Ethically Representing the Cannabis Client

Production Date: December 08, 2015 Practice Areas: Ethics, Business, Corporate, & Securities Law, and Marijuana Law Estimated Length: 3613 minutes


$ 59 Ethics, Business, Corporate, & Securities Law, and Marijuana Law In Stock

Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia now have laws making the use of medical cannabis lawful, under certain circumstances. Four states and the District of Columbia have passed laws legalizing recreational use of cannabis. In addition, anticipated ballot initiatives in Nevada, Arizona, Ohio, and California, and anticipated legislation in Vermont, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, may result in legalized adult use of cannabis in several other states. 


Despite this activity at the state level, the Federal Controlled Substances Act (the “CSA”) applies nationwide, and, under the CSA, the cultivation, processing, distribution, and sale of cannabis is unlawful, regardless of applicable state law. Under these circumstances, may an attorney represent a client in the cannabis industry in a manner consistent with state professional ethics rules?   


In this program, we examine the ethical issues raised by representing cannabis industry clients, as well as ethics opinions issued by bar authorities in states including New York State, Maine, Connecticut, Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, and Washington State.


Join Hanan Kolko for a discussion of these issues. Mr. Kolko, a New York City-based shareholder at Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein and a co-chair of that firm’s Cannabis Practice, is also a member of the National Cannabis Bar Association.       


Learning Objectives:  

I.     Understand the basics regarding the Controlled Substances Act (”CSA”) and its applicability to cannabis

II.    Appreciate the relationship between the CSA and state cannabis laws

III.   Understand the underlying ethical issues presented in the representation of cannabis industry clients

IV.   Learn how different state bar authorities have approached the ethical considerations of attorney representation of clients in the cannabis industry

V.    Identify how to avoid ethical pitfalls in representing clients in the cannabis industry

VI.   Learn how to conduct “up front” communications with potential clients in the industry

Erin B.
Larchmont, NY

Fairly interesting topic and nice to include the contrast with other states (mainly CO) that have a more established set of laws in this area.

Roscoe H.
Charlotte, NC

I highly recommend this course!

Adam S.
Atlanta, GA

There’s not enough substance behind the legal issue to keep it from being repetitive, which it largely is. That is not the presenters fault of course.

Jonathan W.
San Antonio, TX

Great course! Very educational!

Marlon S.
Beverly Hills, CA


Beau J.
Morgan Hill, CA

The program needs an update following the Sessions repeal of the Cole memorandum.

Shauna H.
Ontario, CA

Fascinating topic

Larry M.
Dallas, TX

Very informative

Diane P.
Portland, OR

Excellent presentation, great speaker, and very helpful and clear advice.

Colette L.
New Rochelle, NY

This is new business. I learned a lot. THank you for this invaluable information

irina a.
reno, NV

very useful with passing of new legislature in Nevada Thank you!

Rebecca S.
Lakewood, CO

I appreciated the unusual topic. I have already recommended this class to my husband's law firm.

Thomas M.
Fort Worth, TX

Excellent presentation on the ethics of the conflict of laws.

Renee D.
White Plains, NY

Really interesting. Would love to see an update based on current climate.

Josh N.
Boca Raton, FL

Informative well delivered a must fir those who are interested in representing clients in this very tricky arena

Thomas K.
Arlington, VA

Very good presenter!

Frank E.
Newport News, VA

Subject still up in the air, but good summary of where it stands

Jonathan H.
Oakland, CA

Appreciate the frank discussion of state ethical guidance on the issue.

Kathy D.
Lahaina, HI

interesting evolving area of law

Bradley S.
Cheshire, CT

A good and helpful presentation!

Thomas C.
Santa Fe, NM

This was one of the most interesting and effective presentations I'd heard while using Lawline.

Christian K.
Alexandria, VA

Good overview.

Hugh W.
Tucker, GA

Very good

Martin W.
Tinley Park, IL

Presenter is extremely well-versed in his subject matter. Very interesting. Very well done.

David B. M.
Orlando, FL

A very sticky area of law, well addressed.

Lauren G.
East Northport, NY

Very helpful

Dirck H.
Alexandria, VA

Very practical and timely.

Evan S.
Great Neck, NY

Very good and important course. great job.

