As we have seen in the bankruptcy world where bankruptcy courts routinely dismiss cases involving cannabis enterprises, so too, have other federal courts and for the same reasons. The fact that cannabis remains a Schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substances Act and is thus illegal on the federal level, precludes owners of cannabis enterprises and others from using the federal courts to enforce rights under contracts that would otherwise be enforceable in those forums.
How to avoid this problem? One solution is the contract itself which should contain forum selection that will not be a problem regarding contract interpretation and enforcement. William McNichol, my former law firm partner, and now a professor of law at Rutgers University agrees. He recently wrote: "Parties to a cannabis transaction can and should include in their contracts a forum selection agreement that disputes will be submitted only to courts of a state that will not question the legality of cannabis businesses." A mandatory arbitration provision may also be a good alternative in the context of dispute resolution.