Garrett Graff

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Garrett counsels clients throughout their corporate life cycle on corporate formation and structuring; ongoing operational agreements, including leases, supply/distribution agreements, licensing agreements, and services agreements; as well as debt/equity financing and mergers and acquisitions. Garrett’s practice often involves serving as outside general counsel and is inclusive of both corporate/M&A and regulatory compliance matters, along with issues relating to real estate, intellectual property protection, tax, litigation, policy, and international issues.

Garrett's practice centers on representing clients in a variety of regulated sectors, including cannabis (inclusive of both marijuana and hemp), food/beverage, and alcohol. Specific to the cannabis industry, Garrett represents clients through successfully obtaining licenses in numerous states in both competitive and non-competitive licensure processes. He also assists clients in general corporate matters, protecting intellectual property, establishing partnerships and joint ventures, and expanding clients’ footprints across multiple states and/or countries, along with regulatory compliance matters.

Garrett represents hemp companies across the country and world on matters including import/export, cultivation, processing and manufacturing, distribution, and navigating legislative and regulatory frameworks. He frequently works with federal, state, and local authorities on policy and enforcement matters. Notably, Garrett represented hemp industry stakeholders against the DEA in confirming the Farm Bill’s hemp provisions pre-empt DEA authority and the CSA. He also regularly works with stakeholders in drafting model legislative and regulatory policy. 

Relatedly, from a regulatory perspective, Garrett counsels clients in navigating the many layers of international, federal, state, and local laws and regulations, ranging from marijuana- or hemp-specific laws and regulations to issues relating to conventional FDA and FTC compliance, Proposition 65 compliance, and import/export issues, along with other regulatory considerations.

Garrett has testified in judicial proceedings related to regulatory matters and frequently speaks in many forums - conferences, symposiums, and other events - regarding various issues, including cannabis and natural products.

graff_garrett.jpg In its 2023 guide, Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Chambers and Partners ranked Garrett Graff as a nationwide Cannabis Law attorney, Band 4.


Representative Matters
  • Represented multiple publicly or privately held companies and family offices in buy/sell transactions and related due diligence and regulatory compliance, ranging in value from $50,000 – $145,000,000, varying as corporate, regulatory, due diligence and/or local counsel.
  • Represent and advise companies throughout the corporate life cycle, and consistent with the regulatory scheme, in drafting governing documents; corporate formation and structuring; operational agreements (e.g. leases; supply/distribution agreements; licensing agreements; services agreements); debt/equity financing; and mergers and acquisitions.
  • Represent numerous companies (including multi-state operators) in industry-specific regulatory compliance, and complex multi-state compliance strategies, ranging from jurisdiction-specific legislative and regulatory issues to jurisdictional surveys.
  • Represented publicly-traded company in the strategic deployment of over $300 million of assets in the cannabis industry, including advisement corporate, strategic and regulatory considerations.
  • Drafted and advised on majority of merit-based applications for client who ultimately successfully obtained 2 out of 3 applications in a competitive license jurisdiction.
  • Represent numerous companies in regulatory compliance matters, ranging from FDA and FTC compliance in marketing and labeling; data privacy; Prop 65; to import/export.
  • Represent clients in various litigation or pre-litigation matters, with claims ranging from breach of contract, civil theft, fraud, FED, trade secrets, CRCP 106 to declaratory judgment.
  • Represent hemp industry stakeholders in 2017 and 2020 challenges to DEA rulemaking.
  • Advised numerous federal, state, local and tribal governments in drafting of legislation and promulgation of corresponding regulation to establish commercialized regulatory schemes.
  • Represented association of Colorado hemp companies in lobbying and advocacy efforts.
Publications and Articles

A Primer: Colorado Real Estate and the Cannabis Industry
Colorado Real Estate Journal, September 2023

Real Estate Issues Arise for Cannabis Businesses
Law Week Colorado, August 2023

How Should the FDA Regulate CBD and Hemp? Here’s What the Experts Think
CBD Oracle, August 2023

Ten experts reflect on state of U.S. hemp industry
Natural Products Insider, April 2023

Suing FDA over CBD would face procedural, substantive hurdles
Natural Products Insider, March 2023

Cannabis: Guidance for Real Property Owners
Lexis Nexis | Practical Guidance, July 2022

Lawyers Skeptical FDA Warning Letters Will Chill delta-8 THC Market
Natural Products Insider, May 2022

California’s CBD law: One step forward, two steps back?
Hemp Industry Daily, February 2022

Turning Over a New Leaf: Outlook for 2022
Marijuana Venture, February 2022

Hemp Experts Say 2023 Farm Bill Could Even Playing Field Between US and Rival Countries
Hemp Industry Daily, October 2021

State-Legalized Marijuana and Real Estate
Lexis Nexis | Practical Guidance, September 2021

Delta-8 THC Raises Questions About Intent of Farm Bill
Natural Products Insider, July 2021

An evolving perspective on therapeutic use of cannabis by athletes
Natural Products Insider, June 2021

Legal Cannabis Companies Pay Insane Tax Rates Thanks To A Minnesota Speed Dealer
Forbes, April 2021

Why the Cannabis Industry Needs To Get Greener
Greenhouse Grower, January 2021

Colorado hemp industry responds to new USDA rules
MJBizDaily, August 2020

The regulatory environment surrounding CBD-infused foods and drinks
Natural Products Insider, July 2020

Colorado hemp industry responds to new USDA rules
Denver Business Journal, October 2019

Hemp Investing 101: The Basics
AG Web, August 2019

Pennsylvania Senators Unveil Bill to Foster an Adult-use Cannabis Program
Cannabis Law Report, April 2019

Regulation of Different CBD Product Types
National Products Insider, April 2019

The FDA and Hemp: Status Check
Cannabis Law Report, March 2019

“Leveling the Playing Field: New Developments in Colorado Marijuana Investment”
The Maven, June 2018

Speaking Engagements and Presentations

“Contemplating the Future for CBD: Navigating the Sale of CBD and Other Hemp-Derived Cannabinoids in the Wake of FDA’s Recent CBD Announcement”
Legal, Regulatory & Compliance Forum on Dietary Supplements, June 2023

“CBD, The FDA, and an Act of Congress… Oh My”
NoCo Hemp Expo, March 2023

“The Top Three Legal Trends for Maintaining a Successful Brewery”
Colorado Craft Brewers Summit, November 2022

“What Investors are Looking for in Today’s Cannabis and Hemp Space”
NoCo Hemp Expo, March 2022

“Lighting up Cannabis: Parallels between State Cannabis Regulation and Income Taxation”
ABA-IPT Virtual Advanced State Income Tax Seminar, March 2022

“Regulatory Roulette: Federal and State Updates”
MJBizCon, October 2021

“How CBD Can Keep Disrupting Categories”
Informa Markets/Supply Side Network 365, August 2021

“Federal Policy – The Future of FDA and Cannabis Regulation”
International Cannabis Bar Association, August 12, 2021

“Cannabis: Organizational Forms for Growers and Dispensaries”
CPA Academy, July 21, 2021

“The Shake-Out Since the Farm Bill”
International Cannabis Bar Association, October 2020