Over the weekend, the Arizona Bar Association issued a press release reiterating that they really haven’t made up their minds what to do about legal representation for would-be medical marijuana businesses.
Although some reports may have created the perception that the State Bar of Arizona has taken an official position regarding this matter, the Bar has yet to do so.
As has been widely reported, this new law has created many unsettled issues across the legal landscape. The impact of this law on the ethical rules is equally unsettled. The State Bar of Arizona will review the new law and provide guidance in advance of the law’s implementation, currently scheduled for late March 2011.
In the interim, the State Bar will not take regulatory action against attorneys for counseling or assisting clients in the implementation of the medical marijuana law during this period.”
Apparently, this release is in response to media articles (like mine ) that reported Patricia Sallen’s “preliminary” opinion on the ethics of representing medical marijuana businesses. In it, she strongly implied that Arizona attorneys may not be able to legally represent medical marijuana businesses– thus leaving them to sift through multiple levels of regulations and laws without representation.