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

Let’s start out with the world of cannabusiness.  MedMen CEO Adam Bierman left the company effective February 1.  Shares climbed 13% on the news.  Bierman is not the only person in the industry losing his job;

On January 10, 2020, Colorado Representative Jovan Melton (D) introduced House Bill 20-1089, which proposes to clarify that the existing prohibition on an employer terminating an employee for the employee’s lawful off-duty activities, like off-duty consumption of alcohol, extends to activities that are lawful under state law even if they are illegal under federal

Welcome to The Week in Weed’s look back at the news of 2019; whether the year has flown by or seemed to last forever, it’s (almost) over now.  In tribute to Dave Barry and his always hilarious Year in Review, we’ll organize these stories by month.

Without further ado, here’s a look at the stories that grabbed our attention in 2019.
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Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.

Hemp was in the news quite a bit this week.  The 2019 edition of the Hemp and CBD Industry Factbook released figures that show retail sales of CBD topping $1 billion this year, and predicted that

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

There were several interesting developments this week on the federal level.  We’ll start off with the news that the Senate may not take up the issue of banking in the marijuana industry.  Sen. Mike Crapo (R.

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

Possibly the biggest news this week was the first ever Congressional hearing on cannabis banking.  From the hearing’s webpage, you can watch the hearing, read the committee’s memorandum and read the witnesses’ prepared statements.   The

Seyfarth Synopsis: The Tenth Circuit is set to decide whether workers in Colorado’s legalized marijuana industry are entitled to wage and hour protections under the FLSA. 

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is the federal statute that provides wage and hour benefits to certain employees.  On the other hand, the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) is a federal statutes that categorizes marijuana as a Schedule I drug, meaning it is illegal under federal law.  Simple possession (let alone participating in its manufacture and distribution) is illegal, irrespective of state law to the contrary.  In the wake of widespread legalization of recreational marijuana in states across the country, a questions has arisen as to whether the FLSA was meant to provide wage and hour protections to employees of businesses engaged in the manufacture or distribution of Schedule I drugs under the CSA.

Background

This question has been put to the test in Kenney v. Helix TCS, Inc..  In Kenney, an employee of Helix, which provides armed security and transport services for businesses that grow and distribute marijuana, filed a putative collective action against Helix under the FLSA.  Kenney claims that Helix misclassified him, and similarly situated employees, as exempt and owes them overtime wages.  In response, Helix moved to dismiss the action, arguing that Kenney is not entitled to the protections of the FLSA because he is employed in the marijuana industry, which is entirely forbidden under the CSA.

The District Court denied Helix’s motion to dismiss.  The Court observed that Helix did not cite any cases in support of its theory, while Kenney relied on Greenwood v. Green Leave Lab LLC, which held that a plaintiff employed in a marijuana-testing laboratory under Oregon’s recreational marijuana law was entitled to protections under the FLSA, notwithstanding the CSA’s prohibition on marijuana.  Further, the Court held that businesses are not precluded from complying with federal laws because their business practices may violate other federal laws.  Nonetheless, the Court certified the ruling for immediate appeal to the Tenth Circuit with respect to the issue of whether Kenney is a covered employee under the FLSA. 
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A Colorado federal jury sided with the owner of a state-licensed cannabis cultivation business last Wednesday in a federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) suit brought against him by his neighbors.

In 2015, Michael and Hope Reilly brought a federal RICO lawsuit in Colorado against Parker Walton and his cannabis cultivation operation that