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

Two senators asked the Justice Department to reschedule marijuana.  Supporters of adult-use legalization in Oklahoma began the petition process.  A supporter of adult-use legalization in Ohio went the legislative route.  We have an update on Mississippi.  And finally, a new player got into the cannabis business.

federal decriminalization

Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) wrote a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland asking him to remove cannabis from the federal controlled substances list.  The senators describe decriminalization as a first step in effectively regulating the industry and addressing the racial impact of enforcement.  Booker and Warren requested an answer by next week.

oklahoma

Turning our attention to the states, Oklahomans for Responsible Cannabis Action filed two initiatives recently. They hope to make progress on adult-use legalization at the ballot box, rather than waiting for the legislature.  One initiative would legalize cannabis for anyone 21 or older.  The other would replace the state’s medical marijuana oversight agency.

ohio

Meanwhile, in Ohio, Rep. Jamie Callender (R-Lake County) announced an adult-use legalization bill.  Callender is currently looking for co-sponsors for his legislation.  The bill would impose a 10% sales tax on cannabis and grandfather in businesses involved in the state’s medical marijuana program.

mississippi

So what about our friends in the Magnolia State?  You may recall that Mississippi voters approved a ballot initiative legalizing medical marijuana in 2020.  It’s been a rocky road to implementation ever since, and now, we’re in a “Will They or Won’t They” situation.  Governor Tate Reeves (R) says he intends to call a special session of the legislature to enact legalization, which sounds like they will.  But, he also says he’s more concerned with getting the program done right than getting it done quickly, which sounds like they won’t.  As always, further bulletins as events warrant.

and finally

If you’re a fan of the E Street Band, or of The Sopranos, you may want to check out Little Steven’s Underground Apothecary.  Steven Van Zandt just announced he’ll be selling pre-rolls at two locations in Massachusetts, with 10% of the profits going to NORML.

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.

Nevada legalizes cannabis lounges.  California allows medical marijuana in hospitals.  Could Nebraska legalize medical marijuana in 2022?  And finally, we check in on Clint Eastwood’s continuing fight against bogus CBD advertising.

nevada

If you’d like to open a cannabis lounge in Nevada, now’s the time to turn in your application.  Under a law that passed earlier this year, the Cannabis Compliance Board looks to award permits for public spaces that would allow cannabis consumption.  Fees range from $10,000 to $100,000, and the Board is particularly interested in hearing from Black and Latino applicants.

california

Terminally ill patients in California hospitals can now use medical marijuana for pain relief.  Under a bill signed by Governor Gavin Newsom (D), known as “Ryan’s Law,” patients can consume cannabis under controlled circumstances.  Supporters of the bill hope this will decrease the need for heavy opiate use in the final stages of illness.

nebraska

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.  This adage could be the motto of Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana as they begin yet another quest to legalize medical cannabis in the state.  A previous ballot initiative collected enough signatures, but the state’s Supreme Court invalidated it.  Recent attempts to legalize in the legislature have gone nowhere.  And this effort faces opposition from the governor.  Further bulletins as events warrant.

and finally

Clint Eastwood has appeared in this segment before, most recently here, for his battle against CBD companies using his likeness without permission.  This week, a federal district court in Los Angeles awarded the actor $6.1 million in damages in his action against three CBD manufacturers.  We can only guess that they don’t feel very lucky.

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.

Mississippi makes some progress towards legalizing medical marijuana.  Pennsylvania lawmakers introduce an adult-use bill.  There’s more news on Illinois licensing.  And finally, a pro-cannabis rally in DC featured a really big joint and a really big dog.

mississippi

When we last checked in on Mississippi, the governor said he would not call a special session of the legislature until he saw a bill he could sign.  He seems to be pleased with what has emerged from negotiations over the issue, as he now says a session could be called within days.  The only fly in the ointment?  State Agriculture and Commerce Commissioner Andy Gipson.  He opposes the idea of legalizing medical cannabis, and said, “This is not what people elected me to do, be a marijuana kingpin.”

