Recent Posts

California Drops Proposed Permanent Cannabis Regulations

, , No Comment

California cannabis attorneyLast Friday, July 12, 2018, all three agencies overseeing California’s implementation of MAUCRSA dropped proposed permanent regulations that will eventually replace the readopted emergency regulations that are active now. For the text of those proposed regulations go here, here, and here. Importantly, these regulations are just proposed; they are not in effect and they won’t be in effect until after the 45-day public comment period so long as the agencies move to adopt them without changes.

The proposed rules don’t make massive changes to the existing regime. In fact, many of these rule additions and clarifications should have already been in the mix as fundamental, common sense standards for operation in line with former federal enforcement priorities. More than anything else, these proposed rules represent technical fixes to pretty large gaps in the existing emergency rules.

All three California agencies tasked with regulating cannabis are now finally on the same page about the disclosure and vetting of “owners” versus “financial interest holders” and, importantly, if an “owner” is an entity only “the chief executive officer and members of the board of directors of the entity shall be considered owners.” In addition, the agencies clarified that none of them will issue temporary licenses after December 31, 2018. This was already in MAUCRSA, but the agencies clarified …

Read Post →

Choosing Your Cannabis Trademark

, , No Comment

Cannabis Trademark AttorneuyWe’ve gone over the obstacles to obtaining federal trademark protection at length, but given recent inquiries our cannabis trademark attorneys have been receiving lately, it seemed high time to revisit what exactly makes a trademark “strong” or “weak.”

I regularly have clients come to me with catchy marks they or their brand consultants have developed, but are not eligible for trademark protection. There is a spectrum of strength when it comes to trademarks. The distinctiveness, or strength, of a mark will determine both how well the mark performs from a marketing and branding perspective, as well as the level of legal protection to which it is entitled. When a mark is highly distinctive, identifying the owner of the mark as the source of the goods sold, the mark is strong. And when a mark is not inherently distinctive, or when a mark is the same or very similar to one already used by others, the mark is weak. Here are the types of marks on the spectrum, from strongest to weakest:

  • Fanciful Marks: These marks are inherently distinctive and consist of a combination of letters with no meaning; they are invented words. Some examples of famous fanciful marks are EXXON and KODAK. These marks can be more difficult from a marketing perspective initially, because the public must be

Read Post →

Labeling CBD Products: The Unique Case of Indiana

, , No Comment

indiana cbd hemp
Home of legal CBD sales!

Indiana has uniquely positioned itself with some of the most robust regulations of hemp-derived CBD products. On March 21, 2018, Senate Bill 52 became law, allowing the distribution and retail sale of “low-THC hemp extract,” defined as a product “(1) derived from Cannabis sativa L. that meets the definition of industrial hemp; (2) that contains not more than 0.3% delta-9-THC (including precursors); and (3) that contains no other controlled substances.”

Exciting news, right? Indiana is a red state that has been slow to implement any kind of meaningful cannabis regulations. Prior to SB 52, Indiana implemented a strict CBD-only medical marijuana program and an industrial hemp program that has not really launched.

That’s what makes SB 52 so interesting. It shows that Indiana is cognizant of the existence of CBD products and has made a decision to allow their sale. The catch is that those sales are restricted to a certain class of CBD products, and they are heavily regulated.

Specifically, under SB 52, “low-THC hemp extracts” are only permitted for sale in Indiana if they are extracted from hemp that was tested by an accredited, independent laboratory. The distributor of low THC hemp extracts must have lab results showing “(1) the low THC hemp extract is the product of a batch tested by the …

Read Post →

Can’t Trademark that Cannabis Logo? Try Copyright

, , No Comment

cannabis marijuana copyright
Definitely worth a shot.

Every business thrives on brand differentiation. One of the most effective ways to promote public identification and recognition is to enhance and protect your brand. Your brand is of course your name but it is also your logo. Beyond that, really, it’s everything about you.

