Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Lawyers Turn to Business of Pot

Lawyers and pot dealers have long intersected in criminal court, but as marijuana goes mainstream, attorneys have been working to keep sellers and growers legit.

Marijuana divisions are popping up at law firms to advise pot shops on where they can locate, what their websites can say and how to vet new clients.

Marijuana has become a multi-billion-dollar industry. California and more than 20 other states have legalized the drug for medical use, and the pot business has gotten a boost from more recent approvals of recreational use in Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington state and Washington, D.C. Pot advocates hope growth continues, as they push for voters to approve recreational pot in California, Arizona, Nevada, Maine and Massachusetts next year.

The drug remains illegal under federal law, however, and the American Bar Association's rules of professional conduct prohibit lawyers from assisting in criminal conduct.

With this in mind, attorneys say they focus on providing advice about what state marijuana laws do and don't allow, and decline to answer questions about how clients can bend the rules.

But for law firms with other practice areas, there is also concern about how non-pot clients will view their marijuana work.

At the Seattle, Washington-based law firm of Harris Moure, the marijuana practice group has a completely separate brand - Canna Law Group - with its own website.

Marijuana law, in many ways, is no different from other legal practices, attorneys say. It involves contracts, real estate transactions, trademarks and regulatory compliance. What is unique, though, is the constant prospect of running afoul of the law.

The legal issues that come up also often have little or no precedent, said Dan Garfield, an attorney at Foster Graham Milstein & Calisher in Denver, Colorado.

Garfield, whose firm got into the marijuana field several years ago, was recently working on an appeal of a federal court's ruling that a couple did not qualify for bankruptcy protection because their assets largely stemmed from marijuana enterprises.

For marijuana entrepreneurs, legal guidance can bring peace of mind.

If you or a loved one is in a bind as a result of a DUI, immediately contact a Seattle DUI attorney. A DUI lawyer is not going to judge you, and understands that everyone makes mistakes. Hiring a Seattle DUI lawyer to help can – at a minimum – reduce those penalties, and can help direct people on how to best deal with their DUI charge. So it should go without saying that someone cited for DUI should hire a qualified Seattle DUI lawyer as soon as possible. Driving Under the Influence charges can cause havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with DUI in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle DUI lawyer.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Snohomish County To Rule On New Pot Rules

The Snohomish County Council may decide next month whether to change the rules for marijuana businesses.

On Wednesday the council delayed action on the issue, opting to decide May 6 whether to allow licensed recreational marijuana operations in some rural areas. The council will take more public comment from people at that meeting.

On March 4 council members extended for six months a moratorium on new marijuana operations in certain rural areas after hearing hours of testimony from people in the industry and concerned neighbors. The council plans to enact permanent rules before that moratorium expires.

Voters in 2012 approved Initiative 502, which legalized recreational marijuana in Washington.

If you or a loved one is in a bind as a result of a DUI, immediately contact a Seattle DUI attorney. A DUI lawyer is not going to judge you, and understands that everyone makes mistakes. Hiring a Seattle DUI lawyer to help can – at a minimum – reduce those penalties, and can help direct people on how to best deal with their DUI charge. So it should go without saying that someone cited for DUI should hire a qualified Seattle DUI lawyer as soon as possible. Driving Under the Influence charges can cause havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with DUI in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle DUI lawyer.