Currently, 30 states and the District of Columbia have adopted some form of cannabis legalization, producing an estimated $9 billion in sales in 2017, making it one of the fastest growing industries in the U.S. This accelerated growth will find many new entrants grappling with differing state laws/regulatory structures, contradictory federal statutes, and navigating obscure banking and financial systems. This session will discuss the current trajectory of the industry, provide insight as to how growers and sellers operate their businesses in the current system, and the opportunities, challenges and risks for turnaround professionals, lenders and investors this emerging market creates.
Session Directors: Steve Emerson, Sydney Darling, Jennifer Mercer, Teri Stratton
Seth R. Freeman, CIRA, CTP, GLASSRATNER ADVISORY & CAPITAL GROUP, LLC
Seth R. Freeman, CIRA, CTP, Senior Managing Director of GlassRatner Advisory & Capital Group, LLC, a B. Riley Financial Company, based in San Francisco, is leading the firm’s national Cannabis Business Advisory & Restructuring practice. Leveraging GlassRatner’s national footprint of 14 offices and 110 professionals and B. Riley’s investment banking and M&A expertise, the firm’s Cannabis practice assists investors, entrepreneurs, operators, landlords, creditors, lenders and their attorneys in this complex, fast-growing industry. In addition to interim CFO and CEO services, turnaround management and restructuring services, GlassRatner provides the Cannabis industry with due diligence, valuation, litigation support and fiduciary services such as receiver and assignee (ABC); and real estate and construction consulting.
Seth has over 30 years of experience as a turnaround, restructuring, financial, distressed debt, fraud recovery, Chapter 11 bankruptcy advisor and fiduciary across a wide range of industries. He has over 20 years significant cross-border experience, including India, China, Mexico, Central and South America and Greece. Prior to joining GlassRatner, Seth co-founded and managed an international restructuring, financial advisory and asset and fund management boutique for over 20 years. He began his career in real estate investment, development, financing, workouts and restructuring and is a licensed California general contractor and real estate broker. Seth is a past Chairman of the Editorial Board of the TMA Journal of Corporate Renewal, and a director and officer of the TMA Northern California Chapter. Seth is presently a Director of the Bay Area Bankruptcy Forum. He is also frequent contributor on Bloomberg, CNBC, BTVI, CNBC Awaaz, TV18 and other Indian business TV channels. Seth may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 415-839-9280
Dan Garfield of McAllister Garfield, P.C. is a leading cannabis industry attorney, licensed in Colorado and Oregon. Dan represents individuals and businesses in all types of matters and transactions from the start-up stage to exit. He represents stores and cultivation facilities, investors, landlords, lenders, trimmers, oil extractors, edibles manufacturers, testing laboratories, hemp farmers, CBD manufacturers, and ancillary businesses such as social media companies, consultants, and suppliers.
His experience includes entity formation and restructuring, mergers and acquisitions, debt and equity financing, private placements, licensing, contract negotiation and drafting, corporate governance, and joint ventures, among other legal matters involving cannabis businesses. Dan also acts as outside general counsel for a number of businesses in the industry.
Mitchell Kahn co-founded Grassroots Cannabis in 2014 after Illinois passed its medical cannabis program to provide safe and efficacious cannabinoid products to patients. In his role as Chief Executive Officer, the company has since grown to have 27 licenses and operations in seven states with more than 200 employees. Grassroots Cannabis is rapidly expanding its footprint by pursuing a robust deal pipeline with active opportunities in new markets across the U.S. Grassroots Cannabis’ unique approach to focus on limited license and highly competitive locations has positioned the company to be the only fully vertically integrated cannabis company in states including Illinois, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Ohio.
Mitch brings with him more than 20 years of chief executive experience. He also serves as Chairman of Frontline Real Estate Partners, a highly successful commercial real estate investment and advisory company headquartered in Chicago that has acquired properties in excess of $150,000,000 since its inception in 2010. Prior to co-founding Frontline, Mitch founded and served as President and CEO of Hilco Real Estate, one of the country’s leading real estate restructuring, disposition, valuation, and appraisal ﬁrms.
Scott Moskol of Burns Levinson is a partner, and co-chair of the firm's Financial Restructuring & Distressed Transactions and Cannabis Business Advisory practices, and a member of the Corporate, Finance, and Infrastructure & Public-Private Partnerships practices. He has developed a national platform representing and counseling clients with respect to all legal issues that may arise in restructurings, workouts, bankruptcies, receiverships and other insolvency-related matters. Scott’s practice also consists of advising clients with respect to the purchase and/or sale of distressed assets, companies and loan portfolios.
Additionally, he has expertise advising private clients with respect to their public-private partnership relationships with the public sector. He also represents clients with respect to financings and lending transactions, as well as general corporate matters, sometimes serving as outside general counsel. Since 2013, Scott has been providing corporate counsel to clients in the cannabis industry. His nationwide base of clients in this growing practice includes investors, lenders, operators of cultivation and dispensary facilities, consultants and family offices.
Scott is often retained for capital raises, structuring appropriate vehicles for investment in the industry, drafting operative documents, and for general business advice given his involvement as an executive team member of one of his operating entity clients. Prior to joining Burns & Levinson, he served as Vice President, Senior Asset Manager and Counsel for Capital Crossing, a division of Lehman Brothers Bank, F.S.B/Capital Crossing Servicing Company, LLC. He also managed all outstanding legal matters and cases for the nonperforming loans in the portfolio, which included assessing risk and cost of various options, and negotiating, resolving and restructuring the loans.