As far as “formal” branding elements, logos are right there at the top. Still, there is a fair bit of confusion among business owners and even lawyers about how logos are legally protected. Are they to be registered as trademarks? Copyrights? Are logos registrable as both?

Let’s look at trademark first. Trademarks are words, phrases, symbols or designs that identify the source of a product and help distinguish that product from that of competitors. However, as we have written about extensively on this blog, federal trademark protection is not typically available to cannabis businesses because the federal illegality of “marijuana” prevents owners from demonstrating lawful use of their marks in commerce—a prerequisite imposed by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Fortunately, trademark law is not the sole intellectual property (“IP”) tool a cannabis business can use to protect its logo. Copyright protection may be available as well. Unlike trademark law, copyright law does not prohibit the type of work that is eligible for copyright protection. Accordingly, cannabis-related works, including logos, …

Read Post →

Cannabis, Alcohol, States and Subsidies

, , No Comment

oregon marijuana cannabis subsidyRecently, there has been some talk here in Oregon that the state is not doing enough to support licensed cannabis businesses economically. These businesses generated more than $70 million in state tax revenue in FY 2017, after all. Although that revenue does not yet approach the combined $373 million in average annual revenue for beer, wine and spirits (combined), it appears to be closing the gap quickly, despite no option for interstate sales.

Comparing marijuana and alcohol receipts in Oregon is an awkward proposition, given the fact that Oregon marijuana revenues are collected through sales tax, whereas beer and wine vendors pay the state an excise tax, and liquor is distributed and sold by the state itself. At the end of the day, though, the economic impact of regulated cannabis will continue to gain on–and eat into–the alcohol economy, both in Oregon and nationwide. That is especially true if we factor in industrial hemp.

So what is the state doing to subsidize cannabis businesses in Oregon? Not much. The state did pass House Bill 4014 a few years back, which allows cannabis establishments to deduct business expenses allowable under the federal tax code when filing state returns; but that modest gesture pales in comparison to the institutional support given to craft beer and wine. Specifically, here …

Read Post →

Aceh – An Indonesian Landrace

, , No Comment

An increasingly rare strain that’s becoming more and more difficult to track down in the West, Aceh is a land race strain you’re guaranteed to pronounce wrong the first few times. However, what you really need to know is that it’s a superb 100% Sativa strain that first emerged from the heart of Indonesia in […]

The post Aceh – An Indonesian Landrace appeared first on LIWTS.

Source: https://www.liwts.org/strain-reviews/aceh-indonesian-landrace/…

Read Post →

Washington Cannabis Regulators See Problems, Propose Action That Won’t Solve Said Problems

, , No Comment

WSLCB cannabis marijuana
The WSLCB approach is not working so well.

The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) may finally be noticing that its current treatment of “true party of interest” violations is neither just nor sustainable. During an extended conversation at its monthly executive management team meeting in June, the WSLCB discussed potentially adopting a hidden ownership amnesty program. Basically, any existing businesses that had mistakenly created a true party of interest relationship would have a limited time to come forward and declare any owners or other true parties of interest in licensed marijuana businesses that had not been disclosed and vetted in the past. The licensee would then be able to get the person vetted, though some penalty other than license cancellation would potentially still be on the table.

The details are not set, and the WSLCB executive team is going to continue meeting and discussing the issue over the coming months. For those licensees in the middle of investigations or regulatory hearings with the WSLCB, there’s not much hope to pull from this. Even if the WSLCB moved with lightning speed to adopt something, the agency was clear that it would not avail anyone currently undergoing a formal investigation or violation hearing.

That the WSLCB is discussing the topic of leniency at all indicates that they are cognizant of …

Read Post →

7 mould resistant cannabis strains

, , No Comment

Moulds can quickly ruin your plants during the last weeks of the flowering stage, that’s why many growers choose mould resistant cannabis strains to guarantee success. This type of genetics are resistant to high relative humidity levels, rarely developing moulds like botrytis or powdery mildew even if grown in humid climates.

If you checked the link above, you may have seen a wide rage of mould resistant varieties. Still, we want to make your decision easier for you by listing some of our favourites, genetics that – for one reason or another – have captivated us for their excellent results in humid climates. Let’s see them now!

