Cannabis Law Conference 2024

Monday, June 24, 2024 | 9:00 am – 4:45 pm
(Networking Luncheon, 12:15 pm  – 1:10 pm )

Format: In-Person

Program Co-Chairs:

Alana Hans-Cohen
Attorney at Law

  • As we enter into another pivotal year for cannabis law as a legal product in New York, attorneys must become familiar with the regulation, distribution and sale of cannabis to ensure safety, especially given the addictive qualities, propensity to impair perception, judgment and other potential health effects. With recreational marijuana still illegal under federal law, as well as in many states, how will New York as a judicial, commercial and legislative leader act? This program will feature a broad range of perspectives on the evolving regulatory and ethical issues arising out of legal recreational marijuana and provide an overview of how legalized marijuana affects and intersects practice areas such as health; labor and employment; banking; tax; compliance; real property, and of course, well-being. As leaders in their respective practice areas, speakers will explore these wide range of issues and more!

    Program Fee:
    $299 for Members | $399 for Nonmembers
    Small law Firm: $199 Members


  • Keynote Speaker:
    Rep. Earl Blumenauer
    Congressman, US House of Representatives
    3rd Congressional District, Oregon
    Founder and Co-Chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus

    Fatima Afia
    Rudick Law Group, PLLC

    Charles Alovisetti
    Vicente LLP

    Duncan Delano
    Emerge Law Group

    David B. Feder
    Regosin, Edwards, Stone & Feder

    Gregg H. Hilzer
    Stevens & Lee

    Patrick Hines
    Hodgson Russ LLP

    Robert Hoban
    Co-Chair, Cannabis Industry Group
    Senior Director, Clark Hill Public Strategies

    Kristen Jordan
    Park Jordan

    Andrew J. Lichtman
    Jenner & Block LLP

    Mollie Hartman Lustig
    McLaughlin & Stern, LLP

    Sean Mack
    Pashman Stein Walder Hayden P.C.

    James B. Mann
    Law Office of James B. Mann

    Max Meade
    Senior Vice President
    Brokerage at Frontier Risk

    Hugh S. O’Beirne
    Hawthorne Ave Strategies LLC

    Cecilia Oyediran
    Deputy Director
    Labor and Employment Law Program
    Cornell University ILR School

    John Pellitteri

    Shanita Penny
    Budding Solutions

    Lauren A. Rudick
    Rudick Law Group, PLLC

    Elana Tamas
    Head of Cannabis Tax

    Sarah E. Trent
    Founder, CEO
    Valley Wellness and NJ Cannabis Certified

    Stacy D. Udell
    Hill, Barth & King LLC


  • 9:00 am – 9:10 am    Introduction & Program Overview

    Conference Chair:
    Alana Hans-Cohen  

    9:10 am – 9:35 am Keynote Address

    Keynote Speakers: Earl Blumenauer

    9:35 – 9:50am Coffee Break

    9:50 – 10:15am Blunt Ethics for New York Lawyers: Navigating New York Cannabis Laws Responsibly
    A practical take on ethical challenges faced by New York attorneys representing cannabis clients.

    Panelists: Patrick Hines & Andrew J. Lichtman

    10:15 – 10:30am Coffee Break

     10:30 am – 10:55 am From Briefs to Buds: Attorney Perspectives on Entering & Serving the Cannabis Industry
    A compelling and thought-provoking exploration into the exciting world of cannabis law. Discover how attorneys can leverage their legal expertise to serve this dynamic and rapidly growing industry. Gain actionable insights, practical strategies, and learn how to use the transferable skills attorneys already possess that are essential for successfully navigating the complex legal terrain of the cannabis industry. Whether you’re a seasoned practitioner or exploring new opportunities, this panel promises to empower attorneys to seize the prospects presented by the burgeoning cannabis market.

    Panel Leader: Alana Hans-Cohen
    Panelists: Gregg H. Hilzer & Sean Mack

    10:55-11:10am  Coffee Break

    11:10am-12:00pm High Stakes (Current & Potential) Litigation:  New York Cannabis Law Under Scrutiny
    Panelists examine the legal chaos that unfolded post-cannabis legalization in 2021, touching on issues that include the roll out of CAURD Licensing in New York, alleged unconstitutional overreach, dormant commerce challenges, and opposition against the third-party marketing ban. Join us for a detailed analysis of the legal battles that are shaping New York’s cannabis industry, revealing how the dust has settled or is still settling since these groundbreaking lawsuits and the potential legal challenges the panelists foresee.

