June 04, 2020 Articles

Attorneys and Cannabis Clients: Know Your Risks

The tension between federal and state law creates potential risks for cannabis attorneys.

By Neil J. Wertlieb
As long as marijuana remains a Schedule 1 federally restricted drug, there are still significant risks for lawyers who work with cannabis clients.

As long as marijuana remains a Schedule 1 federally restricted drug, there are still significant risks for lawyers who work with cannabis clients.

In the past few years, almost every state in the country has legalized marijuana for medicinal and/or recreational use. Such new laws have created business opportunities for entrepreneurs, investors, and others—including attorneys, many of whom jumped into a new practice area of advising operators, growers, distributors, dispensaries, and other participants in the cannabis marketplace. However, marijuana remains a Schedule 1 restricted drug under the federal Controlled Substances Act, which prohibits the production, distribution, sale, use, and possession of marijuana. This tension between federal and state law creates potential risks for all those newly minted cannabis attorneys. 

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