Category: Legal

Protecting your business from sexual harassment claims

February 7th, 2018

For the past 20 years, sex-based workplace discrimination charges have been one of the most common employee-asserted claims before the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, second only to race. As the recent deluge of news headlines have brought to light, workplace sexual harassment remains both prevalent and underreported. Yet all…

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States’ rights: Another victim in the War on Drugs

January 26th, 2018

In the massive federal lawsuit brought against Jeff Sessions, et al., (Washington v. Sessions, currently pending in the Southern District of New York), plaintiffs seek a declaration that the classification of cannabis as a Schedule I drug is unconstitutional. Plaintiffs allege that the Controlled Substances Act, as it pertains to…

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No Monkey Business

January 22nd, 2018

The days of flying under the radar are over. Now that medical and/or adult-use cannabis has been legalized in 30 states and the District of Columbia, owners of “mainstream” brands are taking notice, and cannabis businesses need to be careful to avoid infringing someone else’s trademark rights. Trademark infringement is…

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Massachusetts: Opportunities in the land of progressive puritanism

January 19th, 2018

Forget what you think you know about the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Despite its reputation as a liberal state, Massachusetts suffers from a harmful affliction: progressive puritanism. Symptoms include the desire to do right, but the unwillingness to do so because of the fear of the unknown. Marijuana policy is a…

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Workers’ compensation in the legal marijuana industry

January 11th, 2018

It is a common practice in the marijuana industry to label workers as independent contractors. Many employers want this designation to avoid having to withhold Social Security and income taxes, pay unemployment taxes and other assessments, or pay workers’ compensation insurance premiums. Many workers also want this designation to avoid…

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What’s in a Name: Trademarks, Trade Names and Domain Names

January 3rd, 2018

Every business needs a name. In fact, most businesses have several. The legal name often lurks in the background and most consumers never see it, while trademarks, trade names and domain names are generally the most visible and important client-facing identifiers. Knowing the differences between them will help executives protect…

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Zero tolerance for gender bias and discrimination

December 26th, 2017

Today’s headlines are, unfortunately, dominated by stories of workplace sexual harassment and assault allegations against men in positions of power. The novelty of the legal cannabis industry has shielded it from the type of institutional harassment entrenched in the entertainment industry. But no industry is immune from attracting individuals who…

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It’s not Reefer Madness, it’s risk management

December 12th, 2017

Investment advisers and broker-dealers ask more and more whether they can safely provide investment services to prospective customers in the marijuana industry. There is still a risk of liability under federal law, but that risk can be addressed by closely following guidance issued by the U.S. Department of Justice and…

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In California, the land rush is on, but is there enough water?

December 7th, 2017

Although cultivation and use of cannabis for medicinal purposes has been legal in California for two decades, the legalization of recreational cannabis creates untold opportunity for expansion of the existing market. The prospect of cashing in on this burgeoning market seems to have sparked the interest of land speculators and…

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Understanding trademarks is key to avoid rebranding

November 30th, 2017

The announcement of a settlement between the Gorilla Glue Co. and GG Strains is creating a stir on the trademark side of cannabis law. Gorilla Glue Co. manufactures a wide array of adhesives including Gorilla Glue, Gorilla Tape and Gorilla Epoxy. GG Strains LLC is the company that created the…

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