Heidi Urness (Member; Chair, Cannabis Practice Group) has a national reputation in the cannabis sector. She is a skillful, tenacious, and results-focused attorney who advises individuals, entrepreneurs, financiers, producers, processors, retailers, and other categories of licensees, and cannabis-ancillary business and service providers as they navigate and prosper in this highly regulated industry. She guides startups that need to establish operations, attract investment, and obtain the necessary licenses. Heidi counsels retailers on real estate, banking, and employment matters, and works with investors interested in professionally-run and compliant cannabis ventures. She also advises companies that support the marijuana industry, like trucking and transportation providers and packaging designers and suppliers. Heidi also supports clients in a wide variety of disputes and litigation, priding herself on the motto “don’t mess with my cannabis clients.”
Individuals and entities alike engage Heidi for her ‘strategy work’ to gain entry into and accelerate within the industry: developing business plans that serve as foundations for winning applications and licenses, creating new business entities, often in the form of financing vehicles, and building out operating agreements that follow strict codes to maximize the future inflow of capital to the business operations and outflow of profits to members. In addition, she works with businesses already involved in the sector to formalize their existing projects and grow them into successful and compliant businesses.
As the cannabis industry matures, Heidi is increasingly called on to resolve corporate disputes, including partnership issues, regulatory challenges, allegations of securities fraud and fraudulent solicitations, investors or members seeking an early exit (or being forced out), breach of contract, intellectual property disputes between similarly branded businesses, employment disputes, real property disputes, administrative violations and federal warning letters, and other contentious matters. When that happens, businesses in all sections of the industry know Heidi will enforce, protect, and defend their rights skillfully and effectively.
Heidi was appointed to the Editorial Advisory Committee of the WSBA in 2018, is a member of the WSBA Cannabis Law Section, is a leading author on CBD, hemp, and marijuana law, and a regular contributor to many of the nation’s premier cannabis publications including Marijuana Venture, CannaBiz Journal, and the Cannabis Law Journal. She was named one of the Top 30 Cannabis Litigators You Should Know, a “Rising Star,” a Top 200 Global Cannabis Attorney, and has been asked to speak throughout the nation on the legal landscapes affecting marijuana, hemp, and cannabinoid-related businesses, and gives CLEs to educate other attorneys regarding cannabis law issues.