Category Archive for: Bernard Chamberlain

Home / Category: Bernard Chamberlain
image title

Author: Jake Cormier

As the markets for legal cannabis continue to expand nationwide, companies continue to develop new products to attract new customers in different commercial markets.  Long gone are the days when smoking cannabis was the only way to receive its benefits and options for consumption now include vaping and eating tasty sweets or gourmet foods.  And now the 30+ year-old craft beverage industry is crossing over with the cannabis space.

Beverage companies large and small are betting on continued growth in legal cannabis markets and also betting that the beverage consumer may look to replace (or at least compliment) alcohol consumption with THC and other cannabis-derived substances.  Large beverage companies such as Pabst and Constellation have developed non-alcoholic “beers” and replaced the alcohol with intoxicating cannabis extract.  Likewise, smaller THC-centric brewed beverage companies are also in start-up and growth mode.  New cannabis-derived beverage products range from dealcoholized beer and wine that contain THC, to craft beverages that use terpenes (flavorful botanical compounds found in cannabis and other plants) to flavor alcoholic drinks, to cannabis-infused seltzers flavored like tequila or gin.

So, some beverages taste like alcoholic drinks, but contain only THC and others contain alcohol, but include flavors associated with cannabis.  Notably, none of these beverages contain alcohol and THC due to the regulatory prohibition against mixing the two.  Producing such products can require navigating complex malt or cereal beverage-related regulations and cannabis regulations. Further issues include questions on how the body handles THC in drink form, how beverage manufacturers are formulating THC levels and dosing, and how the consumer will control consumption.  In other words, innovation in alcoholic and cannabis-infused beverages present exciting new consumption options, but also new risks and challenges.

Emerge has several craft beverage and cannabis regulatory attorneys eager to help clients bring new creative products to market in safe and compliant ways.

Continue Reading
image title

Opinions released by the U.S. Tax Court in two important cases late last year have substantially changed the economic landscape for cannabis retail businesses.  On this 2019 tax day, this blog post focuses on a key issue in the first those cases, the Harborside case.

In the Harborside case, the Tax Court held that Harborside was a reseller and could not apply the rules of Treas. Reg. § 1.471-11 to include purported production costs in its cost of goods sold.  Instead, Harborside was limited to the rule under Treas. Reg. § 1.471-3 that a reseller may include only the price it pays for its inventory plus transportation or other necessary charges incurred in acquiring possession of its inventory.

For many cannabis retailers, this will significantly increase the amount of tax shown on their returns.  In past years, many tax return preparers became comfortable including the additional costs in the retailers’ cost of goods sold.  They reasoned that the retailers engaged in sufficient production-like activities to be “producers” under Treas. Reg. § 1.471-11.  This could significantly reduce the tax shown on the retailers’ returns.

Since the Harborside case, the amount of tax shown on the retailers’ returns should be expected to significantly increase.  Cannabis retail businesses, and their tax preparers, must now contend with the possibility of being assessed civil penalties if they include costs in excess of those available to a reseller under Treas. Reg. § 1.471-3.

For businesses that have multiple years of delinquent returns, the impact of the Harborside case will be felt most keenly.  The opinion of the Tax Court in Harborside will need to be taken into account in the preparation of those returns.

On a more positive note, many cannabis retailer businesses might not miss tracking their employees’ time spent on production versus non-production tasks or preparing detailed diagrams of their business premises for use by their tax preparers.

