, we wrote about the increasing frequency of litigating cannabis business disputes in the courts, noting several possible causes for this change from the early days when private arbitration was the preferred forum. Meanwhile, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) is beginning to treat violators of the rules governing recreational marijuana much more seriously. One … Read moreOregon Cannabis Litigation: What’s Discovery Got to Do With It?
Recently, the concept of “supervoting shares” in U.S. public companies has surfaced again in the news. Supervoting shares are created where founders wish to dilute themselves in an economic sense (in exchange for transformative capital), but retain outsized control in management and governance. This is different than your typical “class A and B shares” setup, … Read moreCannabis Companies, Public Markets and Supervoting Shares
Our California hemp lawyers regularly get asked about the laws and regulations about growing hemp in California, manufacturing hemp products, and shipping those products around the country. I’ve written about the various hemp laws in California and how confusing they are previously (see here and here). Those posts, however, were more geared towards the manufacture … Read moreCalifornia Hemp Cultivation: It’s Complicated
Three years ago, I did a TedX Talk titled “High Dive: Are We Creating Big Marijuana?” The issues I raised in my talk are still relevant today, especially as more states legalize. Basically the new question around state cannabis legalization is who should get to profit from it–big business or those most negatively affected by … Read moreBalancing the Scales? “Big Marijuana” and Social Equity
Great news: on March 7, 2019, the “Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act of 2019” (or, the “SAFE Banking Act”) was officially introduced in the House of Representatives. Even greater news: championed by Representatives Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) and Denny Heck (D-WA), the SAFE Banking Act reached the House with a bipartisan alliance of 106 co-sponsors … Read moreThe Marijuana Banking Bill Is Off To A Strong Start
We’ve written about the potential benefits of harnessing the power of blockchain technology to track and trace cannabis from seed to sale and provide an effective regulatory tool for governments (see here and here). We’ve also warned of the risks and dangers (and outright scams) associated with many cryptocurrencies and the heightened risks that come … Read morePay Cannabis Tax with Cryptocurrency? California Takes a Look.
California’s cannabis licensing process has been a mess for applicants since pretty much day one. Annual license applications have disappeared into a black hole for months, the window for obtaining temporary licenses was very small and many have expired, and many local jurisdictions decided to make up their own phased permitting processes that in many … Read moreCalifornia May Try to Fill the Gaps on Provisional Licensing
February’s webinar “West coast Hemp-CBD After the Farm Bill” was a success! All of those involved at Harris Bricken enjoy hearing your positive words and questions. For those seeking more of the valuable information throughout the webinar, March holds many opportunities for you to attend events where Harris Bricken attorneys will be presenting. Read on … Read moreKeeping Up with Harris Bricken: Cannabis Law Events
Last week, the Oregon Department of Agriculture (“ODA”) submitted a letter of intent to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) in which the state agency conveyed its decision to submit a state hemp plan, pursuant to the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (“2018 Farm Bill”). In addition to legalizing the production of hemp by removing … Read moreNew Developments Regarding Oregon Hemp
In keeping with last week’s cannabis patent litigation update, it’s important to discuss a landmark decision that was made by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) on claims involving a cannabis patent just two months ago. On January 3, 2019, the PTAB published its Final Written Decision in … Read moreCannabis Patents are Approaching the Patent Trial and Appeal Board
Here we go… Big changes are coming for L.A.’s long-awaited Phase 3 licensing regarding storefront retail. The last time I wrote on this topic, the Department of Cannabis Regulation (“DCR”) made several proposals to City Council on how to re-vamp Phase 3 licensing for efficiency and expediency, which at the time the City Council pretty … Read morePhase 3 Marijuana Dispensary Licensing in L.A. Finally Takes Shape
On March 7, 2019 the California Department of Public Health (“CDPH”), which regulates cannabis manufacturers, dropped a new list of updated resources for packaging and labeling. Anyone on the CDPH’s email list should have received a copy. The notice was quickly picked up the Bureau of Cannabis Control (“BCC”), which regulates retailers and distributors, and … Read moreCalifornia Cannabis Agencies Drop New Packaging and Labeling Guidance
There’s no question that cannabis remains a rocky, emerging industry even though entire countries and more than 30 U.S. states now have cannabis legalization or “medicalization”. The reasons why though stem from a variety of sources–federal prohibition, the patchwork quilt of regulations from state to state, the array of personalities coming into the industry from … Read moreTop Five Drags on the Cannabis Industry
Back in 2015, I wrote on this blog that we were never not litigating cannabis business disputes here at the law firm. That is still true today, although the forum has changed: matters are now resolved through the court system more frequently than before, when private arbitration was preferred. This is partly because the prevailing … Read moreCannabis Dispute? Courts are Open
In the last few weeks, we have received a growing number of inquiries pertaining to the legality of smokable products infused with cannabidiol derived from industrial hemp (“CBD Smokables”), including vape pens and pre-rolled hemp flower joints. This post provides a brief overview of the current legal status of these products. As we have discussed … Read moreThe Federal Legality of CBD Smokable Products
An interesting Bloomberg article came across my desk a couple weeks ago called, “CBD Craze is Creating a Trademark Problem for a Coffee Brand in Maine.” The article raises a couple of important issues related to the trademark requirement of distinctiveness, as well as the lengths to which one can stretch their trademark protection. The … Read more“CBD” Coffee and the Importance of Distinctiveness for Trademark Protection
Our California cannabis attorneys have been getting inundated with packaging and labeling review since each California cannabis licensing agency adopted its final rules in January 2019, and even before that when the rules were under consideration. One thing that many California cannabis companies—and especially cannabis companies from other states who are stakeholders in California—often overlook … Read moreCalifornia Cannabis: Where Prop. 65 and Labeling Rules Meet
Did UCANN really get USTPO coverage for prior art? About six months ago, we posted news of the first ever cannabis patent infringement case. As a reminder, the case was initiated by United Cannabis Corporation (“UCANN”) in the United States District Court, District of Colorado against its in-state competitor, Pure Hemp Collective Inc. (“Pure Hemp”). … Read moreCannabis Patent Litigation Update: Is Extraction and Preparation Prior Art?
We’ve been saying for the last year that as California’s legal marijuana program continues to roll out, the state’s enforcement against illegal operators will continue to ramp up. During his state of the state address on February 12, 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that the National Guard will be utilized to eliminate unlicensed cannabis farms. … Read moreICYMI: Governor Newsom Will Send National Guard to Fight Illegal California Cannabis Grows
On February 27, 2019 both the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) and the United States Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) provided new insights and guidance related to their proposed regulatory processes for hemp under the 2018 Farm Bill. I will summarize these agency statements below, and give some context for what hemp and CBD businesses can … Read moreUSDA and FDA Shed Light on Hemp and CBD