The Importance of Being Registered: Client Advocate or Accidental Lobbyist (MJBiz 2018)

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Effective government relations and carefully holding lawmakers accountable are critical to the progressive evolution of the cannabis industry. The success of the legal market, as well as many high achieving cannabis enterprises, can be directly attributed to sustained political engagement and public advocacy. 

This panel will provide informational resources and a forum for the exchange of ideas regarding substantive areas of policy, political law, the legislative process, and the regulation of the profession for federal, state and local stakeholders. There is a fine line between lobbying, legal and government affairs activities, and special attention will be given to avoiding the unauthorized practice of law and accidental lobbying. 


  • Lara DeCaro (Partner, Leland, Parachini, Steinberg, Metzger & Melnick, LLP, NCBA Founding Board Member)

  • Sabrina Fendrick (Director of Government Affairs, Berkeley Patients Group)

  • Elizabeth Westbrook (Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney PC)

  • Scot Rutledge (Partner, Parallax Strategies, and Argentum Partners)

  • John M. Jennings (Harter Secrest & Emery LLP)

Course Materials:


Corporate Growth: How to Take Money to Make Money (MJBiz 2018)

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Our Corporate Growth panel will address the myriad ways that your clients can raise money, from simple debt or equity financings, to slightly more complex convertible notes and Simple Agreements for Future Equity (SAFEs). This program will enhance your understanding of businessstrategies commonly used to help companies raise money to fund growth opportunities without inhibiting growth potential, and will allow you to help your clients navigate the complex decision that focus on raising capital. The panel will also address common pitfalls in state and federal securities laws, and help apprise you of issues that may require you to associate with a specialist to navigate. 


  • Andi B. Goldman (Principal, ABG Advisory/Equitas Partners Fund)

  • Valerio Romano (Partner, Vicente Sederberg)

  • Afzal Hasan (EVP, Corporate Development and General Counsel, CannaRoyalty)

  • Jeffery Merk (Air & Berlis)

  • Kathryn McCall (Sideman Bancroft)

Course Materials:

The Other Feds: Worried about the DEA or the DOJ2 What about the FDA, FTC, and Health Canada? (CLI 2017)

Featuring. Amanda Conley, Emily Leongini, and Garrett Graff
Cannabis may still be listed on Schedule of the Controlled Substances Act, but that doesn't mean the federal government is ignoring the industry - or that cannabis businesses should ignore federal regulations. And in Canada, one federal agency watching over the whole thing. As the cannabis industry Continues to grOW by leaps and bounds, a variety of federal agencies are paying close attention, including the Federal Trade Commission, Food & Drug Administration, and Health Canada.

Course Material:
Slide Presentation

Deals, Mergers, and Acquisitions (CLI 2017)

Featuring: Nicole Neubert, Andrea Goldman, and Ranjeev Dhillon
The cannabis industry is catching the eye of investors, and financing and growth opportunities abound. This panel will discuss the most relevant issues within this area and the best practices applied by leading practitioners in this field. The panel will provide an overview of financing opportunities and methods, timing for investments and other financing vehicles, and positioning your clients for responsible growth.

Northbound and Southbound: Cross-Border Transactions in the Cannabis industry (CLI 2017)

Featuring Len Glickman, Josh Kappel, Afzal Hazan, Alan Gertner, Carl Meron, Maxim Zavet
Doing business in the cannabis industry in Canada or the United States is complicated. Add doing business across borders, and the number of issues to be navigated expand exponentially. Issues addressed include: foreign investment, financing your business on a Canadian Stock Exchange, the federal illegality of Cannabis, importing and exporting products, and Cross-border licensing.

Ethics Representing Cannabis Clients (CLI 2017)

Featuring: Omar Figueroa
Representing clients in the cannabis industry presents a unique set of challenges. Attorneys in this field can draw the attention of law enforcement, and therefore must be careful not only of violating ethics rules, but also of running afoul of the law. Veteran industry attorney Omar Figueroa will give you tips to help navigate the ethical and legal minefield of giving legal advice to marijuana industry clients. Program highlights include: Continuing tension between state and federal laws; giving legal advice vs. acting as a business consultant; limitations on involvement; and applying the Rules of Professional Conduct.

