William G. Roark, Chair of Medical Marijuana Group

November 15, 2017

We were able to provide legal support for more than a dozen applicants during phase one of Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Act. And that was encouraging for two reasons: One, it enabled us an opportunity to provide a big picture approach for our clients. We were able, because we have a practice group that is a full-service firm, to provide them a depth of knowledge not only surrounding the intricacies of the marijuana law and its interplay with federal enforcement but also the nuances of Pennsylvania’s program. The second reason it was encouraging though was because we got to see, firsthand, the quality of entrepreneurs that this industry was motivating. And it’s with a great deal of confidence that we’re able to say that the Pennsylvania medical marijuana industry is in the hands of some very qualified business entrepreneurs and trust that it’s going to get off on the right foot.

When we first started representing individuals in the medical marijuana field, we quickly realized that despite our best efforts, there was still a stigma surrounding this industry. And one of the challenges we encountered was learning that that stigma extended beyond the individuals who touched the plant. That stigma extended into what we were learning to be an emerging legal market. And that presented a few unique challenges of finding yourself in social settings and individuals, in a good nature way, referring to you as the marijuana lawyer.

In hindsight though, that’s not necessarily a challenge. That was an opportunity, and our firm willingly took it. And I’m glad that we did because if this industry is going to succeed, it’s only going to do so because it has competent legal counsel there at every step of the way making sure that the entrepreneurs and the individuals in this industry are complying with the law and working with the state in a transparent way so that their business can have a secure foundation on which to grow.

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