On June 13, the U.S. Tax Court issued an opinion regarding the application of IRC §280E. In Alterman v Commissioner of Internal Revenue (“Alterman“) the Court held, yet again, that IRC §280E operates to disallow a cannabis businesses’ tax deductions. A few days later, the Court also issued Loughman vs. Commissioner of Internal Revenue (“Loughman“). In that … Read moreCannabis Taxation: Another Day, Another 280E Case (or Two)
In Part 1 of this series we discussed how mediation works in most cannabis disputes. Today, we discuss some strategic considerations to increase the likelihood of success in cannabis mediation. Know your audience(s): Unlike in litigation or arbitration, where your audience is a disinterested third party judge, jury, or arbitrator, your primary audience in … Read moreMediation of Cannabis Disputes: Part 2
…with your California cannabis lease. The current state of enforcement in California tends to be dominated by headlines about the Department of Justice, Jeff Sessions, the DEA, and the Controlled Substances Act. And for good reason—under the constitution, federal law is the law of the land, and commercial landlords and tenant alike should study federal … Read moreCalifornia Cannabis Leasing: Federal Enforcement Is Not The Only Concern
Is your “intern” really an intern? A simple google search for “Cannabis Intern” turns up around 340,000 results. As an employment attorney, the word “intern” is a major red flag for me — right up there with “independent contractor.” Why? Because “intern” positions are often misused and many businesses, even sophisticated ones, believe labeling someone … Read moreCannabis Intern: Is That Even a Thing?
Copyright is an aspect of intellectual property (IP) law less frequently considered by cannabis businesses than trademark, trade secrets or even patents it seems. Yet, like these other forms of intellectual property, copyrights can afford their holders with market dominance and profitability when utilized correctly. Almost all marijuana businesses own numerous unregistered copyrights, whether or … Read moreProtecting Your Cannabis Copyrights (Yes, You Have Them)
No shortage of cannabis news in Oregon. Here we are a few years into legalization of recreational cannabis sales in Oregon, and it’s never a dull moment. Over the past week or so, there have been no fewer than three significant developments around the state with respect to marijuana law and policy. We summarize each … Read moreOregon Cannabis: The Week that Was
When California was getting ready to legalize adult-use and medically commercial cannabis sales on January 1, 2018, we all knew it would be a bumpy ride. Going from the collective, cooperative, and non-profit models that governed marijuana operators (and I use the term “governed” loosely) prior to 2018, to a robust regulatory regime that was … Read moreWill California Cannabis Businesses Be Ready for July 1?
The OSHA model. And a good look for cannabis business. So, what is Oregon OSHA (“OR OSHA”)? OR OSHA is the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Act. This law requires employers to “furnish employment and a place of employment which are safe and healthful for employees.” In other words, employers are required to maintain safe … Read moreOregon OSHA and Your Cannabis Business
It’s no secret that the City of Los Angeles has struggled with implementing its commercial cannabis program under the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Act (“MAUCRSA“). The licensing of existing medical marijuana dispensaries (“EMMDs”) under Measure M has been a slow and opaque process, but Los Angeles is committed to the success of its cannabis program … Read moreICYMI: Los Angeles Amends Local Commercial Cannabis Regulations
We’ve written (and talked) extensively about the dos and don’ts of filing cannabis-related state and federal trademarks, and we all know by now that you cannot obtain a federal trademark registration for goods or services that are not lawful pursuant to federal law. But I’ve heard a lot of creative arguments in this space, and … Read moreThe Anatomy of a Cannabis Trademark TTAB Decision
…all the way through the patent application process. The cannabis industry relies on trade secrets and increasingly, patents, to protect intellectual property (IP) assets. Patents protect new and non-obvious inventions, including plants, processes, and machines, while trade secrets protect any information, including “patentable inventions,” that provide economic value to the holder if kept confidential. Accordingly, … Read moreCannabis Patent Applications: Prolonging the Lifespan of Trade Secrets
Banking is within reach for many cannabis businesses. In my previous post, I wrote about avoiding the scammers that abound when it comes to cannabis banking. Because cannabis is federally illegal, getting a bank account has been very difficult for cannabis businesses even though the 2014 FinCEN guidelines (see here) allow financial institutions to provide … Read moreBreaking Cannabis Banking: Tips on Getting an Account
It is no secret that cannabidiol (CBD) is having a moment right now. Unlike its cousin tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is another cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant, CBD is not psychoactive. It has been growing in popularity for years for medical and other applications, but has really taken off lately. Though CBD has become increasingly … Read moreTop Five Things Your CBD Business Needs to Consider
In the world of intellectual property (“IP”), there are four categories under which your IP may fall: A trademark is any word, phrase, symbol and/or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others. Similarly, a service mark is a word, phrase, symbol, and/or design that identifies … Read moreNow is the Time to Identify and Protect Your Cannabis Trade Secrets
“What do you do?” When meeting someone for the first time this is a pretty standard ice-breaker. Usually the responses are pretty innocuous: “I’m in sales” or “I’m in IT”. But if you add “…in the cannabis industry” to those answers you’re bound to get a number of follow up questions. When I tell people … Read morePresident Trump, Cannabis and the STATES Act
As CBD and hemp continue to grow in popularity we are receiving an increasing number of calls and emails from companies that want to distribute hemp across the country. We have written about the legality of hemp and CBD under federal law: DEA Confirms It Cannot Regulate All Parts of the Cannabis Plant Cannabis Taxation: … Read moreIndustrial Hemp: Don’t Forget About State Law!
Be inclusive with your business — cake or cannabis. What do cake and cannabis have to do with each other? Besides the obvious late-night munchies or a great recipe for an edible, a recent Supreme Court decision involving cake impacts cannabis businesses across the nation. The Masterpiece Cakeshop case garnered a lot of media attention—and … Read moreCake and Cannabis: What the Masterpiece Cakeshop Case Means for Marijuana Businesses
The year 2018 has been confusing so far for California’s commercial cannabis industry in terms of the conflict between federal and state legal regimes. It began with California formally opening its doors for licensed cannabis activity. That was soon followed by the U.S. Department of Justice rescinding its 2013 Cole Memo that deprioritized enforcement against … Read moreEnforcement in California Commercial Cannabis
Last week I had the pleasure of attending the International Trademark Association’s (INTA) Annual Meeting in Seattle, where trademark practitioners from around the world convened to geek out on all things brand-related. One of the prevalent topics of conversation was trademark licensing. While we’ve discussed at length some of the challenges of entering into Intellectual … Read moreIssues to Consider When Drafting Your Cannabis Licensing Agreement
The goal of your ballot initiative is to get to a vote. Oregon successfully legalized the use, sale, processing, and production of recreational marijuana in 2014 through the initiative process. The initiative process is a method of direct democracy that allows people to propose laws outside of the normal legislative process. Oregon’s marijuana statute (ORS 475B) … Read moreOregon Cannabis: Using the Initiative Process to Legalize Local Marijuana Businesses