The Blunt Truth

The Week in Weed: May 27, 2016

Posted in General, Investment/Venture Capital, Medical Marijuana, States That Have Legalized Medical Marijuana, Week in Weed

Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your weekly source for news about legalized marijuana.

He’s a medical pot advocate with arthritis.  He’s also the first Congressman to admit to marijuana use while in office.

 

A medical marijuana legalization bill has been sent to Ohio Governor John Kasich in an effort by state lawmakers to offset support for a proposed fall ballot measure.  Gov. Kasich has not indicated whether he will sign the legislation or not.

 

Public cannabis-based companies seeking to list on a national exchange suffered a setback this week when Nasdaq rejected a listing request by MassRoots, fearing it would “aid in the use and dealing of an illegal substance.”

 

It’s not that the Teamsters are opposed to legalizing marijuana use, but they are concerned about how the transportation and distribution of the drug would be managed under the proposal that goes to the state’s voters in November.

 

Anything we missed?  Let us know in the comments.

The “Key-Stoned State”: Employer’s Guide to the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Law

Posted in General, Medical Marijuana, States That Have Legalized Medical Marijuana

Can a bistro in Pottsville, Pa. fire employees for using medical cannabis?  Not anymore.  On Tuesday, May 17, 2016, the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Act (SB-3) (“MMA”) went into effect, following Governor Tom Wolf’s signature last month (as previously reported here).  Pennsylvania joins 24 other states, including New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, on the Pineapple Express.  Along the way, employers will learn their ability to discipline employees for consuming medical marijuana on the job, for showing up to work under the influence of medical marijuana, and other unintended consequences that will bud from the law. Continue Reading

The Week in Weed: May 20, 2016

Posted in California Law, General, Medical Marijuana, States That Have Legalized Medical Marijuana, Week in Weed

Hello all and welcome back to The Week in Weed, your go-to source for news in the world of legalized marijuana.

This new ordinance is a bit of a head-scratcher.  “A marijuana conviction often can disqualify you from receiving a cannabis business license, but in Oakland it can give you an advantage over applicants with clean records.”  Under this legislation, half of all licenses to run medical marijuana businesses must go to persons with convictions for cannabis-related offenses or who live in one of six neighborhoods targeted by the Oakland Police Department’s war on drugs.  The stated purpose is to increase diversity in the marijuana industry, but critics of the bill note that “most of the six police beats included in the bill lie in the city council district of the councilor who sponsored the legislation.”

 

The Southeast is an area of the country where legalized marijuana has not made much of an inroad.  This may be about to change as Louisiana takes another step towards legalizing the use of cannabis for medical purposes.  The personal stories of those urging passage of the measure are believed to have swayed legislators over the arguments of opponents that legalizing medical marijuana is a step on the slippery slope to legalizing for recreational use.

 

Are you ready for some (medical marijuana in) football?  Eugene Morris, who plays for the Baltimore Ravens, is advocating the use of cannabis in lieu of opioids to treat pain resulting from the rough and tumble inherent in the sport.

 

Anything we missed?  Let us know in the comments section.

Smoking Out the Tristate Area: Employer Concerns with Local Medical Marijuana Laws

Posted in Employment Law, Medical Marijuana, States That Have Legalized Medical Marijuana, Use After Work Hours, Use in the Workplace

In the stoner-classic, “Cheech and Chong’s Next Movie,” Cheech Marin laments: “I’m gonna be late for work again. That’s the fifth time this week, and it’s only Tuesday, man.” While Cheech’s calculations remain a mystery, the prospect of employees coming to work while under the influence of marijuana presents a concerning picture for employers.  In an era where medical marijuana is legal in certain circumstances under the state laws of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut – and with Vermont on the verge of making marijuana entirely legal – it is critical for employers to educate themselves on their rights and obligations with regard to these laws. This article provides employers in the tristate area with practical guidance on the medical marijuana laws of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.  Continue Reading

The Week in Weed: May 13, 2016

Posted in Colorado Law, Legalization Efforts, Medical Marijuana, States That Have Legalized Medical Marijuana, Week in Weed

Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at news in the world of legalized marijuana.

Various outlets have been reporting on the study done by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety on the increase in fatal car accidents involving drivers who have used marijuana.  The study shows that the number of such cases has doubled since Washington legalized recreational use of cannabis.  This article gives a summary of the report, as well as links to other useful resources.

The prospect of legal medical marijuana in Florida has the industry excited about serving what could become the nation’s second largest market for cannabis. Floridians will have the opportunity to vote up or down on Amendment 2, which would expand medical marijuana for many more patients than have access to the drug under current law.

