Opportunities and Hurdles in New Business Trends
Future workspaces and legalized cannabis industry are topics of CUBE panels
In October 2017, alumni and other industry insiders considered the future of work spaces at an event sponsored by the Center for Urban Business Entrepreneurship (CUBE) and P/PREP, a peer networking group for professionals who work on public–private real estate projects. Professor Jonathan Askin, founder and director of the Brooklyn Law Incubator & Policy (BLIP) Clinic, moderated a discussion about the benefits and challenges of incubators and co-working spaces. Participants included Rebecca Birmingham ’11, general counsel and head of development at New Lab/Macro Sea in the Brooklyn Navy Yard; Mark Jackson ’11, general counsel for the real estate developer Two Trees Management Co.; Mark Anthony Thomas, senior vice president of partnerships at the New York City Economic Development Corporation; and Anisha Steephen, community development officer at the Local Initiatives Support Corporation.
In November, CUBE and the Center for Criminal Justice hosted a discussion on the legal cannabis industry and the role of lawyers in its evolution. Professor Jocelyn Simonson moderated a panel including New York State Senator Liz Krueger; Joseph Bondy ’94, a federal criminal defense lawyer who has advised and represented clients on cannabis matters for more than 20 years; Jordan Wellington ’09, compliance director at Vicente Sederberg; David Feder ’10, a partner at Regosin, Edwards, Stone & Feder; Chris Alexander, policy coordinator of the Drug Policy Alliance; and Harrison Phillips, vice president at Viridian Capital Advisors. The group discussed the legal and financial hurdles of cannabis entrepreneurship, and the potential for further reform of marijuana possession laws, which still disproportionately imprison people of color.
“If you’re a law student thinking about entering the cannabis realm,” said Bondy, “there is no limitation on the things that you can do in this nascent industry.”