Government and Policy Trends

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?

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

On February 8, 2021, leading cannabis businesses, associations and advocacy organizations launched the U.S. Cannabis Council (USCC), a nonprofit organization focused on advancing social equity and advocating for state and federal cannabis reform.

The coalition will advocate for the descheduling and legalization of cannabis.  Additionally, the USCC aims to fight for restorative justice in communities

A new California Proposition 65 mandate took effect on January 3, requiring health warning labels for all cannabis products sold in the state.  Failure to comply with the requirements can and will result in enforcement against cannabis producers and sellers, resulting in hefty penalties.  Here’s what you need to know.
Continue Reading California Laws Regarding Health and Safety Warnings for Cannabis Have Changed: Are You In Compliance?