I spoke on a web panel last week talking about cannabis capital markets and investment opportunities, and described my role as being the “skunk at the picnic”. I can’t take credit for this delightful turn of phrase – I learned it from my criminal law professor – but it does a great job of explaining what I do as a lawyer and advisor.

I’ve written some recently about unexpected consequences (for example, link) That’s, at heart, what I mean when I tell people that I’m the skunk at the picnic. Lawyers identify risks. Lawyers provide another perspective on what could go wrong. Lawyers plan for the worst.

This certainly is not unique to cannabis, but with cannabis being in a quantum state of legality and illegality (link), planning for the short- and the long-term requires thinking not just about how to execute a strategy, but whether that cannabis industry strategy can even be fully-executed in the first place. This applies to operators as well as to investors (for example, “loan-to-own” investing link). In such a high-growth industry, where dodging regulatory curveballs is a daily event, sometimes the skunk can be a welcome guest.