Cannabis Law Institute

October 3-5, 2019, New York Law School, Manhattan, NY



This year's Cannabis Law Institute (CLI) will take place in Soho at the New York Law School, Manhattan, New York. 

We are excited to present our Third Annual CLI, the crown jewel of cannabis industry legal education events produced by the International Cannabis Bar Association. The event convenes the best minds and visionaries working in the legal cannabis industry for multi-day intensive education and a series of intimate networking events.

New this year, we have introduced a full pre-conference day add-on, which covers international law and offers CLE Credit for international law issues. For details on the full three days of programming, scroll down.

This year, we will be addressing your clients' needs as a going - and growing - concern. Our core curricula follows our presentation in New Orleans in June, where we addressed your clients’ start-up concerns, and precedes our final in-person educational event of the year, where we will address your clients’ plans for an exit. For a taste of what you may have missed in New Orleans, take a look here:





Purchase the full three-day ticket here!
Non-Member Price: $1049
Member Price: $899

October 4th-5th, 2019

This year’s CLI will feature many of the nation’s leading attorneys, academics, and politicians. In addition to our full-day pre-conference programming that addresses international law and the legal landscape beyond our domestic US borders, the core of CLI will focus on your client as a going - and growing - concern.

We will begin Friday with a half-day plenary session featuring many of the most important voices in legal practice that serve the cannabis industry, followed by a dual track structure that offers a choice for all of our attendees: either a policy-heavy view of the current and future landscape of the cannabis industry or a set of black letter courses that help you navigate the complex issues that your clients face on a daily basis.  

Of course, we have a full line-up of social events, networking opportunities, and more - you can’t afford to miss out on another wonderful INCBA Cannabis Law Institute! 

CLI offers something new for practitioners, academics, and policy advocates alike, and courses range from introductory to advanced. Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Credit is offered in select jurisdictions - knock out your professional requirements while creating connections and educating yourself on material that will open your horizons to new opportunities. 

*******All Schedules and Topics Subject to Change*******

Friday, October 4

8:20 am - 8:30 am
Introductory Remarks

Christopher Davis, Executive Director, INCBA
Shay Gilmore, Chair of CLE Committee and Board Member, INCBA
Mary Shapiro, Co-Chair of International Committee and Founding Board Member, INCBA

8:30 am - 9:30 am
Ethics issues facing cannabis attorneys are among the most interesting problems that we encounter. For the Lawyer’s version of regulatory compliance, join Amy McDougal, the Chair of INCBA’s Ethics Committee as she addresses the most pressing ethics issues in legal service to the cannabis industry today, whether investing in clients or simply serving their business needs.

9:30 am - noon

Plenary Speakers and Sessions

Stay tuned for an all-star lineup of activists, politicians, practitioners, and market participants - details TBD

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm LUNCH

1:30 pm - 5:00 pm
New York Law School, 185 W Broadway, New York, NY 10013

Track 2: Down In the Weeds (Growth, Drafting, and Addressing Disputes)

Unit A: Strategies for Growth

1:30 pm - 2:30 pm: Early Stage Finance and Growth
Take a look at fund formation, investment, and pooled private capital as a means to facilitate growth in early-stage companies. What protections should investors be seeking, how should operators seek to structure early-stage capital inflows, and how can each party preserve their rights to future equity, avoid dilution, and prepare for unforeseen obstacles coming down the road.

2:35 pm - 3:35 pm: Capital Markets and Public Offerings
For certain companies, the correct path forward includes going public. Learn when it’s appropriate to access capital markets over private financing, what triggers the impulse to go public, and how to prepare your client for the decisions they face, including which exchange to access, whether to wait, and how to prepare the documents necessary to engage in the transaction.

3:45 pm - 4:45 pm: The M&A Primer
M&A activity in the cannabis industry is booming. Every day, we are inundated by news of a new M&A transaction that has just closed. What is so attractive about cannabis M&A right now, is an acquisition the most effective way for your client to grow, and what should the acquirer and the target be taking into account to ensure they realize the desired outcome?

Track 1: High in the Sky (Policy, Federal Agency Overview, and Hemp)

Unit A: Policy and Politics

1:30 pm - 2:30 pm: Real Policy Talk with the Advocates
From broad policy debates to concrete policies that we can implement, this panel will take a look at what the advocacy organizations are working toward and how we can help support those activism goals. Join a candid conversation with the Executive Directors of, and legal counsel for, some of the most influential advocacy organizations in the country.

2:35 pm - 3:35 pm: Getting Engaged: Influencing the Legislative and Regulatory Process
Want to affect the political process but don’t know where to start? Both an art and science, wording legislation properly and influencing regulations as they are promulgated is an integral part of the zealous advocate’s job. Take a look at how to influence rule-makers through the process by engaging in a mock comment period session with the INCBA team.

3:45 pm - 4:45 pm: Bottom Up or Top Down Advocacy
Is the more effective form of advocacy one that flows from the federal government down to the states and their localities, or one that flows up from grassroots movements? Can we create sweeping policy changes by targeting the constituencies of federal representatives on a local level or by targeting parallel interests at the federal level first? Is it different in different states?

5 pm - 6 pm
Evening Keynote

6pm-8pm Evening Networking Event
New York Law School Campus
Join fellow attendees and members of INCBA for an evening networking event with drinks, catered food, and wonderful company!

