On July 17, 2017, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”), the highest state court in Massachusetts, held that an employer could be liable for disability discrimination by declining employment based on an individual’s off-duty medical marijuana use. This is a landmark decision, which has major implications for employers with drug testing programs and drug-free workplace policies. Continue Reading Is Medical Marijuana A Reasonable Accommodation? Mass. Court Says … Possibly

We recently reported on the inclusion of the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment in the current Congressional budget deal.  The controversy over whether the Justice Department should be permitted to enforce federal laws in states where marijuana is legal for medical purposes only seemed settled, at least until the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2017 expires in late September.  Due to the signing statement that President Trump issued when approving the Act, however, we may have blogged too soon. Continue Reading Reading the Signs: Is a Marijuana Crackdown in Our Future?

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

Vermont lawmakers have approved a modest expansion to the state’s medical marijuana program, permitting dispensaries to open more locations and expanding the list of medical conditions treatable with MMJ.

Walt Disney World has prohibited any marijuana on its grounds, including medical marijuana, which is legal in Florida.

Pot advocates are calling on U.S. lawmakers to legalize the substance federally as support reaches an all-time high.

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The appointment of Jeff Sessions as Attorney General created a great deal of uncertainty in the medical marijuana community.  Sessions has a long history of opposing the legalization of marijuana, whether for medical or recreational purposes.  “Marijuana is against federal law, and that applies in states where they may have repealed their own anti-marijuana laws. So yes, we will enforce law in an appropriate way nationwide,” Sessions said in an interview with radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt in March. Continue Reading See You in September: Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment in Budget Deal

Recently, the San Francisco Chronicle published an interesting story examining two fronts on which labor unions are trying to cash in on the passage of Prop 64 in November 2016, which legalized the sale and personal use of recreational marijuana in California. With its passing, California is poised to become the largest, most lucrative market for marijuana products in the United States (assuming the successes of craft beer and fine wines are fair markers). Nearly six months later, the industry is in its infancy with much to be decided on cannabis’ regulation. Continue Reading Unions Find The Grass On The Other Side of Prop 64 Particularly Green

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

West Virginia’s House voted Tuesday to legalize doctor-prescribed marijuana to treat certain medical conditions following Senate passage of a similar measure last week.

Voters in Kansas City voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to eliminate the possibility of jail time for people caught with small amounts of marijuana or related paraphernalia.

A marijuana-themed exchange traded fund touted as the world’s first launched on the Toronto Stock Exchange Wednesday morning, giving investors a new way to bet on legal marijuana stocks.

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A federal judge from the U.S. Northern District of Illinois recently ruled that an Illinois state law banning (i) medical cannabis cultivation centers and dispensaries from making campaign contributions to any political committee established to promote a candidate for public office, and (ii) candidates and political committees from receiving such contributions, violated the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.  The court took the position that because the law singles out medical cannabis organizations, it is another way of restricting or discriminating against content of speech or a particular viewpoint.  This ruling is timely in that Illinois lawmakers have recently introduced bills in the both the IL House and Senate to make it legal for adults 21 and older to possess, grow, and purchase limited amounts of marijuana for medical or recreational use.  The Marijuana Policy Project, a national advocacy group, believes that “[b]y regulating adult use, the state can generate much-needed revenue for the state budget, replace the underground market with regulated businesses, and allow law enforcement to focus on serious crime.” A potential win-win all around.

Seyfarth Synopsis: In response to recent comments from senior members of the Trump Administration, lawmakers are exploring novel ways to protect the burgeoning marijuana industry (and the many jobs that it is projected to create) in states where it is legal, including legislation that would prevent state and local agencies from using state resources to assist federal enforcement efforts. Continue Reading Sanctuary States … from Federal Marijuana Enforcement?

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

The Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Control Board gave approval for state-licensed dispensaries to deliver medical marijuana to patients and caregivers once the state’s MMJ program has launched.

The inherent tension in the recent trend to legalize recreational marijuana at the state level is that the drug remains an illegal substance at the federal level.

Fighting a slow-moving bureaucracy, the overwhelming majority of companies seeking recreational marijuana business licenses in Portland, Oregon, are stuck in various stages of the city’s application process.

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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.

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