Here’s the press release

ST. PAUL—This November the International Law Section of the American Bar Association will hold its first conference on the global legal aspects of one of the hottest emerging industries, cannabis and a local Twin Cities attorney is at the helm.

Business attorney Susan Burns chairs the section’s Global Business of Cannabis conference November 10-12 in Denver, Colo.

The Global Business of Cannabis conference is the first of its kind and will feature some of the world’s leading experts speaking on prominent issues in international cannabis law.

“Attorneys serving clients from any section of the cannabis industry—or planning to do so–need to be sure they have the most current legal information in this dynamic market,”

Said Susan Burns.

“The cannabis industry affects U.S. and international business sectors ranging from agriculture to finance. Conference attendees will learn more about the global landscape for cannabis-related businesses.”

“The U.S. market for cannabis is growing exponentially,” said Nancy Kaymar Stafford, Chair of the ABA’s International Law Section. “We’re pleased to have the opportunity to inform ABA members regarding trends surrounding the legal market for cannabis.”

The report “Cannabis in the U.S. 2021 Mid-Year Market Update,” from New Frontier Data, projects revenue from the legal cannabis market will total $43 billion by the year 2025. Another 5.4 million Americans, or 2.4% of U.S. adults, will be registered patients in medical cannabis states within that same timeframe.

The three-day conference will welcome notable speakers including Colorado Governor Jared Polis, Nancy Whiteman, CEO of Wana Brands, and U.S. Representative Ed Perlmutter (Colorado).

Susan Burns of S Burns Legal PLLC is a business lawyer who works with emerging and scaling businesses based in the United States and Mexico-based businesses that are establishing a presence in the U.S.

Her clients include companies in healthcare, technology, chemical and microbiology testing, cannabis investing, and sustainable food production. Susan has leadership roles in the American Bar Association’s Section of International Law, currently serving as deputy to the section chair and special advisor of the section council.

She also serves on the governing council of the Minnesota State Bar Association’s Agricultural and Rural Law Section and is a board member of the Minnesota Organic Advisory Task Force.

A Minnesota native, Susan earned her J.D. from Hamline University School of Law and her B.A. from the College of St. Benedict. She holds an LL.M. in Food and Agriculture Law from the University of Arkansas.

To register for ABA’s Global Business of Cannabis conference click here https://web.cvent.com/event/6dfd564a-b8ff-4301-a500-5d3b3d8978a0/websitePage:645d57e4-75eb-4769-b2c0-f201a0bfc6ce

 

DAY ONE | WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2021

6:00-7:00 PM  Welcome Reception

The ART Hotel Denver

Keynote Speaker:  Gov. Jared Polis, Governor of Colorado

DAY TWO | THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2021

8:00-9:00 AM  Breakfast

9:00-10:30 AM

CLE Panel 1:  Diversity, Equity, Inclusion—and Cannabis: Efforts to Shape the Cannabis Industry Worldwide

With cannabis legalization sweeping states across the U.S. and countries around the globe, many jurisdictions are implementing social equity initiatives and building community reinvestment programs.  But are these efforts succeeding in promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the cannabis industry?  Panelists will discuss the myriad ways in which jurisdictions are seeking to address the disproportionate impact the war on drugs has had on low-income communities and communities of color, what’s working, and what steps must be taken in order to actually make an impact.

Panel Co-Chair:

Jim Schwartz, James L. Schwartz & Associates, Chicago, IL

Panel Co-Chair/Moderator:

Michelle Diamond, Counsel, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr, New York, NY

Speakers:

Wanda James, CEO, Simply Pure, Denver, CO

Rep. Ryan Winkler U.S. House of Representatives, Minnesota

Kristen Lovell, Director of Creative Operations, GPS Global, Denver, CO

10:30-11:00 AM Coffee Break

11:00 AM-12:30 PM

CLE Panel 2:  Cannabis Trade in the Americas:  Preparing Your Clients for the Future

Columbia, Uruguay, Canada, have legalized adult-use. Mexico is ever on the precipice of legalization of recreational cannabis, but with a recent rebuff by the Senate; Brazil is moving closer to legislation allowing for cannabis cultivations for medicinal, scientific, veterinary, scientific, and industrial use; and, the U.S. seems to be lagging behind on the federal level. But what does this all mean? Whether for recreational cannabis or for other purposes, the “green trade” is a certainty. Panelists will discuss what to expect in the near future and how to prepare our clients for cross-border cannabis trade in the Americas.

