Industry Blazers is a periodic Q&A that spotlights Arizona’s talented medical marijuana professionals who influence and grow the industry. Brought to you by a collaboration between AZmarijuana.com and Proven Media. Do you know someone that is an Industry Blazer in Arizona? If so, email us their name and contact info.
Justin M. Brandt | Partner & Shareholder at Bianchi Brandt & Hale
Justin M. Brandt is a shareholder and partner at Bianchi Brandt & Hale. As a business attorney, Justin provides strategic legal advice and representation focused on operational compliance for the cannabis and hemp industries. He frequently represents dispensaries, cultivation and infusion operators, and other cannabis-related businesses.
Clients rely on Justin to help minimize risk and maximize success through comprehensive legal advice regarding all aspects of their businesses. This includes advising clients on various day-to-day issues regarding their business operations, handling a variety of business and corporate transactions, and representing clients throughout all stages of litigation. Justin leverages his background in business economics and accounting to aid his clients.
Licensed to practice in Arizona, California, and New Mexico, Justin has received multiple awards throughout his professional career. He was named a “Southwest Rising Star,” by Super Lawyers in 2018, 2019 and 2020, an honor reserved for those lawyers who exhibit excellence in practice. He was also selected to Arizona’s Valley Leadership Institute program in 2020.
Justin received his J.D. from the University of San Diego School of Law and B.A. from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
What is your favorite cannabis product, strain or flavor?
We work with a number of clients who develop high-quality cannabis products, so I often refrain from calling out any particular brand or strain. However, because I practice within this highly-regulated industry, I am often able to participate and be involved in the many stages of product development, including the creative process—which I enjoy and is unique to servicing this industry.
Tell us your favorite thing about being a part of the cannabis business community?
Nothing worth having comes easy. I’m fortunate to work with some incredibly gifted clients who, in addition to their own success, value bringing credibility and integrity to the industry. Like any developing industry, the cannabis space has experienced growing pains. Having the opportunity to work through those challenges has been both hectic and rewarding.
What motivates you to work hard?
My wife and kids, hands down.
What do you value most in friendship?
Honesty and loyalty. I think true friendship is found in hard times, which is when these qualities matter most. Honesty is so important for gaining perspective, because a true friend doesn’t just tell you what you want to hear. Loyalty is equally significant, because when things get bad, you want someone who’s willing to be there with you in the trenches.
If you had 24 hours to spend with anyone (dead or alive), who would it be and why?
My brother Derek, who passed away when I was 17. We were only 14 months apart in age. If you’re reading this, remember that life is short – don’t waste it.
What are you most proud of?
I’m most proud of my wife, Greta Brandt. She is Vice President of a multi-state cannabis operator and the best mother and wife out there.
What is your favorite motto to live by?
Never stop learning. I believe it’s essential to surround yourself with the best and brightest. It’s impossible to know everything, so when we can collaborate with people who excel in other areas of expertise, we can collectively raise the bar, whether it’s in business or life.
What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Life is a stage. Reputation is important in any industry, but especially in the highly scrutinized and newly emerging cannabis industry. Your reputation and character determine the success and longevity of your professional career.
What’s a goal you hope to complete by the end of this year?
Together with my partners, we are launching a full-service strategic consulting firm for the cannabis industry. As attorneys, we provide comprehensive contracts, SOPs, and operational documents, but that only addresses a portion of our clients needs. To put our clients in the best position for long-term success, we needed to offer a more hands-on approach beyond what a traditional law firm can offer. By utilizing our compliance expertise, we will provide guidance related to strategy, implementation, and expansion among other operational needs. It’s an exciting new chapter we will launch in Spring 2020.
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