As the cannabis industry matures, there will be winners and losers. Losers lack access to the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Marijuana related assets cannot be sold free and clear of liens and encumbrances via the tried and true bankruptcy section 363 sale, which leaves the loser’s creditors without the best tool to maximize the value of the loser’s assets, and deprives acquirers of a federal court order conveying assets. What’s the state of play, and what’s the alternative for the losers, their creditors, and the companies that would acquire them?
In a noteworthy decision, the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the Ninth Circuit overturned a dismissal of a bankruptcy case, which the lower court had dismissed based on its belief that the landlord debtor was receiving rental income from a marijuana dispensary. The decision is significant because it holds that a bankruptcy cannot be dismissed simply because of the mere presence of a marijuana business or related proceeds in the case. Rather, under this decision, the dismissal of a bankruptcy must be supported by specific factual findings that demonstrate that the debtor violated federal law or that the bankruptcy trustee would be required to administer proceeds of a (federally) illegal business.
Continue Reading Dismissal of “Marijuana” Bankruptcy Not Automatic as Bankruptcy Appellate Court Overturns Dismissal of Bankruptcy Case of Landlord Debtor with Dispensary Tenant