Hot Topic Three Part Series Medicinal Marijuana

MBA Hot Topic Series

Mississippi, Medicinal Marijuana and Banking:

A Three-Part Event 

February 10, 17 & TBD

The MBA Hot Topic Series focuses on current legislative and operational matters that affect Mississippi's banks. Many times these topics 'pop up' and the programs are produced in a short amount of time in order to get the information to bankers quickly. Currently, there are no more 'hot topics' than the issues relating to marijuana and banking. Join the MBA as we dial in on three areas -- Compliance, Human Resources, and Lending -- of marijuana banking in Mississippi. You will not want to miss this informative three-part event.

Fee for all three: $119

Individual session: $45

February 10 – 2 pm

Compliance Issues Related to Banking Services for Marijuana Growers

Rob Rowe, ABA Vice President and Senior Counsel, Consumer and Regulatory Compliance

Sabrina Bergen, ABA Vice President and Senior Counsel, State Legislative Affairs

The 2020 Mississippi election season saw Ballot Initiative 65 swiftly pass. This bill was designed to allow medical marijuana treatment for more than 20 specified qualifying conditions. With this bill becoming law, Mississippi banks are met with new challenges, particularly in the area of BSA and compliance. ABA general counsel, Sabrina Bergen and Rob Rowe will share their insights as well as lessons learned from other state that are banking cannabis and marijuana. 

February 17 – 10 am

HR Issues Concerning Medical Marijuana

JoJo Adams with Jones Walker, will join this session to discuss HR issues relating to medicinal marijuana. He will discuss the challenges for HR such as keeping up to speed with the current climate and what an employer can and cannot do with regard to marijuana and the workplace.

February 24 - 10 am

Banking and Medical Marijuana: What Lenders Need to Know 

In light of the legalization of medicinal marijuana in Mississippi, the issue of marijuana-related businesses accessing banking services is a growing concern in our state. More details on this session and speaker information is forthcoming. 

The Presenters:

Sabrina Bergen, ABA

Sabrina Bergen currently serves as Senior Vice President, Office of Strategic Engagement for the American Bankers Association. In that role, Bergen is responsible for devising and driving a portfolio of high-priority, member-driven advocacy campaigns in key areas, and overseeing a state issues function that serves as a clearinghouse for state-level policy issues and advocacy. Bergen joined the ABA in October 2015 after working as Regulatory and Public Policy Counsel for the National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors (NASCUS), where she focused on state and federal regulatory and legislative analysis and policy development. Bergen has also held positions with the FDIC, FINRA, and JPMorgan Chase.

Bergen earned her JD from George Mason University in Arlington, VA and her Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs from George Washington University in Washington, DC. She is a member of the Virginia Bar.ations.

Robert Rowe, ABA

Rob came back to the American Bankers Association in October 2008. At ABA, he represents ABA members on compliance issues involving the Bank Secrecy Act and Anti-Money Laundering, sanctions, privacy, human trafficking, elder financial exploitation, and cannabis. Rob serves as ABA’s representative to the Treasury Department’s Bank Secrecy Act Advisory Group, where he has been a representative for nearly 25 years. For over five years, Rob chaired the International Banking Federation’s Financial Crimes Working Group where he continues as an active member. Rob also serves as ABA’s liaison on military issues. Before returning to ABA in 2008, Rob was with another trade association where he represented community banks on a variety of compliance issues. In the early 1990s, he spent nearly four years with ABA designing products, seminars and services to help banks meet their regulatory compliance needs. He also has over ten years of experience as a bank compliance officer, covering issues from personal trust to commercial lending. Rob has an A. B., summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. He holds a Juris Doctor, cum laude, from Boston University and a master of laws from Georgetown University. Rob is a member in good standing of the bars of Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and the District of Columbia.

JoJo Adams, Jones Walker

JoJo Adams is a partner in the Labor & Employment Practice Group at Jones Walker. He focuses his practice on discrimination, harassment, and other employment-related litigation. JoJo has extensive experience in employee and supervisor training related to workplace conduct issues and litigating wage-and-hour collective actions. He also has experience in unfair labor practice litigation against unions and in collective bargaining negotiations. JoJo also provides daily employment advice to clients in public and private sectors and has drafted numerous employment agreements and covenants not to compete.

Radhika Dholakia-Lipton

With an array of experience, Radhika created RADD LLC. to provide the financial institution landscape a level of expertise it was missing. Radhika’s hand-picked team of consultants has an unmatched level of experience and education to assure all clients meet their maximum level of success. Radhika personally has more than 29 years of experience in the banking industry, with an impressive background spanning all phases of compliance, operations, and risk management for leading financial institutions. Radhika has been responsible for helping several banking institutions successfully pass their regulatory examinations. She excels in policy and procedure development, audit management, and streamlining processes through the use of technology. Radhika is passionate about what she does and dedicated to the success of her clients.

Alicia Wade

Alicia Wade is the President and Chief Operating Officer for Valliance Bank. Alicia has been with Valliance for the last 14 years. She oversees all departments of the bank including both Bank and Branch Operations, Human Resources, Compliance, Cybersecurity, Physical Security, Information Technology, Marketing and Deposit Growth. With more than 23 years of banking experience, Alicia fully embraces the community bank spirit amidst the ever-growing changes in the financial services field and has a deep passion for Strategic Planning and mentoring future bankers.

Alicia attended the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond, where she studied Finance. Her career in banking first began while she was in school as a part time Teller at United Bank. Upon graduating, she briefly dabbled in real estate and began working at Arvest Bank. She served as the Assistant Branch Manager, helping open the very first Arvest branch inside Walmart in Oklahoma which is still there today. In 2001 she was given the opportunity to return to community banking as the Operations Supervisor at Exchange National Bank in Moore.




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I would like to attend the following sessions:

                                               ____ Feb. 10 – Compliance - $45

                                               ____ Feb. 17 – HR - $45

                                               ____ Feb. 24  – Lending - $45

                                               ____ All 3 sessions - $119


We will be using the Zoom Platform for this event. You will need to register with the MBA. The day before the webinar you will receive a Zoom calendar invite with information for you to register with Zoom. Once you register with Zoom you will receive a confirmation email with instructions to join the event. You may dial in if you do not have access to a computer. You will still need to register with Zoom in order to get the dial-in number.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Lori Richardson.


TO REGISTER: Complete & Email to

QUESTIONS: Contact Lori Richardson by calling (601) 709-3736 or emailing at the address above.


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