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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.
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
Hanan B. Kolko joined the firm in March 2019.
Mr. Kolko practices in the area of labor and employment law. He represents labor unions in federal and state court litigation, arbitration proceedings, administrative proceedings before various regulatory agencies, and in collective bargaining. Mr. Kolko also advises unions and their leaders on internal union governance, the investigation and handling of sexual harassment claims, and internal union elections. He has represented unions in a wide variety of industries including publishing, media, education, health care, law enforcement, transportation, and manufacturing.
Prior to joining Cohen, Weiss and Simon LLP, Mr. Kolko was a partner at two major union-side firms in New York City, and began his career as a lawyer as an associate at union-side firms in Cleveland, Ohio and Detroit, Michigan. While in law school, Mr. Kolko was a law clerk for the United Auto Workers. His first experience working with unions was while he was in college, where he was an intern for the Rochester, New York PATCO local. He is a graduate of the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations and a cum laude graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, where he received the Book Award for the highest grade in his labor law class.
Mr. Kolko is a former co-chair of the American Bar Association’s Section on Labor and Employment Law Committee on Technology in the Workplace, and is an Advisory Board Member of Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations. He has given continuing legal education presentations on a wide variety of labor law topics to groups including the AFL-CIO Lawyers Coordinating Committee, the American Bar Association’s Section on Labor and Employment Law Committee on Technology in the Workplace, and the Practicing Law Institute. He has been named a Super Lawyer for Employment and Labor Law on the New York Metro Annual Lists of Super Lawyers from 2015-2018.
Mr. Kolko also represents clients in the cannabis industry. He advises these clients in areas including licensing applications, regulatory compliance, internal investigations, and in litigations. He has lectured extensively on cannabis law issues, giving presentations on issues including legal ethics and the representation of cannabis clients, bankruptcy and the cannabis industry, the current state of legal affairs in the cannabis industry, RICO claims against cannabis industry participants, and the New York State Compassionate Care Act.
Mr Kolko was di9rect, knowledgeable, informative
This one was facinating
An extremely well organized and delivered presentation.
Impressively detailed guidance through a difficult topic.
excellent presentation and materials.
One of the best Presenters
Outstanding presentation of a very complex problem.
Very well put together program!
Succinct and effective.
Very well researched and presented course.
Well done and informative.
very well done, the conclusion is , there is no conclusion, why would anyone, at this point, accept one of these matters without the Bar uniformly( all states) providing specific, finite guide line. (A,B, C, etc.)
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.
I highly recommend this course!
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.
Great course! Very educational!
The program needs an update following the Sessions repeal of the Cole memorandum.
Excellent presentation, great speaker, and very helpful and clear advice.
This is new business. I learned a lot. THank you for this invaluable information
very useful with passing of new legislature in Nevada Thank you!
I appreciated the unusual topic. I have already recommended this class to my husband's law firm.
Excellent presentation on the ethics of the conflict of laws.
Really interesting. Would love to see an update based on current climate.
Informative well delivered a must fir those who are interested in representing clients in this very tricky arena
Very good presenter!
Subject still up in the air, but good summary of where it stands
Appreciate the frank discussion of state ethical guidance on the issue.
interesting evolving area of law
A good and helpful presentation!
This was one of the most interesting and effective presentations I'd heard while using Lawline.
Presenter is extremely well-versed in his subject matter. Very interesting. Very well done.
A very sticky area of law, well addressed.
Very practical and timely.
Very good and important course. great job.
helpful to those of us in CO
Delivered well, slides were substantive, and the UI was especially easy to navigate.
Well spoken and organized speaker
Great informative slides and content..
Mr. Hanan Kolko was first rate: extremely articulate and clear!
Very interesting particularly from the point of a Chief Davison Counsel to an FBI Division.
Very interesting subject matter.
Very well done. I enjoyed this thoroughly.
Very nicely done!!
Good coverage of a topic that appears to be changing with the Trump administration.
Wonderfully conversational speaker's style.
Helpful multi-state background; good to compare other state bars' ethical response to "Cole Memorandum" fed. policy.
Very effective presentation. Survey of applicable state law re ethical issues was very helpful.
Great informative chat on a pretty new issue
Troubling area considering the current political environment and updates should be made available as the circumstances dictate.
Clear, concise information; very helpful iinformation
Something you don't think about without being confronted with it.