Continue Reading
image title
* * * Updated January 21, 2016 * * *
Oregon’s the new sales tax is applicable to medical dispensaries that have so-called “early” or “recreational” sales to non-medical customers under SB460 from January 4, 2016.  The Oregon Department of Revenue (“ODR”) released temporary tax regulations that medical dispensaries with such sales need to be aware of as they move into the new year.
A pdf of the regulations can be dowloaded from ODR’s marijuana tax page.
General Requirements of the Sales Tax
1.  The tax starts January 4 on rec. sales to dispensary customers;
2.  The tax is 25% of the retail price of the seed, flower, leaf, or nonflowering plant;
3.  The amount of the tax must rounded up to the next whole cent;
4.  The tax should be separately itemized on customers’ receipts and must be disclosed to the customer;
5.  The tax should be collected from customers;
6.  The tax must be deposited with ODR using the payment voucher in the month after the sale;
Some “To-Do” Items for January 4
Register for the new tax, if applicable.  ODR has provided a form for this purpose.
Dispensary POS systems should be set up to calculate sales tax on “early” sales, rounding up to the next whole cent, and to generate receipts that separately state the amount of the tax.
Internal accounting folks will need to track early sales from January 4, 2016.
Prepare to make a deposit, using the newly released ODR voucher, in February for January sales.  A prior appointment is required if you will pay in cash.  Interestingly, ODR felt it necessary to communicate it is not interested in cash that was removed from a body cavity, corpse, or animal.
Happy holidays and new year!
Under the current OLCC regulations, which will be applicable to recreational sales, there are a range of rules that appear intended to prevent tax motivated “bundling.” In a previous version of this blog post, I wrote that those rules would apply to early sales. Based on public comments, it appears the Oregon Department of Revenue does not consider those rules to apply. Note that care should be taken to document the retail sales price and the amount of the tax collected in each transaction to which the sales tax applies.
“Bundling” is selling items subject to a sales tax for a low price, so long as the customer also purchases a high-priced item that is not subject to a sales tax.
Continue Reading
image title

If a tax practitioner tells you the Tax Court cases of CHAMP and Olive are singularly unfavorable to cannabis businesses, he or she is not telling you the whole story.  In both cases, the court was faced with the unfriendly language of IRC § 280E.  In both cases, the outcome would have been worse for the taxpayer if the court had not used its discretion to make favorable determinations on key issues.

The Ninth Circuit opinion in Olive v. Commissioner (link is to pdf) may indicate the Ninth Circuit is continuing this trend.  The opinion appears to provide subtle, but much needed, support for the “non-trafficking trade or business” model made famous in the CHAMP case.  Summarizing briefly, the model essentially allows a cannabis business that includes substantial non-trafficking business activities to reasonably allocate expenses to a non-trafficking trade or business, thereby permitting deduction of 100% of the allocated portion of the expense.

Right now, many CPAs are loathe to sign a tax return that respects a non-trafficking trade or business.  This may be because of an argument made by Edward Roche in his respected 2013 journal article on the taxation of cannabis businesses.  Professor Roche, in an article is of considerable breadth, laid out in detail the complex legal arguments needed for a retail cannabis business to permissibly pay federal income taxes at sustainable levels.

However, one of Professor Roche’s conclusions was that the tax law makes it difficult to establish a second trade or business and therefore difficult to treat that business as non-trafficking for purposes of IRC § 280E.  Appearing to follow the Tax Court’s lead in Olive, he applied a multi-factor analysis from the Trupp case applying the rules of IRC § 183, relating to hobby losses, to the question.  He did not, however, consider accounting method cases under IRC § 446, which also address the issue and are likely in some cases be more favorable to the taxpayer.

The Ninth Circuit’s analysis in Olive, in contrast, comes close to suggesting single factor test for identifying a second trade or business.  The court provides an analogy to a book-store that either (A) provides free coffee and cookies, etc., or (B) charges for coffee and cookies, etc.  In the first example, there is one trade or business.  In the second, there are two trades or businesses.  Although the treatment of the issue is almost cursory, and appears to be offered merely to distinguish Martin Olive’s facts from the facts in CHAMP, it is arguably more consistent with the way multiple trades or businesses are treated in the accounting method cases.

So what is the takeaway from this newest piece of IRC § 280E law?  As always in tax, facts are king.  Cannabis businesses with significant non-trafficking activities should work with a specialist in this area to determine whether those activities rise to the level of a non-trafficking trade or business.  If they do, a written plan should be put in place to reinforce that determination and, if appropriate, offer penalty protection to the business.  If they do not, it is reasonable to ask what substantive changes could be made to the way the business operates to change the determination.

If the CPA is not on board, a dialogue needs to occur with the CPA.  The question is, what will give the CPA comfort that he or she can sign a tax return consistent with the plan?  As was clear in CHAMP, and is now clear from the Ninth Circuit opinion in Olive, a decision to operate a cannabis business as a single trade or business for tax purposes can significantly reduce the amount of money the business generates for its owners on an after-tax basis.

