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Is the Supreme Court Gambling on State Cannabis Laws? Christie v. NCAA

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Cannabis legaization and federal law
We are hoping for a good roll from the Christie case

Christie v. NCAA is a U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) challenge to the federal law that bans states from allowing sports gambling. Though nothing in Christie addresses cannabis directly, SCOTUS’s decision, due out next year, could give Congress a tool to ban states from allowing legal marijuana.

In 1992, Congress passed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which prohibits states (save for some that were grandfathered) to “authorize” gambling on sports. The state of New Jersey, which was not grandfathered, passed laws in 2012 to authorize sports betting. In a federal case, the state admitted that these laws violated PASPA, but argued that PASPA unconstitutionally allowed the federal government to “commandeer” the state to enforce federal law. The Court of Appeals found that the Constitution’s anti-commandeering doctrine (derived from the 10th Amendment) didn’t apply here because PASPA didn’t affirmatively require New Jersey to do anything, but simply prohibited it from enacting laws that allowed betting on sports. The Supreme Court declined to review the Court of Appeals’ decision.

In 2014, New Jersey passed a new law that merely repealed existing its laws prohibiting sports betting. The Court of Appeals was unconvinced that the new law was any different than the 2012 law. According to the Court of …

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Cannabis Businesses Protected From Federal Government. For Now.

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corporate cannabis lawyer
What will you say about cannabis this holiday season?

For many of us, the holiday season means attending a number of office holiday parties. Between trying to snag egg-rolls and chicken skewers there’s a lot of networking, re-connecting, and small talk (so what do you think about Jimmy Garoppolo?). If you’re talking to a stranger, the conversation often leads to “and what do you do?” When I tell them I’m a corporate attorney who advises cannabis businesses, they usually ask about the federal government. Specifically, they ask what’s keeping the federal government from cracking down on the cannabis industry? That’s when I ask them if they’ve ever heard of James Cole, Dana Rohrabacher, and Earl Blumenauer. I then give them a brief history lesson (while keeping an eye out for new appetizers) on the Cole Memorandum and the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment (formerly known as the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment).

We’ve previously covered the tenuous nature of the Cole Memo since U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions can revoke it at any time. Fortunately for the burgeoning cannabis industry, Sessions has managed to restrain himself and has kept the Cole Memo in place. What’s of more immediate concern is the status of the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment (“RBA”).

The RBA prohibits the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) from spending money to interfere with the implementation …

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The Best Cannabis Gift Ideas for Marijuana Enthusiasts

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Deck the halls with boughs of…all things cannabis! No matter how you decide to deck your halls, ‘tis the season to shower gifts on your nearest and dearest, and what better way to do that than to share your love of ganja? Finding the right gift can sometimes be a hassle, but in our handy dandy gift guides, you’re sure to find something for everyone, from your experienced stoner to your canna-newbie. So go ahead and shop! We’ve done the work for you, making it easy to cross everyone naughty or nice off your list.

Great Cannabis Gift Ideas

Gift Ideas for Beginner Stoners

Here at Pot Guide, we know that some people are new to the world of weed, so in our Gift Guide for Beginner Stoners, we’ve listed some cannabis basics. Take the Kasher Lighter Tool, with a built-in poker at the ready to unclog a bowl or blunts wherever you are, and the AirRestore Purifier to change a room’s tell-tale smell from skunky to fresh.

Kasher Lighter Tool
Kasher’s useful lighter tool makes the perfect stocking stuffer! Kasher

Rolling your own is a tough feat, even for more experienced users, but not with RAW Papers, one of the most popular rolling paper brands in the world. Their innovative lineup of “fill-you-own” cones solves the rolling problem …

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Much Ado About RICO and Cannabis, Part 3

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cannabis litigation
Cannabis litigation is its own thing

Two previous posts (here and here) discussed the McCart v. Beddow case, in which an attorney who was fed up with cannabis grows next to her rural home filed RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) claims against dozens of defendants who allegedly participated in a criminal enterprise that damaged her by diminishing her property value, among other things. The defendants aptly described the lawsuit as an “attempt to put some shiny federal lipstick on an otherwise quite beleaguered pig of a state-law nuisance claim.”

The McCart case appears to be wending its way towards settlement.  Although motions to dismiss the complaint were filed, the plaintiff never responded to them and the court never addressed the merits. We probably won’t get to see the terms on which the parties settled, as settlements are usually kept confidential.

