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Sichenzia Ross Ference Founding Partner Marc Ross Interviews with CFN Media on Business and Law of Marijuana

Press Release – New York, NY – July 8, 2019 – Sichenzia Ross Ference LLP founding partner Marc Ross participated in an interview with CFN Media to discuss the ever changing landscape of the Cannabis industry. The interview took place after an informative panel discussion about the Business and Law of Marijuana at the Cannabis World Congress Business Exposition at the Jacobs Javits Convention Center in New York City. Please find the full interview here.

Sichenzia Ross Ference LLP Launches Cannabis Law Group

Press Release – New York, NY – January 24, 2019 – Sichenzia Ross Ference LLP (“SRF”), a leading corporate securities and full service law firm, today announced that the firm has launched a specialty practice group devoted to servicing the legal needs of cannabis related businesses. SRF’s Cannabis Law Group is led by founding partner Marc J. Ross. The full release can also be found here.

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Client Alert UPDATE: President Trump Signs 2018 Farm Bill Into Law

Dear Clients and Friends,

Just one week after the 2018 Farm Bill decidedly pass through the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, President Trump signed the landmark bill into law today, December 20, 2018. The overhauled Farm Bill is the first piece of federal legislation which unambiguously removes specific permutations of hemp-derived cannabis containing tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC the active ingredient that causes the psychoactive effect of marijuana, from the Controlled Substances Act and moreover, expressly prohibits states from interfering with interstate sale and transport of such products

Client Alert: U.S. Senate and House of Representatives Approve 2018 Farm Bill

The long-awaited resurgence of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, colloquially referred to as the 2018 Farm Bill, became more promising yesterday as its latest iteration received overwhelming bipartisan approval as it decidedly passed through the Senate on Tuesday, by a vote of 87-to-13, and easily passed through the House of Representatives, by a vote of 369-to-47. Now, the reality of the 2018 Farm Bill awaits the hand of President Donald Trump, who is expected to sign it into law before the end of the month.

Most notable, the 2018 Farm Bill is set to legalize hemp, a plant that’s nearly identical to marijuana and is a key source of the highly popular health and wellness ingredient cannabinoid, or CBD. If signed into law, the 803-page Bill would be the most significant change to the Controlled Substances Act (the “CSA”) since 1971, which is illustrative of the federal government’s recognition that outdated federal regulations do not sufficiently distinguish between hemp, including CBD derived from hemp, and CBD derived from marijuana.

In contrast to its predecessor, the voluminous 2018 Farm Bill expressly and unambiguously provides that the definition of “marihuana” under the CSA would be amended to exclude “hemp”, which, in turn, is defined as “the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.” Succinctly, if signed into law, the 2018 Farm Bill would be the first piece of federal legislation that explicitly carves out certain permutations of CBD containing tetrahydrocannabinol (“THC”), the active ingredient that causes the psychoactive effect of marijuana, from the CSA.

Against this backdrop, financial institutions that have been reluctant to establish relationships with hemp-related business because of the inclusion of “hemp” in the CSA’s definition of “marihuana” and the February 14, 2014 guidance from the Department of the Treasury Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, may now turn a new leaf and embrace the estimated $1 billion industry.

Relatedly, and in furtherance of the federal government’s progressive initiative toward the proliferation of the rapidly increasing hemp market, the 2018 Farm Bill also places far-reaching limitations on the States’ abilities to prevent the transport of hemp across interstate commerce. Specifically, the 2018 Farm Bill states, in relevant part, that “No State or Indian Tribe shall prohibit the transportation or shipment of hemp or hemp products,” so long as such hemp or hemp products are produced in accordance with discrete guidelines set forth elsewhere in the 2018 Farm Bill.

Notwithstanding, this monumental shift in cannabis reform should not be misconstrued as a blanket legalization of hemp at the state level. Conversely, the 2018 Farm Bill provides a roadmap for states and Indian tribes to become the “primary regulators” of hemp production by submitting “a plan under which the State or Indian tribe monitors and regulates” the production of hemp within its borders. In this regard, those interested in getting involved in the hemp industry, in any capacity, are cautioned to review the applicable state law, which may carry more stringent restrictions than the 2018 Farm Bill, as well as any other pertinent federal authority.

