The University of Denver christens the nation's first professor of pot law

This image was removed due to legal reasons.

Sports law, criminal law…marijuana law?

The University of Denver in Colorado is launching what it says is the first marijuana law professorship in the country.


Sponsored by Vicente Sederberg LLC, a marijuana law firm in Denver, the three-year professorship will allow Sturm College of Law Professor Sam Kamin to train students to enter the field of marijuana law, the firm said.

“Our state and our school are poised to take a leadership position in this important new area of law and policy,” Martin Katz, the dean of the school said in a statement. “The rest of the country is watching. We need to do this right.”

Colorado, which legalized recreational marijuana in 2012 and licensed the first retail businesses in 2014, has seen a spike in marijuana tourism and other related businesses.

“As the marijuana industry expands in Colorado and around the nation and the world, there is a growing need for attorneys qualified to represent business owners,” Brian Vicente, a founding partner of the firm and a graduate of the law school, said in the statement. “With the launch of this professorship, Sturm College of Law will be taking the lead in providing law students the training they need to enter this new field. We are proud to be able to support their efforts in this area.”

The school will receive $45,000 over the course of three years. Kamin, who has been studying marijuana law and policy for more than half a decade and just finished teaching a course on representing marijuana-using clients, hopes to conduct more research and draw more students to the school.

“We see students reaching out to DU and applying here because they’re interested in the cannabis industry and being a part of it,” Kamin told the Cannabist, “so it has been an effective recruiting tool for us.”


Keen on growing its own pot business, the university will also launch a cannabis journalism class this summer.

Emily DeRuy is a Washington, D.C.-based associate editor, covering education, reproductive rights, and inequality. A San Francisco native, she enjoys Giants baseball and misses Philz terribly.