In its Cannabis Resource Issue, ROI-NJ asked New Jersey’s top legal and financial experts what anyone who wants to break into the state’s cannabis business should keep in mind.
ROI-NJ posed several questions. Sills Cummis Cannabis Industry Practice Group Chairs Robert E. Schiappacasse weighed in.
How do you serve those in the cannabis industry?
Our Cannabis Industry Practice provides a broad range of services to the cannabis industry. Our clients include applicants for licensure to do business in the cannabis industry, operators in the cannabis industry and others doing business in the industry, including sources of finance, consultants and advisers, landlords and cannabis company executives. Specifically, we have been involved in cannabis-related transactions in New Jersey, Nevada, Arizona, Pennsylvania and Maryland. As one of a few law firms involved at the outset of the legalization of gambling in New Jersey, we understand the political, business and legal challenges clients will face. In that spirit, we work both to understand the regulatory framework and to guide our clients to maximize the benefits and protections available under existing and proposed laws and regulations. —Robert E. Schiappacasse
What is a barrier to entry — or an issue most people don’t think of — that needs to be addressed to play in this space?
One hurdle to possible success in the cannabis industry here in New Jersey is experience. As a nascent industry in New Jersey, operators are going to need to have access to intellectual capital and resources to solve problems and address issues that are likely to occur, and yet may be unique to the industry here in New Jersey. Unlike other, more well-developed industries in which first-time operators would have years, if not decades, of industry information to rely upon, New Jersey operators may need to go outside New Jersey for that information. —Robert E. Schiappacasse