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In the Weeds in the Empire State: Cannabis Licensing in New York

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Fatima Afia |  Lauren Rudick |  Michelle Bodian |  Neil Willner
1 Hour
Access for 6 month(s) after program date.



On March 31, 2021, New York State legislators passed the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act ("MRTA") which, among other things, set forth a comprehensive licensing framework for the cultivation, processing, distribution, sale, and delivery of adult-use cannabis. The MRTA also established the Office of Cannabis Management ("OCM") and the Cannabis Control Board ("CCB") -- the regulatory bodies tasked with overseeing adult-use licensing and sales. In the thirteen months since the MRTA's passage, OCM and CCB have been fast at work creating novel adult-use conditional license types as part of the State’s Social and Economic Equity (“SEE”) program that would prioritize existing hemp farmers and certain “justice involved” individuals who have been convicted of a cannabis state crime. The agencies have also revised the medical cannabis regulations with the goal of issuing additional registered organization licenses in an effort to expand the existing medical cannabis market which has been lagging for years. Rumor has it that retail sales will begin by the Fall of this year. Given the rapid developments that have taken place in just a short year, clients looking to enter the New York cannabis market will likely have many questions. Prepare yourself for these inevitable conversations now by signing up for our webinar where our legal experts will: (i) offer a general overview of the MRTA and adult-use licensing; (ii) break down recently-created adult-use conditional license types, the applicable eligibility criteria, and the potential impact of these conditional licenses on the State’s broader social and economic equity program; and (iii) explain how the State’s medical regulations will change if the proposed changes are adopted and what that means for the existing medical market, the adult-use market, and beyond. If you’re looking for a lively and informative discussion about all things cannabis in the Empire State, look no further – we’ve got you covered!



This program is eligible for 1 hours of General CLE credit in 60-minute states, and 1.2 hours of General CLE credit in 50-minute states. Credit hours are estimated and are subject to each state’s approval and credit rounding rules. 

INCBA webinars are eligible for credit in the following states: AR, AL, AK, AZ, CA, CO, CT,DE, GA, HI, IL, IN, MN, MS, MO, NV, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NC, ND, OH, OR, PA, TN, TX, UT, VT, WV, and WI . Additional states may be available for credit upon self-application by attendees. States typically decide whether a program qualifies for MCLE credit in their jurisdiction 4-8 weeks after the program application is submitted. For many live events, credit approval is not received prior to the program.

INCBA on demand programs are eligible for credit in the following states: AR, AL, AK, AZ, CA, CO, CT,DE, GA, HI, IL, IN, MN, MS, MO, NV, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NC, ND, OH, OR, PA, TN, TX, UT, VT, WV, and WI . Additional states may be available for credit upon self-application by attendees. States typically decide whether a program qualifies for MCLE credit in their jurisdiction 4-8 weeks after the program application is submitted.

For current accreditation status, please select your jurisdiction below.


Fatima Afia's Profile

Fatima Afia Related seminars and products

Cannabis Attorney and Civil Litigator

Hiller, PC

While pursuing her legal education at Brooklyn Law School, Fatima served as a legal intern and student clinician for a variety of public offices.  Fatima interned with the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS), Division of Family Court Legal Services, representing ACS in its protection of the city’s children and youth from abuse and neglect.  She was also selected to participate in a competitive clinical program – Brooklyn Law School’s Federal Civil Litigation Clinic at the NYC Law Department – where she defended the City of New York and its employees in connection with federal civil rights lawsuits against members of the Police Department and the Department of Correction. During the course of this year-long clinical program, Fatima gained valuable litigation experience by, among other things, deposing an incarcerated plaintiff in a § 1983 action involving claims against the NYC Department of Corrections for a variety of constitutional violations.  While completing this clinical program, Fatima simultaneously interned for the Honorable Ellen Gesmer of the New York Supreme Court.  While in her last year of law school, Fatima was selected to intern in another year-long clinical program – the Brooklyn Law Civil Rights Clinic at the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) – where she greatly assisted in the enforcement of local, state, and federal anti-discrimination laws on behalf of the New York State government.  As a student clinician for the OAG, Fatima played an important role in protecting minority home buyers against predatory lending practices employed by various banks across New York State and ensuring that minority/small business owners were being treated fairly by general contractors bidding on government contracts.

Lauren Rudick's Profile

Lauren Rudick Related seminars and products

Hiller PC

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

Michelle Bodian's Profile

Michelle Bodian Related seminars and products

Vicente Sederberg LLP

Michelle Bodian is a senior associate attorney in Vicente Sederberg’s Boston office, where she is a leading member of the firm’s Hemp and Cannabinoids Department and co-chair of the Grants and Loans Practice Group. She primarily advises hemp and CBD clients on how to navigate through the complex and interconnected federal, state, and local regulatory frameworks.

Before joining Vicente Sederberg, Michelle served as the land use counsel for the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, where she gained valuable agricultural knowledge and insight and experience drafting, reviewing, and awarding government grants and contracts. While with the Department, Michelle drafted and proposed amendments, and commented on laws, regulations, and policies. Michelle has extensive administrative agency experience and offers clients firsthand knowledge on how administrative agencies truly operate. Michelle also worked as an associate at a civil litigation and transactional law firm in Milford, Connecticut. While there, she focused on environmental, land use, and real estate law and environmental and civil litigation.

With her skill in agricultural and environmental impact best practices, along with her knowledge of state, territory, and international hemp and CBD laws—plus, over a decade of legal experience in both the government and private sectors—Michelle is a valuable resource for her clients.

A member of the American Herbal Products Cannabis Committee, Michelle has spoken at many cannabis industry events and has authored several articles on hemp- and CBD-related topics.

She received her Juris Doctor from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law with an Environmental Law, Science, and Policy Certificate and received her Bachelor of Arts from Brandeis University. During law school, Michelle served as a legal intern for the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office in the Environmental Protection Division and was a certified legal intern with the University of Pittsburgh School of Law’s Environmental Law Clinic.

Neil Willner's Profile

Neil Willner Related seminars and products

Co-Chair Cannabis Practice Group

Royer Cooper Cohen Braunfeld LLC

Neil M. Willner is the Co-Chair of the Cannabis Group at Royer Cooper Cohen Braunfeld. Neil counsels hemp and marijuana companies operating on all tiers of the supply chain on the complex patchwork of state and federal regulation. Relying on his deep knowledge of state-specific marijuana and hemp rules, Neil assists clients in strategically navigating the disharmonized industry. Neil also serves as regulatory counsel to the American Trade Association for Cannabis and Hemp’s CBD Task Force and Cannabis Beverage Council where he quarterbacks policy development and the drafting of responsive comments to state and federal agencies.


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