Saturday, October 5

9:00 am - 12:40 pm Morning Sessions (Units
New York Law School, 185 W Broadway, New York, NY 10013

Track 1, Unit B: Federal Agencies A-Z

9:00 am - 10:00 am: The Heavy-Hitting Federal Agencies
Examine the federal agencies that play the largest roles in your daily practice of law. Historically, the industry’s biggest concern has always been the DOJ, but as enforcement shifts from criminal to civil, take a look at the DOJ’s importance in light of the increasing power of the other major federal agencies, including the FDA, USDA, Treasury, and the USPTO.

10:05 am - 11:05 am: Ancillary Agencies
Larger federal agencies are far from the only federal agencies with their hand on the pulse of the cannabis industry. Take a look at the rest of the agencies that play a role in the regulation of the cannabis market, from the EPA to the EEOC, and from the SEC to the FTC.

11:10 am - 12:10 pm: Pie-in-the-Sky: The Single Federal Agency Model
Hear from Steph Sheerer, President of Americans for Safe Access (ASA) and founder of the International Cannabis and Cannabinoid Institute (ICCI), and her team of experts for a discussion on the efficiency, transparency, and consumer benefit that could result from consolidating federal regulation of the cannabis markets in a single agency.

Track 2, Unit B: Drafting

9:00 am - 10:00 am: Commercial Contracts: Taking a Closer Look at an M&A Transaction
While the cannabis industry is constantly expanding through the emergence of new companies, the rate of consolidations through M&A transactions is keeping pace in lock-step. Take a closer look at what are becoming common transactions in the cannabis industry, and how you can help your clients prepare for, engage in, and benefit from an M&A transaction from the drafting perspective.

10:05 am - 11:05 am: Sample Provisions: Warranties, Indemnification, Limitation of Liability, and Alternative Dispute Resolution
Drafting provisions related to warranties, indemnification, limitations of liability and ADR can feel like groundhog day, but it doesn’t have to be an exercise in repetition. Learn how to draft these omnipresent clauses once, and how to modify them for your other contract needs going forward.

11:10 am - 12:10 pm: Drafting Internal Documents: Everything your Client Needs to Get Off the Ground.
SOPs, policies on trade secrets, employee handbooks - take a look at internal drafting issues, red flags (and herrings) to keep track of, and other issues related to the documents that your clients ask you to draft for their own internal business needs.

12:10 pm - 1:00 pm
Lunch Break

Track 1, Unit C: Industrial Hemp & The 2018 Federal Farm Bill

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm: 2018 Farm Bill Update and Overview
Join us for an update on the implementation of the 2018 Farm Bill, interstate shipments of raw material, and information on retail CBD. Starting with an update on where we are around the country with newly filed state-level industrial hemp plans and the current status of interstate commerce with regard to industrial hemp material, we will then move onto other basic provisions of the hemp bill and the hemp markets, such as insurance, transport, and financing.

2:05 pm - 3:05 pm: CBD and Industrial Hemp
CBD remains a controversial substance: The Food Drug and Cosmetics Act bars its use as a food additive, but enforcement has largely fallen to state agencies. Where are we now with federal law as it relates to CBD, is CBD derived from industrial hemp treated differently from isolate derived from psychoactive cannabis, and what is the best way to position your client for success? With the rise of the new hemp economy, the competitive landscape continues to tighten, and, now more than ever, our clients need guidance on how the market will develop and where resources should be allocated.

3:15 pm - 4:15 pm: State Level Regulation and Issues related to Industrial Hemp
What should a state-level hemp plan include? What are the competitive advantages and disadvantages of certain state-level programs over others? Are state-level markets worth harmonizing, and will we see a convergence of regulatory programs governing hemp growth, sale and distribution? And how can states deal with the residual THC that is a byproduct of producing CBD isolate from industrial hemp crops?

Track 2 Unit C: Disputes, Litigation, and ADR in the Cannabis Industry

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm: Taking it to the Man - Complaints Filed Against State and Local Governments and Regulators
Are you applying for licenses in a competitive licensing jurisdiction and think your client has been unfairly overlooked? Is there a constitutional issue with the licensing process? Has your local jurisdiction prohibited some commercial activity in violation of constitutional law? Take a look at the causes of action that practitioners have brought against their state and local governments, and the lessons you can bring to your own causes of action.

2:05 pm - 3:05 pm: Regulatory Proceedings and Enforcement Actions
What is the frequency with which companies are being subjected to enforcement from their state and local regulators? Are these enforcement actions corporate death sentences, or simply speed bumps? Take a look at how regulators are addressing those that are stepping outside of the regulatory lines, how you can keep your client off the regulators’ radars, and how to prepare your client for the unfortunate reality of enforcement in the cannabis space.

3:15 pm - 4:15 pm: Alternative Dispute Resolution
ADR remains one of the most important instruments in the attorney’s doctrinal toolbox as we navigate a legal environment where the basic enforceability of contracts can remain uncertain, the choice of venue and law can change the substantive outcome of disputes, and where our clients are financially squeezed at every turn. Take a look at how ADR can serve you, how to navigate the process, and how to convey the benefits of ADR to your clients.

Closing Remarks and Celebratory Drinks

4th Floor Wrap-Around Balcony at New York Law School