Category: Legal

Insurance for cannabis: Not yet business as usual

June 15th, 2018

The legalization of cannabis in several states is helping the industry gain access to insurance products taken for granted in other economic sectors. But there is still a long way to go until the cannabis industry becomes completely normalized. Although most state and local governments have strict licensing requirements, including…

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An Analysis of Hemp Industries Association v. the DEA

June 10th, 2018

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its decision in Hemp Industries Association, et al. v. U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (Case No. 17-70162), siding against industry attorneys who argued that the DEA’s new rule essentially adds cannabis extracts, specifically CBD, to the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) as a Schedule I…

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Dismissed federal lawsuit heads to court of appeals

June 1st, 2018

The most comprehensive cannabis lawsuit ever filed against the federal government has been dismissed — through a questionable procedural technicality. The lawsuit, filed in July 2017 against U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the Department of Justice, the DEA and the federal government, asserted that the classification of cannabis as a…

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Regulators establish strict advertising rules in Massachusetts

May 17th, 2018

With the first retail sales of adult-use marijuana slated to take place in just a few months, the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission is working overtime to regulate an industry that some project will exceed $1 billion in revenue by 2020. As the July 1 target date for the opening of retail…

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Welcome to the Terrordome

April 28th, 2018

With a million new lawsuits a year, the Golden State long ago earned its dubious distinction as America’s No. 1 judicial hellhole. Some of these lawsuits — like too much ice in iced coffee or not enough lip balm in a tube — induce the obligatory “only in California” eye…

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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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