For a cannabis business, engaged in non-trafficking business activities, it may be worth consulting with your cannabis tax attorney to determine whether the Ninth Circuit opinion in Olive, or other applicable caselaw, permits the allocation of expenses to a non-trafficking business where they may be deducted.
Continue Reading

Section 280E – not so simple after all

Despite what your eyes are telling you, “trade or business” is actually one word; but “trafficking,” means just that. Section 280E essentially provides that a cannabis business may not deduct its expenses. However, a close look at its language reveals surprising complexity.

If your business has anything to do with cannabis, it might be subject to Section 280E of the Internal Revenue Code. How can you tell if your business is subject to IRC § 280E? You consider whether it meets the following two elements of the statute:

Is your business a “trade or business” under the Internal Revenue Code and
Do the activities of that business include prohibited trafficking.

The term “trade or business” is a defined term under U.S. and Oregon tax law. The term essentially means any collection of activities engaged in with regularity and continuity with a profit motive. A business will not be a “trade or business” if there is not some activity engaged in with regularity and continuity. Consequently, the business of renting a warehouse to a cannabis grower would not generally be subject to Section 280E, but the business of delivering medical marijuana to patients would be.

What does that mean? It means that a landlord, even a landlord knowingly renting to a cannabis business, should be able to deduct expenses relating to his or her real property (buildings and land). Why? Because the landlord, while clearly being “in business” is not engaged in a “trade or business.”

Even if there is sufficient activity for a business to rise to the level of a “trade or business,” that business will only be subject to Section 280E if the activities of that business include prohibited trafficking. What is prohibited trafficking? That is actually a great question, and not one your tax professional is necessarily able to answer.y

A quick search of the internet under Section 280E and Oregon will reveal a range of articles, including blog posts, suggesting that “trafficking” under Section 280E is a term with vague and unspecified meaning under the Internal Revenue Code. That is not so. Rather, the Section 280E incorporates federal and state criminal law by reference.

That is why it is important to work with experienced Oregon cannabis attorneys, familiar with principles of U.S. and Oregon income tax law, to determine whether your business is subject to Section 280E of the Internal Revenue Code.


Continue Reading
Cost of Goods Sold.  Deductible or not deductible?  That is the 280E question.
Section 280E of the Internal Revenue Code disallows many expense deductions for most Oregon cannabis businesses.  It is well known that Section 280E creates a significant handicap for a cannabis business when compared to its non-cannabis brethren.  However, a cannabis grower or a dispensary owner coming terms with their tax liabilities will eventual learn about “cost of goods sold” and its promise of deductible expenses.  
What is “cost of goods sold?”  
(COGS) is an accounting concept, also existing under U.S. tax law, that approximates the cost of inventory sold during the year.  Its purpose is to match the cost of inventory to the year in which the inventory is sold.  
Under generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), the so-called “matching” of expenses to revenue is necessary to accurately reflect the income of an inventory business.  Without that matching, income of a business could vary significantly from year to year, depending on inventory levels, making it difficult to gauge the health of the business.    
COGS takes on greater significance in the Section 280E context because of its place in the calculation of income under U.S. and Oregon tax law. Rather than being just another deduction disallowed by Section 280E, COGS is technically an adjustment to income.  Thus, Section 61 of the Internal Revenue Code, and the Treasury regulations under that provision, state that “gross income” for tax purposes is actually gross receipts minus COGS. 
Clearly this is a complicated process and requires coordination with expert. At Emerge we are very careful to recommend and connect people in the Oregon cannabis industry with accountants who are well versed in 280E and Cost of Goods Sold. In an environment extremely unfriendly to cannabis businesses effectively tracking and reporting COGS can have a significant impact on the survival of your business.
An Oregon cannabis lawyer can provide assistance to a cannabis business and its accountants exploring the use of beneficial rules in this area.
Continue Reading

 “I tell ya I don’t get no respect. No respect at all.”


If Sections 42 and 58 of Ballot Measure 91 were able to talk during the 2014 political campaign, this is what they might have said. These Rodney Dangerfield-like provisions were not merely ignored by dozens of city councils who “preemptively” adopted ordinances that taxed recreational marijuana. The provisions were expressly acknowledged by the city councils, and then duly ignored. Ouch.

