Mr. Johnston has an extensive background from his environmental practice in administrative procedures and has advocated before local administrative bodies tasked with awarding permits and licenses.
Mr. Johnston’s litigation experience includes representation of a medical cannabis dispensary in U.S. v. Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana, a precedent-setting case in the Northern District of California which enabled the re-opening of a medical cannabis dispensary in 2015. This case was the first in which a federal judge ruled under the Congressional spending restriction (then Rohrabacher-Farr, now the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer budget amendment) that the Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Administration may not interfere with cannabis dispensaries acting in compliance with state medical cannabis laws. Mr. Johnston has secured trademark registrations for cannabis-related businesses and nonprofits.
Mr. Johnston is familiar with organizational formation and governance and serves as General Counsel to the Virginia Industrial Hemp Coalition. Mr. Johnston is a member of the Hemp Industries Association and has previously served on the NORML Legal Committee. Mr. Johnston lives in Charlottesville, Va. and is licensed to practice law in Virginia and California.