Ethically Navigating Local and State Licensing of Cannabis Businesses: Part 1

As we’ve stated time and time again, the cannabis industry is rampant with risks and scams, and can be an ethical minefield for attorneys to navigate. Legalized cannabis is a multi-billion dollar industry, however, and legitimate businesses need good and ethical attorneys to provide legal advice. This is complicated, because due to federal laws, an … Read moreEthically Navigating Local and State Licensing of Cannabis Businesses: Part 1

Tax Court Deals Another Blow to Cannabis Management Company Model

On December 20th, U.S. Tax Court issued its opinion in Alternative Health Care Advocates et al. v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue. The long opinion details various issues related to the specific case, but we will concentrate on one relatively small piece of it. How would the Tax Court treat income paid from a marijuana retailer … Read moreTax Court Deals Another Blow to Cannabis Management Company Model

Oregon Cannabis: State of the State

Here we are at the end of 2018, which means it’s time for the third annual “State of the State” post on Oregon cannabis (the 2017 post is here and the 2016 post is here). The year 2018 was truly remarkable in the Oregon industry, and we saw a lot of change, from regulatory evolution … Read moreOregon Cannabis: State of the State

Top 10 Unknowns About California’s Cannabis Regulations

In California, under the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis and Regulation Safety Act (MAUCRSA), temporary licenses began issuing to cannabis businesses on January 1, 2018. Since then, the state agencies in charge of MAUCRSA’s implementation (the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC), the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA)) have … Read moreTop 10 Unknowns About California’s Cannabis Regulations

Washington Marijuana Business Owner-Finance: Some Regulatory Improvement

After years of us banging the drum for the WSLCB to change its financier approval process, there is a glimmer of hope out there that the agency is willing to listen to reason. The WSLCB has issued a new interim policy, BIP-06-2018, that allows existing true parties of interest and financiers to get clearance for … Read moreWashington Marijuana Business Owner-Finance: Some Regulatory Improvement

Washington Regulators Ban Certain Colors and Shapes on Marijuana Packaging

In a move straight out of the 1984 classic “Repo Man,” Washington regulators are making marijuana edibles really, really boring. Earlier this year, we wrote about the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board’s (WSLCB) decision to effectively ban marijuana-infused candy. The industry pushed back and the WSLCB reevaluated its stance. December 12, the WSLCB issued a … Read moreWashington Regulators Ban Certain Colors and Shapes on Marijuana Packaging

Fourth Circuit: Possessing Marijuana Stems Does Not Necessarily Make You a Criminal

Nice work by the court! The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last week that finding marijuana stems in a trash bag does not permit the police to search the house for evidence of a crime. From a legal standpoint this case has interesting implications on when, where, and what police can search. From a more … Read moreFourth Circuit: Possessing Marijuana Stems Does Not Necessarily Make You a Criminal

Breaking News: FDA Issues Statements on CBD and Industrial Hemp (and What it Means for California)

Yesterday, President Trump signed the 2018 Farm Bill, paving the way for industrial hemp legalization. Within hours, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) Commissioner, Scott Gottlieb, issued a statement clarifying the FDA’s position on industrial hemp. The FDA’s position: Just because industrial hemp is legal doesn’t mean that you can put it in food … Read moreBreaking News: FDA Issues Statements on CBD and Industrial Hemp (and What it Means for California)

BREAKING NEWS: Farm Bill Signed, Industrial Hemp is Now Legal

Hooray for hemp! Today the US takes a major step forward in cannabis reform! The 2018 Farm Bill legalizes industrial hemp, and was just signed into law by President Trump. Industrial hemp will now be treated like an agricultural commodity, not a controlled substance. Our in-depth look at the hemp provisions in this new Farm … Read moreBREAKING NEWS: Farm Bill Signed, Industrial Hemp is Now Legal

Why 2018 was a Tough Year for the California Cannabis Industry

2018 has been a roller coaster for California cannabis businesses. The cannabis laws and regulations in California have made life difficult, to say the least, for anyone wishing to obtain licensure. This isn’t necessarily the fault of any single legislature, municipality, or agency, but instead was the result of a perfect storm of legal and … Read moreWhy 2018 was a Tough Year for the California Cannabis Industry

Will the 2018 Farm Bill Open the Door to CBD Trademarks?

