In Re Arenas and Access to Bankruptcy for the Cannabis Client

(547 Ratings)

Produced on: December 08, 2015

Course Format On Demand Audio

Taught by


Course Description

Time 60 minutes
Difficulty Intermediate

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. In 2014, the state-legal cannabis industry was estimated to have generated $2.6 billion in revenues, a figure that is almost certain to increase as additional states legalize cannabis. 


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. In this class, we address the extent to which cannabis businesses are able to seek relief from federal bankruptcy courts. We also discuss the decision of the 10th Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel ruling in In Re Arenas and bankruptcy court decisions that have ruled on this issue. 


Learning Objectives:

I.     Understand the benefits that the bankruptcy code offers to distressed businesses

II.    Know the existing case law on whether cannabis businesses can obtain relief in federal bankruptcy courts

III.   Grasp why federal bankruptcy courts have been reluctant to allow cannabis businesses to obtain relief

IV.   Become familiar with other instances where such businesses have been denied access to courts

V.    Identify pending legislation that may make it easier for cannabis businesses to obtain relief in bankrupcty courts


Hanan Kolko

Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein, P.C.

Hanan Kolko is the co-chair and co-founder of the Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein Medical Cannabis practice group. As a member of the National Cannabis Bar Association’s Amicus Committee, Mr. Kolko works with individuals and businesses in the cannabis industry. He assists on matters including state law license application issues, regulatory compliance, legislative drafting and analysis and governmental investigations. Mr. Kolko often speaks on cannabis industry legal issues. He has spoken in forums sponsored by organizations such as, Crain’s New York, Cardozo Law School, Women Grow, the Long Island Association, the Cannabis and Hemp Association, and the International Cannabis Association. He has also made cannabis law CLE presentations on behalf of CLE providers including Cardozo Law School, the Nassau County Bar Association, the Theodore Roosevelt Inn of Court, Law Lines, and Clear Law Institute.

Mr. Kolko is also the co-author of a New York Law Journal article entitled “Marijuana Advertising and The First Amendment.” Mr. Kolko serves on the boards of the Freelancers Union and the Freelancers Insurance Company. He is the former co-chair of the Committee on Technology in The Workplace of the ABA’s Labor and Employment Section. Since 2012, Mr. Kolko has been recognized by New York Super Lawyers.

Mr. Kolko received his J.D. from University of Michigan in 1985, graduating cum laude with a Book Award in Labor Law. He received his B.S. from Cornell University in 1982, where he studied Industrial and Labor Relations.


Chris R.

Very interesting seminar in expanding area of law

Shane F.

thanks good course

Gregory R.

Fine presentation; terrific written materials. Highly recommended for Chapter 11 attorneys.

Charles C.

very interesting topic, he is good also

Brittin F.

Best class by this author.

Seth F.

He takes this topic seriously, which is a refreshing change to how people usually view marijuana

Brenda W.

Very interesting conundrum!

Kristin B.

Very interesting! Learned a lot about BR

Ria M.

This program was both interesting and informative. These are two qualities that are seldom found in a CLE.

gavin l.


Julie A. B.

Informative. Quick paced.

Fred M.

Offbeat but fascinating!

Matthew D.

Interesting topic and well taught. Good use of time and materials.

Michele C.

very good inormation

Michael L. Simonini S.

quite informative

Ralph P.

Very informative presentation on the tension between federal and state law.

Neville T F.

Very interesting topic... Wonder what the courts would do, finally...

Lauren K.

I don't practice in this area but found it interesting and easy to follow. I really enjoyed this speaker.

Allan C.

Excellent speaker and timely information on an emerging issue.

Kathleen S.

Great material. Engaging speaker. Highly recommend the course.

john c.

very interesting presentation

Mark C.


Bonnie M.

Very interesting; presented well.

Rachel T.

Great series

Chukwuka O.

Now I know so much about this issue! Thanks!

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


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