As Pennsylvania takes stock of evolving legal issues surrounding marijuana and more law firms get involved, local bar associations are looking to provide more guidance on the burgeoning but complicated area of law.

Andrew Sacks.

The Pennsylvania Bar Association and Philadelphia Bar Association have formed medical marijuana and hemp committees, following the legalization of medical marijuana in Pennsylvania last year. The state committee is led by co-chairmen Andrew Sacks of Sacks Weston Diamond and William Roark of Hamburg, Rubin, Mullin, Maxwell & Lupin, as well as vice chairman Jerry DeSiderato of Dilworth Paxson. Sacks is also leading the Philadelphia bar’s committee, along with co-chairman Justin Moriconi of Moriconi Flowers.

Efforts are also underway to form a similar committee in the Allegheny County Bar Association, the new committee chairmen said.

“It’s going to be a big industry for Pennsylvania,” said Pennsylvania Bar Association president Sara Austin. “We want to make sure that we have the proper information and experience and training for the attorneys who are going to be giving counsel to all of those people.”

The committees were formed to keep members up-to-date on the regulatory changes affecting their clients and practices, and to discuss ethical issues that may arise.

“When I started doing this it was taboo, and quickly the stigma has fallen apart and the rules are changing,” Moriconi said. “Lawyers in this space right now are busier than they’ve ever been.”

It will also allow the members to discuss areas where medical cannabis clients need legal counsel, which could present business opportunities for their firms.

“It’s a new industry that touches on all these different practice areas,” Moriconi said.

William Roark.

There is a wealth of transactional work to be done, he said. Roark added that zoning, intellectual property, employment, and workers’ compensation are among the other

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