To refresh everyone’s memory, here’s what these fine provisions (which were copied verbatim from Oregon’s current liquor statutes) have to say for themselves.

Section 42. State has exclusive right to tax marijuana. No county or city of this state shall impose any fee or tax, including occupation taxes, privilege taxes and inspection fees, in connection with the purchase, sale, production, processing, transportation, and delivery of marijuana items.

Section 58. Marijuana laws supersede and repeal inconsistent charters and ordinances. Sections 3 to 70 of this Act, designed to operate uniformly throughout the state, shall be paramount and superior to and shall fully replace and supersede any and all municipal charter enactments or local ordinances inconsistent with it. Such charters and ordinances hereby are repealed.

Could these provisions be any clearer? What kind of legal analysis would cause anyone to think that a local tax might be “grandfathered in” if an ordinance was adopted before Election Day? Don’t the words “replace,” “supersede,” and “repeal” expressly contemplate preexisting ordinances?

The political analysis seemed to be just as sophisticated. As far as I could tell, it boiled down to something like this: “Well it’s probably not going to work, but everybody else is doing it, so let’s just do it too.”

But hold on. Not so fast. There are always heroes, both major and minor, to every story. And one of my favorite moments in the campaign came from the Banks City Council when they were discussing the adoption of an ordinance that would have taxed recreational marijuana. “Essentially, this is posturing?” Councilor Rob Fowler asked. “Yes,” answered city attorney Dan Kearns.

I’m a sucker for straight talk, and so that made me smile.

But all of that was yesterday. Election Day has come and gone. The campaign is over, the votes have been counted, and the time for serious thinking and implementation is here.

And so, I thought, it might be helpful if everyone fully understood the two main themes of Ballot Measure 91.

The first theme is an adherence to the eight federal enforcement priorities regarding marijuana that are specified in the US Department of Justice Memorandum dated August 29, 2013 by Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole. These eight priorities, which are set forth in Section 1 of Ballot Measure 91, are as follows: (1) preventing the distribution of marijuana to minors; (2) preventing revenue from the sale of marijuana from going to criminal enterprises, gangs, and cartels; (3) preventing the diversion of marijuana from states where it is legal under state law to other states; (4) preventing state-authorized marijuana activity from being used as a cover or pretext for the trafficking of other illegal drugs or other illegal

activity; (5) preventing violence and the use of firearms in the cultivation and distribution of marijuana; (6) preventing drugged driving and the exacerbation of other adverse public health consequences associated with marijuana use; (7) preventing the growing of marijuana on public lands and the attendant public safety and environmental dangers posed by marijuana production on public lands; and (8) preventing marijuana possession or use on federal property.

All Oregonians, regardless of how they voted on Ballot Measure 91, should be in favor of these priorities. In that sense, and with respect to those priorities, we are all on the same side.

The second theme of Ballot Measure 91 is to minimize the illegal marijuana market to the greatest extent possible. This is perhaps implied by the Cole Memo, but I think it deserves its own special emphasis, as minimizing the illegal market is, in my opinion, one of the primary means by which Oregon can accomplish the goals in the Cole Memo. (Note that it could be that said that Washington’s Initiative 502 adheres to the enforcement priorities in the Cole Memo. However, I think few would say that Initiative 502 was drafted in a way to minimize the illegal market to the greatest extent possible.)

To minimize the illegal market, private businesses should be incentivized to enter, and remain in, the regulated market. Likewise, adult consumers should be incentivized to purchase marijuana from licensed retailers rather than from an illegal non-taxpaying dealer.

Now, it should go without saying that the tax structure in any marijuana regulatory scheme will play a vital role in minimizing the illegal market. After consulting with national tax policy experts, and after examining different hypothetical tax models for marijuana, we adopted five tax philosophies for Ballot Measure 91: (A) tax as early as possible in the distribution channel; (B) tax by weight rather than by price; (C) remain watchful with respect to how the illegal market responds to the legal market; (D) remain flexible in responding to the illegal market; and (E) ensure that the State is the sole taxing authority.

