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?

In November of last year, we wrote about how Total Wine & More jumped into the cannabis drinks arena in Minnesota. Since then (and probably before that), there’s been an influx of “THC Beverages” hitting the marketplace, and I don’t mean the state-licensed cannabis marketplace either. At this point, you can buy these drinks online or in person at a number of retail outlets and locations that don’t have any kind of state cannabis licensing at all (here’s one in Alabama, for example). How, you may be asking, is this legally possible and why are these libations picking up great speed with consumers?Continue Reading What’s in Your “THC Beverages”?

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

As the cannabis industry continues to navigate choppy economic and legal waters into 2024, some cannabis companies are pivoting to the smokable herbs market. And I do not mean to those hemp-derived intoxicating cannabinoids (HDIC) either (which are part of a legally precarious loophole anyway depending on who you ask). The smokable herbs to which cannabis companies and entrepreneurs are turning to are things like wormwood, valerian, tarragon, and mugwort (among others). Of course, these smokable herbs face a different set of legal and compliance issues altogether than hemp and/or cannabis do.Continue Reading A Cannabis Pivot to Smokable Herbs

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

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