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On Demand

Corporate Governance: Best Practices, High-Profile Failures, and Lessons Learned

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Business of Law |  Business |  Corporate Governance |  Cannabis Law Sessions |  Employment law
Amy McDougal |  Bryna Dahlin |  David Feldman |  Jessica F. Gonzalez, Esq.
1 Hour 03 Minutes
Audio and Video
Access for 6 month(s) after purchase.


Corporate governance is key to any company’s long-term success as it enables an organization to control risks, achieve their goals, and assure regulatory compliance throughout.  Companies in the cannabis space are no different, and in fact, must implement more robust corporate governance policies and infrastructure than companies in most other industries as they’re uniquely operating within a highly-regulated industry subject to federal prohibition. Attorneys advising these companies must, therefore, be equipped to guide their cannabis clients as they navigate unchartered territory, adhering to corporate governance requirements and guidelines under state and federal law as well as implementing tried-and-true corporate governance practices implemented across every industry. This panel will discuss, among other things: (i) the goals of implementing solid corporate governance infrastructure including transparency, equity among shareholders, and maintaining the integrity and legitimacy of a cannabis company in particular; (ii) the importance of advising clients about best practices for effectively maintaining and enforcing corporate governance systems by, including, but not limited to, adhering to the often-overlooked federal guidelines from the United States Sentencing Commission; and (iii) the importance of implementing corporate governance controls and policies during a company’s infancy; and (iv) lessons learned from high-profile cannabis companies whose poor corporate governance practices had a damaging impact, including companies like Namaste Technologies.



This program is eligible for 1 hours of General CLE credit in 60-minute states, and 1.2 hours of General CLE credit in 50-minute states. Credit hours are estimated and are subject to each state’s approval and credit rounding rules. 

INCBA webinars are generally eligible for credit in the following states: AR, AL, CA, CO, GA, HI, IL, NJ, NM, NY, ND, PA, TX, VT. Additional states may be available for credit upon self-application by attendees. States typically decide whether a program qualifies for MCLE credit in their jurisdiction 4-8 weeks after the program application is submitted. For many live events, credit approval is not received prior to the program.

The on-demand version of this webinar is eligible for credit in the following states: AR, AL, CA, CO, GA, HI, IL, NJ, NM, NY, ND, PA, TX, VT. Additional states may be available for credit upon self-application by attendees.

(Default credit disclaimer updated 02.08.2024)

For current accreditation status, please select your jurisdiction below.



Amy McDougal's Profile

Amy McDougal Related Seminars and Products


CLEAResources LLC

Amy McDougal, Founder and President at CLEAResources, LLC, helps companies effectively manage their greatest legal and regulatory risks. She designs compliance and ethics programs to mitigate legal risks so company executives can focus on business.


"Increased emphasis on business transparency makes ethical performance a corporate priority," says Amy. A company's legal counsel may lack experience in developing compliance and ethics programs. Amy draws on her background as a prosecutor and in-house compliance counsel to conduct risk assessments through the skilled eyes of an attorney, without the steep law firm fees. "I keep current on state and federal enforcement trends. My assessments prioritize a company's vulnerabilities and recommend actions so clients get the most legal risk mitigation for their dollar."

Amy's clients range from federal contractors to global corporations including in the nascent cannabis industry. They rely on her expertise in compliance, codes of ethics, staff training, corporate monitoring, auditing, and investigations."The savviest approach is to put your compliance program in place as a sword to prevent misconduct. If an incident occurs, your program then becomes your shield. Prompt reporting, a proactive response, and a solid plan to remediate future misconduct demonstrate a commitment to ethical practices and legal compliance."

A well-published thought leader, Amy is founding director and corporate secretary of the International Association of Independent Corporate Monitors. Through IAICM, she educates businesses and promotes service quality. Amy's place at the forefront of her profession reflects leadership ability honed by service as a U.S. Air Force officer. "The military taught me to translate strategic thinking into tactical action. “That's exactly what I bring to my clients," she concludes. "I translate compliance and ethics into a practical program so businesses can confidently move forward in a clear direction."

Bryna Dahlin's Profile

Bryna Dahlin Related Seminars and Products

Chair, Cannabis Industry Group


Bryna Dahlin is a partner and chair of the Cannabis Industry Group at Benesch, where she works on the cutting edge of an emerging industry known for its regulatory complexity and challenging legal and business landscape. For nearly a decade, she has advised companies in all sectors of the cannabis space including growers, manufacturers, distributors, dispensaries, investors and ancillary businesses. She also advises non-cannabis companies that are impacted by cannabis laws. Her clients are nationwide and range from new entrants in the space to publicly-traded companies operating across dozens of states.

