FLORIDA – November 12, 2019, Spiritus Law Founding partner and alcohol attorney Marbet Lewis, was quoted in the DBR’s Article “Recession, Technological Change Top of Mind in Law Firm Leader Outlook,” which discusses a potential recession worrying some business leaders in the US, and how the Sunshine State is being affected.
According to the heads of some of Florida’s largest law firm’s business is still good. The presidents, CEOs and managing partners of Florida’s most established and sprawling law firms offered their insights to the Daily Business Review on what is top of mind as 2019 winds down and 2020 approaches.
Marbet provides insight into the fledgling marijuana industry in Florida.
Lucrative and scarce marijuana licenses go for as much as $95 million and the demand from some 280,000 qualified patients is leading to a shortage.
Most of the legal work in Florida’s medical marijuana space stems from lobbying, government relations, and litigation, said Spiritus Law partner and alcohol attorney Marbet Lewis.
Since medical marijuana’s legalization by constitutional amendment in 2016, regulations and statutes have been in flux as the state struggles with the implementation of the ballot language.
Smokable medical marijuana only became available in March after the Florida Legislature repealed a ban on flower products, and the Florida Supreme Court may take up a question over the requirement that licensed operators be vertically integrated, meaning that operators must grow, process and distribute the cannabis. Critics argue that this sort of system limits investment in the industry.
Regardless of the challenges, Lewis sees the marijuana boom as a question of when, not if. Two separate ballot initiatives that could come up for a vote in 2020 seek to make recreational marijuana legal. Should that happen, business will explode, she added.
Established companies will look to acquire Florida growing operations and distributors, giving rise to opportunities for transactional attorneys. Medical professionals such as doctors and dentists who are already experimenting with nonpsychoactive CBD will seek counsel to help bring marijuana products to market. And alcohol companies have already expressed interest in integrating with the cannabis market.
“In Florida, we’re at the base right now,” Lewis said. “And there’s nowhere to go but up.”
Read the full article (subscription required).