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Opportunity Knocks: Keys to Success in Applying for General Adult Use Licenses in New York


Join us for a comprehensive webinar panel discussion about New York's adult-use cannabis 
licensing and application process. Our panel of experts will shed light on the lawsuits that have 
obstructed and ultimately shaped the rollout of the state’s general licensing process, explain the 
intricacies and nuances of this application process, and provide tips and best practices for 
navigating it effectively. 
 
Key discussion points will include: 
 
An    Overview    of    the    Legal    Landscape: Our experts will present a comprehensive overview of the 
lawsuits that have impacted the adult-use cannabis licensing process in New York. They will 
discuss the key legal battles, their outcomes, and their implications on the industry's 
development. 
 
Navigating    the    Application    Process: New York’s licensing application process is unlike any other 
adult-use jurisdiction we’ve seen. Understanding the nuances of the New York licensing 
application process is crucial for success. Our panel will provide practical guidance on preparing 
and submitting applications, as well as tips and strategies for overcoming potential hurdles. 
 
Social    Equity    Considerations: New York's commitment to social equity in the cannabis industry 
is paramount to its success. The panel will explore how the legal landscape and licensing 
process have evolved to prioritize equity and inclusion, while discussing the challenges that 
remain. 
 
Future    Outlook: Looking ahead, our experts will share their perspectives on the future of adult-
use cannabis licensing in New York and the opportunities and challenges it presents for industry 
stakeholders.

Fatima Afia, Associate, Rudick Law Group, PLLC

Fatima Afia is a cannabis attorney and civil litigator at Rudick Law Group, PLLC, with a background in commercial and business litigation, land use and landmarks law matters, and disability insurance law. As a litigator, Fatima was an instrumental member of the litigation team behind Washington v. Barr, a pro-bono lawsuit brought against the federal government that sought to declare the federal law criminalizing cannabis unconstitutional. As part of her work in Washington v. Barr, Fatima led the effort in securing overwhelming amicus support before the U.S. Supreme Court from seven members of Congress, 19 disparate and highly regarded organizations, and two eminent cannabis researchers and scientists. In connection with her disability insurance work, she has helped secure and maintain disability benefits for clients from some of the largest disability insurance companies in the United States, playing a vital role in the firm's successful administrative appeal against Unum Insurance Company which resulted in an award of approximately $1 million in retroactive benefits for the client. 

As a cannabis attorney, Fatima assists cannabis clients navigate the legal cannabis and hemp industry in the areas of corporate law and regulatory compliance, business transactions, litigation, and state licensing applications in various jurisdictions including New York, Massachusetts, and New Jersey. Fatima is also a social equity advocate, providing instrumental testimony to the Cannabis Control Commission in Massachusetts in 2019 which resulted in an expedited license application-review process for women-and-minority-owned businesses that were unfairly excluded from the regulatory definition of a social equity applicant. Fatima is also an article contributor for Marijuana Venture, has regularly organized and chaired CLE panels and events for the International Cannabis Bar Association (“INCBA”), and is the Co-Chair of INCBA’s CLE Committee. She was the Moot Court Winner at the Medical Cannabis Conference held at Columbia University in 2019, and in 2021 was named a Rising Star by Super Lawyers Magazine.

Fatima attended Brooklyn Law School where she graduated in the top 20% percent of her graduating class. 

Lauren Rudick, Managing Principal, Rudick Law Group, PLLC

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.

Neil Willner, Co-Chair Cannabis Practice Group, Royer Cooper Cohen Braunfeld LLC

Neil M. Willner is the Co-Chair of the Cannabis Group at Royer Cooper Cohen Braunfeld. Neil counsels hemp and marijuana companies operating on all tiers of the supply chain on the complex patchwork of state and federal regulation. Relying on his deep knowledge of state-specific marijuana and hemp rules, Neil assists clients in strategically navigating the disharmonized industry. Neil also serves as regulatory counsel to the American Trade Association for Cannabis and Hemp’s CBD Task Force and Cannabis Beverage Council where he quarterbacks policy development and the drafting of responsive comments to state and federal agencies. Finally, Neil serves on the Executive Committee for the New York State Bar Association's Cannabis Section, chairing the Regulatory Sub-Committee where he leads the section's comments to state regulation. 


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