Recreational marijuana use will soon be legal in Colorado and Washington state, following successful ballot initiatives. As lawmakers hammer out the details and figure out how to tax and regulate marijuana use, some attorneys looking for a niche may not want to pass on the opportunity to grow their marijuana law practice.
Before you leave this blog post huffing and puffing over the seemingly preposterous idea of practicing pot law, keep in mind that marijuana law does not mean simply defending teens caught lighting up a joint.
Help Businesses Comply With the Law. Under both Colorado and Washington's new laws, only authorized retailers will be able to sell weed. The regulations for these businesses have not yet been set, but you can bet that it will be much more complicated than simply filling out a form.
Become a Marijuana Tax Attorney. The underlying motivation behind the recreational marijuana laws wasn't that lawmakers wanted constituents to get high. Instead, it was because lawmakers saw legalized weed as a potentially huge source of tax revenue. Legal pot will likely be heavily taxed, and businesses will need a marijuana tax expert on hand.
Be a Local Authority on Marijuana. The good thing about a new law is that everyone is on equal footing: It doesn't matter if you graduated law school in 1972 or 2012. Since the regulations have not yet been written, all attorneys know the same -- nothing. This could be your chance to step into the forefront and become the legal expert on marijuana law in your community. If you know the ins and outs of the law, you may even find yourself sought after for interviews and television appearances.
New laws present exciting opportunities for attorneys to develop new practice areas, not to mention new reasons to market your legal services. Being a marijuana attorney could be the niche for you.