As one of the few Pennsylvania attorneys in private practice with a wide breadth of experience supporting the legal needs of medical marijuana operators, Gawthrop Greenwood partner Stephen J. Olsen shared his distinctive insights in a recent presentation before the Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges.
Olsen is a partner at Gawthrop Greenwood, PC and has also provided extensive compliance support to medical marijuana growers in operation after Pennsylvania issued 25 permits across the Commonwealth.
“The legal ramifications of medical marijuana in Pennsylvania are so widespread that what began as legal services for medical marijuana operators and executives, has now grown to due diligence services for potential investors, as well as support for employment law, workplace issues and family guardian disputes,” says Olsen. “In this rapidly developing industry, we’re seeing legal challenges on a daily basis.”
During the Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges in Pittsburgh February 20-23, Olsen co-presented on the major legal issues surrounding Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Act. His course on “Medical Marijuana from the Ground Up” included:
- Development of current medical marijuana law and regulations in Pennsylvania, and the risks they present in conflict with Federal Law
- Requirements and regulations governing medical marijuana growers and dispensaries
- Anticipated growth of the cannabis industry in Pennsylvania
- Medical marijuana issues that may result in litigation for growers, investors, employers and families
- The complexity of compliance requirements
- Due diligence on investing in the industry
- Navigating Department of Health hearings
- Employment issues, including employees testing positive for marijuana at work
- Transactional issues
- Municipal issues that arise when handling business, real estate and zoning for medical marijuana growers and dispensaries
- Educational institutions conducting clinical research
Pennsylvania is one of 33 states and the District of Columbia that has legalized marijuana for medical use, while marijuana continues to be illegal under Federal Law.