As lawyers, we are conditioned to mitigate, manage, and outright avoid risk whenever possible. It’s practically programmed into our DNA now. Can you see a potential risk factor miles down the line? Better start drafting multiple strategies to neutralize it now, before it becomes a problem.
Yet, the biggest success of my career came from taking a risk – a big one.
When I moved to Colorado, I knew I’d have to gear up for another bar exam while simultaneously migrating my life, family, and practice across the country. It was already a lot to manage, but I decided to increase the risk factor – and the potential reward. I chose to use my move as an opportunity to reinvent myself professionally and pivot the focus on my legal career to cannabis law.
Now that our country is seeing the pendulum swing in the right direction on cannabis and cannabis laws, this industry needs the legal acuity to address and support the many issues that accompany it. Yes, it is still federally outlawed, but marijuana has been legal(medicallyor otherwise) in the states for 20 years, now!
I realized I was standing in front of a huge opportunity to jump into a growing industry right in the Mecca of legalized marijuana, and be part of tremendous shift in history. We are in the middle of a flourishing movement that is eliminating the stigma of cannabis and cultivating the legitimacy it deserves. As a result, I feel like I’m blazing a new path in legal jurisprudence.
My fellow, attorneys, you can too!
You don’t even need to move across the country, or find an excuse to reinvent yourself. You can take the leap now; while it may still feel like a risk, it has already been calculated for you.
The Cannabis Industry is too big to fail - so get used to it!
US consumer spending on the marijuana industry exceeded $9 billion last year and is projected to $50 billion in a decade. Over 20,000 cannabis businesses started up in 2017 alone. The marijuana industry as a whole is projected to create more jobs than the entire manufacturing industry before 2020. In Colorado, the state that is leading the industry by example, there are more dispensaries than the number of McDonald’s, Starbucks and 7-Eleven stores combined.
The cannabis industry is no longer a gamble; it’s practically pure reward for those willing to invest in their education, immerse themselves in the industry, and provide their clients with their very best.
Just like any other industry, there are challenges to navigate and ethical considerations for every lawyer to grapple with. There is a fine line between advising a client on what would and would not be legal activity. Which is why I encourage us all to get educated and do our research, know our limits, and refer out when a client request is out of our wheelhouse.
We all know someone with a personal story about how marijuana has changed their life. It may be a family member, friend, colleague, or even ourselves. Regardless of whether their stories had a positive or negative outcome, an understanding of cannabis law, its history and modern application, can serve each one of them.
Are you looking for a way to reinvent yourself professionally? Want to increase your offerings or pivot your firm entirely?
From my own experience, the risk is absolutely worth it. Incorporating cannabis law is a great way to grow your client list, jump into a burgeoning industry, and join the marijuana revolution taking place in this country.