State laws legalizing marijuana for medical or recreational purposes are in stark conflict with federal law.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Entrepreneurs looking to get into the retail pot business need a good lawyer and some of those lawyers might be wise to consult an attorney of their own.

Attorneys entering the burgeoning business after a healthy dose of soul searching and risk assessment.

State laws legalizing marijuana for medical or recreational purposes are in stark conflict with federal law, which treats the drug as a controlled substance — in the same category as heroin.

That means criminal prosecution is a possibility for anyone involved in the industry, including the lawyers needed to navigate contracts, intellectual property, real estate and banking issues.

As California moves to legalize retail marijuana sales, attorneys in the business say they feel they can safely do the work needed.

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