Course Material:
July2017_EthicsCLE_NCBA slide handouts
July 2017 EthicsCLE PrintMaterials (without slides)

Consumer Protection and Product Liability in the Cannabis industry (CLI 2017)

Featuring: Jeff Wilson, Ambere St. Denis, Shawn Hauser, and Wanda James
The Consumer Protection and Products Liability panel will address how to advise clients about the multitude of issues related to Consumer protection and products liability. Legal Considerations, regulatory compliance practices, and available insurance protections will be discussed. The emphasis will be focused on helping attorneys advise their clients on best practices and strategies for avoiding or mitigating potential products liability claims and how to defend against such claims if they arise.

Course Material:
Best Practices 

Business Litigation (CLI 2017)

Featuring: Katy Young, Dean Richardson, Joe Rogoway
Civil litigation is on the rise throughout the cannabis industry. Seasoned civil litigators in California and Colorado will discuss how litigation in the cannabis industry is a bit different, highlight differences between the more established industry in Colorado versus California, discuss some of the most common types of civil litigation in these states, and offer practical advice for your practice and your cannabis clients Contemplating litigation.

Course Material:
Cannabis Civil Litigation

Building an Empire on a State-by-State Basis (CLI 2017)

Featuring. Lara Pearson, Lara DeCaro, Amanda Ostrowitz, Chelsea Hahn
Each state's cannabis laws are ever-evolving, making it challenging for Counsel to keep up. So, what happens when your client wants to build a nationwide cannabis brand? This session discusses best practices, challenges and opportunities facing Scaling Cannabis businesses.

Course Material:
Ostrowitz CLI written materials - components of complaince program
Hahn written materials NCBA Conference Patents
Solutions for Cannabis Trademarks
CLI Materials Banking Cannabis in 2017
CLI Materials - Employment Issues 2017

Introduction to Canadian Cannabis Law (CLI 2017)

Featuring Alison Hayman, Emily LaRose, Mark Zekulin, Sherri Altshuler
Speakers will provide an overview of the history of Cannabis legalization including a history of the regulations and case law on access to medical cannabis. Speakers will also address the Current regulations, ACMPRs, and Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. This panel will help you understand specifics of the rights and obligations of licensed producers under the current medical cannabis regime, Bill C-45, and the anticipated Cannabis Act respecting use and access to non-medical cannabis, as well as the anticipated framework for distribution, export, and promotion of non-medical cannabis and its relationship to the medial regulatory system.

Course Materials:
Presentation - Cannabis Regulation in Canada Slide Deck

That Canna Tax is Whack (CLI 2017)

Featuring. Jennifer Benda, Henry Wykowski, Chris McCabe
A discussion of the infamous Section 280E of the Internal Revenue Code, the all-important Harborside case, punishing IRS penalties, the strange landscape of allocating inventory and cost of goods sold, and the 5th Amendment.

Course Materials:
50081150_1_Tax Law for Cannabis Businesses - CLI July 29 2017-C3

Cannabis Labeling, Packaging, and Advertising: Laws and Regulations (CLI 2017)

Featuring Amanda Conley, Chloe Grossman, Manpreet Singh, Amanda Ostrowitz
The cannabis industry is rife with rules and regulations dictating the manner and style of packaging, the language and Warnings required to be included on product labels, and the advertisement of good and services within the industry. This presentation will help attendees understand the role of federal, state, and local packaging, labeling, and advertising laws in the Cannabis industry and Will educate -- or update -- you on the requirements and best practices in force today.

Course Materials:
NCBA CLI Labeling and Packaging Presentation

The Eastern Tiger: How Emerging Markets Are Taking Shape East of the Mississippi (CLI 2017)

Featuring: Matt Abel, Jeff McCourt, Dina Rollman, Jason Klein, Jon Robbins, Karen Bernstein, Catia Kossovsky
In recent years the eastern half of the Country has begun to come into its own as many new, exciting markets roll out medical and recreational cannabis programs. You will hear from experts in some of the most exciting emerging markets out east including Maryland, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Illinois, and Ohio.

Course Material:
NCBA Eastern Tigers

Internationalism, Federalism, and States' Rights (CLI 2017)

Featuring Sam Kamin, Rob MikOS, Alex Kreit, Allen Young, Nancy Leong
How is it possible for a cannabis industry to exist at a state level in light of the federal prohibition against cannabis? It's a question answered by this panel. Join the law professors for a Conversation about the interaction of international, federal, state, and local laws from the perspective of the US and Canada. The panel will dig into the details of how states have and can continue to legalize cannabis despite the federal prohibition, whether cannabis may be transported across state lines where two adjacent states have both fully legalized cannabis, whether cannabis may be transported internationally, the effects of preemption, and how Canada has achieved legalization through a different approach.