Panel Co-Chair/Moderator:

Jessica DiPietro, Associate, Arent Fox, Washington, D.C.

Panel Co-Chair/Speaker:

Rene Alva, Partner, EC Legal Rubio Villegas, Mexico

Speakers:

Nathalia Bier, Immigration Lawyer, Widerman Malek, Celebration, FL

Adams Lee, Attorney, Harris Bricken, Seattle, WA

1:00-2:30 PM Lunch

Keynote Speaker:  Nancy Whiteman, CEO, Wana Brands, Denver, CO

2:30-4:00 PM

CLE Panel 3:  Emerging Issues in Cannabis Sector Mergers and Acquisitions

While the pandemic has adversely affected some level of cross-border transactions in the sector, cross-border investment and related merger activity in the cannabis space continues to remain strong. Canadian and U.S. companies continue to dominate foreign direct investment, largely in jurisdictions which are fast becoming hubs for cannabis production, such as Latin America. This panel will discuss recent cross-border merger and acquisition activity focusing on Canada / U.S. investments in North America and beyond. We will also provide an overview of regulatory challenges and strategic ways to address them in cross-border contexts. Finally, we will provide due diligence recommendations while forecasting expected merger and investment opportunities as the industry comes out of the COVID era.

Panel Co-Chairs/Moderators:

Eric Reither, Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP, Toronto, Canada

Martha Harrison, Partner, McCarthy Tetrault, Toronto, Canada

Speaker:

James Wishart, Associate General Counsel, Canopy Growth Corporation, Ottawa, Canada

4:00-4:30 PM Coffee Break

4:30-6:00 PM

CLE Panel 4:  Enforcing the New Cannabis Legal Framework:  Federal & State Prosecution of Black Market Cannabis Operations

State-regulated and compliant cannabis businesses have largely avoided the scrutiny of federal prosecutors, but black market operations remain, and continue to draw law enforcement attention and prosecution.   Our panel will discuss where federal prosecution efforts – in cooperation with state authorities – have effectively drawn the line on pirate cannabis operations.  The panel will discuss recent federal prosecutions in cannabis-legal states like Colorado, contrast those prosecutions with state level regulatory enforcement actions, discuss the Biden Administration’s approach to enforcement in this area, and peer into the future in a potential SAFE Banking Act federal legal environment, including its impact on money laundering and related potential charges.  As federal and state enforcement mechanisms continue to evolve, state-licensed cannabis businesses have an interest not only in understanding and complying with the rules, but also in having those rules are effectively enforced against black market and unlicensed operations.

Panel Co-Chair:

Giovanna Longo-Eischen, MSU

Panel Co-Chair/Speaker:

John Walsh, Partner, WilmerHale/Former U.S. Attorney, District of Colorado

6:30-8:30 PM Evening Reception

Location TBA

Keynote Speaker:  Maggie Wilson, CMO, Fruit Slabs, Long Beach, CA

DAY THREE | FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2021

8:00-9:00 AM  Breakfast

9:00-10:30 AM

CLE Panel 1:  Ethics Concerns in the Global Cannabis Industry:  Delving into the Weeds with International Legal and Professional Ethics Experts

As the legal framework surrounding cannabis products and use continues to rapidly evolve throughout the United States, lawyers have scrambled to educate themselves and their clients concerning the unique regulatory, commercial, and ethical implications of participating in the cannabis industry. U.S. lawyers remain uncomfortable—even in states in which cannabis is legal—due to a lack of clarity at the federal level and laws that impose serious civil and criminal penalties for use, possession, and commercialization of marijuana.

