Fatima Afia

Associate Attorney
New York • New Jersey
From Courtroom Champion to Equity Advocate: Fatima's legal expertise illuminates the path to cannabis compliance. Her landmark litigation experience and commitment to social justice empower minority-owned businesses to navigate complex regulations. With Fatima's guidance, women and minority entrepreneurs secure a strong foothold in the burgeoning cannabis market.

Fatima Afia is a cannabis attorney at Rudick Law Group, PLLC specializing in matters such as regulatory compliance, state licensing, commercial transactions, advocacy and policy, and corporate and business law. Fatima has a diverse background in land use and landmarks law, disability insurance law, impact litigation, and business and commercial litigation.

Fatima first came to the cannabis industry in 2017 as a litigator and member of the legal team that brought Washington v. Barr, a pro-bono lawsuit brought against the federal government seeking a declaration that the mis-classification of cannabis as a Schedule I drug is unconstitutional. As a litigator on that case, Fatima garnered overwhelming amicus support, including the support of preeminent scientists and members of the U.S. Congress, for an appeal before the United States Supreme Court. Fatima thereafter pivoted to state-level social advocacy and policy work in the adult-use cannabis industry, successfully advocating for an expedited license application-review process for women and minority-owned businesses in Massachusetts.

Fatima provides high-quality legal services to a wide range of plant-touching and ancillary cannabis businesses and entrepreneurs, with an emphasis on women and minority-owned businesses, small businesses, and newly-formed start-ups. Fatima guides clients through cannabis business license application processes in multiple jurisdictions including, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York; provides regulatory compliance support and advice to businesses already operating in constantly-evolving regulatory landscapes; and helps clients navigate a host of commercial transactions, utilizing her cannabis regulatory knowledge and experience to manage risk in a quickly-evolving industry.

Fatima is an article contributor for Marijuana Venture, and a thought leader on LinkedIn where she provides insightful commentary on breaking news and litigation updates in the Tri-State area with an emphasis on New York’ adult-use cannabis market.

Practice Areas

Corporate Law

Real Estate

Regulatory Compliance

Advocacy and Public Policy

Commercial Transactions

Cannabis Law

Alternative Dispute Resolution


John Jay College, BA Forensic Psychology

Brooklyn Law School, JD, 2016

Bar Admissions

New York State

Southern District of New York

Eastern District of New York

Honors & Awards

Associate Managing Editor, Brooklyn Law Journal of Law and Policy

Member, Phi Delta Phi International Legal Honor Society

Recipient, CALI Excellence Award in Practice‑Ready Legal Research

Career Highlights

Litigation and Dispute Resolution Experience: Several years representing clients in business, commercial, federal civil rights, and Article 78 land use and zoning disputes and cases.

Constitutional Lawsuit Contributor: Contributed to the legal team challenging the federal classification of cannabis as a Schedule I drug in Washington v. Barr, spearheading the amicus brief campaign in support of the writ of certiorari filed with the U.S. Supreme Court.

Innovative Startup Representation: Works with startup organizations in cannabis and cannabis-adjacent industries, offering expertise in start-up law, regulatory compliance, due diligence, mitigating legal exposure, and identifying/remedying abuse of corporate power.

Thought Leader and Educator: Frequently invited to speak on webinars, podcasts, and national and local industry conferences and CLE events, including the International Cannabis Bar Association’s Cannabis Law Institute, the National Cannabis Festival, the New York City Bar Association’s Cannabis Law Conference, NYSABPRHAL’s 53rd Annual Legislative Conference, CannaLaw Summit 2023, and LIM College’s Cannabis Real Estate Summit Series.

Media Appearances: Featured on Forbes, MJBIZ Daily, Benzinga, News10 ABC, Daily News, The Capitol Pressroom, Politico, and Spectrum News 1.

Industry Recognition: Recognized in Marijuana Venture’s Eighth Annual 40 under 40 edition; named a Superlawyers “Rising Star” in 2020-2023; recognized in Top Women of Color Attorneys in Cannabis by Justis Connection and the NABCL-National Association of Black Cannabis Lawyers.

Industry Leadership: Co-Chair of the Continuing Legal Education Committee, International Cannabis Bar Association.

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