Cannabis Law & Policy

Legal trends and analysis of the growing cannabis industry

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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May 28, 2020

Attorneys General Urge Passage of SAFE Banking Act as Part of COVID-19 Relief

On May 19th, a coalition of thirty-four state attorneys general led by Colorado AG Phil Weiser urged Congress to pass the Secure and Fair Enforcement (“SAFE”) Banking Act as part of upcoming COVID-19 relief legislation. The bipartisan group includes attorneys general, such as Ohio AG Dave Yost, who have previously opposed economic relief for the cannabis industry. First introduced in [...]

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Apr 16, 2020

Ohio Commission Orders CBD Businesses to Close Shop

Ohio’s newly formed Dispute Resolution Commission has deemed retailers of cannabidiol (“CBD”) to be non-essential and has ordered their closure. The Dispute Resolution Commission was created in order to identify and clarify which businesses were deemed “essential,” and to facilitate closures of other businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.  In the Commission’s first set of rulings it determined that CBD businesses [...]

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Apr 07, 2020

Ohio Alters Dispensary Regulations to Improve Patient Access During COVID-19

As noted in our March 27th blog, the State of Ohio has deemed medical marijuana dispensaries “essential businesses” and has permitted them to remain open to the public during the COVID-19 pandemic.  As part of its efforts to improve patient access during a time when Ohioans find themselves subject to a shelter-in-place order, the Ohio Board of Pharmacy has issued [...]

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Apr 02, 2020

Marijuana Businesses Hung Out to Dry in Economic Relief Package

Last week President Trump signed into law a historic $2 trillion stimulus package to help alleviate economic strain caused by the coronavirus. The aid package, which is the largest of its kind, seeks to help kickstart the economy by providing workers, small businesses, and struggling industries with liquid capital including $349 billion in forgivable loans available to distressed small businesses. [...]

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Mar 27, 2020

COVID-19 and Cannabis: Are Dispensaries “Essential?”

As the United States continues to take action to limit the spread of COVID-19 and flatten the curve of infection, the closure of non-essential businesses by numerous state governments has left residents wondering whether their local dispensary will be deemed an “essential business” and remain open. At least 17 states, 14 of which have cannabis programs, have issued statewide shelter [...]

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