Harvest time is coming!

Harvest time is coming!

Viper City OG XIII by Moxie Seeds

Moxie Seeds are known for the amazing amount of trichomes produced by their strains, a trait highly appreciated by lovers of resin extracts. Their Viper City OG XIII produces outstanding amounts of cannabinoids and terpenes, and is also highly resistant to excess relative humidity and diverse types of moulds.

This mostly Indica hybrid comes from a backross between Viper City OG and Lemon OG. It grows relatively compact but with plenty of side branches, focusing bud production on the main stem. It is also resistant to pests and nutrient imbalances, being a great choice for beginner growers.

Viper City OG XIII by Moxie Seeds

Viper City

Read Post →

California Cannabis Countdown: Contra Costa County (Hearing Today!)

, , No Comment

California has 58 counties and 482 incorporated cities across the state, each with the option to create its own rules or ban marijuana altogether. In this California Cannabis Countdown series, we cover who is banning cannabis, who is embracing cannabis (and how), and everyone in between.  For each city and county, we’ll discuss its location, history with cannabis, current law, and proposed law to give you a clearer picture of where to locate your California cannabis business, how to keep it legal, and what you will and won’t be allowed to do.

Our last California Cannabis Countdown post was on the City of Antioch, and before that the City of San Jose, the City of Cotati, the City of San Luis Obispo, the City of Redding, the City of San Rafael, the City of Hayward, Alameda County, OaklandSan FranciscoSonoma County, the City of Davis, the City of Santa RosaCounty and City of San BernardinoMarin CountyNevada County, the City of Lynwood, the City of CoachellaLos Angeles County, the City of Los Angeles, the City of Desert Hot SpringsSonoma County, the City of Sacramento, the City of BerkeleyCalaveras County, …

Read Post →

Why Cannabis Terpenes Are Vital To The “Entourage Effect”

, , No Comment

What is the Entourage Effect? Well, two Israeli scientists coined it to describe something fascinating they’d observed in cannabis. Some compounds found in cannabis have no significant effect on their own, but when combined with other components, can affect the human endocannabinoid system – this is the Entourage Effect. So, when it comes to cannabis […]

The post Why Cannabis Terpenes Are Vital To The “Entourage Effect” appeared first on LIWTS.

Source: https://www.liwts.org/blog/cannabis-terpenes-vital-entourage-effect/…

Read Post →

Considerations for Cannabis Co-Branding Opportunities

, , No Comment

cannabis marijuana brandingLast week, Lagunitas Brewing Company announced the launch of Hi-Fi Hops, an IPA-inspired sparkling water in collaboration with CannaCraft (under its AbsoluteXtracts brand), a Santa Rosa-based cannabis company. Both the LAGUNITAS and ABSOLUTEXTRACTS marks appear on the packaging for the beverage, and so I thought this would be a great opportunity to explore some of the considerations that should go into any co-branding deal.

Co-branding is a common marketing strategy wherein two or more brands collaborate to create a product that is representative of both or each of the brands. Co-branding can be a great opportunity for publicity and can also serve as an opportunity to introduce one of the co-brander’s customers to the other co-brander’s product. It can be an effective tool for expanding the reach of your brand into other markets if executed properly. Co-branding can also serve to enhance the value of the goods if both of the brands are well-known and respected by their consumers.

But what happens if the deal isn’t well thought out? Co-branders run the risk of diluting their brand, or if they are a small company, finding their brand overshadowed by the larger, better established brand. If an agreement is poorly drafted, you may find yourself in a situation without much control over the product or its quality, and a sub-par …

Read Post →

California Cannabis Leases: Remediation Indemnification is Key

, , No Comment

california cannabis remediation nuisance lease
Don’t get left with a mess on your land!

