Recent Posts

Cannabis Litigation 101: Arbitration

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This is the second post in a series on various aspects of cannabis litigation. The title is admittedly a bit misleading, as arbitration isn’t really the same thing as litigation. That said, the two can intersect, and so understanding what arbitration is and is not, is important for cannabis businesses. After all, many contracts in the cannabis industry can include arbitration clauses.

Arbitration is, essentially, a trial before a private entity (this post only describes private arbitration and not judicial arbitration, which is different). Typically, arbitration cannot occur unless the parties have agreed to it in a contract; for example, an LLC operating agreement, sales contract, distributor agreement, intellectual property license, or any other kind of contract. The parties can use this contract to dictate the terms of the arbitration and how it will proceed. That said, below are a few of the features that are common to almost any arbitration:

cannabis litigation arbitration marijuana

Who Presides: In private arbitration, there are no juries. Instead, the parties pay a private arbitrator or arbitration company. Arbitrations are presided over by at least one arbitrator, who is generally a former judge or attorney. In some cases, there can be a panel of arbitrators who decide a dispute. Arbitrators are almost always neutral, meaning that the parties cannot communicate with them outside the presence of …

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Cannabis Litigation 101: Arbitration

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This is the second post in a series on various aspects of cannabis litigation. The title is admittedly a bit misleading, as arbitration isn’t really the same thing as litigation. That said, the two can intersect, and so understanding what arbitration is and is not, is important for cannabis businesses. After all, many contracts in the cannabis industry can include arbitration clauses.

Arbitration is, essentially, a trial before a private entity (this post only describes private arbitration and not judicial arbitration, which is different). Typically, arbitration cannot occur unless the parties have agreed to it in a contract; for example, an LLC operating agreement, sales contract, distributor agreement, intellectual property license, or any other kind of contract. The parties can use this contract to dictate the terms of the arbitration and how it will proceed. That said, below are a few of the features that are common to almost any arbitration:

cannabis litigation arbitration marijuana

Who Presides: In private arbitration, there are no juries. Instead, the parties pay a private arbitrator or arbitration company. Arbitrations are presided over by at least one arbitrator, who is generally a former judge or attorney. In some cases, there can be a panel of arbitrators who decide a dispute. Arbitrators are almost always neutral, meaning that the parties cannot communicate with them outside the presence of …

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Cannabis in Afghanistan

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Afghanistan is a landlocked country in central Asia, wedged between the western foothills of the Hindu Kush and the deserts of Iran, is a country with one of the greatest traditions of cannabis cultivation and, more specifically, of hashish production. Since it is believed that cannabis originated thousands of years ago on the slopes of the Himalayas (home of the largest mountains in the world), today it seems obvious that this was one of the first places where this plant was cultivated in a controlled manner, although even now there is still some confusion as to what kind of varieties have been traditionally grown in this area, as well as the “emergence” of the Afghan genotype, or in other words, what we now refer to as Afghan varieties.

What is clear is that Afghanistan is one of the cradles of cannabis and especially of hashish, with a tradition that today represents what would probably be the world’s oldest in terms of the development of hash. In addition, and according to the UNODC, in recent years Afghanistan has become the world’s largest producer of this resin concentrate, surpassing Morocco and seeing the cultivation of cannabis gradually displace that of another traditional crop in the Golden Triangle area, that of opium.

Cannabis is grown in many valleys in Afghanistan

Cannabis is grown in many of Afghanistan’s valleys

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Get Ready Now for the California Cannabis Licensing Logjam

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california cannabis licensing
A California cannabis licensing backlog is imminent.

A backlog of cannabis license applications has no doubt happened in almost all of the other states that have medical and adult use licensing. You wouldn’t normally think this is such a big or concerning development, but in cannabis licensing delays can mean angry investors, a complete 180 for your business plans and even insolvency.

In California, a licensing logjam was bound to catch up with regulators, especially as cities and counties start to embrace the democratic experiment of legalization. And now we know that at least one state agency, California Department of Food and Agriculture (“CDFA”), which oversees cultivators, is feeling the pinch of hundreds and hundreds of license applicants.

On Friday, October 26, CDFA sent the following email to its stakeholder list serve:

ATTENTION, PLEASE!

