Symposium Format and Schedule
Mixer & Buffet Dinner
Greetings and Opening Remarks. Rabbi Zalman Gordon.
Moderator Introduction of Panelists and Topics.
Hon. Andrew Kauffman, Ret. Moderator
1st hour General Legal Principles
2nd hour Substance and Competency
Meital Manzuri, Attorney at Law
Stuart Silverman, MD, FACP, FACR
Rabbi Jason Weiner, BCC
Closing Remarks. Rabbi Zalman Gordon.
Meet Barry. Barry's Mom always worried that Barry was an underachiever. It seemed to her that Barry spent a lot of time in their basement playing video games, and not much time studying. She took solace in Barry's interest in helping her in the kitchen. Barry enjoyed cooking and especially baking, and Barry took great pride in finding tasty treats that he could create and share with friends and family, especially around the holidays. "Perhaps one day, Barry will become one of those famous chefs we see on TV," Barry's Mom wistfully dreamed.
One day, Barry's Mom returned from a doctor's appointment with some troubling news, she had been diagnosed with lymphoma. She told Barry that she would begin chemotherapy that following Monday. The first treatment left Barry's Mom tired and nauseous. She could barely eat. Her oncologist told her to expect these side effects to progress as she endured additional chemotherapy sessions. Barry was quite concerned that his Mom was at risk for other complications in her weakened state. He was determined to help.
Barry Helps His Mom. Barry spent the next week in and out of their family kitchen. He barely slept, and as far as his Mom could tell, Barry had abandoned his World of Warcraft teammates.
After many hours of online research, trial and error experimentation, and dozens of taste tests, Barry developed a very special, and very delicious brownie that he hoped would resolve his Mom's nausea and allow her to maintain her strength. What made his brownies different from standard recipes, was his infusion of cannabis oil into the batter-plus his use of Swiss chocolate.
Barry's Mom tried the brownies and found that they worked. She actually grew hungry from eating her son's baked creations and regained her strength. Barry was overjoyed, and continued baking his brownies, always ensuring that no matter the time of day, there was a fresh batch waiting for her. Barry's Mom finished her chemotherapy with few complications and according to her PET scans is now cancer-free. Barry, on the other hand, was left with hundreds of excess brownies that he stored in the freezer. It wasn't long, however, before Barry's Mom wanted room in her freezer for "normal food."
Barry Helps Others. The next day, Barry returned to the local medical cannabis dispensary from where he had previously purchased the cannabis oil for his brownies. He brought a batch of his leftover brownies with him and asked the owner if he thought some chemotherapy patients might be interested in trying them, since they had worked so well for his Mom. The proprietor agreed to display them in his "edibles" case, and see what might happen.
Barry's brownies proved quite popular among the dispensary's clientele, with one patron describing them as "Totally Bodacious!" Soon, the dispensary's brownie supply was depleted. The proprietor asked Barry for more. Barry still had many batches stored away in the freezer. This time, however, Barry asked the owner if he could be paid for his brownies. The store owner agreed on a price and paid Barry, in cash, for the remainder of his brownies. Barry couldn't believe his luck.
Before long, the dispensary called Barry and asked for more brownies. The owner even agreed to supply Barry with cannabis oil at no cost. Barry baked dozens more batches of his brownies for the dispensary, only to find that, days after delivery, the dispensary wanted more. Barry's brownies had proven to be quite popular, indeed.
Barry Starts a Business. Barry quickly realized that his life-long baking hobby could actually become a profitable business. He invested the proceeds from his brownie sales in more pans, a greater inventory of ingredients, an industrial mixer and a second oven which he placed in the basement. Barry now baked brownies six days a week, and the dispensary purchased all of Barry's brownie output.
One day, Barry's uncle came to visit from New Mexico. Uncle Saul, an attorney, recognized the potential business opportunity afforded by the popularity of Barry's brownies. Uncle Saul proposed that Barry turn his lucrative interest into an actual company. Uncle Saul suggested that Barry form an LLC, and that Uncle Saul would invest $250,000 for a 50% share of the equity. The new partners would use the seed capital to start a commercial bakery specializing in baked goods infused with cannabis that they would sell to marijuana dispensaries throughout California. Their first product would be called "Barry's Bodacious Brownies" and subsequent products would similarly bear the "Barry's Bodacious" moniker.
