Melissa A. Chapaska represents clients in front of various administrative agencies, using her experience in commercial contract drafting, detailed application preparation, and complex regulatory compliance. Melissa also represents clients in appeals before Pennsylvania and New Jersey state courts and federal courts.
Prior to working at Cannabis Law PA, Melissa interned with the United States Department of Justice and the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry where she researched and analyzed complex regulatory legal issues. During her time as a Certified Legal Intern and Clinic Leader with the Harrisburg Civil Law Clinic, Melissa gained experience guiding clients through the legal process.
Melissa is licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
American Bar Association
Pennsylvania Bar Association YLD Liaison, Marijuana and Hemp Law Committee
Dauphin County Bar Association Chair, Government Law Section
University of Pittsburgh Alumni Association
James S. Bowman American Inn of Court
- Represented medical marijuana company in appealing New Jersey Alternative Treatment Center application denial in Matter of the Application for Medicinal Marijuana Alternative Treatment Center for Pangaea Health and Wellness, LLC, 465 N.J. Super. 343 (App. Div. 2020) (vacating New Jersey Department of Health’s denial of medical marijuana grower and dispensary applications and remanding to address application scoring anomalies), on remand before the New Jersey Department of Health, and in Matter of Cannabis Regul. Comm’n Disqualification of Bloom Medicinals of PA, LLC, No. A-0569-21, 2023 WL 3237339 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. May 4, 2023) (unreported) (holding that New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission erred in disqualifying certain applicants based on those applicants’ approval under a subsequent Request for Applications, but affirming the application denials based on the Commission’s remand).
A Patient Walks into a Dispensary: Medical Marijuana Compliance Issues, FOR THE DEFENSE, January 2020.
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.
Congressional spending and what it means for marijuana, MARIJUANA VENTURE, November 2016, 210-214.
Pennsylvania creates ideal market for investors, MARIJUANA VENTURE, October 2016, 144.
The Immigration Gamble: Eliminating the Diversity Visa Program, 5 WIDENER J.L., ECON. & RACE 67 (2014).
Dauphin County Bar Association, Government Law Compliance Session – “Pennsylvania Right to Know Law Update” (Aug. 17, 2021)
Widener University Delaware Law School, 11th Annual Food and Drug Law Symposium – All Matters FDA (March 24, 2021)
Widener University Delaware Law School, 10th Annual Food and Drug Law CLE – All Matters FDA, “Hemp, CBD, Marijuana” (Oct. 21, 2020)
Dauphin County Bar Association, Government Law Compliance Session – “Pennsylvania Right to Know Law” (Aug. 6, 2020)
Monroe County Bench Bar Conference, “Medical Marijuana in Pennsylvania – Review of the First Two Years” (Sept. 27, 2019)
Dauphin County Bar Association, “Separating the Weed from the Chaff” (Oct. 30, 2018)
Widener University Delaware Law School, “FDLA Medical Marijuana Dine & Learn” (Oct. 25, 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).
Energypath 2017, “Marijuana Grower Energy Use: Looming Issues in Pennsylvania” (July 27, 2017).
Lancaster Bar Association, “Planting the Seed: Legalities & Realities of Medical Marijuana in Pennsylvania” (June 13, 2017).
Lara Greenberg, CBS21, “PA Medical Marijuana | PTSD only eligible mental health condition on list” (Nov. 2, 2017).
J.D., Widener University School of Law, 2014
Honors and Distinctions
- Administrative/Constitutional Law Certificate with Honors
- Outstanding Law & Government Student Award
- Public Interest Initiative, Pro Bono Distinction
B.A., Cum Laude, Political Science and Philosophy, University of Pittsburgh, 2007