For California landlords leasing to cannabis businesses, we’ve previously discussed how compliance with state and local law, perhaps even more so than the specter of federal enforcement, should be a top concern when structuring the tenancy and drafting the lease. As the state ramps up its efforts to transition the industry to a robust regulatory regime, one result of those efforts that is playing out across the state is that cultivator tenants, particularly outdoor grows, are abandoning their cultivation operations rather than paying for cleanup or dealing with state or local enforcement actions.

Sometimes this is due to a lack of wherewithal to become a licensed operation and pay the costs of compliance. Other times it’s due to a change in local law that renders the operation a nonconforming use. And still other times it’s the result of a private or government-initiated nuisance action (although these actions can sometimes create other problems). But the result is often the same: The property is left abandoned and trashed, cannabis growing material such as dangerous fertilizers are left spread across the site, and, often, illegal stream diversions or alterations have been illegally constructed, posing a threat to wildlife, water quality, and natural water drainage systems. The result is an environmental disaster and …

Read Post →

Medical Cannabis, Schools and Civil Rights

, , No Comment

More states are recognizing rights to medical use.

In 2016, I received a call from a distraught mother, who had been referred to me by the Washington State chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (“NORML”) for possible pro bono representation of her and her son in some kind of marijuana-related civil rights/liberties case. I was surprised by this referral as I had only recently taken on my first ever cannabis business client, a top shelf processor whose employment and business disputes I had been handling. Since early in my legal career, when I had been a young prosecutor and criminal defense attorney, I had represented virtually no clients who were suing or being sued due to civil rights violations.

I expected this case would be an adventure. It sounded interesting enough to listen to Kelly’s mother. This young mother asked if I would represent her and her son pro bono, which I agreed to do after hearing their story. Kelly was 15 and had just been suspended from high school, after being caught smoking pot just off the high school campus. Kelly had a medical marijuana certificate, which his mother had helped him get. While no major scholar, Kelly was doing better in school and feeling far better using cannabis than he had while …

Read Post →

They’ll Get Your Cannabis Company Funded, for a Fee? Don’t Do It!

, , No Comment

Definitely say “NO” to unregistered broker dealers.

Startups in the cannabis space have few options when looking to raise funds– almost all banks, venture capital (VC) firms, and other institutional funds are off limits. Suitable private investors are few and far between. This situation is unfortunately leading to a proliferation of unscrupulous individuals that offer their “services” or “connections” to help companies meet investors and bring in dollars, for a fee. We’ve referenced on a few occasions (see here and here) that these investment “finders”, as well as any type of commission on dollars raised or other transaction-based fee, is 100% illegal (unless they hold a FINRA license to serve as a securities broker, and as I’m seeing, nearly all do not). Engaging an “unlicensed broker-dealer” can have serious consequences for the company. Even a dollar raised in this way puts all other company funds and assets at risk.

The frequency with which these issues are raised by clients and others makes me believe that 1) some companies are engaging unlicensed brokers without thinking to run this by their attorney, and 2) some of these unlicensed brokers are aware they are breaking securities laws, while others are simply ignorant and trying to capitalize on their “connections”, not knowing their business model is illegal.

So clearly this topic deserves its …

Read Post →

Don’t Miss July 10th Roundtable on Cannabis Social Equity in City of Los Angeles

, , No Comment

los ángeles cannabis marijuana

This week, L.A.’s Department of Cannabis Regulation announced that Phase II of licensing will open on August 1 and will run for 30 days. Eligibility during this licensing window hinges on a number of factors, including qualifying as a social equity applicant under the City’s current commercial cannabis regulations (which were also just recently amended).

On Tuesday, July 10th, Hilary Bricken will participate in a Social Equity Roundtable and Networking Event for Social Equity Applicants in the City of Los Angeles, supporters, investors, and incubators. The event will include an intimate discussion, followed by Q and A and a networking session. Put on by SEISMIC Cannabis Advocacy Group, the roundtable will be comprised of moderator Nina Parks of SuperNovaWomen, cannabis industry experts, and special guest Cat Packer, the Executive Director of the Los Angeles Department of Cannabis Regulation.

