University News

Professor Julie Steiner Helps Put Western New England at Forefront of Massachusetts Cannabis Law Dialogue

Published: May 22, 2019 | Categories: Alumni, Faculty
Julie Steiner headshot

With the legalization of marijuana in Massachusetts, there is an increasing need for expertise and education in the emerging legal specialty of Cannabis Law. Now, through the early introduction of coursework related to the topic and her own scholarship, Professor of Law Julie E. Steiner has put Western New England University on the map for marijuana policy expertise and education.

As a result, Western New England has become a host location for some of the Cannabis Control Commission’s Regulatory Public Hearings. The Commission held hearings in the J. Girard Pellegrini Moot Courtroom in October 2018, February 2019, and will return again on June 25, 2019. In February 2019, the City of Springfield retained Steiner to serve as a consultant to develop a process to solicit and select marijuana shops.

In announcing the appointment, Mayor Domenic Sarno stated: “Her background and experience as an Attorney, Land Use Planning, and in particular, her specialty in Cannabis Law and Policy, will help assure our process is fair, efficient, and thorough.” Professor Steiner also serves as a member of the City of Springfield’s Selection Committee for the first adult-use marijuana licenses.

A four-time Catherine J. Jones Professor of the Year award recipient, Steiner’s wide–ranging expertise has made her a sought-after speaker. In February she participated on a panel at the Albany State Capital titled “Challenges in Legal Marijuana,” sponsored by Albany Law School’s Government Law Center. Among other things, she has been interviewed on New England Public Radio; done a series of public educational panels along with members of the Cannabis Control Commission, Cannabis Advisory Board, and practicing bar; advised educational institutions on the topic of drug policy; and lectured in the law school’s Mini Law School and Road Show programs.