Cannabis

Cozen O’Connor Named a Law360 Cannabis Practice Group of the Year

Cozen O’Connor was named a Law360 Cannabis Practice Group of the Year. This recognition honors Cozen O'Connor’s cannabis team for their litigation wins and major deals that resonated throughout the legal industry this past year.

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The cannabis industry is one of the fastest-growing sectors of the United States economy, with many states having legalized the use of marijuana for medical and/or recreational purposes. However, inconsistent state laws, coupled with continued federal criminalization, make cannabis arguably the most complex market segment in which to operate. The cannabis industry presents a world of opportunity, but also poses a dizzying array of shifting laws, policies and practical challenges. Cozen O’Connor and our government relations affiliate, Cozen O'Connor Public Strategies, are attuned to these issues and the variety of contexts in which they arise. For four years, our multidisciplinary cannabis team was recognized as one of the Cannabis Practice Groups of the Year by Law360. 

Investors, entrepreneurs, and established legal enterprises within the cannabis industry are navigating uncharted territory, facing complex and unprecedented regulatory, investment, real estate, insurance, banking, intellectual property, and employment law issues, to name just a few. As the cannabis industry expands and insiders develop new strategies to operate effectively in this complex and ever-changing marketplace, they need lawyers who understand the industry and all of its complexities. To meet this need, Cozen O’Connor has developed an interdisciplinary, national team of lawyers and government affairs professionals to guide clients through the labyrinthine landscape of financing, manufacturing, processing, distributing, marketing and retail selling of marijuana under applicable state laws.

In an arena as complex as the cannabis industry, clients do not need the added burden of having to engage multiple law firms to meet their needs. Cozen O’Connor’s cannabis industry team presents a one-stop shop, and stands ready to tackle even the most daunting challenges our clients face. Our team offers the depth and breadth of relevant experience needed to operate effectively in the cannabis industry, offering decades of experience in the areas of the law that intersect with cannabis enterprises. Further, our cannabis industry team is studded with experience on the government and regulatory front, including public affairs professionals whose fingers remain on the pulse of relevant regulatory and legislative developments and who have vast experience representing clients’ interests at the local, state and federal levels.

Cozen O’Connor is uniquely suited to meet cannabis industry clients’ needs. From its humble beginnings in the 1970s as a four-lawyer upstart, to its current status as one of the top 100 firms, with over 825 lawyers in 32 cities across two continents, Cozen O’Connor holds tenacity, creativity and a strong entrepreneurial spirit as hallmarks of the firm’s identity. Our cannabis industry team will bring these qualities to bear on each client’s unique circumstances in this very unique industry. 

 

Marijuana is still classified as a Schedule I controlled substance by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, and as such it remains a federal crime to grow, sell and/or use marijuana. Any content contained herein is not intended to provide legal advice to assist with violation of any state or federal law. 

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Experience

Publications

Minnesota Adult-Use Cannabis Bill Emerges from Reconciliation [Alert]

May 17, 2023

The bill emerged from reconciliation on May 17, 2023 and would legalize the recreational use of cannabis for adults 21 and older.

Off-Duty Recreational Cannabis Use [Practical Law The Journal]

March 01, 2023

Ed Langhammer contributed to the March edition of the GC Agenda about California law AB 2188.

Cannabis-Impaired Driving Laws Must Balance Liberty, Safety [Law360]

August 10, 2022

Jacqueline Green authored an article in Law 360 in which she discusses the recently introduced Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act.

California Splits from the FDA: CBD Now Permitted in Food, Beverages and More [Alert]

October 25, 2021

Mira Baylson, Meghan Stoppel, and Gianna Puccinelli discuss California's new law AB-45 that prohibits restrictions on the sale of dietary supplements, food, beverages, cosmetics, or pet food that contains CBD.

Is Cooperative Federalism Attainable in Cannabis Regulation? AG Weiser Seems to Think So [Alert]

September 01, 2021

Mira Baylson, Meghan Stoppel, and Gianna Puccinelli discuss Colorado State AG's letter to Congress regarding national cannabis reform and the recently proposed legislation, and how states and the federal government have worked together in the past to enact legislation and regulations.

