Illinois and Hawaii just decided to let lawyers counsel marijuana businesses

Emily Gray Brosious

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Within the past week, both the Illinois and Hawaii Supreme Courts have revised their respective state’s rules of professional conduct to allow attorneys to advise medical marijuana businesses.

Both modifications address the conflict between state and federal law on marijuana. Illinois and Hawaii allow marijuana for medical purposes, but the federal government does not.

The Supreme Court of Hawaii made the ethics change Tuesday, and now attorneys will be allowed to advise cannabis businesses in the state, as the revisions took effect immediately, according to Canna Law Blog.

The Supreme Court of Illinois announced its own ethics guideline revisions last week, after taking more than a year to consider and pass. The new ethic rules take effect January 1, 2016 in Illinois.

The ethics modifications will allow lawyers to advise their clients on state marijuana law as long as they also advise them about federal policy.

The newly formed Illinois Cannabis Bar Association says the new guidelines are a win for attorneys who “no longer have to worry about compromising their ethical obligations,” when helping advise marijuana businesses, as reported by the Associated Press.

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