A cohesive tax policy that can compete with and respond to the illegal market will be virtually impossible if dozens of local jurisdictions are able to continually and sporadically impose different and uneven taxes.

There may come a time at some point in the future when matters stabilize to such a degree that the illegal market is no longer of any practical consequence. However, until then, the Oregon legislature and the various city councils that adopted marijuana tax ordinances should respect the will of the majority of Oregon voters by not amending, and by following, the clear language and intent of Sections 42 and 58 of Ballot Measure 91.

Specifically, the Oregon legislature should resist amending these sections during the 2015 and 2016 legislative sessions. The city councils that adopted the ordinances should repeal them, or at least suspend them while Ballot Measure 91 is given a chance to be implemented in accordance with its terms. A city council that seeks to impose a marijuana tax in clear violation of Sections 42 and 58 of Ballot Measure 91 will collect nothing and will simply waste time, money, and energy defending a lawsuit that cannot be won.

Naturally, the desire to raise tax revenues from a new source is tempting. However, Ballot Measure 91 already distributes tax revenues to cities, counties, schools, law enforcement, and mental health, alcoholism, and drug services. Let’s call that good enough for now. Because in the long run, minimizing the illegal market sooner rather than later will result in more tax revenues for everyone.

Ballot Measure 91 provides the State of Oregon and every local government with a unique opportunity to implement a new policy and to create something of lasting value, while at the same time promoting public safety and a more sophisticated dialogue concerning the subject of marijuana. Imagine the pleasant surprise and pride that current and future Oregonians might feel if all areas of state and local government are able to cooperate, execute, and perform in a constructive manner and successfully implement Ballot Measure 91. If such a thing were to happen, more than one future Oregon voter might have reason to say: “I gotta tell ya. You earned my respect.”

You can read the published version in the Oregonian.

Continue Reading



Franchise law is a heavily regulated area of law.  We help clients expand their businesses through franchising and other distribution methods. We have experience in many industries including, restaurants, health, and beauty, alcohol, and cannabis among others. Our representative services include the following:


We also help potential franchisees interested in buying a franchise. We are able to assist with evaluation of franchise opportunities with respect to:

Alternative Structures

However, not all businesses are suited to franchise. We are also experienced with helping clients structure alternative distribution methods to prevent classification as a franchise.


Our M&A attorneys are highly experienced in counseling clients who are considering acquisitions or exit strategies.  We have many years of experience handling deals of various types and sizes, ranging from sales of small closely-held business, private companies, and publicly-traded corporations.  We have represented business owners, private equity firms and investment banks in a wide range of industries. 

We have a deep business bench, and Emerge attorneys have handled transactions of all shapes and sizes.  Whether your deal is valued at $100,000 or $100,000,000, our experienced attorneys will guide you through the deal process.

We understand the intensity, technical skill and judgment needed to get deals done, and we provide our clients with timely, practical and cost-effective legal advice.  We are highly capable in all aspects of M&A, including the following:


Emerge Law Group is highly experienced in the cannabis industry.  We have helped many clients obtain state licenses and local permits to operate cannabis businesses throughout California, Oregon, and Washington.

Emerge attorneys were instrumental in the drafting and passage of Oregon Measure 91, legalizing marijuana in the State of Oregon, and have represented cannabis businesses well before many law firms were willing to enter the cannabis industry. As a firm that has provided legal services in the cannabis space for many years, we are familiar with the unique and complex issues businesses and individuals face in an emerging and highly regulated industry.

We regularly help clients with:

Cannabis laws and rules are also regularly changing.  Members of our team are dedicated to attending legislative hearings, state agency and local city and county meetings to stay up-to-date on any new changes and how to adjust to any new changes.

See our Cannabis Industry page for more information.


There is tremendous excitement about the potential for psychedelic drugs to benefit a wide variety of populations, including terminally ill patients suffering with anxiety and depression. Until recently, psychedelic substances have been accessible only in the illicit market and are illegal under federal and state to manufacture, distribute, or possess. These substances have, since 1970, been treated as having no legitimate medical use, and no commercial application. As such, no one invested in this area or required legal services, outside of the criminal context.

