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Above The Law’s Marijuana Law Reception

by Laurence Colletti

Marijuana Symbol

Despite being illegal under federal law nationwide, there is rapid growth of marijuana businesses in states like Colorado, Washington, and Oregon. With varying degrees of marijuana licensing at the state level, isn’t there a conflict between federal and state laws? Where does that leave growers and sellers criminally?

What’s even more confusing is that the marijuana industry is attracting attorneys who help clients navigate criminal codes and regulatory bodies in what is still a crime under federal law. Does that mean these lawyers are breaking the law and the oaths they swore to their respective state bars? If you’ve ever wondered about these issues, you should listen to this podcast:

Moderated by Above The Law editor Staci Zaretsky and hosted at Legal Talk Network headquarters in Denver, Colorado, this Q&A podcasting event features experts like Hilary Bricken from Harris Moure’s Canna Law Group, Tom Downey from Ireland Stapleton, Professor Sam Kamin from University of Denver Sturm College of Law, and Brian Ruden who owns Starbuds, Tree of Wellness, and Altermeds.

Staci ZaretskyStaci Zaretsky became an editor for Above the Law in June 2011. Her writing has appeared in other legal publications, such as Judgepedia, Lawyerist, and Ms. JD. She has been featured on various television and radio programs, including CNBC’s Power Lunch, CBS Radio News, BBC Radio, CLTV Chicago, HuffPost Live, TF1 TV France, Chicago Public Radio, and Civil Discourse Now.

Hilary BrickenHilary Bricken is a litigator who joined Harris Moure in 2010 where she represents startups, entrepreneurs, and companies in all stages of their development. She has been named deal maker of the year by the Puget Sound Business Journal and is a contributor to Al Jazeera America, CNN, Fox News, and the New York Times

Tom DowneyTom Downey is a director and attorney at Ireland Stapleton Pryor & Pascoe, PC where he represents primarily liquor and marijuana businesses. Prior to that he led Denver’s Department of Excise and Licenses where he  redrafted Denver’s policies and procedures for liquor licensing and wrote the original policies and procedures for Denver’s recreational marijuana licenses.

Professor Sam KaminProfessor Sam Kamin is the Vicente Sederberg Professor of Marijuana Law and Policy at University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law where he teaches ‘Representing the Marijuana Law Client’. His areas of research include criminal procedure, death penalty jurisprudence, federal courts, and constitutional remedies.

Brian RudenBrian Ruden is an attorney who owns three dispensaries in Colorado called Starbuds, Tree of Wellness, and Altermeds. He has spent many years researching growing techniques and testing strains to deliver high quality medical and recreational marijuana products. Prior to entering the marijuana business in 2010, Brian was a litigator turned tax resolution expert.

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After receiving his J.D. and MBA, Laurence Colletti went into solo practice with emphasis in general business and commercial real estate. He has always carried a strong passion for web-based media with a particular interest in podcasting and video. Laurence leverages his legal background against that passion to help bring sophisticated, relevant content to Legal Talk Network podcasts. You can follow Laurence on Twitter at @LaurenceEsq.