As more states pass marijuana laws governing its use and licensing, the demand for cannabis expert witnesses has increased. Expert witnesses in cannabis law, especially in the area of licensing, can add a compelling element to a case.
With the cannabis business expanding in California and across the U.S., it’s no surprise that litigation is on the rise. Many of these cases are commercial, tax-related, or concern failure to comply with state laws and regulations. Expert witnesses can help provide answers to crucial questions in many of these areas. Your attorney can utilize expert cannabis witnesses in several ways to strengthen a case.
What Is a Cannabis Expert Witness?
Expert witnesses in the cannabis industry can have experience or certifications specific to cultivation, growing, toxicology, marketing, and more. A cannabis licensing expert has in-depth knowledge of the business side of the field and can provide insight into navigating licensing requirements and other federal and state regulations dictating cannabis business.
Because expert witnesses’ knowledge can be specialized in many areas, they can provide support to you and your attorney in legal matters relating to any of the following:
- Pre-licensing proceedings
- Dispensary operations
- Contract dispute claims
- Marijuana plant farming and cultivation
- Regulatory compliance
How Can Expert Witnesses Help a Case?
A cannabis expert witness can provide litigation support by testifying to the facts of research or literature review, authoring reports, and providing expert opinion. In a high-profile case, or one involving a significant financial stake, your attorney may seek the help of a cannabis business professional with prior courtroom experience.
They Present Authority and Credibility
The strongest expert witnesses possess both the “hard” and “soft” skills to support a case. Ideally, their hard skills show display a working knowledge of the topic, academic credentials, and relevant experience to build their credibility. But they should also possess soft skills such as interpersonal communication skills that help them relate to a jury and explain the issue at hand in simple, digestible terms.
The cannabis expert witness in your case should have the right combination of practical experience, scholarship, and personable touch. Your attorney should enlist the help of witnesses who know their field and can provide a sufficient working understanding to decision-makers who aren’t familiar.
They Can Support Each Other
When a jury pictures an “expert,” they might only think of a single person who is highly specialized in their field and makes a living from their knowledge. However, this isn’t always the case; one expert’s narrow academic knowledge of one subject can be bolstered by another’s professional experience, for example. Calling multiple experts might be necessary to strengthen the case your attorney is trying to make thoroughly.
They Provide Critical Pre-Litigation Insight
Experts can give insight to their clients before any testimony is presented in court. Many cannabis expert witnesses do pre-litigation consulting work, which can be especially helpful in the pre-licensing phase and application process. Getting expert help pre-litigation can influence an attorney’s approach or strategy in the dispute.
An expert can confirm a client’s line of thinking on a particular issue, for example, or they might introduce an idea or strategy that had not been considered, potentially improving your chances of success.
Need Help with Cannabis Licensing Law in California? Call McElfresh Law
Working in the marijuana business in California can present many hurdles and an ever-changing legal landscape you must adapt to. Whatever the nature of the dispute you are embroiled in, engaging a qualified, capable expert witness can make a difference in the outcome of your case.
Attorney Jessica McElfresh has a track record of success within California’s cannabis industry. She is a skilled litigator who can tenaciously represent your interests in court. She will find the right expert witness to support your case.