New Jersey’s Adult-Use Cannabis Program Licensing Begins [Alert]

August 30, 2021

Heidi Schwartz discusses the New Jersey’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission's first set of rules governing the state’s adult-use cannabis program.

After Initial Rejection, Ohio AG Certifies Marijuana Legalization Law, But the Damage May Already Be Done

August 24, 2021

Marijuana legalization activists have finally won the support of Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost (R). On Friday August 20, AG Yost approved summary language in a petition submission for a proposed law, the “Act to Control and Regulate Adult Use Cannabis,” penned by the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (the Coalition).

Heeding State AGs’ Perspectives on Draft Legislation May Pay Dividends [Alert]

August 02, 2021

In this Client Alert Meghan Stoppel and Gianna Puccinelli discuss how monitoring state AGs’ views on draft legislation and proposed ballot initiatives can help indicate the likelihood of success of such measures.

In South Dakota, the AG and the Governor Are Sparring. What Does this Mean for Marijuana Deregulation in Other States?

July 14, 2021

As marijuana legalization rolls out across the nation, state AGs will play a critical role in the interpretation and development of marijuana policy and enforcement.

Legalization of Marijuana Gaining Momentum in Connecticut

June 01, 2021

Steve Katkov discusses legislation in Connecticut to legalize the recreational use of marijuana.

Minnesota Cannabis Legalization Bill Clears House of Representatives [Alert]

May 19, 2021

Steve Katkov discusses the progress of H.F. 600 in the Minnesota Legislature.

CBD Advertising Proceed with Caution to Avoid Confusion, Stay Out of State AG Crosshairs

April 29, 2021

State AG Group members, Meghan Stoppel and Mira Baylson penned an article for Cannabis Business Executive on the real threat of regulatory scrutiny and the importance of a carefully crafted marketing campaign for companies manufacturing and selling CBD.

New York State Legalizes Adult-Use Cannabis Through Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act [Alert]

April 01, 2021

James Ansorge discusses New York's legislation legalizing adult-use cannabis signed into law by Governor Cuomo.

The Ever Evolving Registrability of Trademarks for CBD Products [Alert]

March 25, 2021

Ashley Kessler, Julie Dostal, and Jonathan Gale discuss In re Stanley Brothers Social Enterprises, LLC and if it opens up the opportunity for CBD products to register their trademarks with the USPTO.

Second Minnesota Adult-Use Marijuana Bill Survives House Committee [Alert]

March 02, 2021

Steve Katkov and Jon Schoenwetter discuss a Minnesota bill that would establish a framework for the legal use of recreational marijuana.

Marijuana Legalization Push May Impact PA Utilities’ Zero Tolerance Policies [Alert]

February 26, 2021

David P. Zambito and Vincent Candiello discuss how Pennsylvania’s regulated public utilities would be impacted by the legalization of marijuana and if they are not permitted to continue their zero-tolerance drug use policies for employees involved in the operation of critical infrastructure.

New Jersey Becomes 14th State to Legalize Recreational Cannabis [Alert]

February 25, 2021

Heidi Schwartz discusses the three bills signed by Governor Murphy that establish New Jersey's recreation cannabis program.

California Adopts Emergency Cannabis Regulations [Alert]

February 17, 2021

Susy Forbath and Thomas Casparian discuss the emergency regulations implementing processes for cannabis businesses to authorize the California Bureau of Cannabis to share licensee information with financial institutions.

Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Denies Medical Marijuana Accommodation for Nursing Student

December 03, 2020

Ben Shechtman discusses the first-of-its-kind decision by the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court that the MMA did not require a nursing school to accommodate a student’s use of medical marijuana under the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act.

States of Flux — What Employers Need to Know About Election 2020 and New State Laws [Alert]

November 23, 2020

David Barron, Joseph Quinn, Jake Rubinstein, Di Addy Tang, Peter Ennis, Adam Gutmann, and Anne discuss various state laws that may impact employers.

