BPS Lawyers Attend MJBizCon 2021
Attorneys Ian Butler and Nick Paindiris of the firm’s Cannabis Law department attended MJBizCon, the largest Cannabis industry trade show. The expo featured upwards of 1,000 exhibitors including equipment manufacturers (lighting, labeling, storage, fertilizer, harvesting, etc.) as well as professional service providers (accountants, bankers, insurers, payment processors, lenders). MJBizCon also featured 80 speakers comprised of successful cannabis business owners, investors, consultants, attorneys, and regulators working in or along-side the cannabis industry.
The Cannabis Law department at BPS Lawyers is constantly striving to build our knowledge and to expand our network of contacts and professionals who may be able to assist our clients in areas we as attorneys cannot (i.e., providing insurance or banking services). We look to learn from those who have been successful in the Cannabis industry in states such as California, where medical and recreational Cannabis have been legal long before being legalized in Connecticut, and to bring back our findings to Connecticut where we can adopt and apply this knowledge to our clients.
Just as the Connecticut legislators who wrote the laws legalizing medical and recreational cannabis had the benefit of looking to other states that legalized before Connecticut and learning what worked and didn’t work, we as attorneys can look to what has been done by businesses (and their advisors and attorneys) in states such as California or Colorado for insight on matters such as corporate structuring, tax planning and accounting, leasing, financing, banking, employment, and so on.
Perhaps our biggest take-away was this: The cannabis industry is incredibly competitive and only a fraction of those who want to start a cannabis business will actually receive a license, and only a fraction of those will succeed in opening for business and go on to survive past the initial 3-5 years. As a state that is relatively late to adopt legal cannabis, Connecticut cannabis businesses will be competing against out-of-state operators with years of experience under their belts who are entering into Connecticut to open up cannabis businesses. A startup cannabis business in Connecticut does not have time to “learn as they go” through trial and error in the same way that startups in California or Colorado may have. Connecticut cannabis businesses must get it right the first time and dispense with the trial and error if they want to have a chance competing against larger more experienced operators.
At MJBizCon we heard successful cannabis business leaders from all over the country say time and time again that the most important first step is building your team. BPS Lawyers can be a part of your team and we can help you build your team. See our Cannabis Law page for more information.