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.

delaware

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.

ohio

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.

missouri

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!

delaware

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!

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

New Hampshire’s Senate decided against legalizing.  Virginia will not be recriminalizing possession.  Ohio’s having some difficulties with its ballot initiative.  On the federal level, cannabis banking may be part of the COMPETES Act.  And finally, could you pick up some marijuana along with your vegetables at the farmers’ market?

new hampshire

New Hampshire is surrounded by states where marijuana is legal for adult-use.  Prospects for legalization there have long been dim, and recently, the lights went out entirely for this legislative session.  The state Senate voted against legalization late last week.  Supporters of the bill argued that it would bring the state more in line with its neighbors, but opponents opposed the specifics of the bill.

virginia

The legislative process is sometimes very complicated, and Virginia’s recent back-and-forth over cannabis is one of those times.  The legislature had sent a bill to the governor dealing with hemp products.  The governor added in additional provisions, including an increase in penalties for adults possessing two ounces of marijuana.  The legislature then shelved the entire bill until next year.  So the end result of all this activity is…nothing.

ohio

We’ve been following the saga of legalization in Ohio for a while now.  Regular readers will doubtless recall that we left proponents prepared to collect additional signatures to put legalization on the ballot after it appeared that the legislature would not take up the issue.  Well, now the initiative may not happen after all.  Opponents of the measure in the legislature now object to the timing of the signature gathering, and insist that the measure must wait until 2023.  Supporters of the initiative have filed suit to allow the process to go forward. Further bulletins as events warrant.

competes act

The SAFE Banking Act could finally be enacted, as part of the America COMPETES Act.  Right now, the provision is in the House version, but not in the Senate version.   Legislators are working to come up with a bill that can pass both chambers.  This is probably the closest the law has come to getting passed, but it’s still a long way from the finish line.

and finally

You may be able to pick up some cannabis along with your organic kale and artisanal cheeses, if a bill in California passes.  The Assembly Business and Professions Committee approved a bill that would allow small growers to sell directly to consumers by a vote of 10-1.

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 look at what’s happening with medical marijuana in Kentucky.  President Biden grants clemency to several prisoners incarcerated for cannabis offenses.  We look at ballot initiatives in various states.  CBS released a new poll concerning marijuana.  And finally, the term pizza joint may have a new meaning in New York.

kentucky

After failing to pass in the state legislature, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear (D) is considering using an executive order to legalize.  The governor asked his staff to look into their legal options, saying, “We’re behind Mississippi. That’s something that we can’t be OK with.”  (Ouch.)  Lawmakers, even those who supported the bill, consider this a power grab.  One thing the Governor has done is approve a cannabis research facility at the University of Kentucky.

clemency

Turning to the federal government, President Biden recently granted pardons to three non-violent drug offenders and commuted the sentences of 75 others.  Some activists view this as a drop in the bucket; the administration says they will continue to review additional clemency petitions in future.

ballot initiatives

Several states are considering adding cannabis to the November 2022 ballot.  Here’s where each of them stand:

Oklahoma

The state Supreme Court allowed two adult-use initiatives to go forward.  Advocates need to collect 178,000 signatures and can begin their efforts in May.

Missouri

Activists are nearing the number of signatures needed to put adult-use on the ballot.  Legal Missouri 2022 says 200,000 people have signed their petition, but will continue to collect signatures until the May 8 deadline.

North Dakota

The Secretary of State approved the language put forth by New Approach North Dakota.  This allows the group to start gathering signatures.  Their deadline is July 11.

cannabis support

CBS News recently released the results of a poll on adult-use legalization, and a majority of Americans (66%) favor it.  This holds true at both the national and the state level.  A majority of those polled also would either favor or wouldn’t oppose a cannabis business opening in their own neighborhood.

and finally

One of the advantages of writing about cannabis is that the puns are plentiful.  For example, this story from the New York Post about the possibility of pizzerias being able to sell cannabis-infused products.

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 hope you had a pleasant 4/20.  If you’re in the DC area, know that the District is in the midst of a medical cannabis tax holiday.

On to the news!  Schumer delays introducing his legalization bill.  There’s a new House bill dealing with weed regulations.  Sales began this week in New Jersey.  New York approves cultivation licenses.  Yes, we have no medical marijuana in Kentucky.  And finally, Woody Harrelson is opening a dispensary.

Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act

When we last mentioned the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act (CAOA), it was slated to be introduced in the spring.  Now the plan is to introduce it before the August recess.  The problem facing the sponsors (Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR)) is that they need all 50 Democrats and 10 Republicans in order to pass it.  And that’s a heavy lift.

prepare act

Meanwhile, back in the House, a bi-partisan group introduced the Preparing Regulators Effectively for a Post-Prohibition Adult Use Regulated Environment Act.  That’s quite a mouthful, but you can just call it the PREPARE Act.  Sponsors David Joyce (R-OH), Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and Brian Mast (R-FL) want the federal government to be ready for what they call the “inevitable end to cannabis prohibition.”

new jersey

This week marked the beginning of adult-use cannabis sales in New Jersey.  It’s been a long and winding road, as we’ve reported before, but they got there in the end.

new york

Across the river in New York, regulators approved its first group of cultivation licenses.  The state hopes to start retail sales later this year.

kentucky

Just last week, we reported on the medical marijuana situation in Kentucky (not popular in Senate, time running out) and promised updates.  Well, the bill didn’t make it over the finish line.  The governor stated that he would consider issuing an executive order if the legislature didn’t act.  Once again, further bulletins as events warrant.

and finally

Our more mature readers may remember Woody Harrelson’s role as Woody the bartender on Cheers.  He’s now branching out, serving as the CEO of a new dispensary, The Woods.  No word on whether he’ll do any budtending.

