Should You Join the Board of Directors of a Cannabis Company?

We lawyers get asked to sit on boards pretty frequently. At this law firm, those requests are sometimes made by clients and I believe we have always declined– but not for the reasons you may be thinking.

In many cases, a lawyer who sits on the board of a company he or she represents risks exposure to conflicts of interest. That is especially true where equity compensation is involved. In other cases, founders of a new company will not fully appreciate the role of a board and what it really means for oversight and governance. Or, expectations simply be mismatched. Overall, I’ve found there are more reasons to say “no” than “yes” to requests to join boards. And I say that as someone who has chaired a couple of them.

This post covers some high-level considerations for someone considering joining a cannabis company board. It’s written with lawyers in mind, but most of these thoughts apply to just about anyone.

Insurance

I may be starting out of order, but only slightly. One of the first questions I typically ask when invited to join a board is what insurance is in place. What I’m looking for is a broadly written directors

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