Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Lawyers can grow, use, and get paid in marijuana: NY State Bar Ethics Opinion 1225 - New York State Bar Association

Not The Onion
Ethics Opinion 1225 - New York State Bar Association

Topic: Counseling clients engaged in recreational marijuana business; accepting partial ownership of recreational marijuana business in lieu of fee; personal use of recreational marijuana.

Digest: In light of current federal enforcement policy, the New York Rules of Professional Conduct permit a lawyer to assist a client in conduct designed to comply with New York’s Recreational Marijuana Law and its implementing regulations, notwithstanding that federal narcotics law prohibits the activities authorized by that law. A lawyer may also use marijuana for recreational purposes and may, when the law becomes fully effective, cultivate an authorized amount of marijuana plants at home for personal use. Finally, subject to compliance with Rules 1.7 and 1.8(a), an attorney may accept an equity ownership interest in a cannabis business in exchange for legal services.

Rules: 1.1(a); 1.2(d); 1.3; 1.16(b)(2); 1.7; 1.8(a); 8.4(b); 8.4(h).

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