As each state’s cannabis industry matures past the licensing and permitting phases, expect to see a huge uptick in internal and external issues with cannabis businesses: promising partnerships turn into bitter rivalries, companies go broke, permits and licenses get voided, etc. All of these issues need to be resolved, and many companies or their execs or owners will end up slugging it out in court. However, many, if not most cannabis disputes will be resolved behind closed doors and generally out of the public view, in private arbitration.
If you don’t know what arbitration is, check out my post here from back in 2018. For a cliff notes version, private arbitration is basically a trial before a private arbiter who is usually a former judge or lawyer. Arbitration can only happen if the parties agree to it, and that usually translates to disputes over a contract with an arbitration clause. If your contract doesn’t have one, chances are you’ll be stuck in the courts. In this post, I want to get into some of the pros and cons of arbitration.