Under the supervision of the Executive Director, the Director of Legal Services provides legal guidance and oversight of legal services for the Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission.
The Director of Legal Services is charged with providing legal guidance and counsel for the agency, its operations, policies, regulatory oversight, and enforcement. The Director of Legal Service has oversight of reviewing agencies responses, preparing cases, and responding to legal inquiries. The Director of Legal Services works to detect violations of applicable cannabis and criminal laws, and has direct involvement in the investigation and adjudication of individuals or business entities that are in violation of the Georgia’s Hope Act of 2019.
ESSENTIAL DUTIES and RESPONSIBILITIES:
- Research and write various documents relating to the enforcement of the Georgia’s Hope Act of 2019 and other applicable laws.
- Provide guidance to Commission leadership and staff regarding complaints from the general public as well as from referrals from other regulatory agencies in an effort to determine whether enforcement action should be taken.
- Analyze case files including but not limited to complex business and financial documents in connection with multiple enforcement proceedings.
- Respond to legal inquiries and review work by other departments.
- Review data and investigative reports and identify areas that require further investigation.
- Participate in case related meetings with agency and investigative staff.
- Prepare cases prior to administrative hearings and coordinate necessary staff and resources to conduct the hearings.
- Participate in administrative, compliance, and enforcement hearings conducted by the Commission.
- Create and implement orders, settlements, agreements, and/or legal judgments within approved guidelines.
- Maintain and apply a high level of expertise and knowledge of the Georgia’s Hope Act of 2019, other applicable federal and state laws, legislation, and emerging case law in Georgia and nationally.
- Expand areas of subject matter expertise by researching and keeping up with regulatory trends and updated laws to report to and be a resource to the Executive Director and the Commission.
- Provide legal interpretation of the Act to Commission staff members.
- Assist designated Commission staff with the registrations and compliance inspections of registered entities, including but not limited to Class 1 and Class 2 Production Licenses, Dispensing Licenses, and other license types issued by the Commission.
- Research and analyze current statutory and case law affecting the agency and/or programs.
- Draft topical legal articles, website content, as well as new or amended cannabis regulations.
- Work with other state and federal cannabis regulators, law enforcement, and prosecutors as needed.
- Perform other duties as assigned by the Executive Director.
- SUPERVISION: None.
MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS: Five years of directly related experience. Familiarity with laws, rules and regulations in a state regulatory compliance agency or a closely related regulated industry or field. Excellent writing, communications and analytical skills are also required. Admitted to practice law in Georgia with a State Bar of Georgia license in good standing for a minimum of five years.
The Commission prefers applicants who possess the following qualifications: Eight years of legal experience including at least one year of experience as a Deputy Director, Director, or General Counsel for a State of Georgia agency. Experience advising boards, authorities, commissions, regulatory agencies, and licensing state wide is especially preferred. Experience preparing cases for adjudication in Superior Court, the Office of State Administrative Hearings, and before an Administrative Law Judge. Experience interacting directly with the Georgia Department of Law as a state agency attorney. Extensive experience with compliance, consent orders, citation hearings, and state administrative hearings. Extensive experience providing legal counsel to Director/Executive Director/Agency Head in the development and review of proposed rules and regulations. Experience working with multiple levels of government, federal, state and local particularly with licensing and policy development.
Demonstrated experience learning and applying emerging areas of Federal or State laws, rules, and regulations. Previous experience in analyzing and investigating complex licensing/regulatory compliance transactions and/or participation in criminal, civil, or administrative proceedings. Demonstrated experience with handling sensitive information, PII, financial and criminal information from applicants and licensees.
EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS: Graduate of a nationally accredited ABA-approved law school with J.D. Degree; State Bar of Georgia license in good standing for a minimum of 5 years.