September 18, 2014

Kelley Kronenberg Positions Itself as Prime Player in Regulated Substances Arena

Fort Lauderdale, FL – Kelley Kronenberg, a national full-service business law firm, announces the formation of a new practice group to address legal issues expected to arise from the legalization of medical cannabis in Florida.  This past spring, Florida lawmakers approved a non-euphoric strain of cannabis, in oil form only, to help patients with severe epilepsy and others with chronic medical conditions (House Bill 843/Senate Bill 1030).  This November, Floridians will vote on Amendment 2, which legalizes medical cannabis for a broader group of people suffering from debilitating diseases and conditions.  Kelley Kronenberg is poised to be at the forefront of the industry following all medical cannabis regulations and its evolution in the State of Florida.

“The intersection of federal law with the proposed Amendment 2 — if it passes — could pose multifaceted challenges to businesses and entrepreneurs, said firm Principal Partner and Chief Operating Officer Howard L. Wander, who leads the group along with Partner, Michael C. Minardi.  “We formed this practice group because we anticipate that many of our business clients will have questions as it relates to cannabis as a medicine and we want to be able to give them the best advice possible. The clash between the law and the workplace significantly impacts how traditional businesses handle labor issues that could come from the potential legalization of medical cannabis. There will be legal questions related to employers’ and workers’ rights, HIPAA Compliance, a Drug Free Workplace, workers’ compensation, general liability, and the regulatory maze associated with the manufacturing, ordering, distribution, marketing, sale, administration and consumption of various regulated products.”

While some law firms may elect to jump into the medical cannabis market after Amendment 2 passes, Kelley Kronenberg’s Regulated Substances Practice Group is comprised of members who have dedicated their lives and careers to medical cannabis issues.  To oversee the group, Kelley Kronenberg has added Minardi and Seth Hyman, who have over 15 years of combined experience and a comprehensive knowledge of the medical cannabis industry, especially in Florida.

Minardi recently joined the firm as Partner in the West Palm Beach office. He has a great deal of experience working with clients in this complex and heavily regulated industry. Minardi represents clients in matters in which an individual purchases, uses, or cultivates cannabis for medical purposes.  He focuses his practice on the medical necessity defense and has successfully won many medical cannabis cases, including several landmark high profile cases in Florida.

The firm has hired Hyman as Business Development/Special Projects Director.  Hyman’s daughter has a rare genetic disorder that makes her prone to constant violent seizures. Trying to make the most of his family’s situation, Hyman has become one of the most visible faces in Florida’s burgeoning medical cannabis industry. He has been instrumental in lobbying for the Florida legislation to help his daughter and others thwart seizures and comfort those with epilepsy.

Together, Hyman and Minardi bring to the firm a vital understanding of Florida’s medical cannabis history, the political landscape in which we are operating, and the rules of engagement.

“Our Regulated Substances practice is unique from others in Florida,” said Wander. “While many lawyers are first scrambling to learn the industry and start niche practices to advise their clients, our team has years of invaluable knowledge and first-hand involvement with the medical cannabis laws in Florida. Our goal is to provide our clients with a wealth of unique insight into the different considerations that must go into the legal framework of the medical cannabis industry, how that framework will be developed, and what it eventually may look like.”

Kelley Kronenberg’s Regulated Substances Practice Group will assist clients in positioning themselves to enter the medical cannabis industry. Additionally, the group will feature firm attorneys to assist clients with possible issues that may arise from the legalization of medical cannabis as it relates to their businesses, including potential workers’ compensation claims, labor and employment matters, environmental law, litigation, and general liability matters.

“It is impossible to know all of the legal issues that might arise if Amendment 2 is passed, but I do know we have a highly-competent team in place to handle them when they do,” said Wander.