Judith D. Cassel

Partner / Lawyer

Judith D. Cassel advises cannabis clients in all areas of the law including:

  • Permit Applications
  • Administrative and Commercial Litigation and Appeals
  • Regulatory Compliance
  • Financial Transactions
  • Contract Negotiations 
  • Grants Applications

As a result of her MBA, JD, and experience as a corporate 500 executive, Judith knows what it takes to successfully operate a business including the legal challenges and opportunities that can make or break a cannabis company. She has negotiated mergers and acquisitions, reorganized operations, refinanced distressed companies, obtained grant funding, created successful applications for permits, gained regulatory approvals, and rebranded product channels.

Judith is licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and Ohio.  Additionally, she has successfully consulted for cannabis companies in Virginia, West Virginia, Georgia, Utah, Illinois, Oklahoma, Massachusetts, and Maryland. 


Representative Matters

  • Represented Pennsylvania medical marijuana grower/processors and laboratory in challenging the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s regulation requiring two separate laboratories test cannabis product at the two separate testing phases.  Green Analytics, LLC et al. v. Pa. Dept. of Health (Pa. Cmwlth. 2023). (Court ruling that the “Petitioners’ right to judgment is clear and … the Department’s regulation was invalid.”)
  • Represented marijuana industry in challenge to Chapter 20 regulations in AES Compassionate Care, LLC et al. v. Levine (Pa. Cmwlth. 2018) (Department of Health’s Office of Medical Marijuana’s medical marijuana research permit regulations preliminarily enjoined as inconsistent with the statute and violative of delegation doctrine).
  • Represented medical marijuana patient in challenge to county housing authority’s Section 8 determination based on patient’s medical marijuana use and subsequent appeal before the Commonwealth Court in Mary Cease v. Housing Auth. of Indiana Cty., Docket No. 519 CD 2019.
  • Represented medical marijuana industry group in submission of amicus curiae brief to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in McKelvey v. Pennsylvania Dep’t of Health et al., Docket Nos. 3 – 5 MAP 2020.
  • Represented Cannabis Investment Fund in 2019 regulatory due diligence regarding construction and operational funding.
  • Represented publicly traded international marijuana company in 2018 acquisition of Pennsylvania medical marijuana entity.
  • Assisted clients in securing licenses in New Jersey’s adult-use program.
  • Assisted clients in securing licenses in Illinois’ adult-use program.
  • Assisted clients in securing licenses in Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program.
  • Assisted cannabis laboratories in accreditation and licensing in Pennsylvania and Ohio.
  • Assisted clients in securing licenses in Ohio’s medical marijuana program.
  • Assisted clients in securing licenses in West Virginia’s medical marijuana program.
  • Assisted clients in securing licenses in Utah’s medical cannabis program.
  • Assisted clients in securing licenses in Maryland’s medical marijuana program.
  • Submitted comments to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Docket No. FDA-2018-N-3685, “International Drug Scheduling; Convention on Psychotropic Substances; Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs” in support of the cannabis industry.
  • Submitted comments to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency’s proposed amendments of its regulations governing the bulk marijuana manufacturers program in Docket No. DEA-2020-0008.
  • Submitted letter to U.S. Secretary of HUD on allowing medical marijuana patients as residents in Section 8 Housing

Education

J.D., Dickinson School of Law of the Pennsylvania State University

M.B.A., magna cum laude Lebanon Valley College 

B.A., The Pennsylvania State University


Professional Affiliations

Co-chair of the PBA Medical Marijuana & Hemp Law Committee for the 2022-2024 bar years

Adjunct Professor, Widener University Commonwealth Law School, Medical Marijuana course, Spring 2020

NORML, Legal Committee Member

National Cannabis Bar Association

Pennsylvania Bar Association

Lancaster Bar Association

Nurse Family Partnership Advisory Board, a Division of University of Pennsylvania’s Lancaster General Hospital

Law & Government Institute Advisory Board, Widener University Commonwealth Law School

PBA, Medical Marijuana & Hemp Law Committee, Legislative Subcommittee Leader

PBA, Public Utility Law Section, Council Member


Honors & Distinctions

Selected as a Global Top 200 Cannabis Lawyer

2024 Medical Marijuana & Hemp Advocate Award – awarded to someone who has gone above and beyond to fight to resolve issues that impact the MMJ and Hemp programs.

