Husch Blackwell has named partner Marshall Custer as co-leader of the firm’s 80-plus lawyer Cannabis practice group. Custer will share leadership duties for the team with partner Steve Levine, who was appointed by the firm to lead its Food & Agribusiness strategic business unit. Levine was a prime mover in creating Husch Blackwell’s cannabis practice and has led the group for the past decade.

Custer has worked with industrial hemp and marijuana companies since the industry’s beginning. He works closely with individual entrepreneurs and executives on regulatory compliance, corporate structuring, debt and equity financing, governance, securities compliance, and mergers and acquisitions.

In 2021, Custer was ranked by Chambers USA as a leading attorney in Cannabis Law and was mentioned as a key lawyer of the Cannabis group by The Legal 500.

“Marshall is a strategic and pragmatic leader” said Levine. “His significant industry experience, business acumen, and legal prowess make him the right co-leader for our cannabis practice going forward.”

The “Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act,” was published today. The proposed legislation, sponsored by Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senators Cory Booker and Ron Wyden, delivers a plan for the comprehensive rescheduling and federal regulation of marijuana.  We have highlighted a few key aspects of the proposed legislation and our thoughts on the overall landscape below. Continue Reading One Step Closer to the Federal Decriminalization of Marijuana

On June 21, 2021, the U. S. Supreme Court declined to hear Eric D. Speidell, et al., Petitioners v. United States, which sought to overturn the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals’ 2020 opinion on Speidell v. United States. In that case, the Tenth Circuit rejected the argument of several Colorado medical marijuana dispensaries that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) does not have authority to investigate whether a taxpayer is dealing in controlled substances. Because the Supreme Court declined to hear the case, the Tenth Circuit ruling stands, and taxpayers can reasonably expect courts across the country to reach similar results as the Tenth Circuit did. Marijuana-related businesses can expect the IRS to continue aggressively enforcing Section 280E of the Internal Revenue Code. Continue Reading Supreme Court Declines to Hear Challenge to IRS Enforcement of Cannabis Tax Rules

On June 4th, 2021 we provided a brief overview of coming changes in online ordering which was updated on June 14, 2021, “Business as Usual: The June 11, 2021 Expiration of COVID-19 Emergency Rules and the Impact on Colorado Marijuana Businesses”. Since our last update Governor Polis signed an extension of Executive Order 2020-011 which now allows for transactions completed outside of the licensed premises by licensed retail marijuana stores through electronic means to resume until July 10, 2021. What is the current status of online ordering and online transactions? Continue Reading Current Status of Online Orders in Colorado

As vaccination prevalence increases and COVID -19 case numbers go down business has started to go back to normal, for better or for worse. Some of the changes resulting from the COVID-19 emergency proved to be beneficial to regulated marijuana businesses, patients, and consumers. In Colorado some of these measures expired on June 11, 2021. Continue Reading Business as Usual: The June 11, 2021 Expiration of COVID-19 Emergency Rule and the Impact on Colorado Marijuana Businesses

The Marijuana Regulation & Taxation Act (the “Act”) was signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo on March 31, 2021. Not only does the Act create the foundation for the adult-use marijuana program, it contains sweeping changes to the current medical marijuana regulatory framework as well as criminal reform elements.

Per the Act, the administration of the adult-use and medical marijuana programs will be two pronged. The Act provides the criteria for the composition of a Cannabis Control Board which will be charged with creating regulations for the medical and adult-use programs. The implementation and enforcement of the policies will be conducted through the Office of Cannabis Management which will enforce the policies. It will be a bit more than a “New York Minute” before these regulators are ready to release the more specific provisions of the regulations or application process here is what we do know: Continue Reading New York State of Mind- An Overview of the Unique Aspects of New York’s New Marijuana Regulatory Framework.

Happy 4/20!

As the nation gets ready to celebrate the unofficial marijuana holiday, 4/20, we thought this was a great time to provide an update on the state of marijuana. 2021 has seen an increase in support for marijuana legalization at the state as well as federal level.  Coming off a year of uncertainty with the COVID-19 pandemic, marijuana legalization is poised to make substantial progress.  In many states, marijuana businesses were deemed essential businesses during the pandemic, highlighting the overall importance of these establishments. Continue Reading 4/20 Marijuana Legislative Update

On April 19, 2021, the U.S. Postal Service issued a notice regarding the upcoming changes to Publication 52, which is titled “Hazardous, Restricted, and Perishable Mail.”  Postal Service, “Treatment of E-Cigarettes in the Mail,” 86 Fed. Reg. 20,287 (Apr. 19, 2021).  The changes relate to the mailability of electronic nicotine delivery systems (“ENDS”), which were added to the definition of “cigarettes” in the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking (PACT) Act.  See our previous alert regarding these changes. Continue Reading Postal Service Provides Guidance on Applications for Exceptions to the PACT Act

In our previous post, we highlighted that the United Stated Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) published its final rule (the “Final Rule”) regulating the production of industrial hemp under the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (the “2018 Farm Bill”). The Final Rule supersedes regulations set forth in the interim final rule published on October 31, 2019 (the “Interim Rule”).

The Final Rule was initially scheduled to take effect on March 22, 2021. However, a White House Memorandum issued by the Biden Administration on January 21, 2021 (the “Biden Memorandum”) effectively “froze” all regulations that had been published in the Federal Register but had not yet taken effect, including the Final Rule. The Biden Memorandum also granted agencies (such as the USDA) the authority to “consider opening a 30-day comment period.”

As part of the transition to the Biden Administrations, the USDA and many other agencies took this opportunity to review new and pending regulatory actions, including the Final Rule. Continue Reading USDA Final Rule Takes Effect

Delta-8 has been the topic of many conversations over the last year in various cannabis circles. Is it legal?  How will hemp-derived Delta-8 THC impact the state-legal marijuana industry?  How is Delta-8 THC extracted from hemp and in what quantities?  Much of this was already covered in a recent webinar hosted by our firm a few weeks ago.

Demonstrating how popular the idea of hemp-derived Delta-8 THC has become, yesterday the New York Times latched onto this subject as well.  While the legality of Delta-8 THC extracted from hemp is complex and of a dubious nature, what we also find interesting is the science of where Delta-8 THC extracted from hemp is likely coming from.

The New York Times did not address two critical questions in analyzing the legality of Delta-8 THC derived from hemp:

  1. The commercial viability of extracting naturally occurring Delta-8 THC in quantities sufficient to make actual products; and
  2. If Delta-8 THC is naturally present in hemp plants in very small amounts, how much of the Delta-8 THC being sold into commerce outside of the state-legal marijuana industry is being synthetically derived from CBD?

From our perspective, interested parties looking to take advantage of this potential loophole should take a long, hard look at what the answers are to these questions.

If you have any questions, please contact Steve Levine, Alyssa Samuel or your Husch Blackwell attorney.