BEST OF THE INDUSTRY 2019: Eric Walter
Over 1,000 Greenway readers made nominations online for the Best of the Industry 2019. This inaugural reader’s choice presentation is unique – the 2020’s is sure to look a little different.
Find features about the winners of categories in the Businesses & Professionals section in Greenway Magazine and online. For the CBD, Patient Care, and Advocacy sections, check out the categorical winners in the Spring 2020 issue of Greenway Patients Magazine and online.
Winners of these reader’s choice awards were recognized at the MoCannBizCon after party on March 2, 2020, at the incredible St. Louis Union Station.
These winners are definitive leaders in the culmination of this industry. Greenway Media congratulates each awardee on being recognized by their peers.
There’s a familiar face around the state, hosting industry events and leading a diverse application writing team that helped clients win 80 percent of the licenses they sought.
A partner of the national law firm, Armstrong Teasdale, Eric Walter is a St. Louis native in his 22nd year of practice. The majority of his career has been in complex commercial and business litigation – and that didn’t stop with the medical cannabis boom.
But since 2014, Walter has been serving clients in the cannabis and hemp industry, beginning with medical cannabis in Illinois and Missouri’s hemp CBD program. In 2019, Walter worked on dozens of applications around the state – most of which resulted in the award of a medical marijuana facility license.
“I’ve been through the process in multiple states, and we’re preparing to assist clients in Illinois and other states that have, or will soon, pass medical marijuana or adult-use marijuana laws,” Walter told Greenway.
Relating to medical cannabis in Missouri, Walter “advises and assists clients to equip them with the knowledge they need to break into the industry.” His work, however, does not stop there, as once clients have licenses, they need a wide variety of services including “additional private equity raises, corporate structures and resolutions, regulatory compliance guidance and assistance, property leasing, zoning, and land use issues, intellectual property protection, employment law matters, and a range of other issues.”
His dedication to the cannabis cause is the reason Greenway’s readers voted him as the Best Business Attorney in Missouri’s industry – statewide and in the St. Louis area.
“In addition to my commitment to my clients, I truly enjoy the work I am doing in this space and have become a student of the industry, all of which comes through in my work product,” Walter said. “I’m also fortunate to work with extremely talented and dedicated clients who inspire me and my team to give our best efforts and help them achieve their goals.”
Walter says in order for cannabis businesses to understand the complex regulatory framework of this industry, working with a knowledgeable attorney is critical. He says DHSS has made it clear all licensees are expected to understand and comply with regulations at all times.
“My job is to understand that framework as well as the regulator, keep my clients informed of what they need to know, and help facilitate timely and appropriate communications with DHSS.”
Walter told Greenway he shares his clients’ beliefs in cannabis as a sensible alternative treatment option for many medical conditions. He explained due to the inconsistency between federal and state cannabis laws, it’s only natural attorneys would be asked to provide advice and assistance to the industry.
“The industry is still new,” said Walter. “One interesting and exciting aspect of the practice is the opportunity to contribute to its evolution in Missouri.”
Walter can be spotted at many MoCannTrade meetings – an organization he serves as outside general counsel. He’s hosted symposiums and legal roundtables, positioning himself as one of the leading legal minds in Missouri’s industry.
2020 has shown no signs of slowing down for Walter, as his name appears on several intriguing appeals and he continues his strong presence across the state at industry events.