Cannabis Law 2021: Overview of current legalization, legal practice involved in Cannabis industry and federal criminal laws and penalties


CLE credits earned: 3 General Credits (WA 3 Law and Legal)

This course will provide an overview of current state by state legalization, along with societal attitudes towards legalization and positions taken by various organizations, such as the DEA, World Health Organization, and federal government. In addition, this presentation will focus on healthcare related issues associated with physicians, Medicare, institutional healthcare providers and associated risks. There will be a summary of various legal practice areas that regularly involve the cannabis industry, and a brief discussion on attorney ethics concerns.
Additionally, Attorneys can expect to learn a general overview of the federal criminal laws and penalties that apply to the distribution of marijuana, to include a high-level primer on the relevant sentencing guidelines. The presentation will touch on some well-publicized seizures of hemp products and the outcome of those seizures. Finally, the presentation will include a brief overview of Fourth Amendment principles that are relevant to such seizures.

This course is co-sponsored with myLawCLE.

Key topics to be discussed:

David Holland:
•   History of Prohibition of Cannabis
•   US Constitution and supremacy of federal law
•   The Controlled Substances Act of 1970 and the supremacy of 21 U.S.C. 801 when there is a “positive conflict”
•   Legal Challenges to Constitutionality of CSA Schedule I designation of cannabis
•   The future of cannabis under federal law

Richard Cheng
•   Legalization status on a national level
•   Federal position and active legislative bills applicable to cannabis
•   Cannabis and its role in healthcare and healthcare providers.
•   Legal practice areas impacted by the cannabis industry.

Amanda Clark-Palmer
•   Review of federal criminal laws applicable to the distribution of marijuana
•   Overview of relevant sentencing guidelines and procedure
•   Recent, notable seizures of hemp products
•   High-level overview of pertinent Fourth Amendment principles

Date/Time: June 18, 2021

•   1:00 pm – 4:20 pm Eastern
•   12:00 pm – 3:20 pm Central
•   11:00 am – 2:20 pm Mountain
•   10:00 am – 1:20 pm Pacific

Choose a format:

•   Live Video Broadcast/Re-Broadcast: Watch Program “live” in real-time, must sign-in and watch program on date and time set above. May ask questions during presentation via chat box. Qualifies for “live” CLE credit.
•   On-Demand Video: Access CLE 24/7 via on-demand library and watch program anytime. Qualifies for self-study CLE credit. On-demand versions are made available 5 business days after the original recording date and are view-able for up to one year.
Closed-captioning available

Select your state to see if this class is approved for CLE credit.

Choose the format you want.


Original Broadcast Date: June 18, 2021

Amanda Clark-Palmer | Garland, Samuel, & Loeb, P.C.

Amanda represents clients in both civil and criminal matters in state and federal court. Her practice primarily focuses on criminal defense and she has experience defending all types of cases from DUI to violent felonies, to white collar crime. She has appeared in federal courts in Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee, New York, and Kentucky. She is admitted to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, as well as the Court of Appeals of Georgia, and the Supreme Court of Georgia.
Amanda’s most recent successes include a string of acquittals in multi-week, multi-defendant cases. Just last year Amanda won a complete acquittal for a doctor charged federally with overprescribing opioids (saving him from a 30-year sentence), a Cherokee County man charged with Aggravated Assault against two police officers, and a young man wrongfully charged in federal court with participating in a murder committed by the Gangster Disciples.
She has experience representing clients in cases that garner national attention from programs such as 48 hours, Dateline, Court TV, and Cuomo Prime Time. Along with Don Samuel and Ed Garland, she represented a movie Director and Producer who were charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection with a death that occurred during filming. Both were facing ten years in prison. After successful negotiations, the case against the Producer was dismissed entirely, and the Director was sentenced to serve 12 months. And she was part of the legal team that represented rapper T.I. when he was facing federal firearms charges.
Amanda’s success happens at the appellate level too. She has argued before the Supreme Court of Georgia and the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. In 2017, she successfully argued the case of Kimbrough v. the State of Georgia (opinion available here) before the Supreme Court of Georgia. Along with Don Samuel, she successfully argued the case of United States of America v. Randolph before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals (opinion available here), where that court overturned the client’s drug conspiracy conviction.
Amanda is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (GACDL), the Atlanta Bar Association, the Lawyers Club of Atlanta, and the Women’s White Collar Defense Association. She is co-editor of The Defender, a publication of GACDL. In 2019 she was elected by her peers to serve on the Board of Governors for the State Bar of Georgia. She is also a member of the Young Professionals Committee for The Center for Family Resources.

David C. Holland, Esq., | Law Offices of David Clifford Holland, P.C.

