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

This week, we look at the Justice Department’s action (or lack thereof) on cannabis.  In other inaction news, the Supreme Court will not take up a medical marijuana case.  Turning to the states, we see that Maryland is working on rules for a possible cannabis market.   In Texas meanwhile, the state’s Republican party came out strongly against such action.  And finally, election season has brought us “pot for potholes.”

department of justice

We all know that cannabis is illegal on the federal level.  We also know that the Justice Department has not emphasized enforcement in states where cannabis is legal.  Different administrations have taken different stances on how clear that “hands-off” approach should be.  The Obama Administration formalized it with the Cole Memorandum; the Trump Administration rescinded that guidance.  So where does the Biden Administration stand?  Attorney General Merrick Garland indicated recently that he did not view prosecution of low-level, nonviolent marijuana offenses as the best use of the agency’s time, regardless of state law.  He also promised that the department would address the issue “in the days ahead.”

supreme court

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear two cases involving reimbursement for medical marijuana treatment.  The Minnesota Supreme Court had ruled that the Controlled Substances Act preempts state law on the issue.  SCOTUS’s decision not to hear the cases means that ruling will remain the law of the land (of 10,000 lakes).


In November, Maryland voters will decide whether adult-use marijuana will be legal in the state.  State lawmakers, assuming the answer will be “yes,” started gathering some information about the industry.  The Maryland House Cannabis Referendum and Legalization Workgroup met with John Hudak, a senior fellow and cannabis policy expert at the Brookings Institution.  They asked questions concerning tax rates and application fees, among other issues.


The Texas Republican Party met recently to vote on its party platform.  Cannabis/marijuana was mentioned in the document.  The party supports moving cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule II on the federal level.  It also opposed the legalization of recreational marijuana.

and finally

Speaking of elections, not all Republicans are on board with the anti-legalization stance in Texas.  C.W. Gardner, a GOP Senate candidate from Missouri, has a new ad out that advocates federal legalization.  He’d like to take some of the tax revenue to fix America’s roads.  Because, no matter your stance on pot, no one likes potholes.

Stay safe and be well everyone – we’ll see you next week!

Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.  We begin abroad, where Thailand decriminalized cannabis.  Closer to home, we note that the D.C. Council passed a new bill on employee marijuana use.  Legalization advocates in Nebraska got a favorable court decision.  The Delaware legislature failed to override the governor’s veto of a legalization bill.  And finally, you can add weed museums to your summer travel plans.


June 9 marked the day Thai citizens could begin to cultivate and possess cannabis.  Government officials have been quick to clarify that this is meant to legalize medical marijuana, and those who light up in public could be subject to jail time and fines.  As we reported earlier, the government is giving away plants to jump-start those backyard gardens.

district of columbia

Private companies would be barred from firing employees who test positive for cannabis under a new bill passed by the D.C. Council.  The bill contains exceptions for safety-sensitive positions and federal government workers.  The bill now heads to the Mayor’s desk, and then on to Congress.  Why Congress?  We answered that question here.


Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana won a victory in court this week, when a federal judge granted a preliminary injunction removing a signature-gathering requirement.  The law stated that ballot initiatives must gather signatures from 5% of residents in each of the state’s counties.  The ruling said the requirement led to discrimination among voters.  The state has vowed to appeal.


While we taking a break from blogging last week, the Delaware legislature failed to override Governor John Carney’s (D) veto of cannabis legalization.  Since the legislature hasn’t overridden a gubernatorial veto in over 40 years, no one should have been surprised.  The path forward for advocates is unclear at this point.

and finally

If you’ve decided a tour of the nation’s museums devoted to marijuana is on your bucket list, you want to make sure you’re visiting the best ones.  We’ve got you covered.

Stay safe and be well everyone – we’ll see you next week!

It has already been a busy year for marijuana law! Catch up on key legislative, regulatory, and legal developments affecting the manufacture, distribution, sale, and use of marijuana occurring in 2022, including key decisions and regulatory material.

