Two preeminent boutique law firms to create a bridge across the emerging legal cannabis industries on the West Coast
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 1, 2018
Portland, OR and Sacramento, CA – February 1, 2018 – Emerge Law Group (“Emerge”), Oregon’s first full-service, boutique law firm specializing in the legal cannabis industry has merged with industry pioneer Greenbridge Corporate Counsel (“Greenbridge”), California’s premier cannabis-focused business law firm. For the immediate future, Emerge and Greenbridge will maintain their existing brands in the markets they serve (including Hawaii and Washington), but will otherwise operate as one law firm for the benefit of their current and future clients.
“We could not be more excited about joining forces with one of the most dynamic law firms in the cannabis field, and a powerhouse in California’s industry” said Marco Materazzi, Emerge’s managing shareholder. “The combination of our in-depth experience with Oregon’s two-year-old-plus adult-use cannabis industry and Greenbridge’s expertise and reputation in California’s medical and adult-use cannabis industry will create a wealth of knowledge, skill and experience to serve our clients as they navigate an ever-changing legal landscape and look to expand in other legal markets in the US and abroad.”
Emerge was founded on July 1, 2014 by a group of attorneys with backgrounds in the cannabis industry, as well as years of experience at prestigious business law firms. They had the idea to start a boutique firm that could bring experience in various legal sectors to an industry desperately in need of legal services – the cannabis industry. Over three years later, Emerge has grown into a full-service law firm with specialties including business formation and transactions, intellectual property, litigation, employment, land use, real estate and tax. With many of its clients in the Northwest looking to expand into what promises to be the largest legal cannabis market in the world, Emerge is thrilled to be partnering with a nationally well-reputed and trusted boutique firm like Greenbridge with deep roots in the cannabis industry and drug policy reform community.
“Emerge has earned its reputation as the leading cannabis business law firm in Oregon, and one of the very best in the US for service and competence. Given our growing clientele in both California and the Pacific Northwest, it made perfect sense to combine our teams and leverage our talents together,” commented Khurshid Khoja, principal and founder of Greenbridge and stalwart cannabis industry advocate. Khoja has worked to found and/or lead multiple regional, state and national cannabis trade associations, and has had a pronounced impact on the crafting of California cannabis law, policy and regulations, especially as they relate to investor participation.
Greenbridge is a minority-owned and managed law firm founded by Khoja in 2012 to provide premium legal services to businesses and investors in the cannabis industry in California, Washington and Hawaii on regulatory, start‐up, corporate, intellectual property, finance, and other commercial and transactional matters.
Greenbridge attorneys have richly diverse backgrounds with decades of experience in advising clients on state and federal banking, corporate, finance and securities laws in highly-regulated industries, mergers and acquisitions, antitrust and unfair competition law, intellectual property, commercial contracts, and licensing and regulatory compliance. “This is a force multiplier for both firms. With such talented and service-oriented attorneys up and down the west coast, this merger gives us the unique opportunity to provide top-shelf legal services to the entire western US.”
Find Emerge and Greenbridge on social media:
Greenbridge Principal named to Super Lawyers Rising Stars List for a Third Time
Greenbridge Principal Khurshid Khoja has been named to the 2013 Super Lawyers Northern California Rising Stars list, making the prestigious list for a third year. The Rising Stars list recognizes outstanding attorneys under 40 years old who have demonstrated excellence in the practice of law and attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Selection to the list is an honor limited to only 2.5% of the attorneys in California.
Super Lawyers is an exclusive, unbiased ratings-service of lawyers from business and consumer practice areas. Awardees are nominated by their own peers and nominations are validated with third-party research across 12 key categories. Final selection occurs after nominations are reviewed by a highly credentialed panel of attorneys. The 2013 Rising Stars list will be published in the August 2013 edition of San Francisco magazine, which reaches more than 300,000 readers.
The cover story in the April 2013 issue of Fortune reads like a Greenbridge client list, and we couldn’t be prouder. A total of five clients of our Cannabis & Industrial Hemp Practice are featured in the article: Harborside Health Center, UpToke, WeCanna.com, Emerald Growers Association and The ArcView Group. “This all star line-up is proof-positive that the firm is staying true to its mission of funding start-ups and social enterprises working to dismantle cannabis prohibition,” says Greenbridge Principal Khurshid Khoja. “It also shows the breadth of our firm’s expertise in advising a wide array of cannabis and ancillary industry enterprises—from angel investor forums, crowdfunding platforms, and trade associations to personal electronics and heavy equipment manufacturers, and of course, enterprises seeking to comply with state cannabis laws and regulations,” added the firm's founder. Greenbridge congratulates its clients on this milestone, and is proud to provide expert legal counsel to these visionary companies.
Greenbridge Corporate Counsel joins the NCIA
As of January 2013, Greenbridge is a proud member of the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA). The NCIA membership is comprised of the leading businesses and organizations in America's emerging cannabis industry. NCIA was founded on the principle of power in numbers. Thousands of American businesses are involved the cannabis industry but without an organized trade association, their issues and concerns would go unheard in Washington, D.C. Cannabis businesses, collectively, are a tremendous economic force and should have a voice on Capitol Hill. As the only national trade association for cannabis professionals, NCIA works to defend and advance the industry on the national stage. The mission of the NCIA is to promote the growth of a responsible and legitimate cannabis industry and to work for a favorable social, economic and legal environment for that industry in the United States. Greenbridge is privileged to support that mission.
