The legalization of marijuana has created business opportunities, but it has also created many questions and uncertainties for professionals advising businesses due to the position of the federal government. What are possible federal responses to legalized cannabis? What types of businesses does the law allow, and how does a potential business owner obtain a permit? When are you potentially violating federal law by merely assisting a client? Learn the answers to these questions and more - order today!
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LARA L. DeCARO is a business attorney and mediator at Leland, Parachini, Steinberg, Matzger & Melnick LLP. She has concentrated her legal career in the areas of intellectual property, corporate governance and compliance, commercial transactions, real property, estate planning, and mediation. Most of her clients come from highly-regulated industries and she has translated that knowledge into a comprehensive medical cannabis practice. Ms. DeCaro has also represented event venues, entertainment providers, art galleries, authors, banks, recycling companies, investors, franchisors, an airport, and various small business owners. She commenced her legal career as a litigator in Northern New Mexico, where a brief she was the author of was submitted to the Supreme Court of Colorado, and made law in her client’s favor. Ms. DeCaro also successfully defended marijuana and other criminal charges locally. She later took a position as in-house counsel for a premier company in the risk evaluation software industry and worked at a leading bio-pharmaceutical company. Ms. DeCaro received a certificate in mediation in 1999 from the American Arbitration Association through Tulane Law School. She was also a member of the New Mexico Senate Memorial 57 Advisory Council and the New Mexico State Bar Association ADR Committee, which wrote the rules in New Mexico for alternative and effective dispute resolution. She graduated with honors from both her undergraduate program at the University of Southern California and law school at Tulane and is licensed to practice law in California, Colorado, and New Mexico (currently inactive). (San Francisco location)
OMAR FIGUEROA, of the Law Offices of Omar Figueroa, has spent two decades at the vanguard of California cannabis law and is widely respected as an industry expert. Starting in 1998 as a criminal defense attorney, he provided tireless representation to those accused of cannabis-related crimes. When legalization changed his clients’ needs, Mr. Figueroa expanded the firm and began specializing in guiding businesses through a new frontier. As author of Cannabis Codes of California, the first comprehensive book of the state’s cannabis laws, he frequently appears in media coverage as an advocate for the industry. He has presented at countless conferences, both on cannabis law and on best practices for counseling cannabis companies. Mr. Figueroa earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy from Yale College, his Juris Doctor degree from Stanford Law School, and is a proud graduate of Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyers College. Mr. Figueroa also trained under legendary San Francisco trial lawyer Tony Serra. He is a founding lifetime member and current Board of Directors member of the National Cannabis Bar Association, a Lifetime Member of the NORML Legal Committee, as well as a proud member of the Distinguished Counsel’s Circle of NORML. (San Francisco location)
GABRIEL S. GARCIA is an experienced health and wellness law attorney in Sacramento, California. In his practice, he provides corporate, regulatory and tax advice to clients across the spectrum of care including: community health centers, senior living providers, medicinal/adult-use cannabis operators, and medical device companies. He also counsels for-profit and nonprofit corporations, boards of directors, and charitable foundations. Mr. Garcia has served as in-house commercial counsel for Abbott Laboratories and as a legal consultant for BDC Advisors, a leading healthcare consulting firm. He has presented at multiple cannabis-related conferences, including the CCIA Policy Conference, the California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Cannabis 2.0, California Asian/Pacific Islander Chamber of Commerce Cannabis Panel, and California Groundbreakers Policy Cafe. He received a B.A. degree from the University of California, Berkeley, his J.D. degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and his LL.M. degree in taxation from Georgetown University Law Center. (San Jose location)
FENN C. HORTON III is a partner in the San Jose firm of Pahl & McCay, where he practices in the areas of employment law and business and real estate litigation. He regularly advises employers in a variety of industries on legal issues related to employment discrimination, wrongful discharge, wage and hour law, employment law, breach of warranty and limiting warranty liability, contracting with suppliers and competitors, unfair competitions, the right to privacy, management's response to union organizing campaigns, collective bargaining, and much more. Mr. Horton is a member of the Judiciary and the Civil Practice committees of the Santa Clara County Bar Association, and he serves as judge pro tem for the Santa Clara County Superior Court. Although his practice is located primarily in California, he also advised employers operating in a number of other states, including Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Minnesota, Nevada, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington. Mr. Horton frequently lectures to various trade groups on his areas of practice. He earned both his B.A. and J.D. degrees, with distinction, from the University of Iowa. Mr. Horton is a member of the State Bar of California and the Colorado Bar Association. (San Jose location)
