Tri-State Licensing and the Next Biggest Market
With legalization initiatives moving quickly in the Tri-State Area, prospective operators are gearing up for what will inevitably be a competitive licensing process. Regardless of whether the licensing process is time sensitive, lottery-based, or merit-based, attorneys for prospective cannabis business operators will have to adapt, and help their clients navigate these varied regulatory landscapes. In this session, attorneys will delve into the laws in: NJ, where retail sales have already begun against the backdrop of political controversy and applications are still being accepted for cultivation, processing, testing laboratories, and retail (with distribution, delivery, and social use license applications on the horizon); NY, which, as part of its social and economic equity ("SEE") program, has launched a novel social equity initiative prioritizing hemp farmers for conditional cultivation licenses and "justice involved" individuals for conditional retail licenses; and CT, which is implementing a lottery-based system of licensing, but not without significant controversy from social equity advocates seeking a more inclusive program. All of this raises the question: Will equitable licensing thrive in the Tri-State Area, or are these states doomed to repeat other jurisdictions' past mistakes?
Lauren is the co-founder of Hiller, PC=s cannabis law practice. What started as a
passion project in patient rights during a brief residency in California, Lauren has become
one of the Nation’s preeminent cannabis attorneys. Her practice is centered upon the
representation of start-up organizations and investors. With her diverse background in
corporate law, litigation, and land-use and zoning, she provides clients with the most up-
to-date information necessary to operate and invest in successful cannabis and ancillary
businesses. Lauren has run successful applications in competitive medical cannabis states
and adult-use markets alike, and represents a broad spectrum of cannabis and hemp
clients, including plant-touching breeders, cultivators, processors, and product
manufacturers; investors, including family offices and angels; and multiple ancillary
businesses, including networking associations, packaging businesses, ingredient
manufacturers, medical professionals, and industry consultants. Lauren is also a member
of the legal team that brought an action against former Attorney General Sessions and the
federal government seeking, among other things, a declaration that the mis-classification
of cannabis as a Schedule I drug is unconstitutional, on, among other things, due process,
equal protection, free speech, and commerce clause grounds.
Lauren is an Expert Contributor to Marijuana Venture Magazine, a frequent
speaker at national and local cannabis events, including, among others, MJ Biz Con, the
Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition, NCIA, Emerald Cup, and the Women
Grow Leadership Summit and provides pro bono legal and advocacy services to the
Cannabis Cultural Association, among others. Lauren also serves on the Executive
Committee of the Board of Directors for the International Cannabis Bar Association, as
the organization’s Treasurer. Lauren enjoys an extensive network of cannabis
professionals nationwide, enabling her to provide full legal and business services to her
As an associate in the Cannabis group of Foley Hoag, Cecilia Oyediran advises clients on licensing, regulatory, and compliance matters in the legal cannabis industry. Prior to joining Foley Hoag, Cecilia was Corporate Counsel at Acreage Holdings, a publicly traded company holding a large and diverse portfolio of cannabis cultivation, processing and dispensing operations in the tristate area and across the United States. In her role as Corporate Counsel at Acreage, she advised the company on all aspects of the business including transactional, regulatory, compliance, real estate, and labor/employment matters.
Cecilia serves as Chair-elect of the Cannabis Section of the New York State Bar Association, Co-Director of the Student Committee of the International Cannabis Bar Association and currently sits on the board of NJ NORML. A passionate advocate for cannabis education, Cecilia is a frequent speaker and panelist on a range of issues related to state cannabis licensing, social equity, and corporate law, and volunteers her time to mentor students and young professionals interested in entering the cannabis industry. Cecilia holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale University, a Master’s in Education from Harvard University, and a law degree from Stanford Law School.
A leading cannabis attorney and advocate for nearly 15 years, Meital is the Managing Partner for Manzuri Law, leading a diverse team of attorneys and licensing specialists in cannabis and hemp law. Meital serves as the secretary of the executive committee of INCBA and also the chair of the leading issues committee where they identify cutting edge legal issues for the hemp and cannabis industry and for INCBA members and lawyers serving those industries.
Meital has served as General Counsel for various trade associations responsible for influencing cannabis laws and policies in Los Angeles. Her other duties include: Vice-Chair of communications for the LA County Bar Association, Cannabis Section, member of the social equity committee to interpret and provide clarity to the industry on LA’s ever evolving cannabis laws and active participation on the pro bono panel for Los Angeles for SEIA.
Meital serves as general counsel for hundreds of cannabis & hemp businesses throughout the country advising on regulatory, corporate and transactional matters and general business law. She has authored hundreds of partnership deals, procured licenses for 200+ different businesses, defended thousands of people accused with cannabis crimes, and her tenure includes some of the most seminal cases in federal and state court.
Meital is the mother of three young children, serves on the board of AYSO and coaches soccer for fun.
Jason got his Bachelors degree in Public and Community Engagement from the University of Connecticut. He has been fighting to end the war on drugs since he first heard the words “School to prison pipeline”. He has worked on a number of progressive campaigns, both issue-based and electoral, with victories electing Strong Progressives to the School Board of Durham North Carolina, and changing drug policy law in CT. Currently, he is the President of the Minority Cannabis Business Assocaition.