Category: Legal

Navigating the Tax Maze: The impact of 280E and COGS

March 28th, 2018

With tax deadlines rapidly approaching, I have received a flurry of questions from legal cannabis companies. Confusion around the tax code arises for many reasons, and the current tax laws for legal cannabis companies are extremely difficult to navigate. First, federal and state tax laws vary significantly. Second, federal tax…

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Need money? Time to find investors for your business

March 13th, 2018

All businesses (not just marijuana businesses) reach a point where they need money, either to get started or to expand and reach that next level of productivity and revenue. This article assumes that you have tapped out your own savings and credit and that you have borrowed what you can…

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Brand Collision: Trademark disputes in the cannabis industry

March 8th, 2018

Cannabis businesses face unique challenges in protecting their brands. With an outdated federal regulatory regime and changing state landscapes, cannabis businesses must be aware of limitations affecting the protection and enforcement of trademark rights. Due to the state-based nature of cannabis regulations, it is important for businesses to keep in…

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Can trademarks related to cannabis be protected?

March 3rd, 2018

To qualify for a federal trademark registration, the use of a mark in commerce must be “lawful.” But the federal Controlled Substances Act prohibits, among other things, manufacturing, distributing, dispensing or possessing certain controlled substances, including marijuana. In addition, the Controlled Substances Act makes it unlawful to sell, offer for…

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The marijuana business in the post-Cole Memo Era

March 2nd, 2018

Everybody in the marijuana industry was acutely aware when U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memorandum on Jan. 4, 2018 — we’ll call this the “Sessions Memo” — that rescinded the Obama administration enforcement guidance memo, the Cole Memo. Now that some time has passed, the dust has settled…

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Fact from Fiction

March 1st, 2018

With the beginning of California cannabis licensing under the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA), there has been a lot of confusion regarding how the new system will operate. Here are 10 of the most misunderstood aspects California attorneys are hearing about the state’s newly legalized cannabis…

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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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