Cannabis Legalization Sweeps the United States [Alert]

November 05, 2020

Heidi Schwartz and Lindsey Stillwell discuss the cannabis measures that passed on November 3. 2020

Cannabis Ballot Initiatives to Watch [Alert]

October 29, 2020

Heidi Schwartz discusses five states' initiatives to legalize recreational or medicinal cannabis — or both ― that could help raise millions of dollars of needed tax revenue.

Trump v. Biden: CANNABIS LEGALIZATION

October 21, 2020

With the 2020 presidential election just days away, the future of cannabis legalization will likely rest on the shoulders of whoever is sitting in the Oval Office on January 20, 2021. So where do Donald Trump and Joe Biden stand with respect to the Cannabis industry? The Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies team brings you perspectives from both sides of the election spectrum.

Governor Wolf Proposes Legalization of Recreational Cannabis [Alert]

August 25, 2020

James Davis and Heidi Schwartz discuss Governor Wolf's COVID-19-related relief programs that includes legalizing recreational marijuana to fund portions of the programs.

Are Your Old Cannabis and CBD Contracts Enforceable? Maybe Not. [Alert]

July 09, 2020

Brett Taylor discusses the California Appellate Court's decision in Susan Metsch et al. v. Jesse Heinowitz et al.

Pennsylvania Courts May Not Deny Those Under Court Supervision Access to Medical Marijuana [Alert]

June 22, 2020

Tom Wilkinson and Ryan Kelly discuss the firm's recent win before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

Controlled Substances, CBD and COVID-19 [Alert]

April 10, 2020

Ashley Kessler and Jon Gale discuss recent developments on the state and federal levels that impact the cannabis industry.

Court Finds Implied Wrongful Discharge Cause of Action Under PA Medical Marijuana Act [Alert]

January 30, 2020

George Voegele and Adam Gutmann discuss the Palmiter v. Commonwealth Health Systems, et al., case and what employers in Pennsylvania need to know.

PA Cannabis Legislation to Watch in 2020 [Alert]

January 22, 2020

Heidi Schwartz and Germain DeMartinis discuss possible big changes coming Pennsylvania for cannabis businesses and individuals who use cannabis products.

New Federal Hemp Regulations: What Businesses Should Know to Comply

December 02, 2019

Less than one year after hemp production was legalized by the 2018 Farm Bill, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its proposed industrial hemp regulations. These eagerly anticipated regulations establish a proposed federal domestic hemp production program, as authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill.

Landmark Cannabis Legislation Approved by Judiciary Committee

November 25, 2019

Lindsey Stillwell and Joseph Bedwick discuss the MORE Act and what happens with the legislation now.

First to File, First to Amend or First to Use Hemp Products [Alert]

October 14, 2019

Ashley Kessler reviews trademark applicant process for hemp and hemp-derived CBD products and how date of “first use anywhere” and “date of first use in commerce” could impact who gets the trademark.

Cannabis and CBD Companies One Step Closer to Federally Legal Banking Services [Alert]

October 07, 2019

Germain DeMartinis discusses the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act of 2019, what happens next, and what this means for the cannabis industry.

Calif. Executive Order Impacts Vaporizers, the Cannabis Industry’s Fastest Growing Product Segment [Alert]

September 20, 2019

Germain DeMartinis discusses implications for vaporizer manufacturers and licensed retailers of vaporizers.

Marijuana in the Workplace [Gaming Law Review]

September 11, 2019

Christopher Kelly co-authored an article discussing the methods by which states have chosen to legalize marijuana and the federal government's approaches to legalization, as well as what protections employees who use have both from disability discrimination and to be accommodated under state and federal law, and what sorts of testing are legally and practically possible.

Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act – What You Need to Know [Alert]

August 16, 2019

Adam Gutmann and Anna Wermuth discuss what employers should do to comply with the new Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act.

