40 Under 40
For the past five years, the Marijuana Venture staff has compiled an annual list of some of the brightest young leaders and influencers in the cannabis industry. As in past years, we have narrowed the list from hundreds of worthy candidates to present 40 individuals from the vast and ever-changing business in the United States and Canada.
It is our honor to share their stories.
Company: Bianchi & Brandt
Title: Shareholder and Partner
Arizona attorney Justin Brandt has been representing cannabis clients since 2014. At the time he was focused on business litigation and employment law, but after doing some executive compensation and termination work for a few cannabis businesses, he says he never looked back.
“When we started, lawyers didn’t really want to work in this industry. There were a lot of unknowns,” he says. “Which has completely changed now.”
Today, Brandt is a partner and shareholder at Bianchi & Brandt, a Scottsdale-based law firm that primarily works with cannabis businesses, representing a majority of Arizona’s licensed operators. He says about 50% of the firm’s work is business litigation, with the rest being transactions.
“It’s been a whirlwind,” Brandt says. “And we’re growing.”
Bianchi & Brandt is not only in the process of hiring additional attorneys to handle the workload, but the firm is also launching CannaBoss Advisors, a separate, consulting business of which Brandt is the co-founder and vice president. He says it’s a natural evolution to meet client needs. It’s not legal work, but instead draws on the knowledge and experience he’s gained from working with industry clients.
“There’s a need to have specific, non-legal work that’s more business-minded,” he says, adding that nobody wants to pay an attorney’s hourly rate for the type of significant, on-site work CannaBoss handles for its clients.
Brandt says he takes great pride in helping to end the stigma that still surrounds cannabis, a stigma he says is based mostly on misinformation and a lack of education. Brandt has been fighting the misconceptions surrounding cannabis since he’s devoted his practice to the industry.
“I always wanted to get into the industry and find where I’d fit in there,” he says. “I knew this is what I wanted to do.”