"Walter | Haverfield attorney building a budding business in pot law" Bruce Reinhart quoted in Crain's Cleveland Business


While of growing interest to the legal market, not all firms are as actively entertaining new clients tied to cannabis and its related industries because of their own concerns with legality; but (Kevin) Murphy says that just creates additional opportunity for attorneys like him.

Bruce Reinhart, a partner with McDonald Hopkins who co-chairs the firm's government compliance, investigations and white collar defense group, said many firms — including his — will provide advice to a business regarding the legal climate they're facing, but they won't help with actual work, like negotiating operating or lease agreements.

It's where the issue hits a legal gray area. The administration has said it won't come down on legitimate businesses, yet the drug is still illegal on the federal level.

And lawyers face some unique risks as well. The American Bar Association prohibits lawyers from engaging in illegal conduct and accepting money earned through illegal means.

“The problem is, for a lot of this, the people who are operating in this area are putting a lot of faith in the fact the government is saying they're not going to enforce the law as it is,” Reinhart said. “But that could change over time.”

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