Cannabis Law & Policy

Legal trends and analysis of the growing cannabis industry

Feb 18, 2020

Ohio Marijuana Company Loses Bid to Challenge Competitors & Award Process

An Ohio appellate court declined to entertain cannabis company Aphira’s challenge to the way the state awards marijuana licenses, noting any issues Aphira had with the process should have been resolved through administrative procedures. Canadian marijuana company Aphira’s Ohio licensing entity Schottenstein Aphira, LLC first sued the Ohio Department of Commerce in 2018 alleging flaws in the licensing process after [...]

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Feb 03, 2020

Open the Floodgates: Data Breach Affects Marijuana Dispensaries

A massive data breach from cannabis software provider THSuite has exposed the private information of approximately 30,000 medical and recreational cannabis users.  The breach affected dispensaries belonging to Amedicanna, Bloom Medicinals, and Colorado Grow Company. THSuite is a provider of point-of-sale and inventory management software targeted toward the marijuana industry.  On December 24, 2019, THSuite experienced a data breach which [...]

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Nov 22, 2019

U.S. House Judiciary Committee Passes MORE Act to Decriminalize Marijuana

The House Judiciary Committee approved a bill this week that would decriminalize marijuana at the federal level. The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2019 (“MORE Act”) was passed 24-10 after more than two hours of debate and now makes its way to a full House vote. Below is a brief summary of the Act’s major provisions and what [...]

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Oct 30, 2019

Turning Over a New Leaf: USDA Releases Interim Hemp Rule

On October 29, 2019 the U.S. Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) released its hotly anticipated interim rule establishing the Domestic Hemp Production Program (“DHPP”). The interim rule follows on the heels of the 2018 Farm Bill (“Farm Bill”) which permitted production of hemp and hemp-derived cannabidiol (“CBD”) products under certain circumstances. The Farm Bill legalized hemp production as long as it [...]

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Oct 21, 2019

Ohio’s “Tobacco 21” Law Takes Effect

Last week, Ohio joined the growing list of states that have raised the age requirement to purchase tobacco from 18 to 21. The “Tobacco 21” law applies to cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and vaping products. The change in Ohio’s age requirement comes in light of the substantial increase in vaping-related illnesses being reported across the country. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) [...]

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Oct 03, 2019

Four Things Cannabis Businesses Must Know Before Using Celebrity Endorsements

Endorsements from celebrities can boost a business’ sale through increased exposure and brand credibility. To that end, cannabis-based businesses have increasingly utilized celebrities to endorse their products through testimonials and other marketing efforts. Although the potential of these initiatives is undeniable, they do not come without risk. Cannabis currently operates in a legal grey area since it remains classified as [...]

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Aug 20, 2019

Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program Updates Advertising FAQs

Despite its slow start, Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Control Program (OMMCP) continues to grow with more than 50 dispensaries now fully operational and active. Regulators are keeping close watch on businesses in this sector, with particular focus on ensuring consumer protection laws are being followed. The marketing of these products to consumers remains a high priority and the Ohio Board of [...]

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Jul 31, 2019

State AGs Call on FDA to Take Larger Role in Regulating Cannabis Marketing

A coalition of 37 attorneys general, as the primary enforcers of their respective state consumer protection laws, has called on the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) to help protect consumers from false advertising and potential harms from products containing cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds. In a public comment filed with the FDA, the attorneys general emphasized the need for more research [...]

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Jul 24, 2019

Ohio Legislature Decriminalizes Hemp and CBD Products

The Ohio General Assembly passed Senate Bill 57 (“SB 57”) last week, decriminalizing hemp and instituting a legal framework for hemp licensing and cultivation.  SB 57 also allows retailers to sell hemp-derived products such as cannabidiol (“CBD”) and removes CBD from the state’s controlled substance list. SB 57 is currently pending before Governor Mike DeWine and will go into effect [...]

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Jun 20, 2019

Statistics Show an Underrepresentation of Ohio Minorities in Marijuana Businesses

The Columbus Dispatch recently reported that racial minorities are underrepresented in Ohio’s burgeoning medical marijuana industry.  As Ohio’s medical marijuana program progresses, there is growing concern among advocates and industry insiders that racial minorities will be under-represented in marijuana businesses. Currently, racial minorities hold 9 of the 56 dispensary provisional licenses, 2 of 29 cultivation provisional licenses, and none of [...]

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