Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.

Denver officials are working on regulations to open a one-year pilot of bring-your-own marijuana clubs, while state lawmakers are expected to consider measures to allow either marijuana “tasting rooms” run by marijuana dispensaries, or smoke-friendly clubs akin to cigar bars.

Indiana may be well on its way to becoming the next state to legalize a modest medical marijuana program. But make no mistake, it would be one of the most restrictive in the nation.

The first salvo in the recreational marijuana legalization fight for the next election cycle looks set to be fired Thursday, in Phoenix. Safer Arizona 2018, a grassroots activism group, plans to file paperwork with the secretary of state’s office to place an adult-use cannabis legalization initiative on the 2018 statewide ballot, the organization announced Wednesday.

Something we missed that everyone needs to know?  Give us a shout in the comments.

Seyfarth Synopsis: Last month, a New Jersey Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) held that an employer’s worker’s compensation insurance carrier must reimburse an employee who was injured on-the-job for his medical marijuana.

On ­­January 18, 2010, New Jersey became the 14th state to enact legislation permitting the sale of medical marijuana.  (To read more about the New Jersey medical marijuana law, please see our blog post here.)  Compared to other state medical marijuana laws, the New Jersey medical marijuana program is considered restrictive, and only permits a small set of patients with “qualifying conditions” to be prescribed marijuana.[1]  Further, medical marijuana in New Jersey is amongst the most expensive in the nation with the price of an ounce of marijuana ranging from $425 to $520, not counting the 7% state sales tax.  As with other states, when medical marijuana was introduced in New Jersey, New Jersey employers became fearful of the law’s effect on the workforce. However, an ALJ decision from last month gives new reason for employers, and their worker’s compensation carriers, to be fearful. Continue Reading ALJ Holds that Employer’s Worker’s Compensation Carrier Must Pay for Employee’s Medical Marijuana

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Feb 8 (Reuters) – The prospect of Senator Jeff Sessions as U.S. attorney general has cast uncertainty over the country’s nascent legalized marijuana industry, souring deals and disrupting share prices since the longtime critic of the drug was nominated.

The states may be pushing forward with more legalization of marijuana, but Washington may be stepping back as anti-marijuana leaders Sessions and Price take office.

Cannabis businesses in Colorado now have guidance on how to create and maintain a safe workplace. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has issued an 80-page report intended to help marijuana businesses identify health and safety hazards that could exist in their workplaces and “provide a starting point for the assessment and evaluation of occupational health hazards.”

The Green Solution, a large retail marijuana chain in Colorado, wanted a foothold in Canada’s expected recreational cannabis market. OrganiGram, among the growing number of federally licensed Canadian growers, needed know-how and a name.

Something we missed that everyone needs to know?  Give us a shout in the comments.

Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.

Startups are finding new ways to tailor technologies specifically to cannabis businesses.

A couple of marijuana reform supporters already have a couple of commentaries flagging some decisions of new SCOTUS nominee Neil Gorsuch concerning marijuana: From Tom Angell here, “Trump’s Supreme Court Pick On Marijuana”; from Heavy.com here, “Neil Gorsuch & Marijuana: What Are His Views on Legalization?”

The first tangible results of state voters’ decision to legalize marijuana are being felt as possession and home growth of marijuana becomes legal in Maine. Voters narrowly passed the ballot question in November, and the waiting period between the vote and legalization has expired.

Something we missed that everyone needs to know?  Give us a shout in the comments.

Strong intellectual property is the cornerstone of most start-up companies, and in most cases it is the key asset utilized by companies in securing financing and investment.  Studies have estimated that non-tangible assets represent over 80% of an average business’ value, and when it comes to startups, the number is even higher.[1]  The marijuana industry, because of its uncertain legal status under federal law, is at a strategic disadvantage, but despite this fact, the industry has still continued to blossom and is currently valued at $6.7 B and is expected to rise to almost $20 B by 2020.[2]  However, failure to secure traditional forms of intellectual property (i.e., patents, trademarks, and copyrights) should not dissuade marijuana entrepreneurs from the inherent value intellectual property.  Developing a keen business strategy around both traditional and non-traditional forms of intellectual property can open the door to additional revenue opportunities. Continue Reading Unharvested Opportunities for the Marijuana Industry – Exploiting Non-Traditional Forms of Intellectual Property

Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.