FOR NEW TEMPORARY LICENSES ISSUED PRIOR TO DECEMBER 31, 2018

Due to the large number of applications being submitted for temporary cannabis cultivation licenses, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) hereby notifies prospective applicants that any application for a temporary license received after December 1, 2018, may NOT be processed in time for us to issue a temporary license before January 1, 2019. After December 31, 2018, the authority for CDFA to issue temporary licenses expires. To provide sufficient processing time, please submit

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Paying Cannabis Workers Equally Under the Oregon Equal Pay Act: Part 3

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This series of posts has been exploring Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) proposed rules implementing Oregon Equal Pay Act and how it will affect cannabis businesses. Last week, I discussed what “work of a comparable character” means. The week before that, I explored what compensation is. This week, I’ll dive into the systems employers can implement to pay employees doing work of a comparable character different compensation.

The Oregon Equal Pay Act prohibits employers from paying employees performing work of a comparable character different compensation unless the entire compensation differential is based on a bona fide factor related to the position in question. The statute and rules only allow employers to consider certain “bona fide factors.” Employers may pay employees differential wages for work of a comparable character if it’s based on: 1) a seniority system; a merit system; a system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production; 3) workplace location; 4) travel requirements; 5) education; 6) training; and 7) experience. Let’s unpack these a little bit.oregon marijuana equal pay

A seniority system is defined as a system that recognizes and compensates employees based on length of service with the employer. A seniority system should be applied consistently. Meaning, If Budtender A is hired at $14 per hour and is raised to $16 per hour after two years of …

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Commercial Cannabis Case Law Update: Federal Courts Continue to Find a Balance

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federal court cannabis marijuana
Federal courts are finding ways to enforce cannabis contracts nationwide.

We’ve written previously about how courts, especially U.S. District Courts charged with applying and interpreting federal law, are wrestling with inconsistencies between state and federal law when it comes to state-legal cannabis. A little over a year ago, the emerging solution when it comes to enforceability of contracts involving cannabis was to apply the legal principle that “even where contracts concern illegal objects, where it is possible for a court to enforce a contract in a way that does not require illegal conduct, the court is not barred from according such relief.” Mann v. Gullickson (N.D. Cal. 2016). Fast forward to today, almost a year after California’s new cannabis regulations have been percolating into the world’s fifth largest economy, and that permissive, mostly hands-off approach to state cannabis contracts seems to have not only solidified, but appears to have been applied in other states that have recently legalized cannabis.

In an Oregon case, the plaintiff sought to recover economic damages in a personal injury case stemming the future earnings of a cannabis company. The defendant argued that because cannabis is federally illegal, the court cannot award future earnings from what amounts to an illegal business. In denying the defendant’s motion for summary judgment, the court found that “Marijuana’s legal status …

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The Perplexing State of Industrial Hemp and Hemp-Derived CBD Sales in California

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Hemp and Hemp-CBD in California is wild right now.

As readers of this blog know, California is on its way to developing robust laws governing the sale (and all other aspects) of cannabis and cannabis products. So, it’s somewhat surprising that California’s laws concerning the sale of industrial hemp and hemp-derived cannabidiol (“hemp-CBD”), to the extent they even exist, are all over the map. And in some cases, selling industrial hemp or hemp-CBD is apparently unlawful, in spite of the fact that it may contain just trace amounts of THC found in California-legal cannabis products and despite the fact that that hemp-CBD is coming from Farm Bill-sanctioned sources.

Our California cannabis lawyers often get asked what the requirements are for selling industrial hemp or hemp-CBD in California. This post tries to explain California’s convoluted regulation of industrial hemp and hemp-CBD.

As a baseline, “Industrial Hemp” is legally defined as parts of the Cannabis sativa L. plant, or derivatives of that plant, containing less than .3% THC. The Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (“MAUCRSA”) specifically defines “Cannabis” to exclude Industrial Hemp. The Health and Safety Code echoes this sentiment, and also states that the California Department of Food and Agriculture (“DFA”) exclusively regulates industrial hemp.

The Food and Agriculture Code, which the DFA …

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Oregon Congressman Releases “Blueprint to Legalize Marijuana”

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marijuana legalize blumenauer
Nice going Earl!

Oregon congressman Earl Blumenauer, one of Congress’ most vocal marijuana proponents, is the author of an eight-page document, which consists of a step-by-step plan to enact the end of  federal cannabis prohibition. Blumenauer’s plan, which he submitted to the Democratic Leader last Wednesday, is to legalize marijuana if the Democrats were to take back control over the House.

In his memo, Blumenauer argues that “democrats should lead the way” in ending cannabis prohibition and in making sure that Congress gets on the same page as the American people and the states on this issue.

Indeed, this year alone, House Republican leaders have prevented the passage of dozens of cannabis-related amendments and have barred every marijuana measure from advancing to a vote. Yet, recent legislative and referendum developments reveal the growing popularity of cannabis. In his memo, Blumenauer cites to polling showing that 69 percent of registered voters support legalizing marijuana.

