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Benesch

Chair, Cannabis Industry Group

Bryna Dahlin is a partner and chair of the Cannabis Industry Group at Benesch, where she works on the cutting edge of an emerging industry known for its regulatory complexity and challenging legal and business landscape. For nearly a decade, she has advised companies in all sectors of the cannabis space including growers, manufacturers, distributors, dispensaries, investors and ancillary businesses. She also advises non-cannabis companies that are impacted by cannabis laws. Her clients are nationwide and range from new entrants in the space to publicly-traded companies operating across dozens of states.

Bryna enjoys helping clients achieve their business objectives and prides herself on gaining a keen understanding of their operations. She offers real-world guidance that is clear, practical, and always focused on achieving client objectives. She understands the challenges in the cannabis industry and loves nothing more than seeing her clients grow and meet their business goals.

Bryna advises clients across the country on issues of regulatory compliance, risk avoidance, company formation and structuring, licensing, corporate and transactional matters, including mergers and acquisitions, advertising and product packaging, brand strategy and intellectual property protection. She also performs legal due diligence for investors in the cannabis space, and guides hemp, health and beauty brand clients in navigating Cannabidiol (CBD) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) laws.

Bryna is also a skilled trial lawyer who uses her skills to help clients avoid and mitigate risk, and she does not hesitate to litigate when the circumstances call for it. Beyond cannabis, she has represented prominent food, pharmaceutical, entertainment, advertising, technology and consumer product companies in an array of high-profile cases.

Bryna’s career trajectory reflects her commitment to pursuing her professional aspirations regardless of the obstacles. When the cannabis industry was in its infancy, she left her position with a global law firm and co-founded the first cannabis law firm in Illinois before later bringing this practice to Benesch. Bryna serves as pro bono counsel to the Chicago chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). She is a founding member of the Illinois Cannabis Bar Association, and member of the International Cannabis Bar, National Cannabis Industry Associations, and Illinois Women in Cannabis.

Bryna has lectured across the country on the ever-evolving landscape in cannabis law and served as an adjunct professor at Chicago-Kent College of Law, where she taught Illinois’ first law course on cannabis. She is nationally ranked by Chambers & Associates for cannabis law, is a Global Top 200 cannabis lawyer, and her cannabis practice group is recognized by the prestigious Legal 500. Past honors have included Crain’s Notable Women in Law, Super Lawyers, and the National Law Journal’s 40 under 40 in Chicago.

Rudick Law Group, PLLC

Attorney

As a cannabis attorney, Jessica Gonzalez assists cannabis clients navigating the legal cannabis and hemp industry in the tristate area. She has counseled start up and medium sized cannabis/CBD companies on various matters, including corporate entity set-up, state and local compliance, private offering documents and applications for state cannabis licenses. Jessica also counsels corporate and individual clients on intellectual property procurement, prosecution, protection and enforcement for domestic and international trademarks. As cannabis advocate, Jessica has presented on both the municipal and state level on topics such as social justice/social equity, IP protection, cannabis legislation, state and federal banking and state cannabis licensing.

Rudick Law Group, PLLC

Managing Principal

Lauren previously co-founded of Hiller, PC's cannabis law practice. What started as a
passion project in patient rights during a brief residency in California, Lauren has become
one of the Nation’s preeminent cannabis attorneys. Her practice is centered upon the
representation of start-up organizations and investors. With her diverse background in
corporate law, litigation, and land-use and zoning, she provides clients with the most up-
to-date information necessary to operate and invest in successful cannabis and ancillary
businesses. Lauren has run successful applications in competitive medical cannabis states
and adult-use markets alike, and represents a broad spectrum of cannabis and hemp
clients, including plant-touching breeders, cultivators, processors, and product
manufacturers; investors, including family offices and angels; and multiple ancillary
businesses, including networking associations, packaging businesses, ingredient
manufacturers, medical professionals, and industry consultants. Lauren is also a member
of the legal team that brought an action against former Attorney General Sessions and the
federal government seeking, among other things, a declaration that the mis-classification
of cannabis as a Schedule I drug is unconstitutional, on, among other things, due process,
equal protection, free speech, and commerce clause grounds.


Lauren is an Expert Contributor to Marijuana Venture Magazine, a frequent
speaker at national and local cannabis events, including, among others, MJ Biz Con, the
Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition, NCIA, Emerald Cup, and the Women
Grow Leadership Summit and provides pro bono legal and advocacy services to the
Cannabis Cultural Association, among others. Lauren also serves on the Executive
Committee of the Board of Directors for the International Cannabis Bar Association, as
the organization’s Treasurer. Lauren enjoys an extensive network of cannabis
professionals nationwide, enabling her to provide full legal and business services to her
clients.

INCBA

Former Executive Director

Experienced attorney, compliance professional, and business strategist with a focus on all things that live at the intersection of law and cannabis. 

