By Steven Hoffman
Robert “Bob” Hoban, the renowned attorney and cannabis legal expert, along with his team at the Hoban Law Group, based in Denver, are seeing the future for hemp and cannabis.
Not only are they witnessing the rapid evolution of the hemp and marijuana industries on the horizon, they also just positioned their business to lead the industry there by announcing a merger with Clark Hill, a highly respected, 130-year-old international law firm based in Detroit, MI, with 26 offices and over 650 attorneys in the U.S., Mexico and Ireland.
Bob Hoban joins Clark Hill as a Member, Member-in-Charge of Clark Hill’s new Denver office, and he also will co-lead Clark Hill’s Cannabis Industry Group along with attorney Sander Zagzebski in the firm’s Los Angeles, CA, office.
In co-leading Clark Hill’s Cannabis Industry Group, Hoban, Zagzebski and their legal team will represent growers, processors, caregivers, transporters, lenders, investors, and other cannabis-industry clients on issues ranging from banking and finance, government relations and legislative advocacy, taxation, and business formation, investments, and governance issues.
For more than 12 years, Hoban has been an influential force behind U.S. and global cannabis policy development and has played a large part in the commercial success of the marijuana industry and hemp industries through his counsel, leadership, and mix of legal and business strategies. Since the cannabis industry became commercialized, he has been widely credited with creating the class of lawyers now known as “cannabis attorneys,” said Clark Hill in a statement. Hoban was named a “Cannabis Law Trailblazer” by The National Law Journal and the Hoban Law Group’s practice was named one of the leading cannabis practices in the U.S. by Chambers USA 2021.
“The plant is what brought us all together,” Hoban told Let’s Talk Hemp. “Now, we are seeing a movement become an industry before our very eyes. “We’re not just a small industry anymore; in today’s marketplace, you can’t provide legal counsel without larger resources at hand. The pace is picking up and this is the year of consolidation. It started with a bang with the announcement (in February 2021) of Jazz Pharmaceuticals’ acquisition of GW Pharmaceuticals,” Hoban noted.
With the anticipated passage of the SAFE Banking Act in Congress, along with potential federal legalization of cannabis, and bills mandating the FDA to allow hemp-derived CBD to be sold in dietary supplements, the industry is moving at lightning speed, Hoban observed. “Clark Hill stands alone in its ability to provide the experienced counsel and depth of legal resources necessary to deliver a higher level of service to an increasingly sophisticated and complex industry,” he added.
Hoban also noted, “The U.S. will always be a global leader, but there’s still plenty of opportunity in the global cannabis market. The cannabis industry is poised for sweeping changes and Clark Hill’s global, full-service capabilities will enable us to provide a more comprehensive lineup of services for both U.S. and international clients,” he said.
“The cannabis industry is an area of strategic focus for Clark Hill and the Hoban Law Group is globally recognized as one of the top cannabis law firms,” said John Hensien, CEO of Clark Hill. “The team’s depth of experience in helping cannabis-related businesses navigate the regulatory, transactional, and litigation landscape will provide a deeper bench for Clark Hill’s Cannabis Industry Group, and the team will also be a tremendous asset to our clients across the board in other areas of practice.”
“The combination of the Hoban team with our existing group at Clark Hill will give us one of the leading industry practice groups in the country with an enviable balance of cutting-edge legal skills and cannabis business insight and know how, which we hope will give our clients an edge in the extremely competitive, rapidly evolving cannabis marketplace,” added Sander Zagrebski.
“Growing the Hoban Law Group was part of a 10-year plan I wrote in 2012,” Hoban said. “Now, if a client wants to get into different aspects of hemp, for example, hemp plastics or fuels, we can help these companies get to the top floor faster. And, one of the reasons I chose Clark Hill is that their rates are comparable to ours; therefore we will not have to raise rates to our clients; that was very important to us.”
Hoban also told Let’s Talk Hemp that he is proud of the Hoban Law Group’s and Clark Hill’s diversity initiatives “We have a diversity inclusion committee with specific objectives and a social justice action plan, he noted. “Clark Hill also has a multi-faceted diversity committee, and has been recognized for its efforts,” he said.
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Steven Hoffman is Managing Director of Compass Natural, providing brand marketing, PR, social media, and strategic business development services to natural, organic, sustainable and hemp/CBD products businesses. Compass Natural serves in PR and programming for NoCo Hemp Expo and Southern Hemp Expo, and Hoffman serves as Editor of the weekly Let’s Talk Hemp Newsletter, published by We are for Better Alternatives. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.