One of the biggest problems surrounding cannabis industries in the U.S. is the large number of legal issues that it creates due to the fact that it’s still illegal under federal law. Therefore, having a lawyer who is well versed in cannabis law is indispensable if someone is attempting to begin their own business in the cannabis industry.
The National Cannabis Bar Association (NCBA) was formed in an attempt to provide the legal help that companies in the cannabis industry will require in moving forward with their business. The overall goal of the association, according to a press release from the group, is to create “a specialty bar association dedicated to providing attorneys in the cannabis industry with educational and networking opportunities to help them better serve cannabis businesses.”
The group formed in response to what has been called the “Green Rush” – the ever-growing medical, recreational and industrial use of cannabis legislation that has been appearing across the nation at a quick rate. Despite the federally-illegal status of the substance, the industries are beginning to boom in legal states, bringing in a good amount of revenue through taxes and regulation and providing medical treatment to those who qualify for medical marijuana.
“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,” Shabnam Malek, founding president and executive director of the NCBA, explained. “The NCBA will offer support and advocacy for attorneys working with businesses in this rapidly changing, swiftly emerging industry.”
The founding board members of the NCBA is composed of 10, all-female legal experts that hail from six different states, including California, Oregon, New York, and Washington. The organization will hold an inaugural launch party hosted by Josh Kappel, a legal partner from the Colorado-based firm Vicente Sederberg. The event will be open to members of the organization and will be held during the National Cannabis Industry Association’s Cannabis Business Summit Expo in Denver, CO on June 30.
The organization is open to all practicing attorneys, law students, paralegals and even retired attorneys. NCBA does charge a membership fee of $150 a year for members, making it a very attractive option for legal experts looking to provide their advice and assistance in managing legal issues for businesses in the cannabis industries across the nation.
“Today cannabis industry attorneys are already busy helping their clients form new companies, negotiate agreements, complete license applications, comply with local and state laws, protect assets and more,” explained Malek. “Our members represent clients who are involved in a wide array of activities in the cannabis industry along with various ancillary products and services. The NCBA’s role is to help ensure that attorneys in the field are empowered to do their jobs well.”
The full list of founding board members and more information about the organization can be found at their website here.
Are you a practicing attorney, law student, paralegal or retired attorney that supports cannabis? Tell us about yourself in the comments.