Panel Co-Chair:

KC Branch, KC Branch Law, San Luis Obispo, CA

Panel Co-Chair/Moderator:

Amy Bowers, Associate, Stumphauzer Foslid Sloman Ross & Kolaya PLLC, Miami, FL

Speaker:
Vincent Sliwoski, Attorney, Harris Bricken, Portland, OR

10:30-11:00 AM Coffee Break

11:00 AM-12:30 PM

CLE Panel 2: The Environmental Impact of Cannabis Cultivation: Does Legalization Make a Difference?

Both outdoor and indoor growing present challenges and opportunities. Putting aside the pros and cons of This panel explores the methods of cannabis cultivation and how it is affecting the environment. Studies show that not only the unregulated and illegal cannabis markets are causing large-scale environmental destruction, but also the regulated indoor growth. The panel analyzes how regulating the industry can solve the environmental problems caused by the cultivation and discuss how it will instigate companies to innovate their technologies, leaving a smaller footprint on our environment while improving the health & safety of all stakeholders.

Panel Co-Chair:

Nathalia Bier, MFB Law, San Diego, CA:

Panel Co-Chair/Moderator:

Roxane Peyser, General Counsel, NOBO Inc., Denver, CO

Speakers:

Whitney Hodges, Partner, SheppardMullin, San Diego, CA

Kara Lavaux, Cannabis Compliance Expert, Allay Consulting, CO

1:00-2:30 PM Lunch

Keynote Speaker:  Rep. Ed Perlmutter, United States Representative, Washington, D.C.

2:30-4:00 PM

CLE Panel 3:  Cannabis Trademarks: Global IP Portfolios and Global Trade

How can a global company best position itself for growth in the cannabis sector? An important early step is building a robust brand portfolio. This panel discusses how cannabis companies develop global brand portfolios in an industry that is still a patchwork of varying laws and regulations. We will identify non-US jurisdictions in which trademark registration and rights are possible, the impact of the unlawful use doctrine in the US and on useful treaties that otherwise play an integral role in global portfolios, and how US-based and non-US-based companies can best deal with these inconsistencies. We will also cover the role of IP licensing in global trade and expansion. You will leave this session with the tools you need to spot the most important issues your clients will have to address when seeking to expand around the globe and in and out of their home jurisdictions.

Panel Co-Chairs/Moderators:

Shabnam Malek, Partner, Brand and Branch LLP, Oakland, CA

JD Harriman, Partner, Foundation Law Group, Los Angeles, CA

Speakers:

Gloria Niembro, Director, Intellectual Property, Chevez Ruiz Zamarripa, Mexico City, Mexico

Brandon Dorsky, Fruit Slabs, Long Beach, CA

4:00-4:30 PM Coffee Break

4:30-6:00 PM

Cannabis & Alcohol, Paraphernalia, Hospitality & Tourism: It’s a Whole New World

 Join this fast-paced panel to learn about legal issues related to the ever-evolving businesses of combining cannabis and alcohol, the sometimes-but-not-always-related businesses of hospitality and tourism, and the might-possibly-be-related business of paraphernalia. As cannabis becomes more mainstream—and legal—there is an increase in production of alcohol-infused products. Trying to navigate the already complex alcohol and cannabis regulations is one thing. Add the federal prohibition of cannabis and … well you might just reach for one of those combination products. Similarly, cannabis tourism and hospitality are on the rise. And, added to the extensive, existing regulations is the layer of federal illegality. And, paraphernalia intersects with the tourism and hospitality industries, as well as in the retail sector. It is routinely seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection and classified as drug paraphernalia.  Learn why these items may not be drug paraphernalia any more than a spoon, hypodermic needle, or a rolled-up dollar bill would be categorized that way.

Join this game-show style, trending, and informative panel with special host and moderator, Nancy Stafford.

6:30-8:30 PM Evening Reception

The ART Hotel Denver