If you’re in house counsel at any company, you’re likely looking to cut down on the day to day, high volume minutia posed by a variety of commercial agreements and transactions that come your way time and again. Doubly so in the cannabis industry given the fact that you have bigger fish to fry with labor and employment issues, day to day operational issues, fundraising and finding more capital, and dealing with the precarious legal environment created by the current federal law conflict (even with possible rescheduling on the horizon). To alleviate some of that in house stress, general counsels should be considering instituting cannabis corporate playbooks (or alternative language libraries) to make the company’s contracting process more turnkey, predictable, and efficient while cutting down on risk.Continue Reading Cannabis Corporate Playbooks
In November of last year, we wrote about how Total Wine & More jumped into the cannabis drinks arena in Minnesota. Since then (and probably before that), there’s been an influx of “THC Beverages” hitting the marketplace, and I don’t mean the state-licensed cannabis marketplace either. At this point, you can buy these drinks online or in person at a number of retail outlets and locations that don’t have any kind of state cannabis licensing at all (here’s one in Alabama, for example). How, you may be asking, is this legally possible and why are these libations picking up great speed with consumers?Continue Reading What’s in Your “THC Beverages”?
Between LinkedIn, Twitter, the media, and diehard marijuana investors, there is more noise and froth in the industry about a marijuana reschedule than I’ve seen since Washington and Colorado legalized it back in 2012. When speculation about the Feds starts to explode in the industry, I usually ignore most of it as fairly useless hearsay backed by a lot of hope, negativity, and/or hypotheticals.
This time, the tea leaves surround the number one question in the industry, will there be a 2024 marijuana reschedule from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) on the back of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) schedule III recommendation? Namely, is a marijuana reschedule imminent that could change the entire course of success for the industry?Continue Reading All the Outcomes of a Marijuana Reschedule
In October 2022, President Biden asked the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Attorney General to review how marijuana is scheduled under federal law. In August 2023, the HHS marijuana recommendation went to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). In October 2023, HHS released a heavily redacted copy of its recommendation to DEA. And until last Friday, no one outside of Bloomberg News and choice government insiders had seen the totality of the HHS marijuana recommendation. However, thanks to a Freedom of Information Act legal battle by lawyer Matt Zorn, the public can now see all 252 pages of (and related to) HHS’s marijuana recommendation to DEA.Continue Reading HHS Marijuana Recommendation Now on Blast
I split my time between Los Angeles and Milwaukee these days (I’m eligible to practice law in Wisconsin), and I often find myself working from my firm’s Milwaukee office depending on the month. Wisconsin is an incredibly interesting state when it comes to marijuana in that it is surrounded by states that have both adult use and medical cannabis legal regimes while it has nothing. Wisconsin’s state government is mainly controlled by Republicans who are anti-cannabis legalization. However, they seem to be alright with the concept of Wisconsin medical marijuana. It will be limited though and if the Republicans’ proposal goes through as presented (we don’t have an actual bill yet), Wisconsin will have state-run dispensaries with state-employed pharmacists.Continue Reading Wisconsin Medical Marijuana…Maybe
The Table is Set on Marijuana Rescheduling
On October 6, 2022, President Biden made a statement in which he asked the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Attorney General to review how marijuana is scheduled under federal law. In his statement, the President appeared to express disappointment that marijuana is listed in the same schedule as “drugs that are driving our overdose epidemic” (Id.). It was highly anticipated that this review would lead to the rescheduling, or even de-scheduling, of marijuana. On August 29, 2023, HHS submitted its recommendation to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) that marijuana be rescheduled from Schedule I to Schedule III.Continue Reading Marijuana Rescheduling: Process and Procedures To Know Now
Artificial Intelligence (AI) continues to jump leaps and bounds in 2024. As a lawyer, I’m always curious about how to integrate AI into my practice in order to better serve my clients. And now and then I check in with this seemingly omnipotent technology to ask what it deems top of mind for the cannabis industry. Given that we’re fresh into the new year, I logged into ChatGPT to ask it “What are the most asked questions about cannabis law”, and its answers honestly surprised me. Mainly because, after almost 14 years of practice in this area, it seems that the same questions remain despite all of the legal progress and reform in the area state by state.Continue Reading Top 10 Questions About Cannabis Law in 2024
As the cannabis industry continues to navigate choppy economic and legal waters into 2024, some cannabis companies are pivoting to the smokable herbs market. And I do not mean to those hemp-derived intoxicating cannabinoids (HDIC) either (which are part of a legally precarious loophole anyway depending on who you ask). The smokable herbs to which cannabis companies and entrepreneurs are turning to are things like wormwood, valerian, tarragon, and mugwort (among others). Of course, these smokable herbs face a different set of legal and compliance issues altogether than hemp and/or cannabis do.Continue Reading A Cannabis Pivot to Smokable Herbs
Overall, 2023 was a tough economic year for the entire cannabis industry. And with lean economic times comes a myriad of bad behavior, and cannabis is no exception. Every year, I like to put out a list of the top cannabis scams and swindles so that cannabis consumers, companies, and investors don’t wind up buying into one of these schemes.Continue Reading Top Cannabis Scams of 2023
California’s cannabis industry continues to struggle in this seemingly unending shake out period. Namely, hundreds of licensed cannabis companies are getting stiffed on A/R with an overwhelming inability to collect as those debtors go out of business. It’s gotten so bad that California considered passing a bill where cannabis companies that fail to pay their overdue invoices will suffer regulatory violations. And the Credit Management Association, at the request of a significant number of B2B California cannabis businesses, was set to compile a list of bad actor retailers that left wholesalers and distributors hanging. Such dire financial times require creditors to get both aggressive and creative. Their options in cannabis are limited since bankruptcy isn’t really available and because of the cannabis regulatory red tape. However, assignments for the benefit of creditors (“ABCs”) are definitely a (surprisingly) great way to deal with cannabis debtors in California (and potentially elsewhere). So, if you’re swimming upstream with a cannabis debtor, you may contemplate using a California cannabis ABC.Continue Reading California Cannabis ABCs