Category: Legal

Three steps to building strong cannabis brands

July 21st, 2019

Brands are often a company’s most valuable asset and will be key to the developing cannabis industry. For example, in 2018, Interbrand, a global branding consulting firm, valued the Coca-Cola brand at $66.3 billion and the Budweiser brand at $15.6 billion. As the cannabis industry grows, brands will also become…

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Counterfeiting and the Cannabis Industry

July 16th, 2019

If imitation is the highest form of flattery, counterfeiting should be quite the compliment. But in the cannabis industry, like other industries, counterfeiting not only hurts a company’s bottom line, but also weakens the value of their intellectual property, exposes them to reputation risk and puts them in the crosshairs…

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USPTO issues guidance on CBD and hemp trademarks

July 11th, 2019

Trademark practitioners, hemp growers and hemp-derived product manufacturers have long struggled with the clash of federal and state laws regarding protection of trademarks. Historically, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has refused registration of marks that include cannabis, hemp, CBD or other derived products on the basis that these…

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Diversity matters: Massachusetts leads the way

July 2nd, 2019

Prospective adult-use cannabis operators in Massachusetts cannot pay lip service to diversity if they want to be awarded a permit. In late April, the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission denied an adult-use production permit on grounds that the applicant failed to demonstrate a sufficient commitment to diversity and inclusion — an…

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Cannabis Across Borders

June 11th, 2019

Earlier this year, Israel become the third country to legalize the importing and exporting of cannabis, joining Canada and the Netherlands. While this presents significant opportunities, it is unlikely to fully take shape while cannabis remains a Schedule I substance in the United States. Despite the fact that cannabis still…

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Bankruptcy cannot protect legal marijuana businesses

June 7th, 2019

As the marijuana industry continues to grow, individuals and organizations that provide goods or services to cannabis-based businesses may face legal consequences few have considered. While many individuals involved in marijuana businesses want little to no federal intervention when it comes to enforcement of laws, they may fail to understand…

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Questions abound for alcohol beverage companies

June 6th, 2019

Faced with expansive entrepreneurial opportunities in the marijuana and hemp industries, alcohol beverage suppliers within the United States are faced with an existential conundrum of sorts: Do they jump into the fray or lose loyal customers to novel products in the rapidly expanding cannabis marketplace? Furthermore, given the complexities of…

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Founder-friendly deals: Keep your place in your company

May 21st, 2019

The age of roll-up and consolidation in the cannabis industry has dawned and cannabis news is now dominated by stories of mergers and acquisitions. Those doing the acquiring, for the most part, are large, multi-state operators who are keen to convince smaller, mom-and-pop businesses that consolidation is the only means…

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The FAQs of CBD

May 10th, 2019

The 2018 Farm Bill transformed the hemp industry by making it legal to produce and sell hemp, as well as legalizing the production and sale of cannabidiol (CBD) derived from hemp. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was quick to jump in and say “not so fast” for…

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Harborside tax case hinges on definition of ‘consists of’

May 7th, 2019

The end of 2018 brought with it an interesting U.S. Tax Court case affecting the cannabis industry. Though not a pro-taxpayer case — the IRS won on the major counts — the Harborside case provides some insight into structuring cannabis-related businesses with a view to deduction of business expenses. The taxpayer in…

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