What Marketers Should Know About the Regulation of CBD-Based Products

August 05, 2019

Richard Fama & Kristin Keehan discuss the different regulatory bodies as well as various state laws that create these challenges for companies marketing CBD-containing products.

CBD-Based Products: What Marketers Should Know in Today's Uncertain Regulatory Landscape [Cannabis Business Executive]

July 15, 2019

Richard Fama and Kristin Keehan contributed an article to CBE discussing the high demands of CBD-containing products along with concerns from the FDA.

Why CBD-infused food and beverages could be ripe for a labelling class action [World Trademark Review]

June 13, 2019

Edward Weisz wrote about the legal landscape for food and beverage manufacturers looking to enter the hemp-based cannabidiol (CBD) market.

CBD Is Still Not Free (To Register): An Update on Trademark Registration Guidelines for Cannabis Products [Alert]

May 06, 2019

The USPTO issued an examination guide on May 2, 2019 regarding the examination of trademarks for cannabis and cannabis-related goods and services after the enactment of the 2018 Farm Bill. The Guide answers some questions about how applications are going to be reviewed going forward, and how current pending applications are going to be reviewed, but also opens up a whole host of additional questions and uncertainties.

Events & Seminars

Past Events

Differences Between Cannabis and Real Estate Financing

April 26, 2023 - Golden Valley, MN

Filing and Protecting Your Trademarks

January 25, 2023 - Webinar

Medical Marijuana: A Follow-Up

April 05, 2022 - Zoom

Medical Marijuana in Pennsylvania

December 13, 2021 - Webinar

Cannabis Aisle

June 24, 2020 - Webinar

Health Law 2020

December 04, 2019 - Philadelphia, PA

Marijuana in the Workplace

November 15, 2019 - Atlantic City, NJ

What’s Trending in Labor and Employment Law

May 23, 2019 - Pittsburgh, PA

Business Issues in the Cannabis Industry

April 09, 2019 - Minneapolis, MN

Current Topics in Cannabis and CBD

March 26, 2019 - Santa Monica, CA

In The News

Cozen O’Connor Named A Law360 Cannabis Practice Group of the Year

January 21, 2024

Cozen O’Connor was named a Law360 Cannabis Practice Group of the Year, the 4th time the cannabis team has received this honor. Joseph Bedwick and Patrick Martin spoke with Law360 to discuss the recognition.

New York Governor's Office Halts Plans for Farmers Market-Style Events This Summer

July 06, 2023

Jamie Ansorge was quoted in Cannabis Business Times discussing New York slowing down new retail opportunities for cannabis products.

‘The Lost Year’: New York’s Adult-Use Cannabis Industry Grapples With Sluggish Rollout

June 14, 2023

Jamie Ansorge was quoted in Cannabis Business Times discussing New York's legislation that allows hemp farmers to grow cannabis for the state's adult-use market.

Eighty-eight Cozen O’Connor Lawyers, 23 Practices Earn Top Recognition in Chambers USA 2023 Guide

June 05, 2023

Of the 88 lawyers ranked, 17 lawyers have been recognized nationally, and eighteen were recognized in Band 1. Eight of the firm's practice areas have been recognized nationally, and nine were ranked Band 1.

Jamie Ansorge Named Among 2023 Cannabis Industry Power Players in New York

May 17, 2023

Jamie Ansorge, principal at Cozen O’Connor New Public Strategies, has been recognized by PoliticsNY among the 2023 Cannabis Industry Power Players.

AI for Trademark Lawyers Moving Beyond Search to Expanding Work

February 14, 2023

Ashley Kessler spoke with Bloomberg Law about using artificial intelligence to assist in trademark work.

Cannabis Group Of The Year: Cozen O'Connor

January 26, 2023

Cozen O’Connor has been named a Law360 2022 Practice Group of the Year in Cannabis. Joe Bedwick and Patrick Martin spoke with Law360 to discuss the recognition.

2023 Trends: Legalization of Recreational Marijuana and Therapeutic Psychedelics

December 16, 2022

George Voegele was quoted in SHRM discussing the implications that the legalization of recreational cannabis has on employers.

