State Bar forms Marijuana Law Section; second in the nation

The State Bar of Michigan (SBM) is recognizing the importance of the emergent field of marijuana law by establishing a special division of the SBM for attorneys that work in the industry. Michigan is second only to Colorado in creating this specialized forum for attorneys working with the cannabusiness industry.

The Marijuana Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan was established through the efforts of attorney Bernard Jocuns of Lapeer. Jocuns, a criminal defense attorney, petitioned the State Bar with a list of more than 50 attorneys willing to sign on to establish the Section.

The SBM agreed, and the Marijuana Law Section was created. Jocuns was informed on July 24. He  is listed as chair for the new section, while attorney Mary Chartier is listed as secretary/treasurer.
A full Board will be elected at the SBM meeting in October, being held at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi.

“Attorneys will join when they are required to renew their bar association dues,” Jocuns explained. “We expect to have several hundred attorneys signing up in the first year.” The cost to join the new section will be $65 and is reserved for SBM members only.

“For the attorneys that are interested we will form a coherent voice, plan for various changes in law and help attorneys prepare for that,” Jocuns explained. “We will be very pro-active. The more participation we get, the more specialized we can be.”

The section will incorporate attorneys from all aspects of legal work, including family law, real estate practice, bankruptcy, employment and general business law. “That’s why we had to create this networking tool for attorneys,” Jocuns said, “to give everyone a forum to communicate and get updates on law changes and court cases.”

Colorado’s version of the Marijuana Law Section is called the Cannabis Law Committee. Their website boasts briefings on how attorneys can engage in legal practice and remain compliant with state and federal laws.