STACY A. HOSTETTER is the general counsel of CannaCraft, the largest vertically integrated cannabis company in the State of California, heading the department for every facet of the company's seed to sale operations -- cultivation, manufacturing, distribution, and retail. Ms. Hostetter's career has been spent addressing the legal challenges faced by small businesses in highly regulated industries from day one, however. Prior to joining the CannaCraft family, she was an associate attorney at the Law Offices of Omar Figueroa, a boutique law firm focusing on cannabis business law in Northern California, after working with craft brewers across the country while at the Craft Beer Attorney APC. In 2015, she co-authored Brew Law 101: A Guide to Opening a Brewery and is a regular presenter at local, state, and national conferences on alcohol and cannabis law. Ms. Hostetter earned her Bachelor of Arts in English literature from the University of Redlands and her Juris Doctor from the University of San Diego School of Law. (San Francisco location)
LAUREN A. MENDELSOHN, an attorney at the Law Offices of Omar Figueroa in Sebastopol, focuses on permitting and licensing cannabis businesses, regulatory compliance, government affairs, and post-conviction relief. For several years, Ms. Mendelsohn has actively advocated for drug policy reform as well as other progressive, humanitarian causes. She formerly chaired the Board of Directors of Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP), an international non-profit aimed at ending the counterproductive “War on Drugs,” and currently sits on the board of the Sonoma County Grower’s Alliance. Ms. Mendelsohn frequently speaks at conferences and events, including the Emerald Cup, the Mendocino Cannabis Resource Conference, the Students for Sensible Drug Policy International Conference, and the Women Grow Leadership Summit. She earned her Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Irvine School of Law and her Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from the University of Maryland. She is a proud member of the State Bar of California, the Sonoma County Bar Association, the National Cannabis Bar Association, SSDP’s Sensible Society, California NORML, Americans for Safe Access, and the ACLU. (San Francisco location)
MAHAL R. MONTOYA is the sole practitioner of the Law Offices of Mahal Montoya in Oakland. Ms. Montoya is a civil rights lawyer with a sharp focus on cannabis law. She began her solo practice in 2014, having spent the previous 14 years as a law clerk, educator, and paralegal specialist for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Her law practice integrates her passion for civil rights and her support for entrepreneurs. She spends her time counseling entrepreneurs about civil rights, business, tax, and corporate law. Ms. Montoya earned her B.A. degree from the University of California, Berkeley, M.I.L.S. degree from San Jose State University, and J.D. degree from the University of Iowa College of Law. She is a member of NORML (Marijuana Business Section), Alameda County Bar Association, American Bar Association and the Bar Association of San Francisco. (San Francisco and San Jose locations)
ROBERT W. SELNA is an attorney with Wendel Rosen Black & Dean LLP, where he represents clients in real estate, land use and regulatory matters, including property owners and businesses, developers, nonprofits and schools. Mr. Selna advises clients on everything from zoning and subdivision requirements, to environmental laws and design issues. Mr. Selna chairs Wendel Rosen's cannabis industry group. His cannabis business work includes advising clients on regulations, permitting, real estate transactions and government affairs. Mr. Selna is a member of the State Bar of California. He received his M.A. and B.A. degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, and his J.D. degree from Golden Gate University School of Law. (San Francisco location)
HANSPETER WALTER is a shareholder with Kronick Moskovitz Tiedemann & Girard, where he practices in the areas of water, environmental, administrative, cannabis, real estate and land-use law. Mr. Walter performs a variety of legal services for clients including litigation, transactional document preparation and review, in-depth legal research, and regulatory permitting and compliance assistance. He is a member of the Association of California Water Agencies, California Special Districts Association, the Natural Resources subsection of the Real Property Section of the State Bar of California and the Sacramento County Bar Association. Mr. Walter is an adjunct professor at the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. He received his J.D. degree from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law; his M.S. degree from the University of Idaho, Moscow; and his B.S. degree from the University of California, Berkeley. (San Jose location)