Selna, Robert

510.834.6600 T

510.808.4745 F


Selna weighs in on CNBC coverage of SB51

Longstanding Success Advising Cannabis Clients

Oakland-based Wendel Rosen offers clients a long and successful history navigating California’s cannabis laws and tools to help them thrive in an industry experiencing exponential growth. The firm began advising cannabis clients in 2004 when Oakland pioneered medical cannabis dispensary permits. The state’s issuance of commercial cannabis licenses in 2018 demonstrates that cannabis has evolved into a highly regulated and profitable industry requiring the broad range of legal services provided by Wendel Rosen.

An Expanding Need for Wendel Rosen’s Expertise

By 2020, California and U.S. legal marijuana sales are expected to exceed $7 billion and $20 billion respectively. This rapid expansion has generated the need for legal services not only related to regulatory compliance and entity formation, but also to business transactions, such as leasing, commercial contracts and financing – all areas in which Wendel Rosen excels.

A Full-Service Law Firm That Understands the Cannabis Industry

Wendel Rosen’s early cannabis law experience and breadth of business law expertise ideally position the firm to advise clients during this pivotal time. As a full-service business law firm, Wendel Rosen is equipped to handle the needs of established and new cannabis enterprises. The following Wendel Rosen services are particularly relevant to cannabis businesses:

  • Business Entity Formation
  • Business Contracts
  • Real Estate Transactions
  • Land Use
  • Financing
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Permitting
  • Regulatory Compliance
  • Litigation
  • Insurance
  • Licensing and Intellectual Property
  • Tax
  • Employment
  • Government Affairs

For firm insights into legal issues impacting the Cannabis industry, please visit our California Cannabis Law Blog.


Representative Matters


Real Estate Transactions

  • Representing numerous landlords across California in lease transactions with cannabis operators

  • Advising multiple cannabis business tenants across California in lease transactions with landlords, including a master-tenant developer renovating a 140,000 square-foot circa-1944 publicly-owned warehouse


Permitting/Land use/Compliance

  • Serving as outside general counsel for a fully-integrated cannabis company whose value is estimated at $125 million, including assisting in obtaining permits licenses, real estate transactions, contracts, financing and environmental issues

  • Representing multiple cannabis operators across California seeking cannabis permits and licenses

  • Representing retail operators in permitting-related litigation against the Cities of Stockton and San Diego


Corporate Formation/Financing/Mergers and Acquisition

  • Advising a California cannabis company licensed for cultivation, manufacturing, distribution and retail in its $10 million Series A Preferred Stock offering

  • Advising a Canadian public company on due diligence and licensing matters in its $30 million acquisition of a California cannabis manufacturing and distribution company

  • Counseled manufacturer of grow containers on entity structure, capitalization, and transfer of intellectual property

  • Advised multiple startup cannabis companies on entity selection and structure, taking into consideration 280E tax issues and tax liability


Commercial Transactions and Matters

  • Advised operators in creating distribution agreements, purchase agreements, strategic partnership agreements, and other commercial transactions

  • Assisting manufacturer of electric pipes on employment matters, creating an equity incentive plan, and general corporate matters



  • Obtained full dismissal with award of costs for cultivator sued for unfair business practices by competitor

  • Defending landowner who terminated purchase agreement with manufacturer buyer

  • Defending landlord sued for unfair business practices relating to tenant’s illegal cultivation

  • Negotiated restoration of utilities service to landlord whose tenant left considerable unpaid utilities balance


  • Selna, Robert
  • Acevedo, William C.
  • Balderama, Karen J.
  • Butera, Mia L.
  • Cohen, Joshua D.
  • Cooper, Michael D.
  • Green, Tracy
  • Manley, Wendy L.
  • Morger, Steven M.
  • Pak, Eugene M.
  • Wasserman, R. Zachary
  • Williams, Todd A.
Publications & News