On the heels of New York and Missouri legalizing adult use cannabis, on November 7, 2023, Ohio voters approved “Issue 2” – a citizen initiative paving the way for adult use marijuana legalization in the state, which according to voter ballots creates “a system that regulates and taxes marijuana just like alcohol”. While the law goes into effect on December 7th, lawmakers can modify the new law before it goes into effect, and of course Ohio’s newly created Division of Cannabis Control (within the Department of Commerce) will need to rulemake around the new law, which could throw some curveballs at enterprising adult use marijuana businesses.Continue Reading Ohio Marijuana Legalization Hits Home
The voters of Missouri have spoken. During the 2022 Midterm Election, voters passed Amendment 3—a ballot measure legalizing the possession, use, and sale of marijuana to adults 21 years of age or older in the Show-Me-State. Among other things, Amendment 3 includes important information that every Missouri employer should know before the December 8, 2022, effective date. Continue Reading Missouri Joins Growing List of States Legalizing the Adult Use of Recreational Marijuana: What This Means for Missouri Employers
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
As a historic election here in the United States unfolds beyond Election Day, one thing is certain – marijuana continues to win – and win decisively. While notable races in several states and counties were too close to call at the end of Election Night, marijuana state ballot initiatives were called early. All five states…
On May 24, 2017 Vermont Governor Phil Scott vetoed legislation that would have begun the process of Vermont becoming the 9th state to legalize recreational marijuana. However, the legislation is not dead. Governor Phil Scott, referencing his libertarian streak, reiterated in a letter to the Senate he is not “philosophically opposed to ending the…
Over the last few weeks, we have tried to glean what the direction of state and federal policy on marijuana may be. On May 5, Trump used a signing statement to signal his disagreement with provision 537, which prohibits federal funds from being used to prevent states from implementing their own laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession or cultivation of medical marijuana. This provision lists 44 states that have some form of medical marijuana legalization at the state level. (Indiana and North Dakota were not on the list but have enacted medical marijuana programs).
As these statements spur discussions, it seems people are relatively unaware of the current landscape of state marijuana policies. Numbers can fluctuate depending on how you classify marijuana and legalization, (some states only allow cannabidiol or CBD oil, others have laws allowing medical marijuana but it is inaccessible because the states lack infrastructure for the purchase, sale, and manufacturing). The below summary is done as a waterfall, so once it is in one category it will not appear in a subsequent category. (For instance, a state that allows recreational marijuana also allows medical or a state allowing medical marijuana may also decriminalize the possession of recreational marijuana). Below is a summary of state policies as of May 12, 2017.
Cannabis is illegal at the Federal level. Under the Controlled Substances Act, Marihuana is classified as a level 1 drug, the same schedule as heroin. The DEA confirmed as recently as December, the level 1 classification covers all cannabiniods from marihuana and cannabis. This is vastly inconsistent with the majority of Americans’ views and state law definitions of marijuana. In fact, there is not a single state that penalizes an individual in the same manor for marijuana and heroin possession.
Some key points on the analysis – the analysis covers all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The population numbers used are from the U.S. Census bureau estimates on July 1, 2016, where the total U.S. population was 323,127,513.
There are currently eight states and the District of Columbia that have passed legislation for legal adult-use (recreational/retail) marijuana. The states that currently offer licenses and have established legal frameworks are Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington. In November 2017, four more states approved adult-use marijuana and are developing a legal framework for licensing – California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada. The District of Columbia allows you to possess and home grow marijuana but has not developed any legal structure for purchase, sale or manufacturing. That is 68.7 million people, or 21% of Americans live in a state (or district) that allows recreational marijuana.
Continue Reading The States of Marijuana
Today, May 19, Steve Levine presented at the 5th Annual Recreational CLE Conference. The CLE program covers Weed & the Government: Post Election Outlook. Steve’s presentation specifically covered Mergers and Public Offerings. This event is being held at the Embassy Suites in downtown Denver and brings industry professionals up-to-speed on issues including real estate, employment,…
Vermont may become the 9th state to allow recreational marijuana and the 1st state to do so via legislation. Last Wednesday, the Vermont house approved a bill 79-66 which would create a regulatory structure for the cultivation, processing, sale and use of recreational marijuana by July, 2018. The Vermont Senate previously passed the…
Yesterday, Sean Spicer attempted to call out a difference between medical and recreational marijuana at the federal level. He clearly does not understand that ALL marijuana is federally illegal. Further, he made a poor and factually incorrect analogy by comparing the current opioid abuse crisis to marijuana use. Spicer ended his comments on recreational…
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) is at odds with the ever-growing marijuana industry. While marijuana legalization was a big winner in November’s elections, with seven states legalizing either medical or adult recreational use of the drug, the burgeoning industry may run into some problems obtaining trademarks for marijuana products and related devices. The lack of trademark protection could slow down or inhibit the growth of the industry as the lack of trademark protection limits entrepreneurs’ ability to stop infringement and protect their rights.
Continue Reading No Federal Trademark Protection for the Growing Marijuana Industry