The New York State Bar Association issued its Ethics Opinion #1225 on July 8, 2021. In exploring several questions about an attorney’s involvement in and with recreational marijuana, the Ethics Opinion concluded that:

  • The New York Rules of Professional Conduct permit a lawyer to advise and counsel a client relative to its compliance with New York’s Recreational Marijuana Law and its implementing regulations even though federal law may prohibit the same activities;
  • Attorneys may use marijuana for recreational purposes;
  • When the law is fully effective, attorneys also may cultivate marijuana plants for personal use; and
  • So long as an attorney is mindful of, and complies with, Rules 1.7 and 1.8(a), she’s permitted to have an equity ownership interest in a cannabis business in exchange for her legal services.

If you have attorney ethics or business question about cannibis or other law practice challenges, feel free to reach out to David Brock, Esq., Jennifer Scharf, Esq. or Lisa Coppola, Esq.

We’re here to help our fellow attorneys navigate these changing waters.