Bryna enjoys helping clients achieve their business objectives and prides herself on gaining a keen understanding of their operations. She offers real-world guidance that is clear, practical, and always focused on achieving client objectives. She understands the challenges in the cannabis industry and loves nothing more than seeing her clients grow and meet their business goals.

Bryna advises clients across the country on issues of regulatory compliance, risk avoidance, company formation and structuring, licensing, corporate and transactional matters, including mergers and acquisitions, advertising and product packaging, brand strategy and intellectual property protection. She also performs legal due diligence for investors in the cannabis space, and guides hemp, health and beauty brand clients in navigating Cannabidiol (CBD) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) laws.

Bryna is also a skilled trial lawyer who uses her skills to help clients avoid and mitigate risk, and she does not hesitate to litigate when the circumstances call for it. Beyond cannabis, she has represented prominent food, pharmaceutical, entertainment, advertising, technology and consumer product companies in an array of high-profile cases.

Bryna’s career trajectory reflects her commitment to pursuing her professional aspirations regardless of the obstacles. When the cannabis industry was in its infancy, she left her position with a global law firm and co-founded the first cannabis law firm in Illinois before later bringing this practice to Benesch. Bryna serves as pro bono counsel to the Chicago chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). She is a founding member of the Illinois Cannabis Bar Association, and member of the International Cannabis Bar, National Cannabis Industry Associations, and Illinois Women in Cannabis.

Bryna has lectured across the country on the ever-evolving landscape in cannabis law and served as an adjunct professor at Chicago-Kent College of Law, where she taught Illinois’ first law course on cannabis. She is nationally ranked by Chambers & Associates for cannabis law, is a Global Top 200 cannabis lawyer, and her cannabis practice group is recognized by the prestigious Legal 500. Past honors have included Crain’s Notable Women in Law, Super Lawyers, and the National Law Journal’s 40 under 40 in Chicago.

David Feldman's Profile

David Feldman Related Seminars and Products

Managing Partner

Feldman Legal Advisors PLLC

David Feldman concentrates his law practice on corporate and securities law and mergers and acquisitions, as well as general representation of public and private companies, entrepreneurs, investors, and private equity and venture capital firms. David has represented a wide range of clients in the legal cannabis and psychedelics industries since 2013. He provides guidance on private placements, public offerings, loan structuring and fund formation for cannabis companies, as well as corporate structuring advice and applications for grow, processing and dispensary licenses. He also advises on risk assessment issues for large, multinational businesses seeking to enter the cannabis industry. The global guide Chambers & Partners ranked Mr. Feldman as a leading US attorney in cannabis law and one of only seven US lawyers in “band 1” for corporate and transactional work in the industry. In addition, the National Law Journal named him a “Cannabis Law Trailblazer” and Business Insider named him as a top lawyer in the cannabis industry. He has also been listed several times in the Top 200 Cannabis Lawyers published by Cannabis Law Digest. David is the former team lead of an AmLaw 100 firm’s 60-attorney Cannabis Industry Group. He frequently speaks at industry conferences and is quoted by numerous publications about legal developments and business news in this rapidly expanding market.

David also advises emerging growth companies in a range of industries with regard to alternatives to traditional financing through initial public offerings, and is considered an authority on public offerings through SEC Regulation A+. He published a book on that subject, called Regulation A+ and Other Alternatives to a Traditional IPO (John Wiley & Sons), in 2018. David has also published The Entrepreneur’s Growth Startup Handbook: 7 Secrets to Venture Funding and Growth Success (2013) and the award-winning Reverse Mergers and Other Alternatives to a Traditional IPO (First Edition 2006, Second Edition 2009). A Wharton School and University of Pennsylvania Law School graduate and former Chair of Wharton’s worldwide alumni, David is not just a lawyer – he’s a community builder. He’s run, built, bought, invested in, and sold businesses. He feels his clients’ pain but provides the objective outsider’s point of view that founders need.

Jessica F. Gonzalez, Esq.'s Profile

Jessica F. Gonzalez, Esq. Related Seminars and Products


Rudick Law Group, PLLC

As a cannabis attorney, Jessica Gonzalez assists cannabis clients navigating the legal cannabis and hemp industry in the tristate area. She has counseled start up and medium sized cannabis/CBD companies on various matters, including corporate entity set-up, state and local compliance, private offering documents and applications for state cannabis licenses. Jessica also counsels corporate and individual clients on intellectual property procurement, prosecution, protection and enforcement for domestic and international trademarks. As cannabis advocate, Jessica has presented on both the municipal and state level on topics such as social justice/social equity, IP protection, cannabis legislation, state and federal banking and state cannabis licensing.