The Ohio Supreme Court is making moves to change the professional rules of conduct for lawyers in the state to allow them to represent medical marijuana businesses. Earlier this month, the Ohio Board of Professional Conduct issued an advisory opinion that warned lawyers to steer clear of medical marijuana businesses.
On Aug. 18, 2016, the court directed its staff to begin immediately on a draft amendment to the Ohio Rules of Professional Conduct that would clarify the services a lawyer can and cannot offer to clients involved with the medical marijuana industry.
“Although non-binding, the Court is aware that the advisory opinion has led some lawyers to question whether they can assist clients in complying with the new law,” Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor in a statement. “The Court hopes to act expeditiously in addressing their concerns and, if necessary, amend ethics rules to clarify the role of attorneys in light of the new law.”
O’Connor went on to say that the court will move as quickly as possible to fix the issue without causing further challenges. Once the draft amendment is complete, the court will consider the proposal and, if approved, it will publish the new rules for public comment.