The event will be located at Leimert Park Vision Theatre in Los Angeles. Doors open at 5:00 pm, at which time the Equitable Partnerships Dinner Hour will also begin. The roundtable will formally begin at 6:05 pm, and the event will end with an Equitable Connections Dessert Social at 7:30 pm.

To RSVP, please go here and complete the survey, which will provide you with the code required to secure your ticket. We hope to see you there!

Source: …

Read Post →

The End of Industrial Hemp Prohibition: Almost There!

, , No Comment

industrial hemp cannabis farm bill
We like this one.

For the past few months, the U.S. Senate has made significant strides toward legalizing industrial hemp. That is welcome news to many of our clients, who are working with the plant under federally approved Agricultural Pilot Programs, while also dealing with almost absurdly complex issues surrounding the legality of cannabidiol (“CBD”) sales.

The legislative developments began in earnest earlier this year, when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) introduced the short and sweet Hemp Farming Act of 2018 (the “Hemp Farming Act”), which aims to lift an 80-year old ban on hemp as an agricultural commodity. We analyzed that development here.

Then, on June 5th, the Senate adopted its third annual non-binding resolution that recognized “the growing economic potential of industrial hemp” and its “historical relevance,” further suggesting Congress’s intention to legalize the non-psychoactive cannabis cousin of marijuana. Around the same time, Senate Leader McConnell incorporated the Hemp Farming Act into the wide-ranging agriculture and food policy bill known as the 2018 Farm Bill to ensure a greater chance of success, and it worked. Last week, the Senate overwhelmingly approved the 2018 Farm Bill, including the Hemp Farming Act, by an unambiguous 86-11 vote.

As with the Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting State Act (the “STATES Act”), which we covered here and here

Read Post →

What Are You Smoking? Episode 43: Cannabis at the Ballot Box

, , No Comment

This Independence Day, we’re celebrating the red, white, blue, and green with a look at the status of legal cannabis all over the United States courtesy of guests Ben Adlin and Bruce Barcott, Leafly’s news editors and hosts of The Roll-Up.

The post What Are You Smoking? Episode 43: Cannabis at the Ballot Box appeared first on Leafly.

Source: https://www.leafly.com/news/podcasts/what-are-you-smoking-43-cannabis-ballos…

Read Post →

ICYMI: Los Angeles County Releases Proposed Options for Cannabis Regulation

, , No Comment

Happy Fourth of July!

For those in California, the rollout of the state’s Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (“MAUCRSA“) has been no picnic. The emergency rules released by the State of California last November (and recently re-adopted) still contain gaps and gray areas and the  “transition period” that allowed for ended on July 1. In addition, the majority of California’s 482 cities and 58 counties have rejected cannabis legalization by banning commercial cannabis activity or by enacting rolling moratoria to give themselves time to see how other cities and counties handle things. Just like any other state that’s navigated adult use and medical cannabis commercial activity, California is going to need more time before its cannabis market stabilizes, and it’s going to take a while before its cities and counties routinely sign on to local regulations. There is though some good news as Los Angeles County finally seems ready to open its doors to local cannabis regulations.

Under MAUCRSA, before you can secure even a temporary license to operate, you must first obtain “local approval.” Local approval is basically affirmative authorization from the city or county in which you plan to operate that it approves your commercial cannabis activity and location. Local approval can take the form of a city or county …

Read Post →

How Medical Marijuana Distributors Are Developing Products Specifically for Women

, , No Comment

While both men and women use medical marijuana, the two have their own preferences about intake, products, and even their stance on the industry altogether. Women and men’s habits differ, and this has led to an emerging market where medical marijuana products are being designed specifically for the ladies.

Visit a Clinic


Source: http://www.medicinalmarijuanaassociation.com/medical-marijuana-blog/how-medical-marijuana-distributors-are-developing-products-specifically-for-women…

Read Post →

Study: Synthetic Cannabis Is a Dangerous Gateway Drug, Real Weed Isn’t

, , No Comment

There’s growing evidence to suggest that if the British government genuinely wanted to make a positive difference, its archaic drug policy should be immediately and permanently overhauled. For far too long now, it’s been painfully obvious that cannabis has been unfairly and unnecessarily scapegoated as something of a historic folk demon. This, despite the fact […]

The post Study: Synthetic Cannabis Is a Dangerous Gateway Drug, Real Weed Isn’t appeared first on LIWTS.

