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Univ. of Denver Is Offering a Marijuana Law Class

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By William Peacock, Esq. on December 04, 2014 4:07 PM

This course will investigate the challenges associated with representing marijuana clients. Following a grounding in the current state and federal laws governing marijuana, students will hear from a number of marijuana businesspeople and those lawyers currently representing them. Topics covered will include regulatory compliance, criminal defense, contract, banking, tax, real estate, and multidisciplinary practice. These speakers will present the students with practical problems and hypotheticals which will generate multiple opportunities for assessment.

Read that and tell me you aren't intrigued. That is the course description for L4700: Representing the Marijuana Client, a new (likely first-of-its-kind) course at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, a class that has already "sold out," according to The Denver Post's Cannabist Blog.

It's a cannabis class, but it's no laughing matter: Marijuana entrepreneurs in Colorado have to navigate state law, federal law, and regulations galore.

The Why

It's simple: Legal marijuana is a new frontier, one rife with complications from conflicting state and federal laws.

As Prof. Sam Kamin told the Cannabist Blog: "When I was on the Amendment 64 task force and just thinking about an edible -- what can be in it, who's determining what's in it, what the dosage is, how you indicate the dosage, how you make sure it's safely packaged, how it can be advertised.

"Every small piece of it has so many regulatory issues," Kamin continued, "so if you're working in that area, running a MIP (marijuana-infused product manufacturer) or something, the state, local, federal regulations of that are mind-boggling."

The What

The class will cover practical problems that arise when entrepreneurs open up dispensaries and grow houses, and will include guest speakers and practice-based hypotheticals.

"We'll give them practical problems. We're going to have them do legislative drafting, different pieces of advocacy," Kamin said. "It's not going to be a joke. It'll require a lot out of them."

"I'm going to bring in some dispensary and grow and MIPs owners and ask them to give (the students) an idea: Here are all my problems. Here are the problems we encounter from when the plant goes into the ground to when the customer leaves the store. They'll give them a real practical sense of what's coming up in practice."

Would You Take This Class?

It sounds fascinating, doesn't it? And who wouldn't want to take a class that deals with emerging legal issues? After all, how often do you get to help make the law?

Then again, marijuana still carries a social stigma, especially among more conservative types. Do you really want "Marijuana Law" on your law school transcripts? What will firms think?

Have any thoughts on a cannabis law class? Tweet us @FindLawLP.

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