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

South Carolina moves a step forward on medical marijuana.  What’s the situation on that issue in Kentucky?  We have an update on Maryland’s ballot question.  Speaking of ballots, North Dakota voters may be voting on adult-use as well.  And finally, we look to New Zealand for the latest story involving an illicit cannabis grow.

south carolina

No one can say that South Carolina is rushing into legalizing medical cannabis.  State Senator Tom Davis first introduced a bill in 2015, with no success.  But perhaps, in 2022, its time has come.  The Senate passed a bill that would create an extremely limited market, and now a House committee has cleared the legislation for debate in the full House.  We’ll let you know how it all turns out.

kentucky

In other medical marijuana news, time is running out for a bill in the Kentucky legislature, but the governor may take action on his own.  Although the measure is popular with voters, it’s struggling to gain traction in the Senate.  Governor Andy Bashear (D) says he may issue an executive order if the session ends without a bill sent to his desk.  Again, watch this space for more.

maryland

Marylanders will be voting on adult-use legalization this November.  If that passes, a bill to implement it will take effect.  The Legislature’s approval for the ballot initiative meant it would go forward.  Governor Larry Hogan (R) allowed the companion bill to go into effect without his signature.

north dakota

When it comes to cannabis, South Dakota seems to be the Dakota that gets all the attention.  We’ve written about the Mount Rushmore State four times just in 2022.  But don’t sleep on their neighbor to the north!  Marijuana advocates hope to put an initiative on the ballot, if they can get approval from the state secretary and rustle up more than 15,000 signatures by July 11.

and finally

New Zealand’s cannabis referendum failed in 2020.  So why were marijuana plants found growing on the grounds of Parliament?  Perhaps they were left behind by protestors?  No matter how they got there, the Speaker of the House asked “for the weed to be weeded.”

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.

The House of Representatives passed both the MORE Act (again) and a bill dealing with medical marijuana research.  In Maryland, the legislature voted to put marijuana legalization on the November ballot.  DC has also been considering, but not passing, marijuana legislation.  And finally, Nike makes hemp shoes.

more act

As expected, the House of Representatives passed the MORE Act late last week.  It has been received in the Senate and referred to the Finance Committee.  If history is any guide, it will languish there, but we’ll keep you apprised of any movement.

medical marijuana research act

In other House news, the Medical Marijuana Research Act passed early this week.  The legislation would allow researchers to access cannabis from state-legal dispensaries.  Currently, researchers can only access marijuana from the University of Mississippi, which is widely believed to have a product inferior to that available elsewhere.  Add to that the delays in getting approval for studies, and you get a frustrating situation.  This bill is, like the MORE Act, in the hands of the Senate.  Further bulletins as events warrant.

maryland

Turning our attention to the states, we note that the Maryland legislature passed a bill to put adult-use legalization on the ballot.   Both H.B. 1, and H.B. 837, which implements legalization, now head to the Governor’s desk.

district of columbia

With the ban on cannabis sales still in force in DC, the City Council recently turned its attention to the “gifting” phenomenon.  Stores set up shop, selling stickers, T-shirts or other small items and give out marijuana with purchase.  Everyone knows what’s really going on, but it’s technically within the law.  A recent bill would have cracked down on such establishments and would have allowed all DC residents, 21 or older, to self-certify that they were entitled to medical marijuana, which can be bought and sold.  The bill didn’t garner sufficient support to pass, so the status quo remains.

and finally

Nike now offers three shoes made from hemp, as part of its sustainability program.  Two versions of the Air Force 1 and a Blazer Mid ’77 feature hemp woven fabric.

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.

This week, the House of Representatives moves closer to voting on the MORE Act.  Meanwhile, in the Senate, a bill on cannabis research makes its way through the process.  In state news, New Jersey’s dispensary licenses and sales bring controversy.  On the other hand, New Mexico starts legal sales today.  And finally, Las Vegas may get a pot-positive hotel.

more act

It’s deja vu all over again.  The MORE Act will get a House vote sometime soon, and will most likely pass.  Although one could argue that Congress seriously discussing this legislation merits notice, it’s not as if we haven’t seen this before.  Will the Senate pass it this time?  Will the President sign it?  Stay tuned, but don’t hold your breath.

marijuana research

Speaking of the Senate, they’ve been occupied with cannabis, too.  The Cannabidiol and Marihuana Research Expansion Act passed by unanimous consent late last week.  Does the bipartisan Senate support indicate the House could pass this as well?  Will the President sign it?  We seem to have more questions than answers this week.

new jersey

Moving on to the states, regular readers will doubtless recall that New Jersey passed adult-use legalization just over a year ago.  The state is now dealing with the real heavy lifting – setting up a marketplace.  Many in the state, including the Senate President, Nick Scutari (D), are unhappy over the delay in awarding licenses.  Hearings to follow.

new mexico

In contrast, New Mexico’s adult-use sales begin today.  Although not everyone is delighted over the details, customers will be encouraged to hear that there’s no shortage of supply.  In addition, two Native American tribes will also begin retail sales.

and finally

If you’re headed to Las Vegas, and you’re looking for a marijuana-friendly place to stay, the Artisan Hotel has plans to meet your needs.

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