Former Duane Morris cannabis group co-lead sets up industry-focused boutique

David Feldman launches Feldman Legal Advisors in New York to focus on the cannabis and psychedelics markets
A large number of cannabis flowers the hands of Medetsinsky employee concepts of profuse cultivation

Dmytro Tyshchenko; Shutterstock

The former co-lead of Duane Morris’s cannabis industry group, David Feldman, has launched a new law firm to complement his existing advisory business that supports legal hemp and marijuana growers.

The New York-based firm – Feldman Legal Advisors – will focus on the emerging US and global cannabis and psychedelics markets, advising startups and venture capital funds on financing, M&A, disputes and patent-related matters. Feldman left Duane Morris in 2019 to join New York boutique Hiller, during which time he co-founded Skip Intro Advisors to provide legal, strategic, branding and regulatory consulting to the cannabis industry. He departed Hiller this month.

Feldman said: “I am always happiest on the cutting edge, whether in helping bring IPO alternatives into legitimacy and transparency, or over the last decade bringing cannabis and psychedelics into the mainstream.”

Feldman will be joined by IP lawyer and scientist Gretchen Temeles and associate Melissa Greenberg. Temeles and Greenberg both join from Hiller, with Temeles focusing on patent and licensing issues in the cannabis and psychedelics space and Greenberg focusing on the wider cannabis and wellness markets.

Having previously worked in the IPO space, championing alternative strategies such as reverse mergers and direct listings, Feldman transitioned to the cannabis market in 2013. He has been dubbed a ‘cannabis law trailblazer’ by the National Law Journal, most recently advising on the sale of medical marijuana dispensary group Keystone Canna Remedies to cannabis operator TerrAscend in a deal worth $70m.

Earlier this year, former Burns & Levinson partner Katrina Skinner joined specialist regulatory and compliance firm Simplifya, which focuses on the fast-growing legal cannabis industry. Skinner was previously general counsel at cannabis banking services firm Safe Harbor Services.

In July, New Mexico, Connecticut and Virginia became the latest US states to allow recreational use of cannabis, boosting the number of states where it is legal to 18, plus Washington DC.

However, it remains illegal at the federal level, where it is classed as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act, leading to a host of highly complex legal and compliance issues for a sector which generated sales of $17.5bn last year.

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