New York State Bar Association Publishes Advice On Lawyers & Cannabis

Following New York State’s decision to legalize adult use of marijuana this year, the regulatory body that oversees the state’s lawyers says attorneys can partake, too.

In an ethics opinion issued Thursday, the New York State Bar Association said New York lawyers can advise cannabis clients in compliance with the state’s recreational marijuana law, even though the drug remains illegal at the federal level.

“Without the aid of lawyers, the recreational marijuana regulatory system would, in our view, likely break down or grind to a halt,” the opinion said.

The state bar also said lawyers can accept ownership stakes in a cannabis business as payment, and can smoke or consume marijuana recreationally. Lawyers can also grow marijuana, subject to state limits, the state bar added.