The cannabis and psychedelics industry in the United States is characterized largely by its rapid growth and ever-changing landscape. As the market begins to mature, early innovators and legacy operators alike must navigate uncharted waters, ranging from novel business challenges to high tax burdens, cross-border requirements, a scarcity of capital investment, and a patchwork of laws and regulations. Yet participants who can successfully operate within this unpredictable environment are poised to reap substantial rewards. With new markets continuing to emerge and existing ones trending upward, the industry’s capacity for innovation has never been greater.

McDonald Hopkins’ Cannabis and Psychedelics group is a presence in the national market, with experience representing industry players—including growers, processors, retailers, testers, transporters, lenders, service providers, and investors. We counsel individuals and entities at every stage of the supply chain, from formation to application, operation or growth and expansion, and exit. Our capabilities encompass all products under the cannabis umbrella (marijuana, hemp, hemp derivatives, and CBD) as well as a wide range of psychedelics.

We bring a sophisticated, time-tested perspective to our counsel on these issues. Drawing on our entrepreneurial spirit and industry knowledge, we help clients create regulatory frameworks and corporate structures that fulfill legal and practical needs. When counseling clients on virtually any manner of issue—from real estate leasing or acquisition to restructuring—we collaborate with colleagues from across McDonald Hopkins’ 16 practice groups to provide guidance. We also leverage our relationships with expert consultants across the country to design and implement solutions that meet your specific demands and needs. From advising on the cost of doing business to helping you tap into rewarding opportunities, our team is invested in positioning your operation for success.

Corporate, Securities, and Mergers & Acquisitions

Businesses both young and established must reconcile an increasingly risk-laden landscape with substantial opportunities for profit. Our team helps industry participants navigate key inflection points in their trajectory, from high-dollar deals to venture capital financings. We serve as trusted advisors to operations of all sizes, placing a premium on cultivating enduring relationships that enable us to support our clients over the long term.

Our capabilities include:


Participants in the cannabis and psychedelics industry are subject to distinct tax burdens. Notably, under IRS Code Section 280E, cannabis businesses are barred from deducting otherwise ordinary business expenses, resulting in a disproportionately high rate of taxation. Our team is adept at forming frameworks for corporations, limited liability companies, and other entities that minimize the effects of any tax restrictions, then working with clients to maintain ongoing compliance with state and federal tax codes. When audits or disputes loom, we act quickly, quietly, and efficiently to resolve outstanding issues.

Our capabilities include:

Operations and Real Estate

The efficacy of day-to-day operations can make or break any business. McDonald Hopkins advises on the full spectrum of issues, from basic concerns to overarching strategic goals. Leveraging our market knowledge and position in the industry, we aid clients in making decisions that protect their interests and advance their objectives.

Our capabilities include:

When it comes time to geographically expand your operations, we work with our firm’s Real Estate group to chart a smooth path toward acquisition, leasing, and financing. Clients turn to us for assistance with drafting and negotiating agreements; resolving leasing and landlord/tenant matters; and advising on zoning, water rights, and land use.


The unique intricacies of the cannabis and psychedelics space often complicate routine business processes. Once your operation is up and running, our team reconciles contradictions between jurisdictions, agencies, and policies while developing solutions to further your interests. We also help you assess risk under your current regulatory scheme; apply for licenses; maintain compliance; and resolve potential issues before they escalate.

Data Privacy and Cybersecurity

Data privacy and cybersecurity concerns can be a thorn in the side of growing operations. Whether ensuring compliance with the scores of laws and regulations worldwide or fending off attacks from cybercriminals, our team generates plans that seek to maximize your business’ financial health, standing, and reputation. As your operation expands, leaving you increasingly vulnerable to breaches and threats, we marshal additional resources from the firm’s Data Privacy and Cybersecurity group.

Our capabilities include:

Strategic Advisory and Restructuring 

Distressed cannabis and psychedelics businesses face particularly challenging circumstances, including a shortage of capital and a lack of protection from bankruptcy courts. Because traditional bankruptcy relief is an impossibility, business insolvency is most often addressed through restructuring or ultimately a court-ordered receivership. McDonald Hopkins has experience shepherding clients through this complex, fraught process. We work with practitioners in our Chambers-ranked Strategic Advisory and Restructuring group to devise creative strategies outside of the traditional restructuring playbook, focusing on preserving the future of your business. We also partner with outside financial advisors and banks to develop informed, in-depth guidance on avenues for relief. 


In today’s litigious environment, disputes can arise from virtually every corner of the cannabis and psychedelics industry. Clients nationwide depend on our firms—both in and out of the courtroom—when it matters most. If a dispute threatens the future of your business, our team deploys the full extent of their creativity, bench strength, and legal knowledge to defend your rights. We advocate relentlessly for clients at every stage of litigation, from the negotiating table to arbitration, mediation, and trial.

Our capabilities include:


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