Bar Associations

New bar association focuses on marijuana

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Lawyers who represent the cannabis industry have formed a national bar association with the goal of providing members both networking and educational opportunities.

The founding board members of what is known as the National Cannabis Bar Association include Shabnam Malek, Lara Leslie DeCaro and Amanda Conley, all of whom practice in San Francisco.

California is one of 23 states in addition to Washington, D.C., that has some form of legalized marijuana, according to a press release the group issued. Malek, who serves as the organization’s founding president and executive director, said in a statement that besides helping lawyers who represent the cannabis industry, the group will be a resource for businesses that need experienced cannabis lawyers.

“As more and more states decriminalize or legalize cannabis—and set up their own regulatory structures—the legal conditions cannabis industry clients and their attorneys face are likely to get even more complex before they get simpler,” said Malek, a partner with Brand & Branch. “Attorneys have long been at the forefront of the fight for cannabis legalization … [and] there is a clear need for an organization focused on the business aspects of law and cannabis.”

Membership with the organization is open to attorneys, paralegals and law students, and attorney dues start at $150 annually.

Related articles: “Marijuana businesses need lawyers, but how do you build that practice? (podcast with transcript)”

ABA Journal: “Up In Smoke: Voter Reactions Have Some Saying It’s Time to Rethink Cannabis Regulation”

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