Today, researchers in a multitude of clinical studies are proving the medical safety and efficacy of these medicines, with the objective of changing the treatment of these substances under the Controlled Substances Act. Companies are now actively raising money to develop intellectual property and seize market opportunities associated with psychedelic drugs.

In addition, advocates at the state and local levels are not waiting for the rescheduling of these substances and are active in undertaking efforts to decriminalize these substances and/or make them affirmatively legal under state and/or municipal law. Decriminalization already has occurred in cities including Denver, Oakland, Santa Cruz, and Ann Arbor. Oregon is poised to be the first state to make psilocybin therapy affirmatively legal. Emerge Law Group is working with a wide array of clients pushing forward in this emerging area.

See our Psychedelics Practice Group page for more information.



Businesses of all kinds benefit from a customized but systematic approach to structuring legal relationships. Emerge Law Group helps businesses and business owners with a variety of tax planning matters.

Representative client services include:


Estate planning encompasses everything from a will and power of attorney to combined estate and business succession planning. In almost all cases, the purpose of the plan is to help the client protect those they care about most in the event they can no longer be there for them.

Emerge Law Group has experience with a wide range of tools used in estate planning, including wills, trusts, and family business entity planning.


Emerge Law Group can assist with the resolution of difficult tax controversies. Our areas of emphasis and experience include:


Emerge Law Group assists clients with a wide range of real estate transactional matters.  We regularly help clients with:


Emerge Law Group also assists clients with all aspects of local government land use and development processes, ranging from preliminary property analyses and building permit issues to complex land use reviews and hearings. Our attorneys are experienced in obtaining land use entitlements and development permits for a wide range of uses.

We regularly help clients with:

Above all, we understand the value of working with cities and counties to enhance communities while developing the land to its potential. We strive to create solutions to land use issues that serve to better our clients and the communities in which they live and work.


The attorneys in Emerge Law Group’s Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution practice group litigate commercial, intellectual property, and public interest matters in state and federal courts, as well as private mediation and arbitration proceedings.  Our lawyers have represented national and regional financial institutions, major media, entertainment and technology companies, and other Fortune 500 companies in a broad array of high-stakes disputes.  Our team of litigators has handled leading cases that have shaped the law in cutting-edge business, technology, free speech, and public interest impact lawsuits in trial and the courts of appeal.

We have particular expertise in handling civil litigation and regulatory enforcement matters in the cannabis and psychedelic industries.  While many firms claim expertise in the these industries, few have our depth of experience successfully litigating contract, trademark, partnership, shareholder, land use, and real estate disputes in court and arbitration.  Even fewer firms have our level of experience handling writ of mandate proceedings against the government regulators.

Our litigators practice in California, Oregon, and Washington, but have appeared in state and federal courts nationwide.  Our knowledge of our clients’ businesses, goals and concerns, and our experience litigating at the highest levels, give us unique insight into possible outcomes and pitfalls as we continuously confront issues of new impression.

No matter what the industry, we pride ourselves in achieving our clients’ objectives through efficient and creative solutions primarily designed to avoid disputes in the first place—which is always the best litigation strategy.  Many times, our clients obtain excellent outcomes before or at the earliest stages of litigation because our adversaries quickly recognize the challenges they will face in litigating against us.  When litigation is unavoidable, however, we work hard to provide our clients with both cost-efficient and “big firm” quality representation.



Your intellectual property (or “IP”) strategy can harness your most valuable information and intangible assets including your name, your brand, your designs, your content, your services, and your products — what makes your business stand apart in a competitive world.  We can help you evaluate and build your IP portfolio, then secure it, monetize it, and protect it.

IP encompasses multiple areas of law and different types of information or material.

Our Intellectual Property practice focuses on:


Trademarks include names, signs, logos, designs, phrases, slogans, expressions, and sometimes even colors, sounds, or smells that identify or distinguish one business compared to others.  Trademark protection is fundamental in securing your “brand.”


Copyright covers original works of creative authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression.  This includes literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, such as poetry, novels, designs, movies, songs, computer software, and architecture. Copyright does not protect facts, ideas, systems, or methods of operation, although it may protect the way these things are expressed.  Depending upon the type of work, “moral rights” (such as the right of attribution) may be implicated as well.