Date Development
May 26, 2022 Governor Kevin Stitt signed legislation enacting a moratorium on some new medical marijuana licenses, effective on August 1, 2022 and ending August 1, 2024. The moratorium extends to processing and issuing new licenses for:

  • Dispensaries
  • Processors
  • Commercial Growers

The legislation allows the Oklahoma medical Marijuana Authority authorization to terminate the moratorium before the statutory date.

Earlier in 2022, Oregon enacted a similar two-year license moratorium.

May 25, 2022 Governor Daniel McKee signed the Rhode Island Cannabis Act. The statute:

  • Legalizes possession of small amounts of marijuana and cultivation of up to three mature and three immature cannabis plants per dwelling for personal use.
  • Permits and taxes legal recreational sales from licensed retailers starting December 1, 2022.
  • Allows up to 24 new licensed retailers in the state. The nine existing medical marijuana compassion centers may also convert to sell to recreational customers, for a maximum of 33 retailers.
  • Creates a three-member commission and cannabis office to implement and administer cannabis laws.
  • Sets a date of July 1, 2024 for automatic expungement of cannabis possession convictions.
May 25, 2022

The South Dakota Secretary of State validated Initiated Measure 27, a ballot measure to legalize the possession, use, and distribution of marijuana.

If passed, the initiative would allow use, distribution, and possession of up to one ounce of marijuana for adults 21 and older and home cultivation of up to three marijuana plants in a jurisdiction where there are no marijuana stores. The initiative does not establish a licensed recreational marijuana market.

Initiated Measure 27 will be on the November 8, 2022 general election ballot.

May 19, 2022

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed a lower court ruling holding that delta-8 THC is a legal hemp product under the 2018 Farm Bill and not marijuana or a synthetic cannabinoid.

Delta-8 THC is a psychoactive substance that has been marketed as having similar effects to marijuana. In the absence of federal guidelines, states took varying approaches to classifying delta-8.

May 7, 2022 Maine legislators passed a statute allowing licensed marijuana stores to sell marijuana at off-site events. The statute became law without a gubernatorial signature.
April 21, 2022

Retail adult-use cannabis sales begin at 13 existing medical dispensaries across New Jersey. In 2021, the state was one of several to pass legalization legislation.

The state’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission is accepting applications for new recreational cannabis licenses.

April 4, 2022 Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed H.B. 4016, establishing a moratorium on new licenses for all marijuana license types except for laboratories. The moratorium expires March 31, 2024.
April 1, 2022 The House of Representatives passed the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act. The law would, among other things:

  • Remove marijuana from the federal list of controlled substances.
  • Expunge some marijuana-related criminal records.
  • Provide for reinvestment in certain individuals adversely impacted by the War on Drugs.

The House passed similar legislation in 2020, but it failed to pass the Senate.  This is the latest of several pieces of legislation that have passed by the House, but not the Senate, to legalize marijuana and/or permit financial institutions to provide services to marijuana businesses.

April 1, 2022

Maryland voters will have the opportunity to vote on a state constitutional amendment legalizing marijuana in the 2022 general election.

The House of Delegates approved proposed amendment language that would legalize the use and possession of cannabis for adults 21 and older.

If approved by voters, the amendment would take effect on July 1, 2023.

April 1, 2022

Licensed adult-use recreational marijuana sales start in New Mexico.

In 2021, the state enacted the Cannabis Regulation Act, which legalized adult use of marijuana and set the mechanisms for licensing and regulation of the market (NMSA 1978, §§ 26-2C-1 through 26-2C-42).

March 10, 2022 The New York Cannabis Control Board issued for public comment new regulations that would create a Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary License. Holders of this license would be the first allowed to open for adult-use retail sale. The licenses would be for applicants with majority ownership who qualify with both:

  • A prior cannabis-related criminal offense prior to March 31, 2021.
  • Experience owning and operating a qualifying business in New York.
March 2, 2022 The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board adopted final rules amending quality control regulations. The rules:

  • Require pesticide testing on all cannabis products.
  • Enable the agency to test marijuana products for heavy metals.
  • Allow time for sell-through of existing products.
  • Make other technical changes to testing procedures.

The rules will be effective on April 2, 2022.

February 22, 2022

New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed legislation creating a Conditional Adult-use Cannabis Cultivator License. This license allows existing hemp licensees to grow adult-use cannabis outdoors or in a greenhouse for up to two years, subject to social equity requirements and other conditions.

Conditional Adult-use Cannabis Cultivator Licensees may also manufacture and distribute cannabis flower without processor or distributor licenses until June 1, 2023.

February 17, 2022 The New York Cannabis Control Board approved the filing of new regulations for the state medical marijuana program. Under the new regulations:

  • Operation of the medical marijuana program will shift from the Department of Health to the Office of Cannabis Management.
  • Restrictions on naming conventions will be removed, allowing products to include names of cannabis strains, if approved by the agency.

Once approved, the regulations are subject to a 60-day comment period.

February 11, 2022 Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order which, among other things:

  • Renames the Marijuana Regulatory Agency the Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA).
  • Moves responsibility for overseeing hemp processing, distribution and sales from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) to the CRA.

MDARD will continue to regulate hemp cultivation. The changes take effect April 13, 2022.

February 4, 2022



The U.S. House of Representatives passed the America COMPETES Act, which includes the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act. The SAFE Act would enable cannabis businesses to use federally insured banking institutions.

The SAFE Banking passed the House several times in previous years, both as a standalone bill and attached to other legislation, only to fail to advance in the Senate each time.

February 2, 2022 Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves signed a bill legalizing medical marijuana. The legislation:

  • Allows registered patients with qualifying conditions to purchase a daily maximum of:
    • 3.5 grams of medical cannabis flower;
    • one gram of cannabis concentrate; or
    • 100 milligrams of THC in infused product per day.
  • Prohibits any financial incentives for the marijuana industry from the Mississippi Development Authority.
  • Grants oversight responsibilities to the Mississippi Department of Health.
  • Does not limit on the number of licenses.

In 2020, voters approved a medical marijuana program, but the following year, the state Supreme Court voided the initiative on technical grounds.

January 4, 2022

The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection announced a schedule for accepting applications for adult use cannabis licenses, the first since the state legalized marijuana in 2021. Dates are staggered, with license types accepted for:

Disproportionately Impacted Area Cultivator and Retailer on February 3, 2022.

  • Micro-cultivator on Feb. 10, 2022.
  • Delivery Service on February 17, 2022.
  • Hybrid Retailer on February 24, 2022.
  • Food and Beverage on March 3, 2022.
  • Product Manufacturer on March 10, 2022.
  • Product Packager on March 18, 2022.
  • Transporter on March 24, 2022.

The initial application period runs for 90 days after each license type is open for applications.

January 1, 2022 New laws and regulations governing marijuana took effect in several states. States with major changes include:

  • Louisiana. Licensed pharmacies may dispense raw or crude marijuana to patients.
  • Montana. Adult-use sales are now permitted in so-called “green counties” where a majority voted for the 2020 legalization initiative. All sellers are currently existing medical licensees. The state Department of Revenue is accepting applications for new license classes.
  • Oregon. Legislation clarifies the definition of “commonly owned” for licensing purposes and specifies reasons for license revocation and denial. Amended packaging, labeling, and product transfer rules also take effect.
  • Vermont. Updates to state cannabis laws clarify advertising restrictions and expand social equity provisions.
January 1, 2022 The deadline for municipalities to opt out of adult-use marijuana and on-site consumption licenses elapsed at the end of 2021. None of New York’s ten most populous cities passed opt-out resolutions.


Some segments were first published by Practical Law at https://us.practicallaw.thomsonreuters.com/w-033-9630.

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

This week, we start off with a look at a ballot measure in South Dakota. Then we see that Georgia voters favor legalization.  We move on to an update on the Delaware situation.  And we note that New Hampshire’s governor could be coming around on cannabis.  And finally, Jeopardy! uses a marijuana pun.

south dakota

Stop me when this sounds familiar.  The advocacy group South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws has gathered enough signatures to put an adult-use measure on the November 2022 ballot.  However, a measure on this month’s primary ballot could cause the group some difficulties.  The measure would require that any initiative that costs over $10 million receive 60% support in order to pass.  Could a lawsuit be on the horizon?  Stay tuned!


As you may have heard, Georgia held its primary election recently.  What you may not know is that adult-use legalization was on the ballot.  And support for it was overwhelming.  Now before you make plans to head to the Peach State, know that this was a non-binding advisory question.  So no changes in state law are required.  But when 80% of voters say “YES” to something, legislators may sit up and take notice.


Last week, we reported that Delaware’s governor vetoed a legalization measure.  Now, attention returns to the legislature, to see if they will override this veto.  Senator Laura Sturgeon (D), one of the bill’s co-sponsors, believes the Senate has the votes.  She expressed doubts, however, about the House.  Further bulletins as events warrant.

new hampshire

Now that Rhode Island has joined the list of states with legal adult-use marijuana, only New Hampshire remains as a holdout against legalization in New England.  Until recently, Governor  Chris Sununu (R) has maintained a strong stance against cannabis, but it’s possible he’s changing his mind.  In recent remarks, the governor pointed the finger at the state’s Senate as the source of the problem, saying they have never sent a legalization measure to his desk.  Will New England become solid green?  The current legislative session ends July 1, so probably not in 2022, but perhaps 2023 could be the year.

and finally

One thing we strongly favor here at The Week in Weed is marijuana puns.  If they’re clever, great.  If they’re lame, so be it.  On a recent episode of Jeopardy!, the writers had a little fun with the name of a Congressional procedure – sending a bill to a “joint” committee.  Blowback from angry watchers ensued on, you guessed it, Twitter.

Stay safe and be well everyone – we’ll be off next week, but will return on Friday, June 17.

A recent federal appeals court decision has shed light on the legal status of delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol (“delta-8 THC”) and its implications for cannabis brand owners.  The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that delta-8 THC falls squarely within the definition of “hemp” under the 2018 Farm Act, and is therefore lawful, despite its psychoactive properties.  Cannabis brands have long struggled to obtain adequate federal trademark protection because the Lanham Act only extends trademark protection to goods that are lawfully in U.S. commerce.  The Court’s decision potentially clears a new path for cannabis brand owners to obtain federal trademark protection.

In AK Futures LLC V. Boyd Street Distro, LLC, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the grant of a preliminary injunction against a defendant accused of selling counterfeit e-cigarette and vaping products containing delta-8 THC.  AK Futures LLC, a manufacturer of e-cigarette and vaping products, brought suit for trademark and copyright infringement against Boyd Street Distro, LLC, a Los Angeles smoke products wholesaler.  AK Futures produces e-cigarette and vaping products containing delta-8 THC under the brand CAKE.  Boyd Street apparently sold counterfeit versions that included both AK Futures’ CAKE trademark and its copyrighted logo.  AK Futures brought suit seeking an injunction, which the District Court granted.

Boyd Street appealed, arguing that the CAKE marks were not protectable trademarks because delta-8 THC is illegal under federal law.  The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit disagreed.

The Court decisively held that the delta-8 THC products are not prohibited by federal law and therefore may support a valid trademark.  The 2018 Farm Act amended the definition of “hemp” in the Controlled Substances Act to exempt cannabis plants and “all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers” with a delta-9 THC concentration of .3% or less on a dry-weight basis.  Likewise, the DEA’s definition of “marijuana extract” only includes cannabinoids with greater than .3% delta-9 THC.  If AK Futures’ products met that standard, they were lawful.

The Court’s decision offers a few key takeaways:

  • Delta-9 Still Doesn’t Fly: Traditional cannabis products containing delta-9 THC still do not qualify for federal trademark protection, regardless of state legalization programs;
  • It’s a Big Universe: Products containing legal cannabinoids and cannabis accessories offer cannabis brands the most direct route to obtaining federal trademark protection;
  • Consider the Alternative: Cannabis brands should consider other forms of protection, such as registering copyrights for any unique logos or labels; and
  • Compliance is Key: the Court noted that if AK Futures’ products did not contain the levels of cannabinoids they claimed on the labels, they may still ultimately fail to merit trademark protection.

This decision suggests a path to protection.  But for now, it is still unclear whether the United States Patent and Trademark Office will quickly adapt.


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

This week, we start off with a “little state update.”  The biggest news is happening in the smallest places!  We look at Rhode Island, Delaware and Vermont.  Then, we move on to a decision involving hemp.  And finally, we report on a pigeon that delivers more than messages.

rhode island

And then, there were 19.  Rhode Island has joined its New England neighbors in legalizing cannabis.  This brings the number of states where adult-use marijuana is legal to 19.  After the legislature passed two identical bills (one in the House and one in the Senate), the governor signed the measure, allowing the use of cannabis by those 21 and older.  It will take a while to set up a marketplace, but possession of up to one ounce of marijuana, and home grow of up to six plants is now legal.


But the news is not entirely rosy for legalization advocates.  In Delaware, the governor vetoed a legalization measure, stating his concerns over the long-term health and economic impacts on the state.  The legislature could override his veto, but that hasn’t happened since 1977, so we’ll hang on to our skepticism.  Meanwhile, a bill to establish a cannabis marketplace failed in the House.  Supporters were planning to bring the bill up again, but it seems a moot point, given the Governor’s actions.


To round out our look at what’s happening in our smaller jurisdictions, we travel to Vermont, where the state has issued the first license for its cannabis marketplace.  “I feel like parliamentary procedure doesn’t give you an opportunity to celebrate small moments of joy, and this is kind of a small moment of joy,” said Brynn Hare, the Cannabis Control Board’s executive director.

hemp decision

Turning our attention to the courts, the 9th Circuit recently ruled that delta-8 THC is legal if it is derived from a hemp extract.  This means that it is eligible for federal trademark protection.  The decision did not opine on the legality of selling delta-8 THC, leaving that matter to the Food and Drug Administration.

and finally

In a twist on the old children’s cartoon, Stop That Pigeon, a Peruvian prison has managed to intercept a bird attempting to deliver marijuana to inmates.  Prison officials relieved the bird of its cargo and took it to an animal shelter. We hope it can leave behind its life of crime.

Stay safe and be well everyone – we’ll see you next week!

The buzz of the cannabis industry has brought with it significant competition. The “green rush” of legalization produced a small group of legitimate competitors in both the consumable and pipe spaces. It is no surprise, then, that innovative companies protected their technology and did everything they could to box out their competition. The industry can expect more of the same as competitors fight for market share in a business ripe for explosion.

This post will examine the three most common forms of patent protection found in the cannabis industry, and an example of where each was litigated. Continue Reading Patent Enforcement in the Cannabis Industry – Litigation Heats Up as Competitors Jockey for Market Position

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

This week, we have updates on Delaware, Ohio and South Carolina – three very different states grappling with legalization in three very different ways.  We have some federal news as well.  No, the SAFE Act is not law!  This development involves cannabis and workers’ compensation.  And finally, Thailand is giving away marijuana – a LOT of marijuana.


Last week, we reported that the Delaware House had passed a legalization bill and the Senate was poised to do the same.  We also expressed some skepticism about the bill’s chances once it hit the governor’s desk.  Now, we can tell you that the Senate did pass the measure, and that our  skepticism seems warranted.  Governor John Carney (D) has still not signed the bill, nor has he indicated whether he will sign it.  He stated that he supports decriminalizing, which he says H.B. 371 would do, but says he still has concerns about public safety and the effect on young people.  Even if the Governor does sign this bill, his remarks seem to doom the chances of a bill to set up a marketplace, H.B. 372.


The saga of legal cannabis in Ohio continues.  The latest installment has state officials and legalization advocates reaching a deal that would allow the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol to retain the 140,000 signatures they’ve already gathered in favor of putting the question to the voters, in exchange for waiting until 2023 for a ballot initiative.  The legislature has until April 2023 to take up the matter; otherwise, the voters could decide the following November.

south carolina

In what can come as no surprise to those watching events in the Palmetto State, medical marijuana failed to pass in the current legislative session.  The Senate Majority Leader, Shane Massey (R) expressed regret that the bill failed.  Better luck next time!

workers’ compensation

Suppose you are injured on the job, and your doctor prescribes medical cannabis.  It’s legal in your state, but your employer doesn’t want to cover the cost, citing federal drug laws.  Is that legal?  Good question!  State supreme courts have split on what the answer should be, and now the U.S. Supreme Court has been asked to weigh in.  The Department of Justice, however, would like them to stay out.  “The petitions in these cases, which present a novel question in a rapidly evolving area of law, do not warrant this Court’s review,” the DOJ stated in an amicus brief.

and finally

Your backyard garden might include tomatoes, or peppers, or lettuce.  If you live in Thailand, you could add cannabis to that salad mix.  The government announced that it will give away one million plants to gardeners across the nation.  A new law allowing home grow of medical grade marijuana goes into effect on June 9.

Stay safe and be well everyone – we’ll see you next week!

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

Things don’t look good for medical marijuana in South Carolina.  Missouri advocates turn in signatures for their ballot initiative. Delaware gets closer to legalizing cannabis.  We have an update on federal legislation.  And finally, Senate candidates smoking week in ads is not limited to Louisiana.

south carolina

To legalize cannabis, it’s not enough to get the substance right; you also have to follow the rules.  We’ve seen this in South Dakota, where the adult-use ballot initiative was thrown out because it covered more than one subject.  Now, we’re seeing something similar in South Carolina.  As we reported last month, the state Senate passed a law creating a market for medical marijuana.  The bill looked as if it had a chance of passage in the House, but that’s now gone up in smoke.  The Speaker of the House of Representatives ruled the bill unconstitutional, and an appeal was tabled.  The legislative session ends this week, so further action looks unlikely.


Legalization advocates in Missouri have gathered twice the number of signatures needed to put a cannabis initiative on the November ballot.  Assuming the Secretary of State validates enough of those signatures, approximately 45%, the measure will go on the ballot.  There is some resistance from those who believe the measure gives too much power to those already in the industry, so getting on the ballot doesn’t necessarily mean legalization.  Stay tuned!


Late last week, the Delaware House passed an adult-use legalization bill.  A Senate committee did the same this week, so the measure will move to the floor for a full Senate vote.  Note that the Governor has doubts about legalization, so a veto could be coming.  Plus, this bill only legalizes; it doesn’t set up a market – that requires a 3/5 vote, as it would create a new tax.  A bill to do that is on its way to the House floor.  Color this doubtful.

competes act

Momentum continues to build for including a cannabis banking provision in the COMPETES Act.  Sadly, it’s violence at dispensaries that’s responsible.  As Washington State Treasurer Mike Pellicciotti said in an interview. “Robbers go where the cash is.”  Again, don’t get your hopes up!  As we noted last week, this is a long way from done.

and finally

Regular readers will doubtless recall that a U.S. Senate candidate from Louisiana lit up a blunt in a campaign ad.  We thought this would be a unique event, but no such thing.  Tom McDermott (D), who’s running for the Senate from Indiana, also lights up in an ad.

Stay safe and be well everyone – we’ll see you next week!

The Top 20 Cannabis Law Blogs were selected by Feedspot, a social website that compiles news feeds from online sources. For the second year in a row, The Blunt Truth was selected from numerous Cannabis Law blogs in Feedspot’s index using search and social metrics.

Seyfarth’s Stanley Jutkowitz – founder and editor of The Blunt Truth – was also recognized in The Cannabis Law Report’s Global Top 200 Editorially Selected Cannabis Legal Professionals 2021-2022+. The Cannabis Global 200 is designed to give readers a direct access to the most experienced cannabis/hemp legal experts around the world. The Cannabis Law Report published the list of lawyers here.

Thanks to our readers for the continued support!