Perkins Coie has added Andrew J. Kline, a cannabis industry association official, to its Denver office as more states allow marijuana to be used for recreation or medicine.
Kline is a senior counsel in the commercial litigation and cannabis law group. He has been a federal prosecutor, an Obama administration adviser on crime and intellectual property, and counsel to Joe Biden when he was a U.S. senator.
The hire comes after voters in November approved ballot measures to legalize marijuana in five states—Arizona, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota. They add to the 33 that already allow it for medical or recreational purposes.
“The cannabis industry continues to rapidly evolve and is now a $15 billion industry,” said Barak Cohen, firmwide chair of Perkins Coie’s Cannabis Industry Group, in a statement. “We’re truly excited to welcome Andrew to our growing team.”
Among Perkins Coie’s clients is medical marijuana firm Liberty Health Sciences Inc., which along with investors this month asked a federal judge in New York to preliminarily approve a settlement resolving self-dealing allegations.
Kline’s most recent job was public policy director for the National Cannabis Industry Association. He was previously president of the National Association of Cannabis Businesses.
In addition to advising Biden and the Obama administration, he earlier worked as an assistant U.S. attorney in the District of Columbia and a federal prosecutor in the Justice Department civil rights division’s criminal section.