Armada Law Corp is honored to welcome our newest team member, Matt Kumin. Matt has a very impressive history in the California cannabis industry as follows:
Matt Kumin, a California licensed attorney, began working on medical cannabis issues in 1997 in the San Francisco Bay Area after California voters passed the world’s first law protecting/immunizing medical cannabis patients from criminal prosecution (in 1996). In the decades that followed, he litigated numerous cannabis-related civil and criminal cases in California state and federal courts and in other states. Due to the lack of attorneys handling cannabis matters in the early years of cannabis legalization, Matt necessarily became an expert in numerous areas of law that touched cannabis including zoning, intellectual property, attorney ethics, lending, banking etc. He has also provided expert witness testimony and case evaluation in both civil and criminal matters. In 2022, he was named a “Super Lawyer” in the cannabis category in Northern California.
Matt led a team of attorneys in the seminal federal tax court case that was the first to address the federal income taxation of medical cannabis. CHAMP v. Commissioner of the IRS, 128 T.C. 173 (2007). He also successfully obtained injunctions against Sonoma County and the City of Los Angeles invalidating ordinances that discriminated against medical cannabis patients. 1 He also led a team of attorneys in 2011 that sued the US government over the scheduling of cannabis. Sacramento Nonprofit Collective v. Holder, 552 F.App’x 680 (9th Cir. 2014).
Besides representing clients in cannabis-related civil and criminal matters, he has also advised and educated doctors, patients, government policy-makers, lawyers, accounting professionals, cannabis entrepreneurs, investors, and numerous stakeholders regarding cannabis laws, liability and pathways to legalization. He is an industry expert and insider as well as a cannabis legalization advocate.
Kumin counts numerous firsts in his 25+ year career as a cannabis attorney and consultant. For example, his Firm became the first multi-state, cannabis law firm in the US in 2009 when he opened an office in Colorado, helping meet that State’s burgeoning demand for qualified legal services for cannabis operators. He assisted his colleagues there as they developed strategies to open dispensaries and expand the law to allow for greater legalization. Those efforts culminated in June, 2010 when Colorado became the first state to enact state-wide regulations for medical cannabis operations. At the same time he also opened an office in LA, advising clients and attorneys there and litigating cutting edge matters.
A lifetime member of the NORML Legal Committee and with a background as a labor and community organizer, Matt formed a Political Action Committee (PAC) in California (California Cannabis Voice) in 2013. That PAC, with chapters throughout the State, helped pass and influence numerous local ordinances relating to cannabis operations (including in Humboldt County) and influenced the 2015 state law regulating medical cannabis.
Besides challenging prohibitionist laws and policies in courts and legislative settings, he regularly advises government regulators and elected officials in jurisdictions throughout the world considering new laws legalizing cannabis. Most recently, he has been advising the government of Jersey (a British Crown Protectorate in the English Channel) on its cannabis laws and strategies.
Matt is also a consultant, teacher and educator, lecturing and speaking in the US and internationally about cannabis, most recently in Berlin in 2022 at the International Cannabis Business Conference. He also studies cannabis consumers, cannabis markets and the science of cannabis, writing regularly about markets, investing, policy and economic trends and issues in the cannabis world.2
Finally, Matt is a shareholder and sits on the board of a California licensed cannabis cultivation operation.
- County of Sonoma v. Superior Court, 190 Cal.App.4th 1312 (2010); 420 Caregivers v. City of Los Angeles, 143 Cal.Rptr 3d 754 (2012).
- Kumin also hosts an invitation-only Facebook group, “Higher Thinking”, where industry and cannabis advocates interact regarding the latest developments in cannabis.