On May 16, the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA“) published its 92-page notice of proposed rulemaking (“NPRM“) to move marijuana from schedule 1 on the Controlled Substances Act (“CSA”) to schedule 3 (ironically, the proposed rule itself only takes up a couple of paragraphs on the last two pages of the NPRM). On the same day, the DEA released an opinion from the Office of Legal Counsel (within the Department of Justice (“DOJ”), which prepares legal opinions of the U.S. Attorney General “and provides its own written opinions and other advice in response to requests from the Counsel to the President, the various agencies of the Executive Branch, and other components of the Department of Justice”) in response to questions from the U.S. Attorney General’s office about schedule 3 marijuana (the “Opinion”). While the NPRM represents the proposed DEA rule that moves marijuana from schedule 1 to schedule 3, the Opinion is essentially the OLC’s roadmap for fending off legal and administrative challenges to this historic move.Continue Reading Schedule 3 Marijuana Alert: DEA Publishes NPRM

Hemp Production and Prices Increase

Earlier this year, hemp was included in the USDA’s Census of Agriculture. When hemp was first legalized in 2018, there was a boom in production under the fervor of new opportunities, spearheaded by the demand for CBD products. This resulted in over production and over supply. The CBD market was over-saturated within a growing season and hemp biomass prices plummeted, along with hemp production. More recently, however, hemp production has leveled out and is even increasing as reported by the USDA on April 17, 2024. As an example, prices for hemp outdoor-grown flower are up 35% and hemp clone and transplant prices are up 61%.Continue Reading Hemp Production on the Upswing – Is Intoxicating Hemp the Main Driver?

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

Many states with cannabis legalization have manufacturer and dispensary licensees that make and sell cannabis-infused beverages and even cannabis-infused drink mixes. What you don’t usually see is a major liquor retailer carrying any form of cannabis drink. Why? First, states with cannabis legalization on the whole ban alcohol and cannabis being mixed together in a single beverage, and, second, major liquor retailers won’t bother getting a state cannabis license due to a multitude of legal issues, including federal law and how it conflicts with cannabis negatively impacts alcohol licensing. However, Total Wine & More (“Total Wine”) is breaking the mold by offering cannabis drinks in Minnesota.Continue Reading Cannabis Drinks Hit Total Wine

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’

National law firm Husch Blackwell is pleased to announce that Hilary Bricken has joined the firm as a partner in the Los Angeles office and as a member of its Food Systems industry group.

Bricken is a highly regarded cannabis law attorney who joins Husch Blackwell’s nationally recognized Cannabis practice team. She has more than a decade of experience in guiding clients of all sizes in cannabis licensing; marijuana and industrial hemp regulatory compliance; mergers and acquisitions; corporate and transactional matters, including negotiating management services agreements, fee slotting agreements, cultivation supply agreements, and intellectual property licensing agreements; receiverships; dissolution and wind downs; and financing and debt restructuring.Continue Reading Husch Blackwell Expands Nationally Recognized Cannabis Team with Addition of Partner Hilary Bricken

Creating further confusion and uncertainty in the hemp derived cannabidiol (CBD) markets, the FDA has determined that the existing regulatory frameworks for food and supplements are not appropriate for CBD. The FDA cited various safety concerns as the impetuous in making this determination.

FDA has concluded that a new regulatory pathway for CBD is