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March 04, 2022

ABA sponsors in-person Denver conference focusing on the global business of cannabis

WASHINGTON, Nov. 4, 2021 – The American Bar Association International Law Section is hosting “The Global Business of Cannabis” conference in-person in Denver, Colorado, from Nov. 10-12. The conference includes programs exploring the legal framework of the business and cannabis trends throughout the Americas

The Global Business of Cannabis” Sponsored by the ABA International Law Section

Wednesday-Friday, Nov. 10-12 (all times MST)

The Art Hotel Denver
1201 Broadway, Denver

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis opens the conference on Wednesday at 6 p.m., with welcoming remarks. Phil Weiser, the Colorado attorney general, follows with a keynote address. On Friday, U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, who represents a Denver area district, will deliver keynote remarks at a luncheon that begins at 1 p.m.

The three days of programs also includes leading lawyers, U.S. and state governmental officials, and businesspeople involved in the growing cannabis industry.

On Thursday, for instance, Nancy Whiteman, chief executive officer of Wana Brands in Denver, delivers a luncheon keynote. Her recently acquired company produces a variety of cannabis-infused products. On Thursday night, Maggie Wilson, chief marketing officer of Fruit Slabs based in Long Beach, California, delivers an address titled, “Cannabis Culture Shock: The Importance of Authentic Education.” Her company produces California’s first kosher certified and vegan cannabis edible.

Panels on Thursday and Friday include:

  • “Diversity, Equity, Inclusion — and Cannabis: Efforts to Shape the Cannabis Industry Worldwide” With cannabis legalization sweeping across the U.S. and around the globe, many jurisdictions are implementing social equity initiatives and building community reinvestment programs. Are these efforts succeeding in promoting diversity, equity and inclusion in the cannabis industry? Panelists will discuss the ways in which jurisdictions are seeking to address the disproportionate impact the war on drugs has had on low-income communities and communities of color, what’s working and what steps must be taken to make an impact.
    Thursday, 9-10:30 a.m.
  • “Enforcing the New Cannabis Legal Framework: Federal & State Prosecution of Illicit Market Cannabis Operations” — State-regulated and compliant cannabis businesses have largely avoided the scrutiny of federal prosecutors, but black-market operations remain and continue to draw law enforcement attention. The panel will discuss where federal prosecution efforts, in cooperation with state authorities, have drawn the line on pirate cannabis operations. Panelists will discuss the Biden administration’s approach to enforcement in this area, and peer into the future in a potential SAFE Banking Act federal legal environment, including its impact on money laundering.
    Thursday, 4:30-6 p.m.
  • “Legal Ethics in International Cannabis” — The panel will explore international developments involving nation states and the economic and political blocs within which they operate. It will also look at the ethical issues and pitfalls that must be balanced in deciding upon representation of a potential client. Ethical considerations, with comparisons to the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct and certain state specific rules, will be discussed.
    Friday, 9-10:30 a.m.
  • “Cannabis & Alcohol, Hospitality & Tourism, Public Safety v. Arbitrary Regulations: It’s a Whole New World” — Businesses, which combine cannabis and alcohol, could face some challenging legal issues, particularly in the hospitality and tourism sectors. As cannabis becomes more mainstream and legal, there is an increase in production of alcohol-infused products. As some businesses have learned, navigating the already complex alcohol and cannabis regulations can be difficult.
    Friday, 4:30-6 p.m.

The complete conference agenda is here. All sessions are open to members of the media, but registration is required in advance. Note: All meeting attendees are required to provide proof of vaccination or proof of a negative COVID test within 72 hours of the start of the meeting. All media wishing to cover The Global Business of Cannabis Conference must contact Bill Choyke at [email protected] to register and to receive further COVID-related instructions.

The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at and on Twitter @ABANews).