Meanwhile, the same attorney has filed a similar lawsuit on behalf of property owners in the Lebanon/Albany Oregon area, against various grow defendants. Ainsworth v. Owenby, Case 6:17-cv-1935, D. Or. It will be interesting/important to see how the RICO/nuisance claims hold up this time around.

In the meantime, this case nicely highlights how cannabis litigation can be so different from other litigation; who brings a RICO claim against their neighbors? Which is a perfect segue to …

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What to Expect When Visiting a Medical Marijuana Clinic

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Nobody likes going to the doctor. As important as a visit can be for your health, most people will put it off to avoid discomfort or fear. If you would like to talk to your doctor about medical cannabis as a treatment option, you might also be concerned about the stigma attached to the drug! Despite almost being legalized, cannabis is often misunderstood and somewhat mysterious when it comes to its medical properties and benefits. 


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Everything You Need to Know About Cannabis Terpenes

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You cannot consider yourself to be any kind of cannabis connoisseur, until you know exactly what’s going on behind the scenes. Ask any sample group of 100 cannabis users and chances are at least 90 of them will tell you that they know cannabis contains Terpenes. However, ask the same group of 100 cannabis users […]

The post Everything You Need to Know About Cannabis Terpenes appeared first on LIWTS.


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US Government (Finally) Considers Cannabis as an Opioid Solution

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As the United States struggles with an ongoing opioid epidemic that is undoubtedly fueled by the pharmaceutical industry, many people are coming forward in favor of cannabis as a viable option to replace prescription drugs altogether. While this is not a new idea to many cannabis consumers who have experienced firsthand the healing benefits of marijuana, it has never been widely accepted or contemplated in the mainstream – more specifically, in the federal government.

It appears the tides are changing however, as government officials are seemingly becoming more open to the idea of cannabis as a solution to the opioid crisis.

The US Government Talks Cannabis

Recently, in a Senate subcommittee hearing titled “Addressing the Opioid Crisis in America: Prevention, Treatment and Recovery” cannabis was brought up not once, but twice in the discussion. Although marijuana did not dominate the hearing, it is important to recognize the shift beginning to occur. Where cannabis used to be brushed aside as a ludicrous solution, it is now being recognized by leaders of the United States as a possible remedy to the nation’s opioid crisis.

While this is certainly good news for supporters of cannabis legalization, it also creates an interesting paradox.

Cannabis is still a schedule I substance, meaning it has no medicinal value in the eyes of the federal government. …

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Protect Your Cannabis Business from the Bad Acts of Your Employees

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Ignore harassment complaints and face liability.

If you have a successful cannabis business, you likely have employees. Whether you have a few or many employees, your cannabis business can be liable for the actions of those employees. This post (the first in a series) will explore the various ways your cannabis business could be liable for the actions of your employees and the ways you can protect against such liability.

We recently discussed the importance of your cannabis business having a sexual harassment policy. A sexual harassment policy is important to establish a workplace that is safe for all employees but it is also an important tool to protect your cannabis business from liability for sexual harassment claims.

There are two types of sexual harassment: Quid pro quo and hostile work environment. Quid pro quo harassment is committed when some type of employment benefit or employment decision is made contingent on sexual advances or favors. Examples of quid pro quo harassment are when a supervisor fires an employee after the employee refuses the supervisor’s sexual harassment or if the employee does not receive a deserved bonus after refusing sexual advances. Only supervisors can commit quid pro quo harassment. Employers are automatically liable for quid pro quo harassment that results in a tangible job detriment.

A hostile work environment occurs …

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What Does the FDA Really Think About Medical Marijuana?

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Everybody knows that because marijuana is a Schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substances Act, it is illegal to sell under federal law. Last year, the FDA again reviewed the published scientific literature on medical cannabis and recommended that marijuana stay in Schedule 1. The DEA relied upon this finding in its August 2016 ruling upholding the cannabis ban.

What everybody doesn’t know is that the FDA’s website says that it “actively supports the development of drugs from marijuana.”

Some statements are even more emphatic: “FDA needs to do all it can to support the needed scientific research with marijuana to characterize its therapeutic promise.”  What? Is the FDA suffering from cannabis cognitive dissonance? Not at all. Under the Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act (FDCA), the FDA has the power to approve drugs, based on scientific evidence.

The reason cannabis hasn’t been rescheduled is because, according to the FDA, there is not sufficient evidence to show a currently accepted medical use.

Where does the FDA get off saying there is no medical use? A look at the FDA’s history is instructive. Modern drug regulation started in the beginning of the last century, when the market was filled with unregulated patent medicines claiming to cure everything from constipation to cancer. Many of these medicines, e.g., Johnson’s Mild Combination Treatment …

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