Marc P.
Longmont, CO

Locally relevant

Brent A.
Denver, CO

helpful to those of us in CO

Michael D.
Portland, ME

Delivered well, slides were substantive, and the UI was especially easy to navigate.

James D.
Gainesville, FL

Well spoken and organized speaker

Anita O.
Los Angeles, CA

Great informative slides and content..

Robert M.
lakeland, FL

Mr. Hanan Kolko was first rate: extremely articulate and clear!

Douglas A.

Very interesting particularly from the point of a Chief Davison Counsel to an FBI Division.

Gary T.
Jacksonville, FL

Well done!

Adria B.
Gainesville, VA

Well done!

Barbara F.
Vassalboro, ME

Very interesting subject matter.

Scott P.
Guilderland, NY

Good presenter.

Michael V.
Des Plaines, IL

Very well done. I enjoyed this thoroughly.

Marliss T.
Lake Forest, IL


Maxwell Z.
Houston, TX


Eric S.
Boulder, CO


Dean G.
Saint Paul, MN

Very nicely done!!

Elliot F.
Tucson, AZ

Good coverage of a topic that appears to be changing with the Trump administration.

charles l.
Fincastle, VA

Wonderfully conversational speaker's style.

Grant M.
Boulder, CO

Excellent program.

Sean O.
Renton, WA

Helpful multi-state background; good to compare other state bars' ethical response to "Cole Memorandum" fed. policy.

Andrew P.
Lawndale, CA

Very good!

Neil H.
Plymouth Meeting, PA

Very effective presentation. Survey of applicable state law re ethical issues was very helpful.

karina v.
Hialeah, FL

Great informative chat on a pretty new issue

Ronald H.

Troubling area considering the current political environment and updates should be made available as the circumstances dictate.

Randal B.
Covington, WA

Clear, concise information; very helpful iinformation

Mark R.
Jacksonville, FL

Something you don't think about without being confronted with it.

Chad M.
Glen Gardner, NJ

Would like to see the follow up after Trump administration's statement on enforcement going forward

Jason R.
Charlotte, NC

Great job!

William S.
Centreville, VA

Speaker and coverage of material was substantial and excellent

Robert B.
Alexandria, VA

Very interesting!

Kathy P.
Brooklyn, NY


Ellen S.
Tigard, OR

This was a very well done program. Thank you.

Thomas F.
Peconic, NY

well done

tod d.
Las Vegas, NV

really well done seminar

Erik L.
Issaquah, WA

Hanan was very thorough, informative and his presentation style was engaging.

Richard S.
Phoenix, AZ

Extremely well organized and clear presentation! Mr. Kolko educated me in a field about which I knew nothing previously -- and now I have a working mindset along with key references to move forward if the need arises. Thank you!!

Juanita B.
Sacramento, CA

Excellent program. Outstanding presenter.

William D.
Denver, CO

Very timely and informative. Thank you!

Robert F.
Rutherford, NJ

good program

Walter T.
Charlotte, NC


Bob G.
Los Angeles, CA

Highly relevant and informative.

Charles M.
Elkridge, MD

Excellent program, very informative

Catherine T.
Morganton, NC

Great advice regarding the quagmire that is advising cannabis businesses. Looking forward (with some dread) as to how advice will change with new administration in 2017.

Richard H.
Wilmington, NC

Excellent presentation.

William B.
Medford, NJ

One of the best courses I have taken

Tonya Y.
Westminster, CO

Very interesting and informative!

Elizabeth R.
Boston, MA

Excellent presentation

Matthew c.
Durango, CO

excellent course

Springfield, VA

very very good; practical

Julie F.
Valparaiso, IN

This is a fascinating topic, and, as more states legalize marijuana, will be a growing area of the law. Thanks, interesting stuff.

Stefanie M.
Brooklyn, NY

very interesting topic.

Rhonda G. W.
Washington, DC

Thank you for clear and thorough presentation.

arthur f.
Omak, WA

covers ethical considerations in several states-ex Maine, Connecticut, Arizona, Colorado, and New York.

Jonathan G.
Fredericksburg, VA

Excellent content & presentation

Michael V.
Clifton forge, VA

Timely and informative. Great instructor!

