Cannabis and the Law - 2241

Cannabis and the Law
Class Term:
Fall Term 2023-2024
Catalog Number:


2 (2 Contact, 0 Field)
General Enrollment Course
Full Year Course:
Standard Courses


Although still federally illegal, cannabis is big business in the United States.  Medical marijuana is now legal in 37 states, including Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia.  “Adult-use,” or “recreational,” marijuana is now legal in 18 states and the District of Columbia.  According to multiple reports, the U.S. cannabis industry is projected to soon exceed $40 billion and potentially employ approximately a half-million individuals nationally.  “Mainstream” businesses have now entered this space.  Many more ancillary businesses – such as architects, landlords, packaging companies, and insurance companies – interact routinely with this industry.  As such, outside and/or in-house counsel representing “conventional” companies – as well as ones advising plant-touching companies, such as cannabis dispensaries, growers, and processors – must understand the unique legal challenges the U.S. cannabis industry presents. This course will address those challenges --  such as (i) whether one can be found to have violated federal criminal law when complying with state cannabis law, (ii) whether other federal statutes (e.g., the federal Fair Labor Standards Act) apply to this industry, and (iii) whether federal courts will enforce contracts relating to cannabis – while also considering if and how established law can adapt/apply to novel industries.  It will also consider other important legal, legislative, and public-policy issues facing the dynamic U.S. cannabis industry, such as access to banking and mitigating risk in corporate transactions and agreements.

Cannabis and the Law