Finally, it is worth noting that nothing in the 2018 Farm Bill implicates the status quo of marijuana or CBD derived from marijuana, both of which remain illegal under federal law. And while the legal landscape remains somewhat hazy, bipartisan agreement of the 2018 Farm Bill marks a long-overdue, massive step forward for the U.S. hemp industry.

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      Arthur Marcus

      arthur marcus - Securities Law Firm | Sichenzia Ross Ference Kesner LLP

      Partner

      Introduction

      Mr. Marcus was the Chairman of the Securities Law Practice at Gersten Savage LLP where he spent 22 years. Prior to joining Gersten Savage, Mr. Marcus was an associate at Kramer, Levin, Nessen, Kamin & Frankel LLP. Mr. Marcus specializes in advising small and medium sized companies on corporate finance, SEC disclosure matters, corporate governance, and private and public offerings, including equity offerings, high-yield, and convertible offerings. Mr. Marcus has acted as counsel in numerous "SPAC" offerings, and reverse merger transactions. Mr. Marcus also represents publicly-held companies with their Exchange Act filing obligations as well as their relationship with NASDAQ, AMEX and the NYSE. In addition to securities work, Mr. Marcus assists companies with mergers and acquisitions and employment and regulatory matters.

      Representative Transactions

      -Represented Issuer in a $70 million initial public offering and simultaneous listing on the NASDAQ Global Market.

      -Recently, represented a publicly traded broker-dealer in their merger with another publicly traded broker-dealer -Represented Issuer in a $100 million 144A Offering of debt securities.

      -Serves as counsel to a U.S. telecom company which is the only U.S. Company simultaneously listed on the NYSE and the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.

      -Served as underwriter’s counsel in over 50 initial public offerings.

      Speaking Engagements

      Mr. Marcus is a frequent lecturer in Canada on the subject of going public in the United States, having lectured in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal.

      Mr. Marcus was also a lecturer at the 2008 and 2009 PIPES Conference where he discussed the state of the markets for small cap companies.


      Professionals | Arthur Marcus | Sichenzia Ross Friedman Ference LLP

      Education



      Benjamin N. Cardozo, J.D. 1989 - Associate Technical Editor of the Cardoza Arts and Entertainment Law Journal

      State University of New York at Oneonta, B.A., Political Science 1986




      Memberships

      Mr. Marcus is a member of the NY State Bar Association and is a member of the Eagles and Angels Investor Network.

      Bar Admissions

      Mr. Marcus has been admitted to practice in the State of New York since 1990.

      Practice Areas

      Corporate law group

      Sports & entertainment law

      Mergers & Acquisitions

      Legal Services for Entrepreneurs

      Hedge Fund Formation

      Capital Markets

      Securities law group

      Restricted Stock & Beneficial Ownership Filings

      Registration Statements

      Exchange Act Reporting & Compliance Matters

      APOs & Reverse Mergers

      Cannabis Law Group

      Contact Address

      Office: New York

      Phone: (212)-930-9700

      Fax: (212)-930-9725

      Email:
      amarcus@srf.law

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      Darrin M. Ocasio

      darren ocasio - Securities Law Firm | Sichenzia Ross Ference Kesner LLP

      Partner

      Introduction

      Darrin M. Ocasio is a member of the Corporate and Securities Group. His practice is devoted to working on behalf of public and private companies across a diverse array of securities and corporate governance issues that include listing U.S. and non-U.S. companies on national exchanges, mergers and acquisitions, registration statement filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, all aspects of reverse merger transactions and ongoing reporting compliance with the SEC and national exchanges. Among his specialties is corporate finance in the public space.

      Mr. Ocasio joined the firm in 2000 and became partner in 2005.

      Experience

      Mr. Ocasio has taken a leading role in a wide variety of both public and private debt and equity offerings by U.S. and non-U.S. companies. He has represented businesses, investors, placements agents, lenders, and high net worth individuals.


      darren ocasio - Securities Law Firm | Sichenzia Ross Friedman Ference LLP

      Education



      Mr. Ocasio received his Juris Doctor Degree from New York Law School in 2000, where he was a member of the New York Law School Law Review.




