An Alternative To Bankruptcy For Distressed Cannabis Businesses
Distressed cannabis businesses often face significant challenges in today’s ever-evolving industry. With complex regulations, banking limitations, and the potential for insolvency, many cannabis companies find themselves in difficult situations. While bankruptcy may seem like a viable option for relief, it is important to note that the bankruptcy court does not provide protection to businesses that work with high-THC cannabis or marijuana.
However, there is an alternative solution that distressed cannabis businesses can explore – state court receivership. Receivership is an equitable remedy that is often employed as an alternative to bankruptcy. It involves the appointment of a court-appointed receiver who takes control of the business and assesses its current state to determine the best path forward.
The receiver’s responsibilities can range from operating the company as-is to restructuring operations or even liquidating the business. Similar to a trustee in a bankruptcy, the receiver has a fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of creditors and stakeholders, with the goal of maximizing the value of the business.
Receivership is particularly applicable to the cannabis industry, which is still relatively new and faces unique challenges. The collision of business-minded individuals with little knowledge of marijuana and individuals well-versed in cannabis culture but lacking business experience has led to situations ripe for insolvency and litigation.
By stabilizing the business during legal proceedings or developing a restructuring plan, a receiver can add significant value to a distressed cannabis company. The ultimate aim is to maximize the value of the business for the benefit of its stakeholders.
However, it is important to note that a cannabis receivership is not without its complexities. Two significant areas distinguish marijuana receiverships from non-cannabis business receiverships: the complex regulatory environment and banking restrictions.
Cannabis operations are subject to a complicated regulatory framework that varies by state. The receiver must have a deep understanding of the industry’s regulations to ensure compliance and avoid any missteps. Each market has its own specific rules regarding daily business operations, and failure to adhere to these regulations can have severe consequences.
Another challenge in cannabis receiverships is banking. Receivers are responsible for identifying and securing the assets of the entity in receivership, including cash. However, many financial institutions are wary of working with cannabis businesses due to the continuing conflict between federal and state laws.
While some financial institutions have the option to service cannabis businesses, the compliance costs associated with serving this industry can be significant. Distressed cannabis operations may struggle to afford banking services, especially at the outset of a receivership. Furthermore, some banks may be open to cannabis but not receiverships, further limiting banking options.
Given these challenges, it is essential to engage a receiver who is experienced in the cannabis industry. Having a receiver well-versed in the regulatory landscape and knowledgeable about banking limitations can make a significant difference in the success of the receivership process.
In conclusion, for distressed cannabis businesses, bankruptcy may not be the solution due to the limitations imposed by the bankruptcy court. State court receivership offers a viable alternative, providing businesses with an opportunity to stabilize, restructure, or liquidate while maximizing value for stakeholders. While navigating the complex regulatory environment and banking restrictions can be challenging, the expertise of a cannabis-savvy receiver is crucial in leading a successful receivership process for a distressed cannabis company.