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Akerman Forms Regulated Substances Task Force in Response to New Legislation

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SOURCE Akerman LLP

MIAMI, May 5, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- In response to new legislation passed by the Florida Legislature legalizing a non-euphoric marijuana extract, Akerman LLP, a top 100 U.S. law firm serving clients across the Americas, today announced the formation of a Regulated Substances Task Force to assist clients as they navigate the myriad laws in the U.S. that govern regulated substances, including medical marijuana.

"Ordinances governing regulated substances, including medical marijuana, are changing rapidly," said Richard Spees, chair of Akerman's Government Affairs and Public Policy Practice Group and office managing partner of the firm's Washington, D.C. office. "The shifting interplay between state and federal laws presents new challenges and unprecedented opportunities for Akerman clients, and we are positioned to help them capitalize on the activity we see taking shape."

The Akerman Task Force includes senior regulatory lawyers and other professionals with experience in advising clients at both the state and federal levels. The group is experienced in a range of compliance, transactional, legislative, and litigation matters, with particular strength in healthcare, pharmacy, alcohol beverage, and banking regulations.

On May 2, Florida lawmakers passed the so-called "Charlotte's Web" bill, which legalizes a non-euphoric marijuana extract, nicknamed "Charlotte's Web," to treat children who suffer from intractable epilepsy. Additional language in the legislation permits the use of medical marijuana to treat cancer, persistent muscle spasms, and other chronic conditions. Governor Rick Scott is expected to sign the legislation into law this spring, which will authorize the cultivation and distribution of non-euphoric medical marijuana treatments in Florida.

"With the passage of the Charlotte's Web bill by the State Legislature, we chose to aggregate Akerman's extensive experience with regulated substances in order to rapidly respond to the needs of our clients and provide counsel on what will become a new regulatory framework," said Jonathan Robbins, Akerman's Regulated Substances Task Force Leader. "The Akerman Regulated Substances Task Force is dedicated to helping our clients confidently address these changes."

Members of the Akerman Task Force are at the forefront of regulatory and compliance efforts within numerous industries, including the highly regulated alcohol beverage industry. In recent months, Akerman expanded its services for domestic and international clients within all three tiers of the alcohol industry, adding nationally recognized lawyers and regulatory consultants with experience in representing national alcohol retailers, domestic and foreign alcohol suppliers, and alcohol importers and distributors.

"The alcohol beverage and tobacco regulatory framework is a sound model that can influence and guide medical marijuana regulatory efforts nationally," said Robert Lewis, chair of Akerman's Alcohol Beverage Industry Group. "Akerman's unique industry knowledge will be of significant value to clients as they face compliance challenges in these new markets."

About Akerman LLP
Akerman LLP is a leading transactions and trial law firm known for its core strengths in middle market M&A, within the financial services and real estate industries, and for a diverse Latin America practice. With more than 600 lawyers and government affairs professionals and a network of 20 offices, it is ranked among the top 100 law firms in the United States by The National Law Journal NLJ 350 (2013). Akerman also is ranked among the top 50 law firms for diversity in The American Lawyer's Diversity Scorecard (2013). More information can be found at akerman.com or twitter.com/akerman_law.

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