If US Court Says Delta-8 Product Is Lawful And Trademark Valid, Will Federal Agencies Listen?

July 19, 2022

Jonathan Gale was quoted in HBW Insight discussing a recent 9th Circuit ruling that upheld granting a firm preliminary injunction stopping competitors from using its trademarked brand for delta-8 THC products.

‘The Clash Between State and Federal Law in the Cannabis Industry’: 4 Key Takeaways on Federal Policy Reform Efforts

June 24, 2022

Joseph Bedwick and Patrick Martin were quoted in Cannabis Business Times discussing the future of federal cannabis policy reform.

Chambers Ranks 86 Cozen O’Connor Lawyers, 22 Practice Areas in Chambers USA 2022 Guide

June 02, 2022

Chambers USA, the leading annual guide to the top lawyers and law firms in the United States, has ranked 86 Cozen O’Connor lawyers as leaders in their respective fields in the guide’s 2022 edition.

Marijuana Laws and the 2022 Workplace

March 31, 2022

Christopher Kelly was quoted in SHRM discussing marijuana laws and their impact on the workplace.

Cannabis Practices Sprout as Big Law Firms Follow the Money

September 21, 2021

Joe Bedwick spoke with Bloomberg Law about working for the firm's cannabis industry group.

82 Cozen O’Connor Lawyers, 19 Practices Earn Top Recognition in Chambers USA 2021 Guide

May 26, 2021

Chambers USA, the leading annual guide to the top lawyers and law firms in the United States, has ranked 82 Cozen O’Connor lawyers as leaders in their respective fields in the guide’s 2021 edition; of those, 15 lawyers have been recognized nationally.

New York, New Jersey Marijuana Legalization May Spark Flurry of Commercial Real Estate Activity

May 16, 2021

Steve Katkov discusses the potential increase in commercial real estate activities in New York and New Jersey if marijuana is legalized in those states in CoStar News.

In New Jersey and New York, Towns Can Block Growth of Marijuana Businesses

April 14, 2021

Steve Katkov discusses how towns in New Jersey and New York can block the growth of the marijuana business in CoStar News.

Cozen O'Connor Represents Underwriters in Cannabis Finance REIT Readies $100M IPO

February 03, 2021

AFC Gamma, a Florida-based real estate investment trust that finances cannabis ventures, set terms for a roughly $100 million initial public offering.

CBD Industry Awaits Action From New Dem-Led Congress

February 01, 2021

Patrick Martin was quoted in Law360 discussing a CBD bill that is about to be reintroduced.

How Will Evolving Marijuana Laws Impact the Workplace in 2021?

January 13, 2021

Mariah Passarelli was quoted in SHRM discussing the impact the Biden administration could have on the workplace and marijuana laws.

Pot Legalization Still Faces Hurdles After Senate Flip

January 06, 2021

Patrick Martin was quoted in Law360 discussing the future of the cannabis industry now that the Senate is Democrat.

Cannabis Team Named Group of the Year in Law360 2020 Practice Groups of the Year Awards

December 01, 2020

Cozen O’Connor is pleased to announce that the firm has been named a Law360 2020 Practice Group of the Year in Cannabis.

How U.S. House, Senate Results Could Influence Cannabis Legislation

November 11, 2020

Patrick Martin was quoted in Cannabis Business Times discussing the impact the Senate could have on the cannabis industry.

Cannabis On The 2020 Ballot Could Affect Neighboring States

November 02, 2020

Mark Alderman was quoted in Forbes discussing the states that will vote on legalizing recreational and medical cannabis.

Thomas O’Rourke Named to the National Law Journal’s List of Cannabis Law Trailblazers

September 01, 2020

Cozen O’Connor is pleased to announce that Thomas O’Rourke, a member of the firm’s Commercial Litigation Department, has been named to the National Law Journal’s list of Cannabis Law Trailblazers.