Trade secret laws can vary somewhat between states, but generally trade secrets cover information, including drawings, cost data, customer lists, formulas, recipes, patterns, compilations, programs, devices, methods, techniques or processes that derive economic value from not being generally known and are the subject of efforts that are “reasonable under the circumstances” to maintain secrecy.


Depending upon where you live or operate, there is a special patchwork of laws and regulations that protect and regulate personal information.  If you are handling or giving out personal or potentially sensitive information, you may be implicating privacy laws.


Publicity rights address the commercial use of an individual’s face, name, image, or likeness.  These rights vary state-to-state.  Marilyn Monroe, for example, lived in multiple states which created complex questions about her publicity rights.

Our Intellectual Property services include:


In states where new cannabis banking opportunities exist, Emerge Law Group has the proven expertise in creating canna-banking programs to efficiently capitalize on those opportunities. Our Banking Practice Group specializes in working with banks and credit unions to develop regulatory compliant programs and operational best practices. We also train banking staff to become experts in canna-banking so they can effective understand and manage the risk affiliated with canna-banking.

We regularly help clients with:


At Emerge Law Group, we recognize that employees are the heart and soul of any successful business.  Our Employment Law Practice Group works with employers to help them effectively manage their workforce, navigate the complex web of federal, state and local employment laws and, if necessary, defend against claims before administrative agencies and in court.

We regularly help clients with:


Our corporate finance and securities lawyers are experienced attorneys who have practiced at large law firms, worked as in-house counsel for public companies and investment banks, and owned and operated start-up companies. We work with clients to help achieve their financing goals while safely navigating the highly technical securities law landscape. 

In addition to representing issuers, we also routinely represent institutional and individual investors, including in connection with fund formation and investments.

Our expertise includes:

We have a deep understanding of the financing options available to businesses, including simple unsecured loans, asset-backed financing, convertible debt, common and preferred equity, crowdfunding and various other structures.  We work closely with our clients to understand their business and financing needs, ensure they are prepared to approach investors and choose the right partners, structure and negotiate terms, navigate the due diligence process and successfully close the deal.



Emerge attorneys have represented businesses in the alcohol and beverage industry, including wineries, breweries, distilleries, restaurants, bars, movie theaters, golf courses, and gas stations.  We can help you vet new locations, acquire existing locations, and apply for the appropriate liquor license.  We also provide training to comply with applicable rules and regulations, prepare operating procedures, submit renewals, and keep clients protected in the event of any potential violations or administrative hearings.


Emerge Law Group is highly experienced in the cannabis industry.  We have helped many clients obtain state licenses and local permits to operate cannabis businesses throughout California, Oregon, and Washington.  We regularly help clients with:

Cannabis laws and rules are also regularly changing.  Members of our team are dedicated to attending legislative hearings, state agency and local city and county meetings to stay up-to-date on any new changes and how to adjust to any new changes.

See our Cannabis Industry page for more information.


Emerge Law Group is a leader in the psychedelics industry.  There is tremendous excitement about the potential for psychedelic drugs to benefit a wide variety of populations, including veterans struggling with PTSD and terminally ill patients suffering with anxiety and depression.  Until recently, psychedelic substances have been accessible only in the underground; they are illegal under state and federal law to manufacture, distribute, or possess.  These substances have, since 1970, been treated as having no legitimate medical use, and no commercial application.  As such, businesses have not invested in this area or required legal services, outside of the criminal context.

Today, psychedelics are proceeding toward legalization on multiple paths.  Researchers in a multitude of clinical studies are proving the medical safety and efficacy of these medicines, with the objective of changing the treatment of these substances under the federal Controlled Substances Act, opening legal access to them.  Private and public companies are now actively raising money to develop intellectual property and capitalize on the market opportunities associated with psychedelic drugs.  Opportunities to be early actors in this new arena are tremendous.

See our Psychedelics Practice Group page for more information.


Our business transactions team is made up of highly experienced transactional attorneys who have practiced at large law and accounting firms, worked as in-house counsel for public companies and investment banks, and owned and operated start-up companies. We understand complex legal matters and provide high quality legal services in a cost-effective manner.  Our clients value our experience, knowledge and judgment.


Our team routinely advises clients regarding:


Emerge attorneys also advise on-going concerns with: