California Attorneys and others are invited to attend the Third Annual Cal NORML legal seminar, to be held from 10 am – 6 pm on February 9, 2019 at the Waterfront Hotel in Oakland. Doors will open at 9 AM.
Featuring top California attorneys on cannabis law, this event covers criminal law and personal rights, plus business law.
6.75 hours general MCLE credits are pending.
Presenters will include:
Michael Chernis is one of California’s foremost experts in both federal and California laws relating to cannabis and the growing legal cannabis industry. Chernis represents medical marijuana clients seeking to form collectives; existing stores and mobile dispensaries; patients and doctors; manufacturers and cultivators, landlords and others seeking to do business with such collectives. He also represents individuals and businesses in civil litigation with municipalities arising from such activities, and in criminal matters when charged with violating federal or state MMJ laws.
Amanda Conley is a partner at Brand & Branch LLP and co-founder of the National Cannabis Bar Association. Amanda has a diversified practice focused on intellectual property (IP) and other legal issues in emerging technologies and highly regulated industries, Amanda helps her clients protect and enforce their IP and expand and exploit their IP portfolios through licensing and other strategic business relationships. She also advises on advertising, marketing, and labeling compliance.
Amanda was named a 2018 Northern California Rising Star by Super Lawyers Magazine.
Alan Crowley has been representing labor unions, employees, workers, and union-related organizations since joining the Weinberg Roger Rosenfeld law firm in 1999. He provides counsel to unions and employees in various industries, including industrial, transportation, retail, public sector, and construction. Alan directly handles and oversees complex litigation, collective bargaining negotiations, organizing drives, arbitrations, political activity, class actions, internal union governance, and legislative drafting. Alan is an active trial and appellate lawyer, with notable cases concerning the constitutional and statutory rights of public and private sector employees.
Alan routinely advices labor unions concerning bargaining about drug testing policies that employers seek to impose. He has spoken at conferences concerning drug testing in the construction industry. He was an expert witness in 2018 before the California State Assembly Labor and Employment Committee concerning AB 2069, a bill that sought to provide protections to medical cannabis employees in the workplace.
Omar Figueroa is a pioneering cannabis lawyer who has been providing legal representation to members of California’s cannabis industry since 1998. He is the author of Cannabis Codes of California, the first comprehensive guide to laws and regulations governing the California cannabis industry. Omar entered the cannabis industry as a criminal defense lawyer, where he tirelessly defended individuals charged with cannabis-related crimes. With the passage of cannabis legalization in California, he has expanded his practice to keep pace with the industry’s legal needs, and is committed to thesuccess of the commercial cannabis industry.
Omar earned his Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from Yale College, his juris doctor from Stanford Law School, and is a proud graduate of Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyers College. Omar also trained under legendary San Francisco trial lawyer Tony Serra. He is a Founding Lifetime Member of the National Cannabis Bar Association, a Lifetime Member of the NORML Legal Committee, as well as a proud member of the American Bar Association, the California State Bar.
Khurshid Khoja is Principal and Founder of Greenbridge Corporate Counsel, a minority-owned and woman-managed business law firm founded in 2012, representing clientele in California, Washington, and Hawaii from across numerous sectors in the legal cannabis industry, on regulatory, start‐up, corporate, intellectual property, finance, and other commercial and transactional matters. Khurshid is a business lawyer with over a dozen years of experience in transactional matters, including advising clients and employers on: state and federal banking, corporate, finance and securities laws in multiple highly-regulated industries (including cannabis, insurance and energy); antitrust, unfair competition and trade association laws; intellectual property; commercial contracts; government relations; and regulatory compliance.
Khurshid has participated in legislative drafting, stakeholder meetings, lobbying, and executive agency outreach in connection with the California Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (and the amendments thereto) as well as amendments to the Medical Marijuana Program Act — specifically, and most recently, AB 2679. He also participated in initiative drafting in connection with the Adult Use of Marijuana Act — drafting AUMA’s pro-investor ownership definition, and successfully advocating for the removal of MCRSA-style cross-licensing restrictions and mandatory third-party distribution by the drafting committee.
Khurshid was President of the Class of 2001 at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, and is an alumnus of The University of Chicago and DePaul University.
Danielle Lucido is Chief Counsel for the Engineers and Scientists of California Local 20, IFPTE, AFL-CIO & CLC, a 7,000 member union local made up of professional and technical employees. As Chief Counsel, she represents the union in labor arbitrations and before the NLRB, California’s Public Employee Relations Board the Department of Labor Standards Enforcement and other administrative agencies. Lucido also trains and advises members, union staff and the Union’s Executive Board on employee leave law, reasonable accommodation law, workers compensation law and occupational safety and health law. Prior to coming to Local 20, Ms. Lucido trained public interest lawyers and union staff on California’s occupational safety and health laws and workers compensation law.
Lucido attended UCLA Law School and received a BA in American Literature and Politics from UCLA. She started her career as the Fellowship Lawyer in the Office of the General Counsel at the AFL-CIO in Washington D.C. She Her current memberships include the AFL-CIO Lawyers Coordinating Committee, the State Bar of California Labor and Employment Committee and the National Lawyers Guild Labor and Employment Section. She is also a member of the Board of Directors for Worksafe, a California based legal aid organization that advocates for worker health and safety. For the past four years, she has served as contributing editor for Chapter 7 of the labor law treatise The Developing Labor Law. She is a frequent speaker on the topic of marijuana in the workplace.
