Wednesday, June 10, 2015

National Cannabis Bar Association Launches Today

By David Downs
Wed, Jun 10, 2015 at 12:25 PM

click to enlarge NCBA founder Shabnam Malek - NCBA
  • NCBA
  • NCBA founder Shabnam Malek
Having a good lawyer can mean the difference between a successful canna-business and a stint in county. Yet there are very few ways to order up an experienced, well-referenced attorney specialized in local cannabis business formation, intellectual property, or inter-state franchising law.

Now filling that gap is the East Bay-centric National Cannabis Bar Association, which formally launches today at CanBAR.org.

NCBA founding president and executive director Shabnam Malek said the all-female-led group grew organically out of national networking among specialized attorneys, and aims to complement NORML’s legal directory, and the cannabis-specialty groups forming inside state bars across the country.


The NCBA will serve the marijuana industry through a national network of specialized canna-counselors. A NCBA web directory is pending, as well as a Better Business Bureau-type certification for experienced cannabis lawyers, Malek told me.

The NCBA will also be instructing fellow lawyers, and has already begun holding workshops on intellectual property law for the cannabis space. Continuing legal education credits for its seminars is also in the works.

“As more and more states decriminalize or legalize cannabis – and set up their own regulatory structures – the legal conditions cannabis industry clients and their attorneys face are likely to get even more complex before they get simpler,” stated Malek.

Membership in the NCBA is open to practicing attorneys, paralegals, law students, and retired attorneys and will host an event for new members at the National Cannabis Industry Association’s Cannabis Business Summit and Expo in Denver on June 30, 2015.

The founding Board members of the NCBA include:

Shabnam Malek - president and executive director, NCBA
partner, Brand & Branch LLP, California

Lara Leslie DeCaro – secretary, NCBA
partner, Leland, Parchini, Steinberg, Matzger & Melnick, LLP, California

Amanda Conley – treasurer, NCBA
partner, Brand & Branch LLP, California

Leland Berger
solo practitioner, Oregon

Josh Kappel
partner, Vicente Sederberg LLC,Colorado

David Kochman
solo practitioner, New York

Robert Raich
solo practitioner, California

Jonathan Robbins
partner, Akerman, LLP, Florida

Mary Shapiro
Mary L. Shapiro Law, PC, California

Mitzi Vaughn
managing attorney, Greenbridge, Washington

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