Rice

Erica Rice

Partner
Co-Chair, Mergers & Acquisitions Practice Group
Boston

I shoulder my clients' burdens of navigating complex legal issues in evolving industries so that they can focus on continuing to build their business.

Erica is a co-chair of the firm's Mergers & Acquisitions Practice Group. Her practice is focused on representing buyers and sellers in mergers and acquisitions and other strategic transactions, as well as counseling emerging growth companies regarding entity formation, founder’s arrangements, financings, exit strategies and general corporate governance. She has a particular focus on the cannabis, life sciences and technology industries.

Erica’s clients include both public and private companies as well as venture capital investors. Erica acts as a trusted advisor to her clients, providing the specific legal guidance that they need at each stage of development.

A well-known player in the cannabis space, Erica also advises cannabis companies on transactions as they work through the complexities of a new and growing industry. She influences guidelines in an industry where official rules are often not yet in place. Her work in the space leads to frequent speaking roles on panels organized by groups like the Association for Corporate Growth, The Angel Capital Association, The Cannabis Society, the International Cannabis Bar Association (INCBA) and various entrepreneurial groups.

Erica is best in class for her guidance and leadership. She was recently ranked a 2021 Law360 Rising Star cannabis lawyer, and she was also named a Rising Star by the Venture Capital Journal in 2020. She also serves as co-chair of the firm's Cannabis practice.

Education

  • Boston University School of Law, J.D., cum laude, 2010
  • University of Michigan, B.A., with high distinction, 2004

Bar and Court Admissions

BAR ADMISSIONS
  • Massachusetts

Experience

CANNABIS INDUSTRY

  • Global cannabis operator Columbia Care Inc. (NEO: CCHW) (CSE: CCHW) (OTCQX: CCHWF) (FSE: 3LP) in multiple transactions, including:
    • its pending acquisition by Cresco Labs for $2 billion
    • its acquisition of vertically integrated cannabis company Medicine Man Denver for $42 million plus additional potential performance-based milestone payments
    • its $42.5 million acquisition of the Van de Wetering Greenhouses
    • its acquisition of Green Leaf Medical, LLC, a privately held, fully integrated cannabis multi-state operator based in the mid-Atlantic region, for approximately $240 million with the potential for additional performance-based milestone payments
    • its $69 million acquisition of Project Cannabis, a leading cannabis cultivator, wholesaler and retailer
    • its acquisition of The Green Solution (“TGS”), the largest vertically integrated cannabis operator in Colorado, through a transaction initially valued at approximately $140 million
    • its pending acquisition by Cresco Labs for $2 billion
  • Cultivate Holdings in its sale to Cresco Labs (CSE:CL) (OTCQX:CRLBF), for upfront consideration equal to $90 million plus an earnout of up to $68 million.
  • Ascend Wellness Holdings, a multi-state, vertically integrated cannabis operator, in multiple transactions, including:
    • its pending acquisition of an 86.7% interest in MedMed’s New York cannabis operations for approximately $73M, with an option to acquire the remaining equity of MMNY
    • its acquisition of Greenleaf Compassion Center, a New Jersey vertically integrated cannabis company

TECHNOLOGY INDUSTRY

  • ProMerchant LLC, Cape Cod Merchant Services LLC and Flow Payments LLC, three players in the merchant processing solutions space, in their sale to Waitr Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: WTRH)
  • Voatz, a mobile election voting application, in closing its Series A-1 financing, with participation from Apollo Projects, Medici Ventures, Techstars Ventures, Urban Innovation and Wanamaker Portfolio Trust
  • Shift4 Payments (NYSE: FOUR), in connection with its acquisition of VenueNext, a provider of integrated payment processing and 3dcart, an e-commerce platform
  • Digital financial company BlockFi, in closing its $37 million Series B financing
  • LevelUp, a leader in mobile diner engagement and payment solutions for restaurants, in its $390 million sale to online and mobile food-ordering and delivery marketplace Grubhub Inc.
  • Global cybersecurity leader RSA in its acquisition of Fortscale
  • L2, a digital brand researcher, in its acquisition by Gartner
  • CloudLock, a privately-held cloud security company, in its acquisition by Cisco
  • Pegasystems in its acquisition of OpenSpan
  • Resilient Systems in its acquisition by IBM
  • Viewfinity in its acquisition by CyberArk

LIFE SCIENCES & HEALTHCARE INDUSTRY

  • AOA, a developer of non-invasive ovarian cancer diagnosis technology, in its $2.5 million convertible note financing
  • Kyruus, the leader in provider search and scheduling solutions for health systems, in its acquisition of HealthSparq from Cambia Health Solutions
  • AZTherapies, a late-stage clinical biopharmaceutical company developing treatments for devastating neurological conditions, in its $33.6 million Series C-1 financing
  • Orig3n, a biotech company focused on DNA testing, in its acquisition of Interleukin Genetics
  • Applied Genetic Technologies Corporation in its $52 million initial public offering and subsequent $30 million follow-on public offering
  • Thermo Fisher Scientific in its acquisition of MTI-GlobalStem

Honors & Involvement

HONORS
  • “Top Lawyer – Corporate Law,” Boston Magazine (2021)
  • Named a Law360 Rising Star, Cannabis category (2021)
  • Ranked by Venture Capital Journal as one of venture capital's 40 rising stars (2020) 
  • Ranked by Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business as one of Massachusetts' leading Corporate/M&A attorneys (2016, 2017) 
  • Boston University Law Review, Administrative Editor
INVOLVEMENT
  • Boston Bar Association, Member 
  • Women’s Bar Association, Member

Speaking Engagements

  • "M&A: Cautionary Tales," International Cannabis Bar Association Cannabis Law Sessions, MJBiz Conference (November 2022) 
  • "Connecticut Adult-Use Cannabis: A Market Ready to Scale," Foley Hoag Webinar (July 2021)
  • “2021: A Foundational Year for New York Cannabis," Foley Hoag Webinar (May 2021)
  • “Who will be the Coca-Cola of Cannabis?," Angel Capital Association Summit (May 2021)
  • “AGC – How Deals Get Done in Cannabis," ACG Webinar (May 2021)
  • "Cannabis Businesses: Essential Tax Planning Considerations," Foley Hoag Webinar (September 2020)
  • “Dealing with Financial Distress for Cannabis Companies," Foley Hoag Webinar (June 2020) 
  • “Cannabis & COVID-19: What Businesses Need to Know," Foley Hoag Webinar (April 2020)
  • “Alternative Entities Top Ten: Liability and Governance Issues for Deal Attorneys and Litigators," American Bar Association Business Law Section Annual Meeting (September 2019)
  • “Fireside Chat: Investing in Cannabis," The Cannabis Society Investor Conference (August 2019)
  • “Regulatory Considerations and Blockchain Technologies: Best Practices for In-House Counsel," Association of Corporate Counsel Northeast Webinar (May 2018)
  • “Understanding ICOs – The Latest in Crowdfunding, Currency and Cons," Boston Blockchain Week (April 2018)
  • “Incorporation for Startups – Why Delaware? Why a C-Corp?," Boston New Technology Showcase (December 2016)