Marc Hauser, Reed Smith.

Reed Smith has brought on Marc Hauser, who recently chaired Napa Valley boutique GVM Law’s cannabis law department, to help grow its cannabis law practice.

Hauser moved from Chicago to California’s Napa Valley during the winter of 2017, drawn by the Golden State’s better weather and thriving wine industry. However, as more states legalize the use of cannabis, the self-proclaimed “wine nerd” has also found himself getting more involved in deals relating to the cannabis industry.

“The legal cannabis industry is still relatively new in this country and quickly changing,” Hauser said. “As more investment capital comes in, as competition from the legal Canadian companies comes in, as companies are quickly trying to gain a national presence, as a result, there is a lot of consolidation.”

Hauser joined Reed Smith last week as counsel in its global corporate group, and co-vice chair of the global firm’s cannabis law team. At Reed Smith, Hauser will represent businesses and investors in the cannabis and hemp industries, advising on transactions and risk-related matters.

“Deals are getting bigger and bigger, the industry is now solidly in the middle market,” he explained. “There is an opportunity for national and international firms to help out and provide the kind of legal work that is necessary to get a large deal done.”

Reed Smith, which has been expanding its cannabis law practice on both coasts, now has a total of 19 lawyers advising the cannabis industry, including 16 partners, according to its website.

Hauser began his legal career at Goldberg Kohn in Chicago in 1998, later moving to Sachnoff & Weaver, which merged with Reed Smith in 2006. He then joined Equity Group Investments in 2002, a Chicago-based private investment company founded by Sam Zell, as associate general counsel. He spent 15 years at the investment firm before moving over to Napa’s GVM Law.

“I’ve known Marc for nearly two decades, and I’m thrilled that he has joined Reed Smith,” Matt Petersen, co-head of the firm’s global corporate group, said in a statement. “Marc is a corporate attorney who has structured and advised on all types of complex transactions, bringing a practical approach to business and risk issues that impact all businesses and investors. His dual perspective, coming from both in-house and in private practice, is a great addition to our strong transactional practice.”