Source: https://www.liwts.org/blog/study-synthetic-cannabis-dangerous-gateway-drug-real-weed-isnt/…

Read Post →

Cannabis Companies Beware! Washington is Eager to Cancel Licenses

, , No Comment

washington cannabis LCB
More crucial than ever for Washington operators.

We have represented clients in regulatory violation cases inside and outside the cannabis industry for years. Of all the jurisdictions in which we work, the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board in 2018 is unique in its eagerness shut down businesses. In case after case against licensed producers and processors, the WSLCB seems determined to seek violations that could lead to license cancellation and is generally refusing to offer alternative penalties. Because so many of these cases are still pending, it is hard to go into too much detail, but the WSLCB’s actions in these cases indicate a desire to cull the number of licensed producer/processors.

For those producer/processors in Washington that aren’t currently being investigated for regulatory violations, the WSLCB’s current policy generates mixed reactions. When licenses were available for application in November and December 2013, thousands of businesses applied for the right to cultivate and process marijuana. As the market as matured, wholesale prices of marijuana have continued to fall, and the ability of licensees to maximize production has continued to increase. There is so much marijuana available on the market right now that it is hard for producer/processors to compete. Just having a license isn’t enough to run a profitable business, and many of the top performing producer/processors in the …

Read Post →

California Cannabis: Challenging Excessive Liens and Assessments by Cities

, , No Comment

california cannabis lien assessmentCannabis regulation in California is heavily focused on local control. We write and speak about this constantly. (See here, herehere, and here). As predicted, new lawsuits are cropping up all over the state challenging the authority of local governments to take certain actions as they pertain to cannabis. Our firm has generally discouraged clients from taking a litigious approach toward government regulation of cannabis, because the often meritless lawsuits we saw in the pre-MAUCRSA era rarely resulted in victory for cannabis entities, were largely detrimental to property owners, and turned the majority of local legislative bodies in California against the cannabis industry.

However, there are constitutional and statutory limits to what governments can do, and it is a fundamental part of our duty as attorneys to ensure that the rights of voters, property owners and tax-paying citizens are protected. This post focuses on one troubling practice we are seeing in California involving cities recording excessive fines and penalties against property owners who lease (knowingly or unknowingly) to cannabis tenants.

Local Governments Are Charging Property Owners Excessive Fines And Penalties And Recording Them Against The Property As A Lien Or Special Assessment

Cities generally have two goals when it comes to code enforcement: (1) compliance and (2) cost recovery. State law provides the vehicle for local …

Read Post →

The colours of cannabis

, , No Comment

Pakistan Chitral Kush, Grape Ape, Grandaddy Purple, Serious Six, Peyote Purple, Panama Red…all of these cannabis strains show a wonderful colour palette which goes from reddish to purple. Indeed, and while the most common colour in cannabis is green, both leaves and buds may turn orange, pink, purple, black, red, blue…These awesome colours are often one of the traits that breeders want to fix, since it is also one of the most demanded traits by users. 93% of cannabis smokers have noted that they’ve been influenced by the colour of the strain sometime. But, how does cannabis develop such beautiful shades?

A colourful indoor cannabis garden

A colourful indoor cannabis garden

Natural pigments

When we think about plants, the first colour that comes to mind is green. Indeed, the world of plants id dominated by the green colour, but if we take a closer look we’ll soon realize that plants can also develop many other colours, which is explained by pigments. Pigments are chemical colorants, either from living organisms or synthetic. In cannabis plants, they’re are normally divided into several categories:

Chlorophyll

Chlorophyll is quite abundant in plant cells, representing around 70% of the pigments contained in one plant. It is responsible for the green colour and essential for the plants life, since it allows them to absorb the necessary …

Read Post →

Oregon Cannabis: OMMP Growers Forced Into METRC

, , No Comment

Now required by OMMP.