***BREAKING NEWS***

Governor Reeves now says the legislation needs changes, but he’ll call a special session “sooner rather than later.”

pennsylvania

Members of the Pennsylvania House introduced a cannabis legalization bill late last week.  This is not their first attempt at permitting adult-use marijuana, but New Jersey’s emerging market has brought the issue to the fore yet again.  The governor and lieutenant governor are both on board, but the Senate may be more of a challenge.

illinois

The roller coaster ride that is the Illinois cannabis lottery continues to provide thrills and chills.  More lawsuits have been filed over licensing this month (subscription required).  The plaintiffs allege that their applications were wrongly rejected or that they weren’t given time to correct errors in their paperwork.

and finally

From our friends at Politico’s Morning Cannabis:

DC ADVOCATES RALLY AT CAPITOL — A 51-foot inflatable joint sat outside the Russell and Dirksen Senate Office Buildings on Tuesday for more than four hours, surrounded by advocates urging Congress to pass decriminalization legislation and to leave the Harris rider — which has prohibited Washington, D.C. from taxing and regulating a marijuana industry for almost seven years — out of the next funding bill. The highlight of the rally, however, was the Saint Bernard named Chance who came to support its owner [see photo]. Chance was a very good boi.

Kennedy and his dog, Chancellor Otto von Bismarck (called Chance), call on Congress to legalize cannabis at a rally on Capitol Hill on Sept. 28, 2021. | Natalie Fertig/ POLITICO

Advocates planned their rally in the park outside two Senate office buildings in hope of starting conversations with staffers, though the overwhelming response from onlookers was to smile or laugh and snap a photo. The rally comes on the coattails of D.C.’s city council scheduling a hearing [go.politicoemail.com] to legalize the sale and regulation of cannabis. DC voters approved recreational cannabis sales in 2014.

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 legalized marijuana.

Cannabis banking hitches a legislative ride on the National Defense Authorization Act.  Chicago’s new zoning restrictions allow more dispensaries.  Michigan considers tightening restrictions on caregivers.  Adult-use marijuana could become legal in Italy.  And finally, is the NJ Weedman about to go legit?

banking

Stop me when this sounds familiar.  Earlier this week, the House of Representatives voted to add the SAFE Banking Act as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act.  The House still needs to vote on the Act itself, but it looks as if cannabis banking is headed to the Senate.  Exciting?  Not really.  Proponents of federal legalization oppose the bill, as being too narrow.  Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) put it this way, “I will lay myself down to do everything I can to stop an easy banking bill that’s going to allow all these corporations to make a lot more money off of this, as opposed to focusing on the restorative justice aspects.”

chicago

If you’d like to open a cannabis store in Chicago, that just got easier to do.  The City Council voted this week to ease limits on where stores can open and lift the cap on the number of marijuana zones in the city.  Some restrictions still remain, but retailers will now be able to open a store without regulatory approval.

michigan

Lawmakers in the Wolverine State look to crack down on medical caregivers, in an effort to limit illicit sales.  Several bills now making their way through the legislature would limit the number of patients each caregiver can treat and the number of plants they can grow.  Proponents of the legislation believe this would reduce the unregulated supply of cannabis in the state.  Opponents insist that caregivers are not the source of the problem.

italy

Supporters of adult-use cannabis in Italy gathered 500,000 signatures in just a few days on a petition to legalize marijuana in the country.  The measure now goes to the country’s Supreme Court of Cassation.  Assuming it passes muster there, a referendum could happen in early 2022.

and finally

The NJ Weedman, Ed Forchion, is about to join the system.  For years, he flouted the state’s drug laws, and initially, he was suspicious of how legalization would play out.  But after reading the new cannabis rules, he’s thinking of going the legal route.

