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In Re Arenas and Access to Bankruptcy for the Cannabis Client

(571 reviews)

Produced on December 08, 2015

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$ 59 Business, Corporate, & Securities Law, Bankruptcy & Restructuring, and Cannabis Law In Stock
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Course Information

Course Description

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

Credit Information

After completing this course, Lawline will report your attendance information to {{ accredMasterState.state.name }}. Please ensure your license number is filled out in your profile to ensure timely reporting. For more information, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements page . After completing this course, {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} attorneys self-report their attendance and CLE compliance. For more information on how to report your CLE courses, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements FAQ .


Hanan Kolko

Cohen Weiss & Simon LLP

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.


Mattie A.


R. Christopher 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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