New York’s University of Buffalo School of Law this month offered its first legal cannabis industry bridge course – “The Green Rush” – aimed at compliance and other legal issues in the cannabis space, according to a UBNow report.
The course is being co-taught by UB Law alumni Aleece Burgio, head of Barclay Damon’s multidisciplinary cannabis practice team, and Lee Williams corporate counsel at the Dent Neurologic Institute and supervisor of the Dent Cannabis Clinic’s legal and compliance program. According to the report, the Dent clinic has certified more than 10,000 medical cannabis patients in New York.
The course covers the history of the plant, the science, how it is regulated by federal, state and local governments, criminal law, social equity, CBD, Internal Revenue Service code 280E, real estate, elder law, employment, banking and finance, international law; and how medical cannabis programs have been managed.
“The war on drugs made it taboo to talk about marijuana. But now it’s a real business, it’s a career for a lot of lawyers, and it’s something that’s going to blossom. And in New York, we’re right on the edge.” – Burgio, to UBNow
Burgio, whose first job out of law school was for a boutique law firm in Portland, Oregon helping cannabis startups, said that a lot of employers are looking to build cannabis-focused practices and having the background in legal cannabis law issues gives newly-minted lawyers “a foothold.”
“If a young attorney offers to be the person who takes an interest in it, that really helps,” she said in the report. “There is opportunity for you to grow in New York as an attorney, and if you can stay on top of these ever-changing regulations, you can really do well.”
According to the university’s course catalog, the one-credit course had 38 of 40 students enrolled and ran through January.