My former position as the leader of the International Cannabis Bar Association allows me to see the complex legal landscape of the cannabis industry emerge in real time at the local, state, federal, and international level. My background in complex financial regulation gave me the tools to understand and unwind complex regulatory structures and my deep curiosity around emerging markets drives me to explore and understand the unique rules, opportunities, players, and iterations of the developing cannabis industry. 

D.B. McCracken Law, LLC dba Dogwood Advisors

Attorney

Miller Johnson

Member

Vicente LLP

Josh Kappel is a founding partner of Vicente Sederberg specializing in risk assessment for
multinational corporations and financial transactions in the highly regulated cannabis industry. He also routinely provides advice to patients, caregivers, and businesses about cannabis, licensing, regulatory compliance, general business and transactional law, and the intersection of state and federal law. Recently Josh has focused his time on the two largest cannabis markets in the world: California and Canada.

Saul Ewing LLP

Partner - Cannabis Law Practice Co-Chair

Jonathan Havens is the co-chair of Saul Ewing's Cannabis Law and Food, Beverage & Agribusiness Practices. Companies in the cannabis (both hemp and marijuana), life sciences, food and beverage, and cosmetics industries turn to Jonathan for advice on how to get and keep their products on the market.

Since 2019, Chambers USA has recognized Jonathan as a leading lawyer in cannabis law. In 2021, Law360 selected Jonathan as a cannabis law rising star, and in 2018, the National Law Journal named Jonathan to its inaugural Cannabis Law Trailblazers list. He has been quoted by or authored pieces for The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Reuters, CNBC, WIRED, MarketWatch, Engadget, Law360, High Times Magazine, and Marijuana Business Daily.

Jonathan counsels clients on regulatory, compliance, enforcement, and transactional matters related to products regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). His experience also includes matters involving the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), state and municipal agencies, and state attorneys general.

Jonathan's deep understanding of the complex requirements that govern myriad products is enhanced by his experience working in government and on Capitol Hill. Before entering private practice, Jonathan served as regulatory counsel with the FDA, where he focused on promotion, advertising, and labeling. Prior to law school, Jonathan served as a legislative aide in both the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives.

Clark Hill PLC

Member

Bob Hoban sits at the center of the world’s largest commercial cannabis industry network; a cannabis industry ecosystem that he has painstakingly cultivated since 2008.  Since the cannabis industry became commercialized, he has been widely credited for creating the class of lawyers now known as “cannabis attorneys.”  He is known for the tremendous value that he places in his relationships and is not satisfied unless he can help his business clients thrive in this burgeoning global industry; an industry he has played a significant role in establishing.  Bob has earned a reputation as a cannabis industry dealmaker representing start-ups, entrepreneurs, and companies in all stages of development.  Mr. Hoban has truly transcended the practice of law and is regularly involved in assembling and structuring large scale cannabis industry M&A transactions.  Above all else, Bob is a cannabis industry expert.  

 

Beginning in 2008, he deliberately constructed the Hoban Law Group (HLG) to become the world’s leading full-service commercial cannabis industry law firm; the first of its kind.  Since that time, HLG has indeed become the world’s leading cannabis industry law firm, with offices in seventeen states and ten nations abroad, and over fifty attorneys who specialize in all aspects of the commercial practice surrounding the cannabis industry. For nearly ten years, HLG has represented the cannabis industry’s titans in every aspect of the commercial cannabis industry around the world.  And he is largely responsible for the establishment and growth of the CBD industry due to his legal strategies, litigation matters, and policy efforts executed on behalf of HLG clients.    

 

From 2010-2016, Bob served as one of the Nation’s first cannabis policy instructors at the University of Denver, where he regularly lectured regarding cannabis topics (government regulations, public policy, and research-based policy courses), and where he led a University-sanctioned research practicum concerning the efficacy of marijuana regulation; the first of its kind in the U.S.  He then taught several international travel courses concerning the emergence of the global cannabis industry.  Because of this academic background, Bob has been asked to work with dozens of governments across the U.S., Asia, the E.U., and Latin America (over thirty different countries) on crafting their commercial cannabis public policy solutions (legislation and regulations).  And he has served on a variety of national, state, and local task forces related to cannabis policy issues.         

 

He has consistently been recognized as one of the most influential people in the global cannabis industry by a variety of organizations and publications over the course of the past ten-plus years.  Since 2013, Bob has achieved the Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating, awarded to only those lawyers with the highest ethical standards and professional ability.  He was recently named a “Cannabis Law Trailblazer” by the National Law Journal, and he has been consistently recognized as one of “Denver’s Top Cannabis Lawyers for nearly a decade.    

 

Bob frequently appears in media coverage as a legal expert on cannabis and has been a keynote speaker at dozens of cannabis events around the world.  He has conducted hundreds of interviews regarding marijuana policy for international, national, state, and local media outlets.  Major media outlets like the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, CNN, Rolling Stone, Forbes, VICE, MSNBC, and Bloomberg all have called on Bob for his unique perspective on the cannabis industry.

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