    Panel Leader:
    Panelists: Fatima Afia & Lauren A. Rudick

    12:00-12:50pm     Networking Lunch

    12:50 – 1:40pm Green Light, Red Tape: A Roadmap to Navigating Human Resources & Employment Law for New York’s Cannabis Startups & Entrepreneurs
    Our group of seasoned experts will examine employment and human resource-related compliance concerns for cannabis startups, entrepreneurs, and growing businesses, including compliance with federal, state, and local employment laws, covering areas such as filing requirements, hiring processes, employee handbooks, contracts, wage issues, protection of confidential information, anti-discrimination laws, workplace policies and obtaining essential insurance coverage, such as commercial general liability, directors’ and officers’ liability, employment practices liability, property and casualty, key person insurance, commercial general liability for property and bodily injury, personal and advertising injury, directors’ and officers’ liability, and employment practices liability.

    Panel Leader: Cecilia Oyediran
    Panelists: David B. Feder, Max Meade & Sarah E. Trent

    1:40 – 1:50pm    Coffee Break

    1:50 – 2:40pm Potentially Profitable, Perpetually Problematic: Navigating Cannabis Real Estate
    A discussion of the drivers of cannabis business inflated real estate pricing, such as financing, insurance, holding fees, perceptions of cannabis businesses as cash cows, and price-gouging by landlords, as well as how restrictive land-use and zoning regulations. The panel will address how municipal opt-outs contribute to the scarcity of suitable real estate for cannabis businesses and provide an overview of the critical importance of location evaluation and due diligence in cannabis real estate transactions, considering zoning laws, buffer restrictions, and other location-specific issues.

    Panel Leader: Mollie Hartman Lustig
    Panelists: Duncan Delano & Kristen Jordan

    2:40 – 2:55pm  Coffee break

    2:55 – 3:45pm    Cannabis Cash Flow: A Taxing Affair for Retailers – Unlocking Profit Potential through Smart Tax Planning & Strategies for Success
    Navigate the complexities of cannabis cash flow with wit and wisdom and uncover the secrets to maximizing profit margins and minimizing tax burdens in the ever-growing cannabis industry through smart tax planning, particularly tax planning for cannabis retailers.

    Panel Leader: James Mann
    Panelists: John Pellitteri & Elana Tamas

    3:45 – 3:55pm Coffee Break

    3:55 pm – 4:45 pm Legalize, Capitalize, Strategize:  M&A, Business Valuations & Navigating Regulatory Restrictions & Ownership Limits
    Take a dive into the collaborative aspects of the cannabis industry, illuminating opportunities for joint ventures and shared success. Participants will explore the intricacies of mergers and acquisitions, financing, and regulatory compliance within the cannabis sector, gaining valuable insights into the legal landscape, including restrictions and limitations on cannabis investments. Additionally, the panel will address the critical aspect of business valuations in the cannabis industry, shedding light on methodologies and considerations for accurately assessing the worth of cannabis enterprises. Join us as we discuss the art of drafting partnership and business agreements that not only foster collaboration but also meet rigorous regulatory compliance standards, with a focus on integrating comprehensive business valuations into strategic decision-making processes.

    Panel Leader: Shanita Penny
    Panelists: Charles Alovisetti, Hugh S. O’Beirne, Stacey D. Udell  & Robert Hoban


  • New York: 6.0 total: 5.5 Skills & .5 Ethics
    New Jersey: 6.0 total: 5.5 Skills & .5 Ethics
    California: 6.0 total: 5.5 Skills & .5 Ethics
    Pennsylvania: 5.0 General
    Connecticut: Available to Licensed Attorneys

  • Thank You to Our Sponsor:

    Silver Sponsor:


    Sponsoring Association Committees:
    Banking Law, N. Adele Hogan, Chair
    Compliance, Rory M. Cohen & Devi Shanmugham, Co-Chairs
    Drugs & the Law, Alana Hans-Cohen
    Health Law, Debra Cohn, Chair
    Labor & Employment Law, Tracey Salmon-Smith, Chair
    Mindfulness and Wellbeing in Law, Lisa Podemski, Chair
    Real Property Law, Robert J. Gorzelany, Chair
    Small Law Firm, Adam N. Weissman, Chair
    State and Local Taxation, Michael J. Hilkin, Chair

    Conference Sponsor:
    NYC Bar Lawyer Assistance Program

    Sponsorship Opportunities are Available! Please Contact:
    Yelena Balashchenko, Manager, Business Development & Sponsorships | (212) 382-6608 |