Starting your own Oklahoma cannabis business is no small task. It is not like opening any other business in the state. Sure you can get a license and open a shop no problem, but doing it in a way that keeps the owner out of trouble, within regulations, and operating in the black will take the assistance of an Oklahoma cannabis business lawyer.
Just because a law office or lawyer pops-up first on a Google or Bing search does not mean that they know what they are doing. There are lawyers out there that will advertise that they are a “cannabis industry lawyer,” when in fact, they know less than you do. These lawyers are willing to take your money and cash in on this emerald rush that has come to Oklahoma. If you have the feeling that your lawyer sees the cannabis industry as a “side gig,” find another lawyer.
What to Look For in an Oklahoma Cannabis Business Lawyer
You must remember that Oklahoma cannabis rules and regulations are always evolving and changing. These laws and regulations are intricate and require specialization to understand. By hiring a lawyer that does more than advertise him or herself as a cannabis lawyer is a must. You want someone who knows the inner workings of state and local governments and the laws where your business operates. That person also should also be responsive. If you’re paying someone by the hour, find an attorney who is willing to communicate with you quickly – and often.
- Hire a lawyer who is familiar with the locality he or she is working in.
- You should hire a lawyer that has a good relationship with regulators like the OMMA and OBNDD.
- Look for a lawyer that has a good understanding of the Oklahoma regulations. It is one thing to have the ability to recite a regulation, it is another to be able to break that regulation down and explain it in a way that you can comprehend.
- You should also look for an attorney who’ve dealt with government departments and regulatory agencies, either as a government attorney or a regulatory counsel for a private business working on behalf of the government.
It is difficult to find a lawyer that is both fluent in cannabis and business law but they are out there. Remember that anyone can buy a Google Ad and be at the top of an internet search. Take your time to really dive in and find a lawyer that is publishing researched and informative cannabis related content on the web, not just buying an ad.
Be aware that a lawyer can be really educated on cannabis law and have no clue about business law. For example, a lawyer may be well-versed in cannabis policy but may not understand how to evaluate employment contracts. You want a lawyer that has experience in both areas.
The bottom line is that you want to hire an Oklahoma cannabis attorney that is well-versed in the rules and regulations of the Oklahoma cannabis industry, that includes local laws. In addition to cannabis policy, local laws, municipal codes, and cannabis regulations are all important.’
One thing you might look for is a lawyer that is willing to sit and talk with you. They should want to learn. They should be interested in your business and what you are doing. He or she should be interested in what products are popular and just how cannabis and cannabis products are produced and distributed. You should hire a lawyer that is knowledgeable enough to walk you through the ins and outs of the cannabis business – from seed to sale.
Remember that a good Oklahoma cannabis business lawyer should have is the ability to do is respectfully engage in a debate and respectfully utilize leverage with the regulators. You should look for a lawyer with finesse. It is always better to have a surgeon rather than a table pounder.
Remember that the best lawyers will simply say, “that is outside my subject matter, but I am willing to learn.” when it comes to the cannabis industry.
Always be on the lookout for lawyers that speak at cannabis industry conferences. You want to look for people who can speak intelligently about the industry, and that usually comes from big national trade groups or people who speak at the conventions.
Remember to be patient. The best lawyers are always busy so you have to pick and choose the ones that can fit you in.
How to Work With an Oklahoma Cannabis Business Lawyer
Communicate frequently with your lawyer but don’t be a bother. There is a fine line between good service and babysitting. If you are the type of person that expects a daily phone call just to “check-in,” then you should tell the lawyer when first meeting with them on what you expect as a client. Remember that the best lawyers are busy, working lawyers and may not have the time to hold your hand daily. Plus most lawyers charge by the hour so do you really want a daily legal bill?
Realistically, you should trade phone calls and emails a couple of times a week as well as them getting feedback from you. This will save you time and money.
You should always let your lawyer know about any future opportunities you have plans for them to be a part of, whether that’s orchestrating an expansion, hiring new employees or creating different branding opportunities. Run everything you do by your lawyer. There are so many small things in cannabis law that are unique to other laws that you may not be aware of. For example, if you’re creating a new website, it could inadvertently be appealing to children and you didn’t know it. You want an extra pair of eyes on everything you are doing.
Your lawyer should be your best resource for changing Oklahoma cannabis business law.
Finally, when hiring an Oklahoma cannabis business lawyer you should remember that communication is key. If you expect a daily call or you expect for them to immediately pick up the phone every time you call, then you should tell them that. It is one thing for a lawyer to be responsive and another for them to be at your beck and call.
Garrett Law Group
Garrett Law Group’s Oklahoma cannabis business lawyers are well-informed and experienced in administrative and regulatory law. Our attorneys have handled more agency discipline and enforcement cases than any other law firm in Oklahoma. Garrett Law Group stays current with and knows the history of, all the statutory and rule requirements in Oklahoma. This deep knowledge works to our clients’ advantage, and we can efficiently and effectively respond to questions related to compliance and provide well-educated advice on how to proceed with a governmental agency.
Garrett Law Group assists its clients from start-up to exit, including entity formation and governance, financing, leasing and licensing. Beyond start-up, Garrett Law Group helps its clients understand and maintain full compliance with the complicated rules in this highly regulated industry. Garrett Law also helps clients in maintaining and expanding their businesses, including later stage financing employment agreements, vendor contracts, licensing agreements and any other transactional work required of a growing business. Garrett Law also has significant expertise in mergers and acquisitions, where the buying and selling of licensed businesses are complicated. Garrett Law will represent you as you navigate this new industry. Garrett Law Group’s attorneys keep abreast of not just cannabis legislation, but other legislation and court opinions that affect how Oklahoma cannabis businesses operate.