Dealing with creditors is never a fun experience. However, some creditors are more severe than others, especially in the cannabis industry. One of those is the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA), which administers California’s sales and use, fuel, tobacco, alcohol, and cannabis taxes, as well as a variety of other taxes and fees that fund specific state programs. It’s no secret that CDTFA cannabis taxes are crippling the California cannabis industry. For example, I recently recorded a Cannabis Law Now podcast episode with Anthony Almaz, general counsel for Catalyst. Catalyst is challenging various emergency rules promulgated and adopted by CDTFA that would further expand taxable items in California’s cannabis industry. This post though is about the CDTFA cannabis creditor relationship and the myths and truths around it.Continue Reading CDTFA Cannabis Creditor: Myths and Truths

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

When I started representing cannabis businesses in 2010, the biggest epidemic in the industry next to I.R.C. 280E was the overwhelming lack of cannabis banking. This inability to access financial institutions for just depository accounts was staggering to businesses, leading to endless public safety hazards and organizational chaos. Almost 14 years later, the cannabis banking crisis has somewhat improved due to the 2014 FinCEN guidelines. But they’re not enough on either side of the aisle, and Congressional Research Services (“CRS”) echoed that point in a recent “Legal Sidebar”, detailing the myriad liabilities financial institutions to face if they want to bank cannabis businesses.Continue Reading Cannabis Banking: What’s a Financial Institution to Do Right Now?

Part 1 of this series discussed the lack of bankruptcy protections for cannabis companies since bankruptcy in the U.S. is an exclusively federal procedure and cannabis remains illegal under federal law and proposed a number of alternative options for businesses struggling in the current environment. Part 2 of this series focused on state law receiverships for several states.  

In the third and final part of this series, we continue to review state law receiverships for several additional states and discuss the final non-bankruptcy option for cannabis companies, an assignment for the benefit of creditors.Continue Reading Alternatives to Bankruptcy for Cannabis Companies (Part 3)

Part 1 of this series discussed the lack of bankruptcy protections for cannabis companies since bankruptcy in the U.S. is an exclusively federal procedure and cannabis remains illegal under federal law and proposed a number of alternative options for businesses struggling in the current environment. Part 2 of this series focuses on one of these alternatives: state law receiverships.Continue Reading Alternatives to Bankruptcy for Cannabis Companies (Part 2)

The problems facing the cannabis industry arising from its ongoing status as a federally illegal enterprise are numerous and well documented: 280E tax burdens, limited access to banking, exclusion from capital markets, uneven access to federal intellectual property right protections, and the inability to access the stream of interstate commerce. The recent woes faced by cannabis companies operating in mature markets reveal another key legal hurdle for cannabis companies, their investors, and their creditors: the inability to access federal bankruptcy protection. However, cannabis companies may have access to a number of contractual and state law remedies to deal with insolvency and other financial woes.Continue Reading Alternatives to Bankruptcy for Cannabis Companies (Part 1)

Earlier this week, members of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate reintroduced legislation that would allow regulated financial institutions to work with state-licensed cannabis companies. The Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act of 2023 would disallow federal banking authorities from prohibiting, penalizing, or discouraging banks from providing financial services to state-licensed cannabis businesses and their networks of counterparties, advisors, and vendors.Continue Reading Legislators Make Another Run at Cannabis Banking Law

A group of Illinois cannabis companies face an antitrust lawsuit alleging that they maintained illegal interlocking directorates. An interlocking directorate is where a person from one company serves as an officer or director at a competing company in violation of Section 8 of the Clayton Act. On April 18, 2022, a plaintiff named True Social

In our previous posts,[1] we discussed why state-legal medical and recreational marijuana businesses are likely not eligible to receive federal financial assistance under the Paycheck Protection Program due to the fact that these businesses are inherently engaged in federally illegal activities.

While our view has not necessarily changed, this post is intended to highlight