In a major positive step for the cannabis industry, the New York Stock Exchange last month listed a new real estate investment trust called Innovative Industrial Properties (NYSE:IIPR), the first cannabis company to be listed on a US national exchange.

San Diego and San Francisco, two of the most populous cities in California, moved to delay cannabis-related businesses. The San Diego City Council on Tuesday unanimously extended a moratorium on recreational marijuana retailers until December, and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved temporary restrictions on indoor marijuana cultivation until the city approves permanent zoning restrictions.

All the great articles from the UC Davis Law Review’s Symposium on “Disjointed Regulation: State Efforts to Legalize Marijuana” are now in print (and now available at this link) in the December 2016 issue of the UC Davis Law Review.

President Trump voiced support for medical marijuana and states’ rights during his campaign, but Jeff Sessions, his pick for Attorney General, has opposed legalization, and will have the power to enforce the federal drug laws that could send people to prison.

Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.

DENVER (AP) — Denver is starting work Wednesday on becoming the first city in the nation to allow marijuana clubs and public pot use in places such as coffee shops, yoga studios and art galleries.

Cannabis users may cheer this news, but it heralds the start of an enduring headache for states.

And, since it’s Inauguration Day, of course we’re including an article about the incoming adminstration.

By John Schroyer – Steph Sherer has a good read on the pulse of cannabis politics, having spent years in Washington DC lobbying on behalf of medical marijuana patients and fighting for national MJ reform as executive director of Americans for Safe Access.

Something we missed that everyone needs to know?  Give us a shout in the comments.

 

On January 10, 2017, Alabama GOP Sen. Jeff Sessions began confirmation hearings with the Senate Judiciary Committee for his potential role as Attorney General in the upcoming Trump administration.   During these hearings he was asked questions that shed light on possible differences between the Trump administration Department of Justice’s stance on marijuana as compared to the Obama administration.

In response to a question about federalism as it relates to marijuana laws from Sen. Mike Lee, a Utah Republican, Sessions stated:

“One obvious concern is that Congress has made the possession of marijuana in every state an illegal act. If that is not desired any longer, Congress should pass a law to change it. It’s not the attorney general’s job to decide which laws to enforce. We should enforce the laws as effectively as we are able.”

Continue Reading Jeff Sessions Senate Confirmation Hearing Hints at Enforcement Attitudes Towards Marijuana

Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.

Lawmakers in Maine have introduced a bill that would postpone the start of the state’s recreational marijuana industry. The proposal, introduced by leaders of the state House and Senate, would extend the timeline for officials to develop and and implement regulations on rec marijuana businesses by three months.

Trump’s Attorney General pick has been opposed to marijuana legalization in the past.

Massachusetts cannabis cultivators, recently legitimized by the legalization of marijuana, could soon find themselves having to cut back on the size of their home grow operations.

Something we missed that everyone needs to know?  Give us a shout in the comments.

As we enter a new year, and approach the one year anniversary of New York’s Medical Marijuana Program,  we are given an opportunity to look back and reflect on the performance of the program, and what lies ahead.

In some ways, the program has been vastly successful.  As of January 3, 2016, 807 practitioners have registered for the Medical Marijuana Program, and 12,067 patients have been certified by their practitioners.

However, the Medical Marijuana Program has also been criticized for its limited access, high prices, and the regulatory hurdles which have discouraged doctors and patients from participating, and have hurt medical marijuana companies trying to grow their business.  For instance, some patients have to travel upwards of three hours to receive the required medication.  Further, many companies have invested in large grow spaces, but due to the restrictive nature of the law, demand has remained low.  Consequently, these companies are using only a marginal fraction of their overall capacity for growth.

Continue Reading New York is Lighting A Fire Under its Budding Cannabis Industry