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Regulatory & Public Policy

While the possession and use of marijuana remains illegal under Federal law, the legalization of marijuana by multiple state legislatures and state ballot initiatives has led to a reimagination of United States drug policy. The sale of marijuana products is rapidly becoming a multi-billion-dollar industry with almost every state having a medical marijuana exception while an increasing number of states allow for recreational use.

Walsh is the one law firm in New Jersey to have already attained an important milestone in the regulation of marijuana in this State by creating law favorable to the industry. In the precedent-setting case Kadonsky v. Lee, 452 N.J. Super. 198 (App. Div. 2018), Walsh successfully represented a plaintiff challenging the State’s regulation of marijuana, urging the New Jersey Director of Consumer Affairs to remove and reclassify marijuana from the list of Schedule I drugs (the most dangerous). The appellate court’s decision mandated that New Jersey’s executive branch consider rescheduling marijuana given the overwhelming evidence of its accepted uses in medical treatment. Walsh lawyers have been frequently quoted in the media in connection with these developments (Forbes.com, New Jersey Law Journal, and NJ.com). Walsh remains in the forefront on these issues, pressing for regulatory reform with relevant executive departments and representing the interests of individuals advocating for the rescheduling of marijuana.

New Jersey recognized the benefits of marijuana for medical purposes in 2010, and now, under the leadership of a new governor, appears poised to legalize the recreational use of marijuana within state borders. Walsh’s record of achievement in the regulation of marijuana in New Jersey uniquely positions the firm to serve as an effective advocate for industry participants as the debate regarding legalization advances and the discussion of regulatory approaches intensifies. As in other areas of practice, Walsh lawyers understand what matters most about the regulation of marijuana in New Jersey and the effects that this evolving regime will have on other areas of practice, such as corporate and business organizations, banking and financial services, and administrative law.

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