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

Upcoming PLUS Webinar: “SPAC and Related IPO Litigation as it has Evolved & The Current State of SEC Regulation of Disclosure”

Thursday, September 23, 2021

 

Join leading securities partners Greg Markel and Gina Ferrari for a complimentary webinar put on by the Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS) next week. The program “SPAC and Related IPO Litigation as it has Evolved & The Current State of SEC Regulation of Disclosure,” will be moderated by Greg Markel, and the panel will include Gina Ferrari, Kieran Hughes of McGriff, Kevin LaCroix of the D&O Diary, and Deirdre Martin of Sompo International. 

It is going to be an interesting session and we hope you are able to join us!

For further information and to register, click here.

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

New York adds more members to its cannabis board.  California proposes new marijuana rules.  Cannabis may be on the 2022 ballot in Nebraska.  And finally, veterinarians in Nevada can now prescribe CBD to their patients.

new york

As we reported last week, New York’s new governor added new members to its Cannabis Control Board.  Now, the state Senate and General Assembly have followed suit.  Once the board is fully populated, work on rules for the new industry can begin.

california

The Department of Cannabis Control issued new proposed rules, which are set to take effect later this month.  Changes include new regulations regarding product samples, a change to the definition of cannabis business owners in the state and a loosening of rules around the sale of branded merchandise.

nebraska

Could cannabis be on the 2022 ballot in Nebraska?  Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana certainly hope so.  The group filed language for two ballot measures recently, and hope to start gathering signatures later this month.  The first measure would protect doctors and patients from criminal penalty, and the second would direct the Legislature to set up a system to allow the sale of medical marijuana.

and finally

Why should Fido and Rover be left out of the CBD craze?  In Nevada, veterinarians will soon be able to discuss and prescribe cannabidiol with their patients patients’ owners.  Although many CBD products are available for pets, owners have questions about how to administer them and their overall safety.  Under Nevada’s new law, vets can answer those questions without fear of repercussion.

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 have an update on New York’s cannabis agencies.  Illinois has problems with their lottery (not a surprise).  South Dakota says no to medical cannabis home grow.  Nevada will open cannabis lounges in 2022.  The DEA would like to increase the production quota for marijuana used for research.  And finally, Sacha Baron Cohen is suing a cannabis company for copyright infringement.

new york

We mentioned last week that New York’s new governor appointed members to the Office of Cannabis Management and Cannabis Control Board.  The state Senate confirmed them immediately.  We’re still looking at a 2022 rollout of adult-use sales.

illinois

We’ve described the Illinois cannabis licensing problems as a never-ending saga, and with good reason.  Today’s installment brings us news of a “corrective” lottery that will make up for the errors in the previous three lotteries.  You just can’t make this stuff up.

south dakota

It’s been a while since we visited the Mount Rushmore State – let’s see what they’ve been up to in the last few weeks.  A legislative subcommittee recommended that the state’s medical cannabis regulations prohibit home grow.  In case you’re wondering where adult-use marijuana stands, the state Supreme Court has yet to issue a ruling in the legal challenge.

nevada

If you’re planning a trip to Nevada, you may want to wait until 2022.  Under a new state law, lounges allowing consumption of cannabis should be up and running next year.  The state’s tourists currently have no place to consume their marijuana purchases, as public consumption is against the law.  Soon, however, that problem will be a thing of the past.

research

The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) called for an increase in marijuana production.  They need to ramp up research to aid in the development of new FDA-approved drugs.  More research means a lot more product.  The agency would like to produce 2 million grams of cannabis, an increase of 500,000 grams over its initial quota for this year.  Talk about Reefer Madness…

and finally

We’ve said this time and time again: do not say that celebrities are endorsing your cannabis product if they are not.  Sacha Baron Cohen is the latest famous person to go to court over phony endorsements.

