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Alyssa is a mergers and acquisitions-focused attorney who loves client growth. While she works with a variety of clients, Alyssa has a special concentration on the cannabis industry.

After months of anticipation, the New York State Office of Cannabis Management began accepting applications for five (5) types of licenses this week: cultivator, processor, distributor, and microbusiness. This is generally how the process will work:Continue Reading The New York marijuana business application window has opened, but will be over in a ‘New York minute’

The 2019 Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act provided the authority for the Illinois Department of Agriculture (the “IDOA”) and the Illinois Department of Financing and Professional Regulation (the “IDFPR”) to issue additional adult-use craft grower, infuser, transporter, and dispensary licenses. Each Department developed an application process for each license type to be graded by a third-party contractor. KPMG was awarded the contract to score the license applications. The award of several categories of licenses has been inhibited by a number of lawsuits. We have provided a brief summary of the status of each license category and the corresponding litigation below.
Continue Reading Cannabis Licenses in Illinois: Could Hopeful Social Equity Applicants See Relief Soon?

The Husch Blackwell Cannabis team has released episode two of their podcast, The Grass is Greener: Cannabis Law News. In this episode, cannabis attorneys Marshall Custer and Alyssa Samuel dive into ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) and what it means for the cannabis industry, specifically the regulated marijuana industry. They explore what it means to take

Key Takeaways:

  • The recently released IPCC Report shows irreversible harm to the global ecosystem.
  • Fund managers focused on ESG criteria will have an increased focus on environmentally conscious companies and substantial sums of investment dollars will likely flow into companies that commit to more aggressive ESG plans.
  • Cannabis companies could benefit from looking at how industries like the wine industry have embraced sustainability.
  • In an industry where competition for capital is fierce, adopting ESG principles is an effective way for cannabis companies to not only foster good will, but to foster investment.

On Monday, August 9, 2021 the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Sixth Assessment Report (the “IPCC report”) sent shock waves through the financial markets and the world in general. This report, the most comprehensive of its nature released since 2013, made it abundantly clear that much of the damage incurred by the global ecosystem will be irreversible and the harm is accelerating at an alarming rate. This has catalyzed investment funds and asset managers focusing on ESG investments to rethink their approach. According to Bloomberg Law, Chris Meyer of Praxis Mutual Funds, a well established socially responsible investment firm stated that the report “…changes the calculus. We will need to have a sharper focus. This report shows that investors are not moving quickly enough.”  Financial investment itself may not be able to curb the problem, however, what is certain is that fund managers focused on ESG criteria will have an increased focus on environmentally conscious companies and substantial sums of investment dollars will likely flow into companies that commit to more aggressive ESG plans.
Continue Reading The UN Report on Climate Change: What does it have to do with Cannabis and Wine in the US?

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.

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

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has joined the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“the “FDA”) in enforcing laws related to marketing CBD products. The FDA has historically issued warning letters and pursued companies that illegally market CBD products with claims the products may treat medical conditions.  The FTC has joined the FDA is this pursuit and announced settlements with six different CBD companies involves fines ranging between $20,000-$85,000 in addition to notifications provided to consumers.  Pursuant to these settlement agreements the respondent companies are also prohibited from similar marketing efforts in the future, any health claims must have scientific evidence to support them.

Industry actors making any health or therapeutic claims are vulnerable to action by agencies such as the FDA and FTC, however, they may also be subject to civil suits based on enforcement by those agencies. In April of 2020 Charlotte’s Web Holdings, Inc. (“CWB”) was served with yet another (its second) class action lawsuit due to how their products are labeled. Benson v. Charlotte’s Web Holdings, Inc., No. 1:20-cv-00418 (N.D. Ill.)  The suit based a significant portion of the allegations on FDA guidance:

 “Based on available evidence, FDA has concluded that THC and CBD products are excluded from the dietary supplement definition under section 201(ff)(3)(B) of the FD&C Act [21 U.S.C. § 321(ff)(3)(B)]. Under that provision, if a substance (such as THC or CBD) is an active ingredient in a drug product that has been approved under section 505 of the FD&C Act [21 U.S.C. § 355], or has been authorized for investigation as a new drug for which substantial clinical investigations have been instituted and for which the existence of such investigations has been made public, then products containing that substance are excluded from the definition of a dietary supplement”

Companies facing enforcement actions by the FTC may similarly be subject to civil allegations.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOUR BUSINESS
Continue Reading CBD Companies Now Facing Monetary Penalties For Deceptive Marketing, Will Civil Liability Follow?