      Marc J. Ross

      marc j ross - Securities Law Firm | Sichenzia Ross Ference Kesner LLP

      Partner

      Introduction

      Marc J. Ross is a founding partner of Sichenzia Ross Ference LLP. Mr. Ross represents clients (public and private companies, brokerage firms, registered representatives, high net-worth individuals, and hedge funds) throughout the United States, North America, Asia, Europe and Israel. Mr. Ross advises clients on securities, corporate, regulatory and litigation/arbitration matters.

      In the securities and corporate area, Mr. Ross advises companies, mainly small to mid-cap public companies, with their 1934 Act reporting requirements as well as their NASDAQ, AMEX and NYSE and other exchange listing and compliance matters. He also assists companies wanting to go public, whether through a reverse merger, initial public offering, or company offering, and advises clients on a wide range of investment and capital raising transactions, including private investments in public equity transactions (PIPEs), initial public offerings (IPOs), registered direct offerings (RDs), and shelf offerings.

      In the litigation and regulatory area, Mr. Ross represents clients in commercial/securities litigation and arbitration matters nationwide from routine lawsuits to complex cases, including multi-district litigation, class and derivative actions, injunctive actions, and arbitration proceedings conducted through FINRA, the AAA, and JAMS. Mr. Ross also counsels clients through the arduous and often frustrating process of civil regulatory and possibly criminal investigations, whether the client is the subject of an investigation by a self-regulatory organization, a state agency, or a federal agency. In particular, he regularly appears before the SEC, FINRA, and state securities agencies in connections with investigations, including responding to FINRA 8210 requests, appearing for On-The-Record examinations, preparing “Wells” submissions, negotiating Acceptance, Waiver & Consent agreements, and defending clients in enforcement proceedings.

      Experience

      Prior to founding Sichenzia Ross Ference LLP, Mr. Ross was associated with several large and distinguished law firms, including Willkie Farr & Gallagher.

      Adjunct Professor

      Hofstra University Law School

      Mr. Ross teaches a course which introduces students to the rapidly-developing legal questions encountered in the operation of marijuana-related businesses. The course uses a fictional business, Cannabis Inc., to explore (1) the interplay between state laws legalizing recreational and/or medical marijuana uses and the Federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA); (2) enforcement and application of other regulatory regimes governing the operation of marijuana-related businesses, such as banking and securities laws; and (3) the ethical considerations for an attorney advising a client engaged in a marijuana-related business. Students are encouraged to develop normative arguments regarding the legalization of marijuana.

      As part of the Cannabis Law Group, the firm will feature a regular blog called “The Weekly Roll Up,” which will discuss and highlight new developments in the marijuana industry.  Also, as a result of Marc’s course program at Hofstra, SRF’s Cannabis Law Group plans to feature the “Professor’s Corner”, where Marc and his students will post position statements on issues covered in class, and enable other students to comment on those positions.  The firm invites the public to participate in what the firm anticipates will be vibrant and robust discussions.


      marc j ross - Securities Law Firm | Sichenzia Ross Friedman Ference LLP

      Education







      Mr. Ross graduated with distinction from Hofstra University School of Law in 1987, where he was an Associate Editor of Law Review and President of the Trial Advocacy Club. During law school,

      Mr. Ross received several awards for excellence, including the William F. Levine Scholarship Award from Hofstra University and an award from the American Trial Lawyers Association.




      Bar Admissions

      Mr. Ross is licensed to appear before courts of the State of New York as well as the United States Supreme Court, First and Second Circuits, and District Courts for the Southern and Eastern District of New York.

      Other Activities

      Mr. Ross also regularly appears before the Securities and Exchange Commission, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and various state and federal agencies.

      Practice Areas

      Corporate law group

      Mergers & Acquisitions

      Legal Services for Entrepreneurs

      Hedge Fund Formation

      Broker Dealer Regulation

      Business litigation & arbitration

      Securities law group

      Restricted Stock & Beneficial Ownership Filings

      Registration Statements

      Exchange Act Reporting & Compliance Matters

      APOs & Reverse Mergers

      Asia practice group

      Israel practice group
      Cannabis Law Group

      Contact Address

      Office: New York

      Phone: (212)-930-9700

      Direct: (212) 398-5541

      Fax: (212)-930-9725

      Email:
      mross@srf.law

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