Back in March 2018, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) issued temporary rules outlining the requirements for Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) grow sites to track the propagation and production of medical marijuana. The deadline to start tracking in the Cannabis Tracking System (Oregon uses METRC) is today, July 1. You can view the OHA Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, which contains a draft of the new rule, here.

The temporary OHA rules required medical marijuana grow sites that service three or more patients to designate someone as the “grow site administrator” by May 31, 2018. The grow site administrator is responsible for signing up for METRC, successfully complete all required METRC training; and ordering unique identification tags and tagging all marijuana items. Oregon Medical Marijuana Program notified grow sites regarding the requirement to designate a grow site administrator by May 31, 2018, so hopefully no registrants missed this deadline. Failure to meet this deadline could result in revocation of the grow site and revocation of the registration of all persons responsible for the marijuana grow site.

The other important deadline is today. Required growers (those who grow for three or more patients) must start using METRC at all times going forward. Medical marijuana producers must also have an approved grow site administrator capable of entering …

Read Post →

A Refresher and an Update: The (Cannabis) STATES Act

, , No Comment

marijuana states actIt seems like every year, the old pot guard in Congress tries its hand at some form of marijuana legalization. Although these sorts of actions attract headlines (and votes?), they never seem to go anywhere. But for the first time ever, a real and legitimate bipartisan “respect states’ rights” effort is being pushed by some powerful members of Congress. Specifically, Republican Senator Cory Gardner is picking up the mantle for Congressional cannabis reform and it may actually pass this time (if the MFOA doesn’t get there first).

On June 7th, Senators Gardner and Elizabeth Warren released a bipartisan marijuana bill that would explicitly allow states to determine the fate of marijuana in their own jurisdictions. Here’s a copy of the bill, entitled the “Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States Act” (“STATES Act”). Most importantly (and wisely, if anyone wants this bill to go anywhere), it doesn’t change the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) on cannabis scheduling and so even if it passes, cannabis will remain a Schedule I controlled substance. But it will mean the CSA will be amended to give each state the freedom to determine how best to address commercial cannabis activity within its own borders, state-approved commercial cannabis activity will cease to be considered drug trafficking, and proceeds from and assets used in legal cannabis …

Read Post →

Cannabis Company Basics: Capitalization and Licensure

, , No Comment

cannabis capitalization license
Prepare to describe how the sausage was made.

Over the past few years, we have had many cannabis clients call us during the license application process and ask some version of the following: “The state is asking me to disclose the capitalization of the company. What should I write?” From a lawyer’s perspective, the answer to this question is usually something very simple, such as: “The capitalization of the company should be disclosed as the amount and type of capital you used to start the company.” Makes sense, right? But there is often more to this question than meets the eye.

In most cases, cannabis businesses are built differently than other businesses, as far as funding sources and mechanics. Therefore, we get the capitalization question from business neophytes, seasoned entrepreneurs, and everyone in between. When we dig a little deeper, there may be any of several reasons the question surfaces during the licensing process, some better than others. I’ll run through each of them below.

The owners had to start this business without access to financial services, and therefore do not have bank records of capitalization.

It’s true that most cannabis companies start off unbanked, whether the business starts “from scratch” or is transitioning out of medical or grey market operations. This creates a documentary hurdle in many cases: Unlike …

Read Post →

BREAKING NEWS: Senate Bill Introduced to End Cannabis Prohibition

, , No Comment

marijuana cannabis MFOA
Our thoughts on the new Senate cannabis bill.

