Are NJ Law Firms Prepared for the Legalization of Marijuana?


This article was originally published in the October 2018 issue of New Jersey Lawyer, a publication of the New Jersey State Bar Association, and is reprinted here with permission.


By Brian P. Sharkey and David L. Disler 

As Governor Phil Murphy works to make New Jersey the ninth state to legalize recreational marijuana, New Jersey law firms are paying close attention to what is occurring in Trenton. Cannabis practice groups have become seemingly ubiquitous at New Jersey’s top firms. However, while law firms are preparing to assist clients in the cannabis industry, it remains to be seen how one of the state’s most risk-adverse professions adapts to marijuana becoming legal under state law while remaining illegal under federal law. Law firms, unlike many other businesses, face a number of unique ethical and practical challenges that will need to be addressed as the use of medical and recreational marijuana expands.

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