It seems that FDA holds the key. With everyone discussing the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill and its implications for the booming cannabidiol (CBD) industry, there is much speculation as to how the legalization of industrial hemp will affect the treatment of CBD by multiple government agencies, including the United States Patent and Trademark … Read moreWill the 2018 Farm Bill Open the Door to CBD Trademarks?

Washington Marijuana Beverages Can’t Be Too Enticing for Children… or Adults?

What’s a Washington beverage processor to do? The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) is creating a real niche in the beverage product design industry through some of its most recent policy pronouncements. As has always been the case, edible (and drinkable) marijuana products are regulated so that they are not appealing to children. … Read moreWashington Marijuana Beverages Can’t Be Too Enticing for Children… or Adults?

ICYMI: Los Angeles Updates Its Phase 2 Cannabis Licensing Process

The ups, downs, and unknowns around L.A. cannabis licensing have abounded from the passage of Measure M back in March 2017. This is not uncommon, especially in large cities, as regulators determine how to handle things on the fly and as issues arise (see, for example, social equity in L.A. and the ability to re-locate … Read moreICYMI: Los Angeles Updates Its Phase 2 Cannabis Licensing Process

Cannabis Employment Law: The Class Action Lawsuits are Here

MedMen, a popular California cannabis retail company, has been hit with a class action lawsuit from former employees. Class action lawsuits are no joke. These lawsuits involve a few plaintiffs suing on behalf of multiple similarly situated plaintiffs. The claims, money, and other associated costs add up very fast. In MedMen’s case, two former employees, … Read moreCannabis Employment Law: The Class Action Lawsuits are Here

World Health Organization Temporarily Withholds Marijuana Scheduling Recommendations

Last Friday, December 7, the World Health Organization (“WHO”) Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (“ECDD”), was scheduled to make a recommendation about the international legal status of cannabis. The WHO is a “specialized agency” of the United Nations, and the ECCD is a WHO committee consisting of experts in the field of drugs and medicines, … Read moreWorld Health Organization Temporarily Withholds Marijuana Scheduling Recommendations

What the 2018 Farm Bill Could Mean for CBD in California

The federal 2018 Farm Bill is likely to become law in the very near future. If it does, it will redefine the hemp industry nationwide. We intend on writing more in the near future as to the specifics of the 2018 Farm Bill, but one interesting question is what effect it will have on California’s … Read moreWhat the 2018 Farm Bill Could Mean for CBD in California

Oregon Cannabis: Five Common Early Stage Mistakes

Running a cannabis business is difficult and many people fail. There are a myriad of reasons why these ventures bottom out, although owners tend to blame federal law issues first of all. It’s true that federal law creates a tough environment for cannabis businesses (banking issues, tax issues, branding issues, etc.), but federal prohibition also … Read moreOregon Cannabis: Five Common Early Stage Mistakes

Breaking News: Industrial Hemp Legalization is Happening!

After a long last, it’s finally happened. The 2018 Farm Bill has made it out of conference and has been approved by the Senate. It currently awaits approval from the House, which is expected this week. If Donald Trump signs the 2018 Farm Bill before the current legislative session ends on December 21, industrial hemp … Read moreBreaking News: Industrial Hemp Legalization is Happening!

California Cannabis Cultivation: CDFA Accepts All Changes to Proposed New Rules (and Then Some)

This past Friday, California’s three agencies charged with writing and enforcing cannabis regulations—the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC), the Department of Public Health (DPH), and the Department of Food and Agriculture (DFA)—made public their respective proposed final regulations, which are currently pending a 30-day review by the Office of Administrative Law before becoming law. Some … Read moreCalifornia Cannabis Cultivation: CDFA Accepts All Changes to Proposed New Rules (and Then Some)