Yesterday, U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) introduced the Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act (“MFOA”). The MFOA is also co-sponsored by Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Tim Kaine (D-VA), and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL). Coming on the heels of the STATES Act, the MFOA is the latest–and hopefully a successful–attempt to put an end to America’s unjust and immoral stance on marijuana (show us the way Canada!). The MFOA, as it’s currently drafted, pulls no punches: Its stated purpose is “To decriminalize marijuana, and for other purposes.” It only gets better from there as other provisions are as follows:

  • It officially removes “marihuana” (that’s how it’s spelled in the Controlled Substances Act) as a Schedule I drug of the CSA.
  • It would create the Marijuana Opportunity Trust Fund (“Fund”) – think social equity programs but on a federal level. The Secretary of Treasury would transfer the greater of ten percent of all tax revenue generated by the cannabis industry or $10 million to the Fund. The amount transferred into the Fund would then be made available to small cannabis businesses owned by women, and by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. There’s no doubt that America’s “war on drugs” has been implemented by law enforcement to disproportionately affect people of color and the

Read Post →

The Second Life of Vaporized Dry Herbs

, , No Comment

Reusability is one of the key marketing components in the modern market. It allows the user to find a purpose for certain product even after its original use is no longer possible. When it comes to using vaporizer on those “green days”, a lot of people are left wondering should they throw the leftover weed […]

The post The Second Life of Vaporized Dry Herbs appeared first on LIWTS.

Source: https://www.liwts.org/edibles/second-life-vaporized-dry-herbs/…

Read Post →

Federal Trademarks for Cannabis CBD? The USPTO Says No.

, , No Comment

trademark cbd hemp
Official USPTO position on industrial hemp CBD marks.

With the cannabidiol (CBD) industry continuing to boom, I’ve had numerous inquiries from my CBD-selling clients regarding federal trademark protection for their CBD brands, particularly when the CBD they are selling is derived from Farm Bill hemp and grown in accordance with a derivative state program.

I’ve discussed the “legal use in commerce” requirement for federal trademarks at length in other posts, so I won’t go into too much detail here. But the gist is that in order to procure federal trademark protection for your mark, the goods and/or services for which you are claiming trademark protection must be legal pursuant to federal law. Because the manufacture, distribution and dispensing of cannabis is illegal under the Controlled Substances Act, the lawful use in commerce requirement cannot be met.

But what about CBD? This is the question I’m hearing on a near daily basis. If my CBD products are “legal under federal law,” why can’t I obtain federal trademark protection? To begin with, the federal legal status of CBD is still tenuous and complicated, and the USPTO’s position here only serves to affirm that. But there is one particularly informative case that helps to illustrate the USPTO’s position on CBD trademarks.

On December 5, 2014, Stanley Brothers Social Enterprises, LLC filed …

Read Post →

How to Claim Medical Cannabis Expenses on Your Tax Return

, , No Comment

You’ve probably heard by now that healthcare insurance providers will begin allowing patients to claim medical marijuana under their benefit plans. But did you know that current patients have the ability to claim it on their tax returns if private insurance won’t cover it? 

 


Source: http://www.medicinalmarijuanaassociation.com/medical-marijuana-blog/how-to-claim-medical-cannabis-expenses-on-your-tax-return…

Read Post →

California Cannabis Countdown: City of Antioch (Hearing Today!)

, , No Comment

California has 58 counties and 482 incorporated cities across the state, each with the option to create its own rules or ban marijuana altogether. In this California Cannabis Countdown series, we cover who is banning cannabis, who is embracing cannabis (and how), and everyone in between.  For each city and county, we’ll discuss its location, history with cannabis, current law, and proposed law to give you a clearer picture of where to locate your California cannabis business, how to keep it legal, and what you will and won’t be allowed to do.

Our last California Cannabis Countdown post was on the City of San Jose, and before that the City of Cotati, the City of San Luis Obispo, the City of Redding, the City of San Rafael, the City of Hayward, Alameda County, OaklandSan FranciscoSonoma County, the City of Davis, the City of Santa RosaCounty and City of San BernardinoMarin CountyNevada County, the City of Lynwood, the City of CoachellaLos Angeles County, the City of Los Angeles, the City of Desert Hot SpringsSonoma County, the City of Sacramento, the City of BerkeleyCalaveras CountyMonterey County and the City

Read Post →