Cannabis Law & Policy

Legal trends and analysis of the growing cannabis industry

Jan 13, 2021

HEMP Act Introduced in Senate Seeks to Ease Burdens on Hemp Farmers

In the midst of national political drama in the past several weeks, you may not have noticed proposed federal legislation introduced last month by Kentucky Senator Rand Paul. The legislation is intended to help industrial hemp farmers in their efforts to comply with laws distinguishing industrial hemp, which is legal at the federal level, from cannabis plants containing excessive THC, [...]

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Dec 04, 2020

BREAKING: U.S. House of Representatives Votes to Decriminalize and Tax Cannabis

Earlier today, The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill decriminalizing cannabis at the national level and implementing a sales tax on cannabis products sold throughout the U.S. The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act, otherwise known as the MORE Act, was approved in a chamber vote of 228-164. Five Republican representatives joined the Democratic majority while six Democrats dissented [...]

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Dec 03, 2020

Ambiguity in Your Drug Policy May Allow Terminated Employees to Collect Unemployment Benefits

The rise of medical cannabis use across the country leaves many employers in a state of confusion. As it stands, 36 states have legalized medical cannabis for patients with qualifying conditions. Though these states allow for the legal use of cannabis, the overarching federal prohibition remains a significant obstacle. The dichotomy between state legalization and federal prohibition has left many [...]

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Nov 13, 2020

Stagnant Qualifying Conditions Raise Specter of Cannabis Legalization

The State Medical Board of Ohio recently announced that it will once again be accepting petitions for designation of new qualifying conditions that allow citizens to obtain medical marijuana cards. However, such petitions may not seek designation of a broad category of diseases or conditions or any condition previously denied. Petitions may be submitted anytime between now and December 31, [...]

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Oct 13, 2020

Mississippi Improves Access to Cannabis-Derived Medicine

On October 8, 2020, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves signed into law a new bill allowing people to obtain cannabis-derived medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Under the bill, federally approved cannabis medications would be removed from Schedule V of Mississippi’s drug code. The FDA has so far only approved one such drug, Epidiolex, which is used in the [...]

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Sep 10, 2020

Cannabis Companies and the TCPA: A New Litigation Hotspot Emerges

A consumer protection law aimed at preventing robocalls is now being used to target cannabis companies. And the trend looks like it is only going to continue. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) was enacted in 1991 to restrict autodialed telemarketing communications made via calls and fax messages made without the recipient’s consent. Subsequent regulations by the FCC further expanded [...]

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Aug 28, 2020

DEA Releases Interim Final Rule on Hemp and CBD Products

The Drug Enforcement Administration has released interim final rules regarding hemp and CBD products, to bring the agency into compliance with the 2018 Farm Bill. The rules revise the definition of THC and marijuana extracts under the Controlled Substances Act to exclude substances considered legal hemp. Under the 2018 farm bill, legal hemp is defined as those products containing less [...]

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Jul 27, 2020

FDA Sends CBD Enforcement Policy to White House

On July 22, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration sent to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review its draft “Cannabidiol Enforcement Policy,” signaling to the industry that long-awaited federal guidance on cannabidiol (CBD) products is nearing. Guidance regarding CBD has been hotly anticipated since the FDA announced its plan to create and issue regulations [...]

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Jul 13, 2020

Two Massachusetts Cannabis Companies Will Pay Up For Pesticide Violations

Last week, two companies licensed to grow cannabis in Massachusetts settled with the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission after state inspectors issued each company violations for its use of illegal pesticides in cultivation operations. The Commission approved settlements with 4Front Ventures Corp. (Georgetown, Ma) for $350,000 and Garden Remedies (Fitchburg, MA) for $200,000. 4Front admitted using banned pesticides including, among others, [...]

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Jun 26, 2020

Cannabis Companies Lose Bid to Challenge Tax Law After Petitions Arrive One Day Late

A recent decision from the Ninth Circuit tossed two cannabis companies’ challenges to federal tax laws that bar marijuana businesses from taking deductions, because the businesses’ petitions seeking review arrived one day too late. Marijuana businesses Organic Cannabis and Northern California Small Business Assistants Inc. (“NCSBA”) were originally hit with a nearly $2 million tax bill after being audited by [...]

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