabis industry?

MG:  Learn as much as you can about the industry.  I recommend getting involved in organizations, attending conferences, learning the industry, and studying the laws in the state that you’re in. Just immerse yourself in it because having industry knowledge and being able to talk to a client on that level, I think that’ll go a long way.

The cannabis field touches so many different areas of law and creates unique issues due to the interplay between state and federal law.  For attorneys that want to break into the industry, I think it is also important to build a network of professionals, including other attorneys with different fields of expertise.

RG:  What are your goals for the firm in the next few years?

MG:  I think the firm’s vision, which I support, is to establish the premier national cannabis practice group.  The firm is working towards that goal by entering into markets or establishing more of a presence in markets that are either coming online or more developed. For example, California, that’s a country in itself, so opening up more offices or hiring more attorneys there is important.  Also, the Northeast is starting to come online.  You’re seeing more progressive movements there. Establishing presence in those areas, I think that’ll be the steps towards the ultimate goal of becoming the premier cannabis practice firm.

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Rachelle Gordon

About Rachelle Gordon

Rachelle Gordon is a Minneapolis-based writer. She was the president of her college's chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy and worked in Amsterdam for a brief time. Find her online at

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