David, in addition to being a litigation attorney in New York City, is the Executive and Legal Director of Empire State NORML, the New York State affiliate of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). He is also a co-founder and President of the New York City Cannabis Industry Association (NYCCIA) and Vice President of the Hudson Valley Cannabis Industry Association (HVCIA). David is also a pro bono Legal Advisor to Last Prisoner Project (LPP) seeking clemency and habeas corpus relief for prisoners of the Drug War.
Previously, David spent a dozen years serving Of Counsel to the late Michael Kennedy, Esq., an outspoken criminal defense and civil rights and cannabis advocate. Together, they successfully pursued President Obama with a group clemency petition on behalf of 5 elderly first time offenders serving at least one sentence of life without the
possibility of parole for non-violent marijuana related offenses. During that time, David also provided Counsel to High Times Magazine handling all legal matters. He is a frequent information source for news media outlets and regular lecturer at many multi-disciplinary legal and media events regarding cannabis related issues.
David has challenged the constitutionality of federal cannabis laws in several legal actions, submitted an amicus curiae brief to the United States Supreme Court in the case of Washington v. Barr arguing that the Schedule I status of cannabis under federal law is unconstitutional, and recently brought a Declaratory Judgment action against the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Services on behalf of probationers who are being denied access to medical marijuana under the state’s Compassionate Care Act. He is engaged with activist groups in New York State seeking to pass adult use cannabis consumption.
David was admitted to the federal and state courts in New Jersey (1994), New York (1996), and Maryland (2004), as well as the U.S. Supreme Court and the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals.

Richard Y. Cheng | Weaver Johnston Nelson

Richard’s practice focuses corporate transactions, regulatory, compliance matters and administrative appeals. His healthcare law practice includes representation of post-acute care providers (e.g. nursing facilities, assisted living communities, CCRCs, home health care agencies, hospices, rehabilitation providers), community hospitals, management service organizations (MSOs), private equity groups & investors in healthcare, physician groups, ancillary providers (e.g. pharmacies, DME companies, labs), retail medicine providers (e.g., urgent care centers, ASCs, ERs), dental service organizations (DSOs), behavioral health, chiropractors, and veterinary practices.
Richard has considerable experience representing clients involving Stark Law, Anti-Kickback Statute, FCA, EKRA, HIPAA, HITECH Act, Civil Monetary Penalties (CMPs), state based healthcare regulations, Medicare-related transactions (e.g. change of ownership) licensure surveys, formation of MSOs and DSOs, managed care organization (MCO) payment matters, Medicaid contracting, and Medicare appeals before administrative law judges.
Prior to joining Weaver Johnston Nelson, Richard was an equity partner and a member of the healthcare sector at one of the largest AmLaw 100 global firms. During his tenure, he launched the firm’s hemp/hemp products practice group where he led multiple initiatives in building the firm’s reputation in cannabis. In addition, Richard formerly served as vice president and general counsel at two separate healthcare companies, where he assisted with change of ownership transactions, counseled on healthcare operational matters and worked closely with outside counsel managing multiple litigation matters. He also created the medical appeals departments at both healthcare organizations, overseeing multiple staff members that he trained, resulting in the successful recover of millions of dollars in
governmental and private healthcare insurance claims. Early in his career, Richard worked as a licensed occupational therapist, served as an adjunct faculty at multiple universities and lobbied in Washington D.C. through the American Occupational Therapy Association
In addition to his traditional healthcare practice, Richard developed a cannabis regulatory and corporate practice starting in late 2013. As a leading cannabis attorney, Richard served as outside general counsel to the Texas Cannabis Industry Association, co-authored a FDA primer in preparation for the 2019 FDA public hearing on CBD products and has been named a top 250 cannabis legal expert by DataBird Research Journal. He represents a broad base of cannabis related clients, including, private equity groups investing in the cannabis industry, physicians, medical marijuana dispensaries, seed developers, cultivators, processors, wholesalers, retailers, distribution centers and ancillary providers (e.g. testing labs, biomass brokerage firms, etc.) and marketers.

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I. History of Prohibition of Cannabis 1:00-1:12
II. US Constitution and supremacy of federal law 1:12-1:24
III. The Controlled Substances Act of 1970 and the supremacy of 21 U.S.C. 801 when there is a “positive conflict” 1:24-1:36
– a. Ogden and Cole Memos cause nullification crisis
– b. Rohrbacher Farr and Spending Appropriations cause crisis
– c. Court rulings that nullify supremacy of CSA
– d. MORE Act
– e. SAFE Act
– f. FINCen Guidance
IV. Legal Challenges to Constitutionality of CSA Schedule I designation of cannabis 1:36-1:48
– a. ASA v DEA
– b. US v Canori
– c. Washington v Barr and Amicus briefs
V. The future of cannabis under federal law 1:48-2:00
VI. Break 2:00-2:10
VII. Legalization status on a national level 2:10:2:25
VIII. Federal position and active legislative bills applicable to cannabis 2:25-2:40
IX. Cannabis and its role in healthcare and healthcare providers. 2:40-2:55
X. Legal practice areas impacted by the cannabis industry. 2:55-3:10
XI. Break 3:10-3:20
XII. Review of federal criminal laws applicable to the distribution of marijuana 3:20-3:35
XIII. Overview of relevant sentencing guidelines and procedure 3:35-3:50
XIV. Recent, notable seizures of hemp products 3:50-4:05
XV. High-level overview of pertinent Fourth Amendment principles 4:05-4:20