Uncle Saul has some concerns. While forming the LLC and drafting the operating agreement was easy for Uncle Saul, he soon found that starting and operating a cannabis-based business presented more challenges and concerns than he had anticipated.
What are the Cans and Can'ts for a Cannabis Company?
Can Barry's Bodacious, LLC, open a bank account? Without a bank account, how could the company maintain a payroll, pay its rent and utilities, purchase its supplies, accept credit cards and avoid the dangers of hoarding or transporting large sums of cash?
Can the Company legally purchase the cannabis-infused ingredients it needs to produce Barry's Bodacious Brownies? Can they import the ingredients from other states or countries?
Can the Company ship its products to dispensaries throughout California? Can Barry's Bodacious use common carriers such as UPS or FedEx? What about the U.S. Postal Service? Can Barry's Bodacious ship to other states, such as neighboring Nevada?
Can the Company be considered a wholesaler/distributor and avoid liability for sales taxes?
Can Uncle Saul's $250,000 investment be seized by a governmental body (whether municipal, state or federal)? What about other assets of the Company?
Can Uncle Saul protect the brand name, Barry's Bodacious, by obtaining a Federally Registered Trademark from the U.S.P.T.O? What about a trademark from the state of California?
Can Uncle Saul be sanctioned by his state bar association for his involvement with Barry's Bodacious, LLC? Does it matter if he is acting as an attorney, officer, director, manager, or passive-investor/LLC member?
Can Uncle Saul pursue this business opportunity under Jewish Ethics? What does traditional Jewish Ethics say about illicit, potentially harmful or mind-altering substances?
What are the Cannabis Cans and Can'ts for a Practicing Attorney?
Can Uncle Saul keep himself from becoming addicted to Barry's Bodacious Brownies, especially considering how tasty they are? What are Barry's Bodacious, LLC's responsibilities towards others to prevent substance abuse?
Can Cannabis be used safely by attorneys to treat certain physical or mental conditions?
Does Cannabis use affect an attorney's ability to competently represent his or her clients??
Marijuana, Editorial, Canadian Medical Association Journal [Nov. 1934]
Proposition 19, Letter from Calif. Atty General with text of initiative [Feb. 1972]
Proposition 19, Voters Guide Arguments (excerpts) 
Proposition 215, Medical Use of Marijuana Voter Guide 
Proposition 64, Marijuana Legalization Voter Guide 
DOJ Asset Forfeiture Guide (select provisions) 
U.S. Attorney (N.D., Cal.) Letter to Oakland City Atty 
U.S.P.T.O. Office Action for proposed Trademark "Cannabis Nation" 
U.S. Treasury Dept. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network Guidance 
BSA Expectations Regarding Marijuana-Related Businesses
Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment 
Cannabis Banking Working Group Fact Sheet 
Cannabis Banking Working Group Glossary 
Cannabis Banking Working Group Members 
DEA Drug Scheduling (from dea.gov) 
California Medical Board Guidelines for the Recommendation of Cannabis 
UCLA Healthcare Provider Guide to Cannabis 
The Increasing Menace of Marijuana, Topics of Current Interest,
Canadian Medical Association Journal [Nov. 1934]
Case Law Materials
(Note: Cases have been edited for space)
Gonzales v. Raich (2005) 545 U.S. 1
Rosenthal v. U.S. (9th Cir. 2006) 454 F. 3d 943
21 U.S.C. § 812 Controlled Substance Act
Talmudic and Related References
Shulchan Aruch Harav Choshen Mishpat 1:4
L'or Hahalacha page 118
Iggrot Moshe Vol 3 Responsa 35
Talmud Pesachim 113a
Talmud Sanhedrin 72a
Talmud Sanhedrin 73a
Mishneh Torah De'ot 6:7
Tzitz Eliezer Vol 13 No. 87