Central Penn Business Journal’s Top 40 Under 40

Honors in Negotiations and Russian Business Law

NCAA Division I All-American and five-time record holder Track and Field Penn State University


Publications 

Money for Municipal Authorities, THE AUTHORITY, June 2024

Disclaimers and Informed Consent in the Medical Marijuana Industry, THE LEGAL INTELLIGENCER, June 7, 2018.

Medical Marijuana as One Solution to the Opioid Epidemic in Pennsylvania, THE PENNSYLVANIA LAWYER, Jan/Feb 2018.

Pennsylvania creates an ideal market for investors, MARIJUANA VENTURE, October 2016, at 144.


Presentations

Widener Law School – Business Law Course – guest speaker June 17, 2024

Medical Marijuana and Hemp Law Symposium (April 12, 2024)

Pa Bar Association’s forum on Psychedelic drugs Psilocybin – Mushrooms Are the Next Legal Frontier (11/22/23)

The Intersection of Medical Marijuana and Employment Law (September 8, 2023)

Global Confectionary Conference, Infusing Cannabis into Edibles (April 12, 2022)

Pennsylvania Paralegal Association, Update on Medical Marijuana (March 8, 2022).

Medical Marijuana and Hemp Symposium (September 9, 2021)

Medical Marijuana and Hemp Symposium (October 8, 2020)

Widener FDA Matters, Annual Food and Drug Law Conference (April 3, 2019)

Dauphin County Bar Association, Separating the Weed from the Chaff (Oct. 30, 2018)

Pennsylvania Bar Institute, The PA Medical Marijuana Industry: Year in Review (Aug. 17, 2018)

Cannabis Expertise, Pennsylvania 4-Hour Certification Course (2017-Present)

Medical Cannabis Educational Summit, “Energy Issues in the Growing Medical Marijuana Industry” (March 5, 2018)

Widener Commonwealth Law School, 2018 Transactional LawMeet (Feb. 23, 2018)

Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Next Steps for Medical Marijuana in PA: Evolving Issues in a Growing Industry (Oct. 25, 2017)

Lancaster Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Conference, The Mother/Baby War on Opioids: Hope and Healing (Oct. 4, 2017)

Panel Member, WITF, Smart Talk, “Medical Cannabis” (July 26, 2017)

Lancaster Bar Association, “Planting the Seed: Legalities & Realities of Medical Marijuana in Pennsylvania” (June 13, 2017)

Widener Law Commonwealth, “Opioid Epidemic: Law and Policy” (Mar. 29, 2017)


Mentions

HUD Freed From Pa. Pot Patients’ Suit Over Housing Rebuff (June 17, 2024)

Spotlight PA, Ed Mahon, ‘5 Ways Pa.’s Marijuana Laws Could Change in 2023’ (Feb. 13, 2023).

Philadelphia Inquirer, ‘Could 2023 be the Year of Legal Weed in Pennsylvania?’ Cynthia Greer (October 10, 2022).

Aleeza Furman, ‘All Things Marijuana’: Cannabis Law Attorneys in Pa.
Keeping Up With Ever-Changing Landscape, The Legal Intelligencer (Sep. 27, 2021).

Colin Deppen, One week into Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana sales, here’s what you need to know, The Incline (Feb. 23, 2018).

Bart Schaneman, Pennsylvania medical marijuana program on track, but legal issues loom, Marijuana Business Daily (October 3, 2017).

Omar Sacirbey, Bart Schaneman and John SchroyerWeek in Review: Massachusetts rec logjam, Pennsylvania MMJ grower licensees & Oregon testing woes, Marijuana Business Daily (June 23, 2017).

Bart SchanemanNew Market: Fierce competition for licenses in Pennsylvania’s emerging MMJ Program, Marijuana Business Daily (Feb. 9, 2017).