Originally published on the
Cannabis Law Report.
Earlier this week we spoke with
Andrew Sacks of
Sacks Weston Diamond of Pennsylvania and asked him about the firm’s approach to the cannabis
sector and some of the aims of their practice.
It’s a busy time at the moment in PA as the
first approvals have recently come through
Also see Andrew’s comments with regard to hemp market development.
From conversations we’ve had at CLR with parties around the world
we’d suggest that this law firm in Philadelphia has a greater understanding
than most, in its understanding of what lies in the future for hemp market
When did you first think about getting into the market?
Before the bill was passed I was lobbying heavily to get Lupus included
in the 17 illnesses being approved. I eventually got the National Lupus
Organization to change its position that medical marijuana was not recommended
to it being recommended.
How long did it take to get the practice to a point you could take it out
to clients and start pitching to prospective clients
I purchased most of the URL’s that directed my website to number
1 on google. I received 178 phone calls from prospective clients in 6
months. I ended up getting 1 permit winner. I made friends with application
writing companies and Senator Leach became of counsel to the firm. He
co-authored the medical marijuana act. I still get calls even though round
1 is over.
What are your current main areas of focus
Representing my permit winner and working to get the regulations fair and
How many practitioners within in the firm and practice areas are they working in?
My partner John Weston and I handle the work
Are you able to work in all states – if not can you give an idea
where geographically you are doing most of your work?
Outside PA I will be handling work in New Jersey but that is it.
Are you dealing with private wealth clients in the main with regard to
investment – company / grow compliance etc ?
I represent MJ Freeway who was awarded the seed to sale contract for Pa
and CCD which is the largest doctor network in the country.
Where do you see growth moving forward?
With Sessions as our chief lawyer I do not see anything changing. Let the
states do what they want and when there is scientific proof that Medical
Marijuana helps cure illnesses and gets people off of opioids he will
still be against pot.
Where do you see your skill base lie in comparison to other firms?
I have been part of the process to get the Act passed and I have been so
active in pro bono work that I am the “go to” guy in the state.
As A Hemp Specialist
Where do you see your part of the market sitting in 2-5 years time compared
to the medical and recreational sectors?
Hemp CBD’s and hemp products will be in CVS in a few years. We need
the federal government to pass a national hemp bill and then you will
see the USA as the biggest hemp producing country in the world (other
than China of course)
Do you see hemp as a product as well as products derived from hemp being
traded freely across the USA and internationally?
Within the next 5 years. Yes, everything from Kitty litter to clothes and
any other of its 25,000 usages.
Are there specific hemp products of existing sectors ,construction , food
& beverage, materials, that you see really benefitting from further
development of hemp legislation?
Car and house insulation, animal feed, kitty litter, CBD’s, construction
materials. My hope is that the hemp industry gets federal approval soon
so the hemp industry can thrive. Jobs, taxes, health are all relevant.