Filing a Defensible Cannabis Trademark Application: The Bona Fide Intent Requirement

An issue we’ve seen with increasing frequency among clients and prospective clients alike is a misunderstanding of the basic requirements for obtaining federal trademark protection in the United States. We’ve worked through the issues surrounding federal registration of cannabis and cannabis-goods before, and it is common practice in the cannabis industry to obtain federal trademark … Read moreFiling a Defensible Cannabis Trademark Application: The Bona Fide Intent Requirement

The Business of Marijuana in Oregon: Join us June 7th!

On June 7, our own Vince Sliwoski will chair an all-day continuing legal education (CLE) event called The Business of Marijuana in Oregon, along with Jesse Sweet, a lawyer and senior policy analyst at the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC). This will be Vince’s fourth year presenting at the event and his third year as chair. … Read moreThe Business of Marijuana in Oregon: Join us June 7th!

California Cannabis Legislative Update: So Many Bills

Ever since the passage of the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (“MAUCRSA”), the California legislature has been busy debating and amending a wide variety of laws related to cannabis. We have been tracking these developments so you don’t have to. Below is an update on pending California cannabis legislation. AB 2914 loosens the … Read moreCalifornia Cannabis Legislative Update: So Many Bills

Cannabis Taxation: Does IRC Section 280E Apply to Industrial Hemp?

Not always taxed like marijuana, in theory. Short answer: It depends. As we discussed last week, the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in Hemp Industries Assn. et.al., vs. U.S. Drug Enforcement Admin., upheld the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) broad rule creating a separate classification for “Marijuana Extracts.”  Marijuana Extracts are broadly defined as … Read moreCannabis Taxation: Does IRC Section 280E Apply to Industrial Hemp?

On the Fringe of California Cannabis Investing: Avoiding “Ownership” and “Financial Interests”

Passage of California’s Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (“MAUCRSA“) has opened the doors to institutional investing in California cannabis companies. California’s lack of a residency requirement for investors and its relatively limited investor disclosure and background requirements have made it popular for institutional investors looking to invest in cannabis. In that sense, … Read moreOn the Fringe of California Cannabis Investing: Avoiding “Ownership” and “Financial Interests”

California Cannabis: Hilary Bricken to Present at Wine and Weed Symposium Tomorrow

Our own Hilary Bricken will have the great pleasure of speaking at the Central Coast Wine and Weed Symposium (presented by the Wine Industry Network) tomorrow, May 10, in San Louis Obispo. While the Symposium will focus on a variety of topics covering the cross section of the wine and cannabis industries, Hilary’s panel will specifically … Read moreCalifornia Cannabis: Hilary Bricken to Present at Wine and Weed Symposium Tomorrow

Court Expands Federal Equal Pay Act: Look Out Marijuana Businesses!

Equal pay is not only the right thing to do, it’s required by the law. Equal pay legislation is sweeping the country. Oregon, Washington, and California all have equal pay legislation on the books that directly affects cannabis businesses. These equal pay laws require employers to pay employees the same amount for substantially similar work … Read moreCourt Expands Federal Equal Pay Act: Look Out Marijuana Businesses!

Is a Cannabis Cap Coming to Sacramento? Hearings Tomorrow and Thursday!

If you’ve been following the state of affairs of commercial cannabis licensing in California, you know that it really is a tale of two cities (or counties). Both the Medicinal Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (passed by the California state legislature in 2015) and the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (passed as a ballot measure … Read moreIs a Cannabis Cap Coming to Sacramento? Hearings Tomorrow and Thursday!

Watch Out California Cannabis Businesses: New Worker Classification Test

Don’t misclassify your workers! Independent contractors can come in very handy for a cannabis business. They may be useful for everything from developing product lines to infrastructure build-out. As a legal matter, correctly classifying workers associated with cannabis businesses as either an independent contractor or an employee is extremely important. Misclassifying an employee as an independent … Read moreWatch Out California Cannabis Businesses: New Worker Classification Test

International Cannabis Spotlight: The Netherlands

Everyone knows the Netherlands (especially the City of Amsterdam) as a pot capital of the world. Ironically, cannabis sales in the Netherlands are illegal. The country has decriminalized its use and possession to a certain extent, but law enforcement may impose a fine or misdemeanor upon a person in possession of marijuana-based drugs. However, the government … Read moreInternational Cannabis Spotlight: The Netherlands