Would like to see the follow up after Trump administration's statement on enforcement going forward
Speaker and coverage of material was substantial and excellent
This was a very well done program. Thank you.
really well done seminar
Hanan was very thorough, informative and his presentation style was engaging.
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!!
Excellent program. Outstanding presenter.
Very timely and informative. Thank you!
Highly relevant and informative.
Excellent program, very informative
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.
One of the best courses I have taken
Very interesting and informative!
very very good; practical
This is a fascinating topic, and, as more states legalize marijuana, will be a growing area of the law. Thanks, interesting stuff.
very interesting topic.
Thank you for clear and thorough presentation.
covers ethical considerations in several states-ex Maine, Connecticut, Arizona, Colorado, and New York.
Excellent content & presentation
Timely and informative. Great instructor!
A very novel and interesting topic. The lecturer was very helpful and I appreciated his candor
Very good CLE. Excellent presentation; very thorough and engaging.
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.
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.
This course did a good job of laying out the minefield of cannabis representation.
instructor was very helpful. Highly recommend him.
I enjoyed the presenter's approach to this material, going state by state and highlighting differences and things to watch for in practice.
Very interesting and confirmative course.
Very well done
interesting topic, enjoyed it!
Interesting subject, good speaker
Good program, can't wait for the follow ups
Interesting and increasingly relevant. Thank you!
very interesting topic!
Very interesting issue for consideration!
Much more interesting than I expected. The legal issues discussed are applicable to a wide range of areas.
interesting topic and good presenter
Very interesting area - conflicts which lawyers face in this practice were well explained.
really really interesting
Very interesting points I would have never thought about.
This shed light on a very difficult situation that lawyers are facing and was helpful.
Loved the way he started the discussion by showing respect for the subject matter.
Great speaker who knew the subject and performed well. Thanks
another very good presenter
One of the best
Very fine presentation.
Informative and interesting
Very interesting topic. Well presented.
Excellent presentation of complex area.
This Course was excellent. The presentation was concise and easily understandable. The presenter deserves an A+ rating.
Very informative background and excellent interpretation of existing conundrum
Fascinating subject, compellingly presnted
Interesting topic and program
needed a CLE credit in ethics and this was available--it was actually very interesting and I learned a great deal!
Very interesting topic.
Great ethics hour
Beyond informative, the topic and delivery were very interesting and thought-provoking! Excellent.
very knowledgeable speaker
Great presentation. Good, practical information.
Good material and presentation.
Informative, well-delivered material.
Interesting presentation on an emerging area of attorney ethical issues in representing cannabis emerging businesses.
Very thorough review of the ethics issues related to Marijuana-business clients.
Every lawyer should take this course.
Timely and interesting topic.
Of all the seminars on ethics, this is the best!
he was super impressive
Well organized. Concise and informative.
Weed rep excellent material
Stressed throughout the ethical considerations in this area between state regulations and the CSA
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
Well organized and detailed
The material was very well presented.
very helpful in drafting retainer.
One of the most informative and well organized programs.
Very well-versed presenter.
Great content and presentation. Am licensed in NY and CO.
Very interesting material.
I loved it!
Overall, very informative. It is a complicated topic given the competing state and federal laws.
Excellent teacher and great presentation.
This was very informative, and the course materials were a great reference.
Great talk - been very curious about these state/federal conflicts and how to navigate them them.
Happy to see new areas of law being discussed, even if not accepted by all..
Interesting, well informed speaker.
Very good presentation on a topic that is still developing. Great advice given. Excellent speaker. Thorough materials.
Very good seminar! Who would have thought of all the legal representation hurdles the DOJ caused!
Well done. No wasted time.
Great, easy to follow seminar on a confusing body of law
Enjoyed the Course.
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
A very informative program.
Interesting subject matter handled intelligently.
This course is a MUST for lawyers practicing in WASH and COLO. Excellent material. Engaging speaker.
Great Seminar on a burgeoning field of law.
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.
Very interesting - state law vs federal law. Problem arises when an employee is working for the Feds.
Honest approach to conflict of laws and ethical limitations of attorney role in several states.
explained the risks of practice and how to deal with them very clearly
Excellent advice about representing clients that goes beyond the limited context of the cannabis industry, but very well done on that subject too.
I would recommend if the attorney were interested in the subject. Did a good job of explaining how CSA relates to state laws.
Loved the topic and slides
very interesting introduction to the ethics of practice in the emerging area
Very good information.