Cannabis Industry Awaits U.S. House Vote on the MORE Act

August 03, 2020

Patrick Martin was quoted in Cannabis Dispensary Magazine discussing Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act that would federally decriminalize cannabis by removing it from the Controlled Substances Act, and cannabis industry stakeholders are taking notice.

Thomas O’Rourke Named Law360 Rising Star in Cannabis

July 08, 2020

Cozen O’Connor is pleased to announce that Thomas O’Rourke, member of the firm’s Commercial Litigation department, has been named a Law360 “Rising Star” in the Cannabis category.

NYC Proposed Rules Would Allow More Pre-Employment Cannabis Testing

May 20, 2020

George Voegele was quoted in Cannabis Business Times discussing a proposed changed to New York City's ban on pre-employment cannabis testing.

COVID-19 And Marijuana: Can Cannabis Municipal Bonds Help Government Budgets?

April 07, 2020

Steve Katkov discusses how Cannabis Based Municipal Bonds (CMBs) could offer relief for governments and financial institutions impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in Forbes.

Coronavirus and Cannabis: Assessing the Current Challenges and Long-Term Impacts for the Industry

March 25, 2020

Joe Bedwick discussed with Cannabis Business Times about some of the broader trends he’s seeing in the market, the frequently asked questions from his clients, and what the industry might look like at the end of the global pandemic.

For Hemp Industry, USDA's THC Rules A High-Stakes Misstep

February 14, 2020

Mark Alderman, chairman of Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies, was quoted in a Law360 article discussing comments submitted in response to the initial version of the USDA’s industrial hemp regulations, released last October.

3 Tips For Crafting Workplace Cannabis Policies

November 01, 2019

Debra Friedman was quoted in Law360 discussing pre-employment testing policies.

California employers wrestle with drug testing after cannabis legalization

August 14, 2019

Debra Friedman was quoted in the North Bar Business Journal about how the legalization of cannabis impacts businesses managing pre-employment drug-testing.

Hazy Regulations, Huge Reward

March 13, 2019

Rich Fama discussed with Marijuana Ventures the rise of CBD products and the lack of clarity at the federal level on regulating CBD.

Contacts

Joseph C. Bedwick

Member

jbedwick@cozen.com

(215) 665-4753

People

Awards

Cannabis Team Named Group of the Year in Law360 2020 Practice Groups of the Year Awards

December 01, 2020

Cozen O’Connor is pleased to announce that the firm has been named a Law360 2020 Practice Group of the Year in Cannabis.

Thomas O’Rourke Named Law360 Rising Star in Cannabis

July 08, 2020

Cozen O’Connor is pleased to announce that Thomas O’Rourke, member of the firm’s Commercial Litigation department, has been named a Law360 “Rising Star” in the Cannabis category.

82 Cozen O’Connor Lawyers, 19 Practices Earn Top Recognition in Chambers USA 2021 Guide

May 26, 2021

Chambers USA, the leading annual guide to the top lawyers and law firms in the United States, has ranked 82 Cozen O’Connor lawyers as leaders in their respective fields in the guide’s 2021 edition; of those, 15 lawyers have been recognized nationally.

Chambers Ranks 86 Cozen O’Connor Lawyers, 22 Practice Areas in Chambers USA 2022 Guide

June 02, 2022

Chambers USA, the leading annual guide to the top lawyers and law firms in the United States, has ranked 86 Cozen O’Connor lawyers as leaders in their respective fields in the guide’s 2022 edition.

Cannabis Group Of The Year: Cozen O'Connor

January 26, 2023

Cozen O’Connor has been named a Law360 2022 Practice Group of the Year in Cannabis. Joe Bedwick and Patrick Martin spoke with Law360 to discuss the recognition.

Eighty-eight Cozen O’Connor Lawyers, 23 Practices Earn Top Recognition in Chambers USA 2023 Guide

June 05, 2023

Of the 88 lawyers ranked, 17 lawyers have been recognized nationally, and eighteen were recognized in Band 1. Eight of the firm's practice areas have been recognized nationally, and nine were ranked Band 1.

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