Cannabis Legal Issues in Real Estate Transactions

Streams live on Monday, June 15, 2020 at 03:00pm EDT

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$ 89 Real Estate and Cannabis In Stock
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Course Information

Time 60 Minutes
Difficulty Intermediate

Course Description

Cannabis licenses are location specific, and every state agency governing the issuance of cannabis licenses requires applicants to demonstrate “site control”, typically in the form of a lease, deed, or enforceable option to purchase. As a result, prospective cannabis business operators often face a funding conundrum - it is frequently difficult to fund a business without a license, but one cannot obtain a license without real estate, which requires some funding.

This program, presented by Lauren A. Rudick, Partner at Manhattan-based boutique law firm Hiller, PC, and co-founder of its cannabis practice, will provide examples of creative solutions to resolving these threshold real estate focused application requirements. The discussion will include basic anatomy of letters of intent contingent upon licensing, and tips to structure a financing plan that includes securing the real property. It will also cover how to “cannabis-ize” a traditional lease by including, among other things: an explicit permitted use and applicable regulations; ensuring compliance with state (not federal) law; subjecting landlord rights of reentry and possession to regulatory requirements, as well as building in flexibility to comply with regulatory requirements regarding, among other things, garbage disposal, signage, parking, lighting, ADA compliance, and heightened tenant diligence requirements. Lastly, it will cover the creation of REITs and lease-back opportunities for investors – an increasingly common non-plant touching opportunity for those who may be risk-averse but still want to participate in the cannabis industry, and common compliant protective provisions to secure the timely payment of rent and other tenant obligations.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Discuss how real estate impacts and affects the state cannabis licensing process
  2. Leverage real estate in a cannabis business financing plan
  3. Identify the clauses that must be included in a real estate lease for a cannabis business

Credit Information

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Lauren A. Rudick

Hiller, PC

Lauren Rudick is a Partner in the boutique business law firm, Hiller, PC, in Manhattan, New York.  A “recovering litigator,” Lauren practiced commercial litigation for ten (10) years, during which time she successfully represented clients in a wide variety of business, intellectual property, and Internet/media disputes while contributing to the Firm’s land use and zoning practice.  With a trained and sensitive eye for keeping clients out of litigation and a penchant for deal-making, Lauren has refocused her career on start-up law, regulatory compliance, and commercial and secured transactions. Lauren has also developed a niche in running due diligence, salvaging deals that have turned south, mitigating against legal exposure, and identifying and remedying abuse or misuse of corporate power and form.  In 2015, Lauren was named a Rising Star among Top New York Metro Attorneys, as featured by Superlawyers®, and in 2019, Lauren was named a Superlawyer among the Metro Super Lawyers list.

Lauren is also the co-founder of Hiller, PC’s cannabis law practice, having come to the cannabis industry through her mother’s end of life care.  What started as a passion project in patient rights during a brief residency in California, Lauren has become one of the Nation’s preeminent attorneys providing legal services to cannabis industry players in the “Green Rush.”  With her diverse background in corporate law, litigation, and land-use and zoning, she provides clients with the most up-to-date information necessary to operate and invest in successful cannabis, hemp, and ancillary businesses. Lauren is also a member of the legal team that brought an action against former Attorney General Sessions and the federal government seeking, among other things, a declaration that the misclassification of cannabis as a Schedule I drug is unconstitutional.  Lauren enjoys an extensive network of cannabis and hemp professionals nationwide, enabling her to provide full legal and business services to her clients.

Lauren is an Expert Contributor and has a monthly column with Marijuana Venture Magazine, is a frequent speaker at national and local events, including, among others, the Emerald Cup, MJ Biz Con, the Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition, the Women Grow Leadership Summit, BevNet, the International Cannabis Bar Association, and the National Cannabis Industry Association, and provides pro bono legal and advocacy services to the Drug Policy Alliance, Compassionate Care New York, and the Cannabis Cultural Association.  She has been quoted in numerous cannabis and non-cannabis publications including, among others, Crain’s New York Business, Inc., Rolling Stone, Forbes, HERB, Daily Cannabis Observer, Cannabis Business Times, Cannabis Business Daily, Leafly, The Weed Blog, Weed News, and the Fresh Toast.  Lauren was recognized as “The Authority” in Cannabis Venture’s Women to Watch in October 2017, and in July 2018, Lauren was featured in MG Retailer for “Fighting the Good Fight.”  Lauren currently serves on the Executive Committee and Board of Directors for the International Cannabis Bar Association, as the organization’s Treasurer.

Brings Years of Commercial Litigation & Trial Expertise to the Hiller, PC Team

Prior to joining the Hiller, PC team, Lauren was an associate at Weiss & Hiller, PC, and an attorney in the New York office of Weil, Gotshal, and Manges, LLP, where she worked primarily in the Business and Securities Litigation Department. She gained considerable experience working on a successful trial team and managing complex discovery issues involving e-discovery.

Bar Admissions:

New York, 2005
Southern District of New York, 2013


New York Law School,
Juris Doctor (2004) Cum Laude


Co-Author, Robert F. Wagner National Labor and Employment Law Moot Court Competition, New York Law School, 2004

National Semifinalist and Best Oral Advocate, National Entertainment Law Moot Court Competition, Pepperdine University School of Law, 2003

National Champion, Best Oral Advocate, John J. Gibbons National Criminal Procedure Moot Court Competition, Seton Hall University School of Law, 2002

Bucknell University

Bachelor of Arts, Music, and Management (2001)