David O.
Laurel, NY

A very novel and interesting topic. The lecturer was very helpful and I appreciated his candor

Richard T.
Seattle, WA

Very good CLE. Excellent presentation; very thorough and engaging.

yekaterina l.
brooklyn, NY

This is a very important topic given how unusual it is to have states allow people to break federal law. it is extra important for lawyers.

J R M.
Golden, CO

One of the more enjoyable programs I've seen. Down to earth delivery and material was not too dry. Good insight into the dilemma presented for counsel working in this area of the law and business.

Steven W.
Squaw Valley, CA


Thomas G. G.


Deborah G.
East Cleveland, OH


Tobias P.
Plainfield, NJ

This course did a good job of laying out the minefield of cannabis representation.

Bennett E.
New York, NY

highly recommend

Dennis B.
Phoenix, AZ

instructor was very helpful. Highly recommend him.

Annmarie C.
Boulder, CO

I enjoyed the presenter's approach to this material, going state by state and highlighting differences and things to watch for in practice.

David J.
Pompano Beach, FL

Very interesting and confirmative course.

Stephen L.
Richmond, VA

Very well done

Joshua C.
Limestone, TN

Excellent Course.

Sabrina C.
Craigsville, VA

interesting topic

elizabeth d.
Upper Marlboro, MD

interesting topic, enjoyed it!

Robert F.
Sterling, VA

Interesting subject, good speaker

Thomas S.
Fairfax, VA

Good program, can't wait for the follow ups

Karen R.
Richmond, VA

Interesting and increasingly relevant. Thank you!

Seth F.
New York, NY

very interesting topic!

Kelly D.
Boca Raton, FL

Very interesting issue for consideration!

George K.
Alexandria, VA

good course

Robert N.
Alexandria, VA

very interesting

Michael S.
McLeam, VA

Much more interesting than I expected. The legal issues discussed are applicable to a wide range of areas.

Nikki K.
Arlington, VA

interesting topic and good presenter

Anne B.
New York, NY

Very interesting area - conflicts which lawyers face in this practice were well explained.

Kevin J.
Springfield, VA

really really interesting

Michael G.
Ann Arbor, MI

Very interesting points I would have never thought about.

Jeffrey D.
Severn, MD

Thank you!

Belinda B.
Sugar Land, TX

This shed light on a very difficult situation that lawyers are facing and was helpful.

Thomas D.
Washington, DC


tim r.
Seattle, WA

Loved the way he started the discussion by showing respect for the subject matter.

Elliott M.
Baltimore, MD

Great speaker who knew the subject and performed well. Thanks

Mickie B.
Dallas, TX

excellent presentation

Richard M.
Wexford, PA

another very good presenter

Lawrence J.
Amherst, VA

One of the best

John W.
Great Falls, VA

Very fine presentation.

William S.
Cleveland, OH

Great program

Anneshia M.

Informative and interesting

Chris J.
Houston, TX

Very interesting topic. Well presented.

Clarence S.
Bozeman, MT

Excellent presentation of complex area.

Joel F.
Somers, NY

This Course was excellent. The presentation was concise and easily understandable. The presenter deserves an A+ rating.

Tim L.
Mill Creek, WA

Very informative background and excellent interpretation of existing conundrum

Peter S.
Austin, TX

Fascinating subject, compellingly presnted

Marshall L. E.
Farmville, VA

excellent program

Owen J. M.

Interesting topic and program

Susan S.
Ellsworth, ME

needed a CLE credit in ethics and this was available--it was actually very interesting and I learned a great deal!

Donna H.
Alexandria, VA

Very interesting topic.

ginger w.
Hattiesburg, MS

Great ethics hour

Krista C.
Portland, ME

Beyond informative, the topic and delivery were very interesting and thought-provoking! Excellent.

Shaun E.
Tucson, AZ

very knowledgeable speaker

Eric S.
Crawford, CO

Great presentation. Good, practical information.

William B.
Alexandria, VA

Good material and presentation.

Henry V.
Naples, FL


Julie A. B.
Hiles, WI

Informative, well-delivered material.

Candace B.
Severna Park, MD

Interesting presentation on an emerging area of attorney ethical issues in representing cannabis emerging businesses.

Matthew H.
Orchard Park, NY

Very thorough review of the ethics issues related to Marijuana-business clients.

William G.
New Canaan, CT

Every lawyer should take this course.