Cultivating Intellectual Property: Registering Patents and Trademarks (CLI 2017)

Featuring: Viva Moffat, Matt Lapple, Mary Shapiro, Jason Moscovici, Jamin Horn, Jeremy Kapteyn
There are many myths and a lot of misinformation about what can and cannot be registered at the United States Patent and Trademark Office. This session focuses on the standards for registration and best practices for laying the groundwork to obtain federal patent and trademark registrations.

Course Material:
Trademark Laundering, Useless Patents, and Other IP Challenges for the Marijuana Industry 

Intro to MJ Business Law: Tips, Tricks, and Potholes (CLI 2017)

Featuring: Brian Vicente, Lewis Koski, Hank Handelsman, Bob Hoban, Lauren Davis
A discussion of best practices in marijuana business law from a group of esteemed, national experts. Topics include educating attorneys on evaluating risk for their clients and staying Current on evolving laws. Using Colorado as a basis, but providing perspective from other states, the panel will discuss a regulator's perspective on business operations and Compliance.

Course Materials:
Bob Hoban: Evaluating Risk
Hank Handelsman Cannabis Law Institute
Hank Handelsman Slides

Marijuana Law Reform: Social Justice in Cannabis Laws? (CLI 2017)

Featuring: Sam Kamin, Allen Hopper, Jason Ortiz, Kate Bell, Shelli Hayes
A discussion about using marijuana law reform to address issues of Social justice with respect to the Criminal justice system. The panelists will discuss whether historically disadvantaged Communities and those affected the most by the drug War can benefit under a new regime where cannabis is taxed and regulated.

Course Materials: 
Social Justice Slides
Model Bill
AUMA Full Text

Insolvency in Cannabis: Access to Bankruptcy Courts, How to Prepare Your Clients, and Alternatives to the Federal System (2019)

As more states adopt cannabis use programs, the number of individuals and businesses engaged in the cannabis industry, either as growers or sellers, or as ancillary service or goods providers, continues to expand.  This webinar will address issues that arise when cannabis businesses or individuals deriving income from the cannabis industry seek relief provided by the federal bankruptcy laws.

  • Is bankruptcy an option for growers and sellers?

  • Is bankruptcy an option for ancillary businesses?

  • Does access to bankruptcy depend on the relief the debtor is seeking, i.e. reorganization of debt under chapter 11 or 13, versus a liquidation under chapter 7?

  • What alternative state court remedies are available?

  • What are the shortcomings of state court remedies in comparison to the relief available under the bankruptcy code?


Patricia Heer is a co-founder of the Cannabis Law Digest, which contains cannabis statutes and regulations, industry specific articles, agency guidelines, and state and federal cannabis court decisions digested by industry attorneys into easy to read summaries. Patricia has historically practiced in the area of commercial litigation and business reorganization. Prior to founding the Cannabis Law Digest, Patricia practiced law at Duane Morris in both litigation and transactional areas, which enables her to advise clients in the rapidly shifting cannabis industry. 

Jason Rosell is a senior associate at Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP.  His experience includes representing debtors and creditors in complex cross-border insolvency cases.  He is a member of the boards of the Turnaround Management Association Northern California chapter and Bay Area Bankruptcy Forum.  He holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems, MBA, and JD from Arizona State University.

The Legal and Business Case for Diversity (CLI 2018)

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Legalizing cannabis presents an opportunity to address and eliminate the legacy of racial injustices spurred by cannabis prohibition. However, despite strong moral, business, and legal reasons for equality practices to flourish, the communities most harmed by prohibition are benefiting the least from legalization. This panel of diversity experts will provide lessons learned from industries and organizations outside of cannabis, and provide a set of best practices for diversity, inclusion, and equity that will enable the cannabis industry to thrive as a model for corporate responsibility and community reinvestment.

Shanita Penny (Budding Solutions)
Dr. Chanda Macias (National Holistic Healing Center)
Jonica Armstrong, DSW (Community Relations Professional)
Brandon Wyatt (Wyatt Legal & Consulting)
Eddie L. Pounds (O'Malley, Miles, Nylen & Gilmore, P.A.)