Did you know cannabis law is one of the fastest-growing areas of practice, with issues involving everything from administrative law to zoning?
Or that lawyers from various backgrounds – from corporate to litigation – are rushing to fill the space?
Those were two nuggets shared by a pair of industry experts in Alta Pro’s March 30 webinar “The Basics of Cannabis Law, Chapter One.”
Austin, Texas attorney Lisa L. Pittman, chair of the American Bar Association’s Cannabis Law & Policy Committee and the “First Lady of Texas Cannabis Law, and Kurshid Khohja of Sacramento CA, founder of Greenbridge Corporate Counsel and chair of the Board of Directors of the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA), shared insider insights on the risks and rewards of cannabis representation.
If you were unable to attend the webinar, below are 10 key takeaways. Stay tuned for upcoming CLE webinars from Alta Pro on cutting-edge issues you need to know about.
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Basics of Cannabis Law
Following are 10 takeaways from the March 30 Alta Pro CLE webinar:
- It’s essential to understand the laws in your state and how they coincide and/or conflict with neighboring states and federal law.
- As of May 2021, 36 states and 4 territories permit the medical use of cannabis products. At the close of 2021, 19 states, two territories and the District of Columbia have enacted laws to legalize and regulate cannabis for adult use. Lawsuits challenging the legislation have been filed in some states (South Dakota, for one) and pending in others.
- Here is an interactive, up-to-date map of cannabis laws by state.
- The “Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act” has been introduced in the US Senate. For the first time in history, leaders in the Senate have proposed legislation to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level and effectively end federal prohibition.
- The term “cannabis law is a broad umbrella that covers medical marijuana, adult-use marijuana, hemp and CBD.
- The ABA Cannabis Law & Policy Committee is a new committee of the ABA Tort, Trial and Insurance Practice group.
- Founded in 2010, the NCIA is the country’s oldest and largest trade association representing legal cannabis businesses.
- The National Conference of State Legislators conducts policy research and compiles data for all 50 states on marijuana, cannabis, hemp, CBD and related issues. Click here for the NCSL website.
- The ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct do not prohibit a lawyer from counselling or assisting a client regarding participation in or withdrawal from business and other opportunities that have occurred because a state law permits medical and/or recreational use of cannabis.
- ABA Model Rule 1.2 (d) says: A lawyer shall not counsel a client to engage, or assist a client, in conduct that the lawyer knows is criminal or fraudulent, but a lawyer may discuss the legal consequences of any proposed course of conduct with a client and may counsel or assist a client to make a good faith effort to determine the validity, scope, meaning or application of the law.
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