Charlotte, NC

Great video.

Barbara C.
Fort Myers, FL

Timely and interesting topic.

Steven B.
Chicago, IL

Of all the seminars on ethics, this is the best!

elizabeth c.
new york, NY

he was super impressive

Robert W.
Arlington, VA

Well organized. Concise and informative.

Michael C.
Palatine, IL

Weed rep excellent material

Hakeem B.
Conyers, GA

very informative

Sebastian G.
Charlottesville, VA


Richard K.
Niceville, FL

Stressed throughout the ethical considerations in this area between state regulations and the CSA

Charles C.
East Aurora, NY


David J.
Joliet, IL


Glen K.
Sleepy Eye, MN

nice to hear about this grey area of federal verse state and how to advise clients on ethics issues that it almost seems lawyers should avoid taking on clients in the cannabis industry

Allen H.
Wesmont, IL

Well organized and detailed

Richard M.
Flushing Queens, NY

The material was very well presented.

marc e.
chicago, IL



very helpful in drafting retainer.

Jayne R.
New York, NY

One of the most informative and well organized programs.

Jordan H.
Aurora, IL

Very imformative

Barry G.
Springfield, VA

Very well-versed presenter.

Thomas S.

Great content and presentation. Am licensed in NY and CO.

Amanda M.
Rosharon, TX

Very interesting material.

Anna L.
Portland, OR

I loved it!

Rodney S.
Staten Island, NY


Daniel H.
Valley Stream, NY

Overall, very informative. It is a complicated topic given the competing state and federal laws.

Patrick G.
Cheektowaga, NY

Excellent teacher and great presentation.

Raph M.
Portland, OR

This was very informative, and the course materials were a great reference.

Christopher M.
Chicago, IL

Great talk - been very curious about these state/federal conflicts and how to navigate them them.

Robert H.

Engaging speaker

Christian B.
Aurora, CO

very practical

Gretna, LA

Happy to see new areas of law being discussed, even if not accepted by all..

Michael L.
New York, NY

Interesting, well informed speaker.

Susan M. B.
Massapequa, NY

Very good presentation on a topic that is still developing. Great advice given. Excellent speaker. Thorough materials.

Robert N.
Frisco, TX

Very good seminar! Who would have thought of all the legal representation hurdles the DOJ caused!

Conrad G.
Conroe, TX

Well done. No wasted time.

Kimberly M.
New York, NY

Great, easy to follow seminar on a confusing body of law

Spartanburg, SC

Enjoyed the Course.

Dennis G.

Great information for lawyer who is entering into the MJ arena. Until Feds legalize MJ lawyers are on a precipice of the leading edge of constitutional change

Ingrid J.
New York, NY

A very informative program.

reuben c.
Jurupa Valley, CA

good job

Lewis S.
New York, NY

Interesting subject matter handled intelligently.

Kathleen S.
Sammamish, WA

This course is a MUST for lawyers practicing in WASH and COLO. Excellent material. Engaging speaker.

Houman D.
Great Falls, VA

Very Informative!

Michael B.
Queensbury, NY

well done!

Lauren W.
Bronx, NY

Very interesting.

Mark C.
Forest Hills, NY


William R.

Great Seminar on a burgeoning field of law.

Susan C.
west orange, NJ

Fascinating! Ethics for the 21st Century! Came into seminar because of client with MS, but learned so much more! Wish I could give 5 stars.

Shirley d.
Salem, OR

Very interesting - state law vs federal law. Problem arises when an employee is working for the Feds.

John K.

Honest approach to conflict of laws and ethical limitations of attorney role in several states.

Geoffrey A.
San Francisco, CA

explained the risks of practice and how to deal with them very clearly

Diane B.

Excellent advice about representing clients that goes beyond the limited context of the cannabis industry, but very well done on that subject too.

Matthew D.
Malibu, CA

I would recommend if the attorney were interested in the subject. Did a good job of explaining how CSA relates to state laws.

Chukwuka O.
Houston, TX

great course!

Rachel T.
Saint Paul, MN

Loved the topic and slides

Jonathan K.
Camas, WA

very interesting introduction to the ethics of practice in the emerging area

Aaron D.
Bothell, WA

Really Good!

Linda K.
Washington, DC

Very good information.