The messenger business is about to get a little easier for those delivering marijuana in Colorado.  The “marijuana transporter” license would, among other things, allow couriers to store cannabis temporarily if circumstances like bad weather prevented them from completing a delivery.

Anything we missed?  Let us know in the comments section.

Legal Advice and Marijuana Clients in PA: Clearing the Ethical Weeds

Posted in Federal - State Law Conflict, Medical Marijuana, States That Have Legalized Medical Marijuana

As some Pennsylvanians are breathing sighs of relief in light of the recent passage of House Bill SB3, which legalizes certain forms of marijuana for medicinal purposes, there has yet to be an official change to the Pennsylvania state legal ethics rules that would instruct and ultimately protect lawyers advising clients in the medical marijuana industry. Continue Reading

The Week in Weed: May 6, 2016

Posted in California Law, General, Medical Marijuana, Recreational Marijuana, Week in Weed

Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your source for articles on legalized marijuana.  Supporters of full legalization had a “one step forward; one step back” week.  It looks like a ballot measure legalizing recreational marijuana will qualify for the November ballot in California, but in Vermont, legislation that would have legalized cannabis was defeated.  You win some; you lose some.  Also, in Hawaii, nurse practitioners would be allowed to certify patients to use medical marijuana, what the article calls medi-juana.  We’ve not heard that term before, but we like it very much.

 

Supporters of a recreational marijuana ballot measure in California handed in more than 600,000 signatures, indicating the initiative is virtually assured of going before voters in November, local media reported. Supporters amassed a comfortable…

 

State lawmakers have tweaked a medical marijuana bill to allow advanced practice registered nurses to certify patients to use medical marijuana. Previously, only physicians were allowed to qualify patients for the drug, which has been legal for…

 

As reported in this local NPR article, headlined “House Snuffs Marijuana Legalization, Issue Dead For 2016 Session,” the only state legislature that seemed to be seriously consider legalizing recreational marijuana via traditional…

 

Something important we missed?  Let us know in the comments.

A “Hotbox” Of Legal Issues: California’s Workplace Marijuana Laws

Posted in Ban the Box Laws, California Law, Drug Testing, Employment Law, Environmental Law, Fair Credit Reporting Act, General, Medical Marijuana, States That Have Legalized Medical Marijuana, Use in the Workplace

Illustration-California-Marijuana-182x300With Pennsylvania joining in last month, nearly half the country has laws permitting state residents to use marijuana for medical purposes, and a handful even permit recreational use. California led the movement when it passed the so-called “Compassionate Use Act” in 1996. At present, use and distribution of marijuana remain federal offenses, although unenforced per current U.S. Department of Justice policy.

The increasing accessibility of marijuana over the years, as well as its acceptance into mainstream culture, have led to serious misconceptions regarding its permissibility in the workplace. We offer here a few reminders to help clear up this this sometimes “hazy” area of California law. Continue Reading

The Week in Weed: April 29, 2016

Posted in General

Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your source for news concerning legalized marijuana.

Maine voters will get the opportunity to legalize recreational marijuana come November, after supporters of the proposed ballot measure overcame a technicality that had thrown its future into doubt.

Douglas A. Berman has a fine summary (with links) to the New York Times‘ recent debate on whether or not marijuana is a “gateway” drug.  One of the issues often cited with the use of marijuana, whether medical or recreational, is the concern that using marijuana may lead to use of other, more dangerous drugs.  But is that true?

The Senate Appropriations Committee voted last week by 21 to 8 to approve an amendment offered by Senator Mikulski (D-MD) to protect state medical marijuana laws from federal interference by the Department of Justice and Drug Enforcement Administration.

Normally, when a company based in one state wants to sell products in another state, it starts calling truckers. For Strainz, a Las Vegas marijuana company, it was more complicated.

Anything we missed that everyone needs to know?  Tell us in the comments.

The Week in Weed: April 22, 2016

Posted in General, Intellectual Property, Legalization Efforts, Week in Weed

Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at news in the world of legalized marijuana.

The big action right now is in the states; as Justice Louis Brandeis said, a “state may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.”  He probably wasn’t thinking of marijuana when he wrote this, but his words are a good description of what’s happening, nonetheless.  Two states, Illinois and Massachusetts, are currently considering some level of legalization/decriminalization.  (Hat tip to librarians Nancy Faust and Jane Huston for bringing these articles to our attention.)

The remaining candidates in the 2016 Presidential race have made public statements about legalized marijuana (both for recreational and medical purposes); read their opinions here.

Can you patent a strain of marijuana?  Apparently, the answer is yes.

Anything we missed?  Let us know in the comments.