Lawyers from Ohio have now been permitted by the high court to counsel clients who are into the use of marijuana for medical purposes.
This is something totally different as an advisory opinion released last August prohibited attorneys from providing services to people under marijuana treatment and those engaged in the business.
The practice was still against the state professional conduct standards at that time as marijuana is still illegal under the federal law.
According to Crain's Cleveland Business, the Ohio Supreme Court amended the rules on Sep. 20 so that the assistance provided to people involved in the use and sale of medical marijuana can be properly addressed.
Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor explained that the rule needed to be accelerated due to the vagueness when it comes to the Ohio and federal law.
"Ohio attorneys seeking guidance needed to know the do's and don'ts as quickly as possible," said added.
Assistance that Ohio attorneys may extend include license application, business formation, compliance to regulations and issues related to intellectual property.
This change is something that lawyers have been waiting for.
Thomas Haren, a lawyer from Westlake, commented that with this amendment, law firms will be able to represent clients in the medical marijuana industry as it would do to other clients.
While the ethics rules have been given a new face, it is foreseen that other issues will be on the rise. Among them is the evident conflict with the federal law.
Haren expressed concern that the amended rule does not touch on matters such as whether lawyers are allowed to use medical marijuana and if they can own or operate a medical marijuana business.
Jackie Borchardt wrote in cleveland.com that the Ohio medical marijuana law may have taken effect last Sep. 8, but it may take two more years before dispensaries become available. Under this law, patients are allowed to use the substance for 20 medical conditions, provided that it was recommended by a doctor.