Jessica McElfresh has focused on cannabis law and policy since 2010, and has worked with a variety of medical marijuana entities in California, including guiding several licensed dispensaries through local permitting in the City of San Diego, Cathedral City, Desert Hot Springs, the County of San Diego, and other jurisdictions. Jessica also works as a criminal defense attorney, focusing on narcotics cases.
Jessica graduated summa cum laude from Scripps College before attending the University of San Diego School of Law on a Dean’s Honor Scholarship. Recently she was selected as a 2017 Rising Star in Business & Corporate Law by Super Lawyers.
Julie Mercer-Ingram advises clients on a wide range of cannabis related legal issues from regulatory compliance and land use to entity formation and business transactions at her firm Kind Law, which is dedicated to supporting the legal cannabis industry in California. Julie co-chairs the Sonoma County Cannabis Advisory Group.
A graduate of Golden Gate University School of Law, she previously worked as an immigration attorney and clerked for Hon. Alan Jaroslovsky in district bankruptcy court. She volunteered for Housing and Economic Rights Advocates (HERA) and worked in grantmaking for a wide range of social justice and environmental groups.
Lauren Mendelsohn is an associate attorney with the Law Offices of Omar Figueroa, a boutique Northern California law firm serving the cannabis industry. Ms. Mendelsohn focuses on permitting and licensing for cannabis businesses, regulatory compliance, government affairs, and post-conviction relief.
For the past several years, Ms. Mendelsohn has been active in the drug policy reform movement as well as other progressive and humanitarian efforts. She is the former Chair of the Board of Directors of Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP), an international non-profit organization working to end the counterproductive “War on Drugs.”
Nick Morrow served as a deputy sheriff and detective for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, where he worked custody, patrol, narcotics, and training assignments. He was certified as a Drug Recognition Expert Instructor and provided training to hundreds of law enforcement officers. He provided drug abuse education to police, public defenders, paramedics, teachers, parents, and students.
A member of LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition), Morrow assists municipalities in drafting effective and intelligent solutions to dealing with marijuana policy reforms and regulations. He is currently a licensed private investigator and consultant and works as an expert witness in cases involving drug use, drug trafficking, and DUIs.
Hannah Nelson has been deeply involved in cannabis law and policy for more than 25 years. She has a long history in criminal defense, forfeiture and civil rights appellate and trial cases on the cutting edge (e.g. thermal imaging need for warrant, dismissal of cases during lapse of forfeiture laws, and representation of the Civil Liberties Monitoring Project in landmark cases such as GreenSweep). Nelson’s successes include the first fully litigated return of medical cannabis to the patient and the use of environmental laws to reign in eradication teams.
In addition, Nelson has been deeply involved in drafting cannabis policy and ordinances since 1996, when she and the then Mendocino County Sheriff and District Attorney teamed up to propose the first-ever permitting program. Unfortunately, the then Board of Supervisors were not ready for such action. In 2007, Nelson was asked to help draft the original 9.31 program. Nelson remains extensively involved in drafting public policy and providing analysis and comment at the local and state levels.
Nelson’s 17-year experience in regulatory permitting and land use as the legal advisor for a world-renowned music festival, her 16 years as a small business attorney, and her rich history in cannabis law, allow her to advise the newly regulated industry comprehensively.
William Panzer is a graduate of the University of California Berkeley and Golden Gate University School of Law. He has been practicing law in the Bay Area for thirty years, specializing in cannabis defense.
Panzer is a co-author of California’s Proposition 215, “The Compassionate Use Act of 1996,” the nation’s first law legalizing the use of cannabis by patients pursuant to a physician’s recommendation. In his practice he has represented patients, growers, and medical cannabis dispensaries throughout California in state and federal court, at both the trial and appellate level.
He has lectured at numerous NORML legal seminars, Patients Out of Time legal seminars, conferences and other events on cannabis law and related issues. A member of the NORML Legal Committee for over twenty years, Bill is a former winner of the NORML “Al Horn Award” and a two-time winner of the Sonoma Alliance for Medical Marijuana’s “Compassion In Action” Award, as well as a High Times magazine “Freedom Fighter of the Month.”
Joseph Rhea (Lunchtime Talk) is a criminal defense attorney in Palm Springs. Joseph received his Ph.D. in sociology from Harvard University and his J.D. from the University of San Francisco, and for over a decade he worked with cannabis cooperatives in the Inland Empire. He is now advising individuals and groups working with other master plants. Joseph is a founding member of Chacruna’s Council for the Protection of Sacred Plants.
Tamar Todd is the legal director of the Drug Policy Alliance, a national non-profit organization that works to end the war on drugs in the United States. Todd is responsible for developing and overseeing the organization’s legal work as it relates to legislative drafting, policy advocacy, litigation, and public education in local, state and federal jurisdictions. She has a particular expertise in marijuana decriminalization, legalization, and regulation, and she co-authored several state and local ballot initiatives and statutes, including Amendment 64 in Colorado and Proposition 64 in California. She has also advised the governments of Uruguay and Quebec on their efforts to legalize the production and distribution of marijuana.
Tamar serves on the California Bureau of Cannabis Control’s advisory committee to assist with the implementation of California’s legalization law. Recently, she oversaw a successful lawsuit brought by DPA and ACLU against the overly restrictive personal cultivation ordinance in the city of Fontana.
Todd received her B.A. from the University of Vermont and her J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center. After law school, she clerked for the Hon. Emmet Sullivan on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, and she spent several years representing death row inmates as a staff attorney with the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta. She is a lecturer at The University of California, Berkeley School of Law.