The Business Fundamentals Every California Cannabis Company Needs to Know: a five-part blog series

By: Heather Burke and Virginia Ryan 


With Nevada County’s recent enactment of its commercial cultivation ordinance, cannabis farmers are scrambling to begin their growing season and to start building their businesses. As the bulk of the regulatory mountain-moving is behind us (for the moment), wise operators should be turning their attention to the business now at hand. And the business at hand today is the nuts and bolts of doing business.

The question of exactly how to do business in our newly regulated industry is largely still being figured out, as the mechanics are just beginning to work themselves out as more and more farms come online. Although we all have some idea of how the new supply chain works, no one has ever done this before (not even folks with regulated farms elsewhere because last season was not tracked-and-traced and NONE of them were in the Sierras).

While there are a lot of vulnerabilities in trying to start a small business in a field that has no operating history, the good news is that we get to write the rules of doing business in our region and for our license types. So, while those first few licensees who pushed through the tribulations of these past two years did suffer greatly, now is the time to reap the rewards by (1) having access to contracts with multi-year terms long before those who took a wait-and-see approach, (2) being able to do business as an industry leader/pioneer, and (3) having a greater voice in policy shaping regarding your business operations, to name just a few benefits.

However, since the scope of cannabis business is so vast and complex, one of my favorite local business lawyers Virginia Ryan has thankfully agreed to co-author this five-part blog series with me, which we’re calling “The Business Fundamentals Every Cannabis Company Needs to Know.”

We will be focusing on the following four areas:

(1) Cleaning Your Own HouseRegulatory Compliance & Entity Governance

(2) Snakes in the GrassDue Diligence & Proper Vetting of Potential Deals  

(3) Contract FundamentalsDude, Where’s My Indemnity Clause (and Other Super Fun Terms Every Cannabis Business Owner Should Know)

(4) Contracts OverviewWhat Paper to Push? (+ Sample Contract Templates)

Our goal is to push each of these out over the next couple weeks to both our blog lists, so make sure you’re signed up!

To sign up for Virginia Ryan’s blog list, go here:

To sign up for Origin Group LLP’s blog list, go here: 

Now let’s do some business.


This email is a communication from a lawyer, but it does not constitute legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationshipThis is intended for educational purposes only.
Please contact an attorney for specific legal advice. 

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