Greenbridge Client, The ArcView Group, quoted in WSJ Marketwatch story on "How to Invest in Legalized Marijuana."
One of Greenbridge's first clients, The ArcView Group, is featured in a Nov. 13, 2012 Wall Street Journal Marketwatch story on "How to Invest in Legalized Marijuana." Troy Dayton, the visionary CEO of The ArcView Group is quoted in a discussion on business opportunities in the ancillary industries.
Greenbridge Principal Khurshid Khoja has the privilege of serving as outside General Counsel to The ArcView Group and performed the legal work that lead to the creation of the ArcView Angel Network. Khurshid hosted the inaugural meeting of the ArcView Angel Network at the San Francisco office his former law firm, Reed Smith LLP, before leaving to found Greenbridge Corporate Counsel.
Greenbridge Principal Khurshid Khoja Addresses Social Entrepreneurs at the National Marijuana Business Conference in Denver, November 8th, 2012.
Greenbridge Principal Khurshid Khoja had the privilege of traveling to Denver, Colorado on election day to attend the Amendment 64 Victory Party for donors. "For those of us who see cannabis prohibition as an immoral and unjust system to be dismantled brick by brick, being in Denver that night felt like, to me, what it might have felt like to be in Berlin when the Wall came down," noted Khurshid.
Later that week, Khurshid had the honor of speaking at the two-day National Marijuana Business Conference organized by the Medical Marijuans Business Daily and the National Cannabis Industry Association. Khurshid spoke on the first day, presenting once in the morning on a panel entitled, "Risky Business: An Overview of the Legal Risks Facing MMJ Companies, Vendors and Investors" (with Christian Sederberg of Vicente Sederberg LLC and Chris Lindsey of the Montana Cannabis Industry Association) and again in the afternoon during a solo talk entitled "New Opportunities for Ancillary MMJ Businesses." TheWeedBlog.com has a fantastic write-up of both days of this fantastic conference; here's what they had to say about Khurshid's presentations:
"Khurshid Khoja gave an in-depth presentation on the differences between ‘for profit’ and ‘non profit’ dispensary regulations and structures, as well as the benefits and drawbacks of each. I hope his entire presentation is put down in words or recorded someday so that everyone in medical marijuana states can see it. The differences are significant, and I know for a fact that many dispensary owners have no idea what those differences are, which is sad, because knowing those differences could be the difference between success and failure for any dispensary."
"The final panels of the day were ‘Insurance Options’ hosted by Doug Banfelder, and ‘New Opportunities for Ancillary MMJ Businesses’ hosted by Khurshid Khoja. . . . The ancillary business presentation was something I was looking forward to all day, since as Troy Dayton stated earlier in the day, “they are more likely to get investors than dispensaries due to less risk involved.” Mr. Khoja discussed various sectors of the marijuana industry that are thriving, and are completely legal, such as security systems, growing equipment, consultants, lawyers, etc. The room was packed and by the end of the question and answer session, I think there were people in the crowd that were originally looking to open a safe access point, but instead might be looking into other areas."
A full recap of Day 1 is available here.
Greenbridge Principal Khurshid Khoja Speaks on Drug War Panel hosted by the San Francisco Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights
On October 11, 2012, as part the San Francisco Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights' ongoing efforts to engage the legal community in a dialogue about the often perilous intersection between race, civil rights and the criminal justice system, the LCCR's Second Chance Legal Clinic hosted a panel discussion entitled “The War on Drugs in California." Greenbridge Principal Khurshid Khoja spoke alongside co-panelists San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón and Selena Teji from the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, with Zoe Polk of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission serving as moderator. Khurshid spoke about the federal harassment and closure of state law-compliant medical cannabis dispensaries in San Francisco, and the effective re-criminalization of medical cannabis patients in low-income communities of color already suffering from inadequate access to healthcare.
Khurshid Khoja Addresses the 2010 Day of Remembrance in Japantown, SF
Greenbridge Principal Khurshid Khoja has been a lifelong civil and human rights activist, beginning in high school where he joined Chicago's anti-Apartheid movement to work for racial justice and democracy in South Africa. Since then, Khurshid has served in leadership roles on various civil rights and legal services organizations, including the Bill of Rights Defense Committee and the Asian Law Caucus. In that capacity, Khurshid has made numerous public speaking appearances.
On February 21, 2010, Khurshid spoke at the Bay Area's Day of Remembrance commemorating the shameful internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, to a crowded auditorium at the Sundance Kabuki Cinema in San Francisco's Japantown. Khurshid spoke on the injustice of the incarceration of Japanese Americans and the continued struggle against racist scapegoating in post-9/11 America. Text and audio of Khurshid's speech is available via the Fred T. Korematsu Institute for Civil Rights and Education and KPFA's APEX Express.