Federal Court Denies Review of DEA’s Marijuana Extract Rule

The law on CBD is still a maze. If you were hoping for some clarity as to the legality of industrial hemp and cannabidiol (CBD) derived from industrial hemp, I have some (mostly) bad news. On Monday, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit denied a lawsuit challenging the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) controversial … Read moreFederal Court Denies Review of DEA’s Marijuana Extract Rule

The Right Blend: Selecting a Board of Directors for Your Cannabis Business

(Boehner not pictured.) Last week it was announced that Former Speaker of the House John Boehner and Former Governor of Massachusetts William Weld would be joining the Board of Directors of a multi-state cannabis company, Acreage Holdings. First, it’s worth noting the significance of John Boehner–once third-in-line for the US Presidency–taking such a position in … Read moreThe Right Blend: Selecting a Board of Directors for Your Cannabis Business

Is Cannabis Banking on the Horizon in California?

Last week I wrote about how the United States is close to approaching the tipping point when it comes to ending the federal government’s prohibition on cannabis. Legalization is long overdue. And just this week, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, while testifying before the U.S. Senate, surprisingly said that cannabis should be researched and that … Read moreIs Cannabis Banking on the Horizon in California?

Are Others Trading on Your Goodwill? Monitor Your Marijuana Trademarks.

Keep your head up for infringers. Given the dramatic increase in the number of cease and desist letters I’ve been writing for clients who have discovered companies ripping off their brands, I thought it timely to revisit the discussion surrounding trademark monitoring. We talk a lot about the difficulties of obtaining trademark protection for cannabis-related … Read moreAre Others Trading on Your Goodwill? Monitor Your Marijuana Trademarks.

California Sales Tax: Good News for the Cannabis Manufacturer

The tax outlook for California canna manufacturers isn’t all bad. We previously identified a number of sales tax exemptions available to California cannabis cultivators. Fortunately, the state legislature is looking out for other businesses up and down the supply chain, such that cultivators are not the only class of licensee eligible for sales tax exemptions. … Read moreCalifornia Sales Tax: Good News for the Cannabis Manufacturer

California Commercial Cannabis Leasing: Top 5 FAQs

…of about a million frequently asked questions. We’ve previously written a lot about commercial leasing issues in the California cannabis space, including some basic concepts, some key things to consider in getting leases right, and some ways to improve your leases. But there are certain common questions that tend to come up in a leasing … Read moreCalifornia Commercial Cannabis Leasing: Top 5 FAQs

California Cannabis: Scams and Schemes of the Week, Part 3

Welcome back to “California Cannabis: Scams and Schemes of the Week.” We are publishing this series to shed light on the unscrupulousness of certain attorneys, consultants, and operators in the California cannabis industry, with the goal of establishing a more ethical and regulated industry in the state. You can view Part 1 of this series here and … Read moreCalifornia Cannabis: Scams and Schemes of the Week, Part 3

Free Webinar May 17! Intellectual Property in the Cannabis Industry

Protecting and monetizing intellectual property (IP) in the cannabis industry is an important but challenging step for most businesses. The market is highly dynamic and competitive, and in addition to state and local rules, federal law creates an unusual environment. Several cannabis businesses have established significant market share through the creation and leveraging of intellectual … Read moreFree Webinar May 17! Intellectual Property in the Cannabis Industry

Employer Audits for Cannabis Businesses

Audits are not usually met with open arms. More often than not, these invasive exercises sound awkward and even dangerous for a cannabis business. But that should not be the case! In fact, as in other industries, a preemptive employment practices audit can be a cannabis business’s best friend. Audits are not always a bad … Read moreEmployer Audits for Cannabis Businesses

High Times Fails to Meet Requirements for Cannabis Event Permit

We wrote a few months ago about proposed changes to California’s rules governing temporary events, and last week, we saw the first big casualty of the current permitting requirements under the Medicinal and Adult Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (“MAUCRSA”). High Times hosted its Southern California Cannabis Cup over the weekend, but was forced … Read moreHigh Times Fails to Meet Requirements for Cannabis Event Permit