Phoenix, AZ – Five of Arizona’s most visible cannabis attorneys have commenced formation of the
Arizona Cannabis Bar Association (ACBA). ACBA is the first of its kind in Arizona.
ACBA’s initial directors include Gary Michael Smith of Smith Paknejad, PLC. Smith, who will be ACBA’s initial chairman, is the founding director of the North Phoenix Bar Association and has represented numerous cannabis industry players with ] litigation, administrative regulation, and business strategy. Also on the board is Ryan Hurley of the Rose Law Group. Mr. Hurley is a nationally-known speaker whose practice group focuses on dispensary applications, real estate/zoning issues and lobbying/political action for the cannabis industry. Jerry Chesler, a solo tax and transactional lawyer, who has transformed his practice exclusively to cannabis finance consulting, developing cannabis companies and dispensary transactional work, brings decades of cannabis law experience. Tom Dean, former litigation director for NORML at its headquarters in Washington, DC and currently a criminal defense and business attorney in Phoenix whose practice is focused exclusively on cannabis related matters also joins ACBA’s board. Solo attorney, Jeff Kaufman, brings decades of experience to ACBA’s board and has credit for being litigation counsel who defeated Maricopa County’s effort to block dispensaries from County property through Federal preemption.
ACBA’s mission is to educate lawyers and the public on the intersection of cannabis and law. To this end, ACBA’s directors note that cannabis legalization, regardless of whether it is recreational, medicinal, agricultural, or industrial, is impacting all aspects of law. Lawyers practicing business, employment, tax, criminal and family law will all need to adjust in some fashion to the changing legal landscape of cannabis.
Membership in ACBA will be open to any Arizona lawyer in good standing with the StateBar of Arizona. Dues and membership benefits, including continuing education programs and public seminars are all in the planning stages. ACBA will be announcing these on its website, www.azcannabar.org, following ACBA’s first official organization meeting set to take place on Friday, 05 August 2016.