Frontera Law Group is a law firm in California serving the industry’s preeminent cannabis businesses. Frontera provides strategic advice, helping clients navigate the ever-changing landscape to build successful and sustainable enterprises while also complying with California’s complex, evolving patchwork of state and local regulations.
Q&A with Entrepreneur & Frontera Law Group
What do you think are the biggest misconceptions cannabis industry?
The most common misconception we see from outsiders looking to cash in on the “green rush” are those who fail to understand the nuanced challenges of the industry. There is nothing simple about navigating a business that remains illegal at the federal level. Bank accounts and insurance are challenging to obtain and maintain, traditional advertising and marketing methods are highly restrictive, licensure requires millions in financing, and legitimate cannabis businesses still have to compete with a very healthy black market, which will be a constant presence until states have generated enough tax revenue for meaningful enforcement.
How is your business innovating?
The most significant way Frontera is differentiating itself from other service providers is our ecosystem-driven mantra. At the offset of starting our practice, clients inevitably needed additional support outside of traditional legal services. We decided to address this by starting additional service-based businesses, and by partnering with other, thoroughly-vetted third-party businesses. To-date, this includes an entertainment division, a full-service creative agency, a real estate consulting division, and partners in accounting, private equity, and insurance. The entertainment side of our ecosystem is uniquely positioned to create and facilitate the introduction of brands that will define the cannabis industry.
What was the biggest hurdle you had to overcome in your business?
The biggest hurdle for our industry generally is overcoming generations of misinformation and propaganda specific to cannabis and its consumers. We place a tremendous amount of responsibility on ourselves to destigmatize through professionalism and education. In terms of the legal community specifically, the role of a California cannabis lawyer five years ago was not to create a successful business enterprise for their client, but to keep them out of jail. For that reason, we take great pride in protecting our clients from bad actors, or those looking to take advantage of a nascent marketplace to the detriment of our clients.
What is your favorite aspect of working in this industry?
My favorite aspect of working as a lawyer in the cannabis industry is having the ability to operate at the tip of the spear of a burgeoning industry. With every day that passes, we set new legal precedent, define industry standards, and help to create brands and businesses that already are, or soon will be, household names. This can be simultaneously exhilarating and stressful, as there is no standard to draw from. But as a team we rely on each other to come up with legal, transparent solutions to problems that have never existed before.
What inspires you?
First and foremost, our clients inspire us. These are individuals who have sacrificed their liberty, or in some cases their lives, for cannabis. We are acutely aware that we stand on the shoulders of the operators and activists who gave us an opportunity to be where we are now. As an industry, we have the ability to effectuate tremendous social, political, and financial change at a global scale. The legalization of cannabis will make our world a better place for all those who live in it, and we are honored to play a small part.