Can Marijuana Business Operators Obtain Bankruptcy Relief? NIMBC - Not In My Bankruptcy Court

Date: Available 24/7 CLE Credits: 1 General

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Course Description

This program was recorded on February 27th, 2019

Due to the federal prohibition on marijuana pursuant to the Controlled Substances Act, marijuana business operators (cultivators, processors, and retailers), their landlords and ancillary businesses that provide goods and services to the marijuana industry have been unable, thus far, to take advantage of federal bankruptcy laws. This course will cover the bankruptcy courts’ basis for dismissing bankruptcy cases filed by marijuana business operators and ancillary businesses. An overview of various marijuana business bankruptcy cases that have been filed will be discussed by case type (chapter 11, 7, and 13) and by type of marijuana business filing the case (grower/ cultivator v. ancillary business).  In addition, potential solutions/ planning tips will be discussed that may enable a business to remain in bankruptcy.  State law options will also be covered.



  • Patricia H. Heer
    Patricia H. Heer historically practiced in the area of commercial litigation and business reorganization at an AmLaw100 firm. Patricia’s litigation and transactional experience enables her to now advise clients in the rapidly shifting cannabis industry. Believing in the importance of education and access to information, Patricia co-founded the Cannabis Law Digest, an electronic platform of legal resources for the cannabis industry. The Digest contains cannabis statutes and regulations, industry specific articles, agency guidelines, and state and federal cannabis court decisions digested by industry attorneys into easy to read summaries. Any cannabis industry participant can empower oneself by reading and analyzing what courts and regulators are saying about the issues affecting one’s business. Patricia is a member of the State Regulations Committee of the National Cannabis Industry Association, a member of the Emerging Issues Committee of the National Cannabis Bar Association, a regular supporter of the New York chapter of Women Grow and CannaGather, and a member of the New York City Affairs Committee of the New York City Bar Association. She has also published several articles on issues affecting the cannabis industry and is a frequent speaker at industry events and conferences.

    Contact Patricia H. Heer
      • 1 General Credit
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    1. What are the reasons marijuana business operators cannot take advantage of bankruptcy laws?
    2. What are the reasons ancillary businesses and landlords cannot take advantage of bankruptcy laws?
    3. Does the type of filing make a difference (a liquidation under chapter 7 versus a reorganization case under chapter 11) for purposes of being able to be in bankruptcy?
    4. Are there any carve-outs/ exceptions that may allow a marijuana business to stay in bankruptcy?
    5. If bankruptcy relief is not available, what state court remedies can financially distressed marijuana businesses use?
    6. What are the shortcomings of the state court remedies?