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 have the latest news on the Ohio ballot initiative, along with a look at medical marijuana in North Carolina.  A new governor in New York brings new energy to setting up a cannabis market.  The Ninth Circuit opines on rescheduling marijuana.  And finally, did The Bard smoke weed?

ohio

As we reported earlier, the Ohio ballot initiative legalizing adult-use cannabis has had its up and downs.  It’s now on another upswing.  The state Attorney General has approved the initiative’s revised language, meaning it now moves on to the state’s Ballot Board.  This group will determine if the initiative contains one subject or many, and as we’ve seen in other states, that’s something you want to get right.

north carolina

Medical marijuana is on the move in the Tarheel State.  The North Carolina Senate Judiciary Committee recently advanced a bill that would allow medical cannabis.  It added language concerning requirements doctors would have to meet before prescribing marijuana to patients.  But we’re a long way from the finish line – the bill has to get through two more committees before a floor vote.

new york

With a new governor has come some new movement regarding legal cannabis.  In an extraordinary session of the state legislature which started this week, the Governor announced her appointments to the state’s Office of Cannabis Management and Cannabis Control Board.

ninth circuit

The Ninth Circuit has dismissed a petition asking the court to review whether the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) should reschedule marijuana.  The court did not rule on whether cannabis should be rescheduled or not.  Instead, they held that the plaintiffs had not exhausted their administrative remedies.

and finally

Researchers examining fragments from William Shakespeare’s pipes think the playwright may have smoked cannabis, and possibly referenced it in his Sonnet 76.  Frankly, the evidence seems pretty shaky, but it’s fun to speculate…

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

Earlier this month, plaintiff Bright Side, LLC dba Herbal Edibles, a manufacturer of cannabis edibles, filed a lawsuit in New Mexico state court to enforce a 3-year non-compete and enjoin the misappropriation of its trade secret cannabis recipes by one its former bakers, Christina Johnson.

Based on the complaint, Ms. Johnson had been employed by Herbal Edibles as a baker for less than one year when she was terminated. Ms. Johnson allegedly started her own competing business, selling cannabis edibles such as “psychedelic sugar cookies” through Instagram and an open air market.

According to Herbal Edibles, Ms. Johnson’s competing business is based on the use of Herbal Edibles’ recipes. Herbal Edibles sued Ms. Johnson for both breach of a Confidentiality Agreement – Non-Compete Agreement, as well as misappropriation of trade secrets under the New Mexico Uniform Trade Secrets Act.

Continue Reading Cannabis Baker’s Plans of Own Business Potentially Put On Backburner

As previously reported here, on February 22, 2021, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed A21, the “New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act” (CREAMMA), which is enabling legislation for the amendment to the New Jersey Constitution making lawful the recreational use of marijuana in the state.

While the new law, among other things, allows employers to conduct numerous forms of drug testing for marijuana, the law limits an employer’s ability to rely on a positive marijuana test result in making employment decisions.  The law requires that a drug test include both a “physical evaluation” and “scientifically reliable objective testing methods and procedures, such as testing of blood, urine, or saliva.”  The “physical evaluation” must be conducted by an individual certified to provide an opinion about an employee’s state of impairment, or lack of impairment, related to the use of marijuana. The law tasked the Cannabis Regulatory Commission with adopting standards for a “Workplace Impairment Recognition Expert” (WIRE), who must be trained to detect and identify an employee’s use or impairment from marijuana or other intoxicating substances and to assist in the investigation of workplace accidents.

On August 19, 2021, the Commission published its “Personal Use Cannabis Rules,” which say virtually nothing about employer drug testing practices.  That said, according to the Commission, until it “develops standards for a Workplace Impairment Recognition Expert certification” in consultation with the Police Training Commission, “no physical evaluation of an employee being drug tested in accordance with [the new law] shall be required.”

It remains to be seen when the Commission will issue another set of regulations and whether they will clarify some of the law’s unanswered questions, most importantly how the law impacts employers with employees in safety-sensitive positions. Until then, New Jersey employers should consider working with experienced employment counsel to determine whether to (a) modify their drug testing practices, including the possibility of eliminating marijuana testing either pre-employment or for certain types of positions, (b) provide training to managers tasked with making reasonable suspicion determinations, and (c) determine the best person to serve as the employer’s WIRE. We will provide an update once the Commission adopts additional regulations.