The Oregon congressman explains that his proposed plan, to which he refers as a “Blueprint to Legalize Marijuana,” would enable a Democratic House to put pressure on the Senate, where support for cannabis reform has been slowly growing with now nearly 20 introduced bills.

“If we fail to act swiftly, I fear as the 2020 election approaches, Donald Trump will claim credit for our work in …

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California Cannabis Cultivation: DFA’s Proposed Permanent Rules

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On Friday, the three California agencies charged with issuing and enforcing rules for cannabis business licensees issued a stack of proposed changes to the final rules it had previously proposed in July. Many of the most dramatic changes came from the BCC and will likely motivate more than a few comments during the rulemaking process (deadline for comments on these proposed changes is Nov. 5, FYI).

The Department of Food and Agriculture, which administers the cannabis cultivation licensing program, issued its own set of proposed rule changes that, while not as jaw-dropping as some of the BCC’s proposed changes, are still noteworthy.

Most importantly, the rules for cultivation plans just got a lot more onerous for licensees that plan to “stack” small licenses for use on one premises. Recall California’s controversial decision last year not to cap the total cultivation acreage per licensee to one acre, and the resulting benefit to mega farms that were then free to “stack” multiple smaller licenses to get a larger total cultivation area that they would otherwise be prohibited from getting due to the one-per-licensee limit of 1-acre outdoor licenses and the prohibition on Type-5 “large” cultivation licenses until 2023. A key element to that loophole’s benefit to large growers was AB 133, which clarified that a licensee could maintain one big …

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5 Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a Medical Cannabis Clinic

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There are many different resources you can draw on when it comes to medical cannabis. Your doctor or another medical professional may have excellent information for you. You can always turn to trusted online resources, such as those provided by an association, a licensed producer, or a medical cannabis clinic.


Source: http://www.medicinalmarijuanaassociation.com/medical-marijuana-blog/5-mistakes-to-avoid-when-choosing-a-medical-cannabis-clinic…

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Procedural Hurdles for Washington Marijuana Businesses

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LCB washington marijuana cannabis
Some LCB policies make hurdles tough to clear.

Regulatory challenges can be substantive or procedural. Substantive challenges include things like Washington’s ban on out of state ownership and its view that licensee royalty payment constitute profit-sharing. These types of rules and interpretations are challenging because, as a policy matter, businesses aren’t allowed to pursue certain strategies that they otherwise would. Procedural challenges, on the other hand, are challenges that arise in dealing with a regulatory agency. The Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) requires that it approve of retail packaging for infused products before that packaging can be used, and the LCB also requires that a person submit a signed criminal history statement before that person can be a true party of interest in a licensed marijuana business. These types of procedural hurdles exist for a reason – the LCB requires them to pursue its legitimate goals of enforcing its substantive regulations.

But there is another type of procedural hurdle that arises in dealing with regulatory agencies (specifically the Washington LCB). These procedural hurldes present challenges to regulated businesses, but they have no relationship with the LCB’s enforcement of its regulatory goals. Here’s one example that has been frustrating us to no end recently: the Washington LCB will not process a change of ownership and a change of location for …

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Puffco Peak Smart Rig

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The Peak Smart Rig

The world of cannabinoid extractions is in a golden age, these days more and more users are switching from the combustion of flowers to the vaporisation of resin concentrates. The main reason for this change is to avoid inhaling smoke and its harmful derivatives, and instead to vaporise, obtaining a medicinal effect free of impurities and contaminants.

E-nail Puffco The Peak

Puffco The Peak Smart Rig

These precious resin concentrates also demand high quality products with which to consume them, for example the Puffco Peak, which allows us maximum enjoyment of the terpenes in the extract, capturing all the flavours of the plant.

The Peak is the next step in the evolution of e-nails, which until now have always been bulky devices that require a mains socket or transformer to provide the power needed to reach high vaporisation temperatures and fully enjoy the most pure and tasty concentrates.

With The Peak Puffco has taken the essence of the old style e-nails and recreated it in a stylish, elegant option that’s easy to use, small in size and forgoes the need to buy a bubbler or pipe in addition to the e-nail itself.

E-Nail The Peak travel Pack

The Peak Travel Pack

Its design is very distinctive, and the unit is compact, with an ergonomic base, 6cm wide with a

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Sticky Weed: What Is It And Is It Good?

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Sticky weed close-up

Usually, when it comes to sticky, we are not a fan (sticky fingers, sticky hands, sticky floors, sticky counters…). But give us some sticky weed, and we’re happy as a clam at high tide (no scrubbing required).

Those of you new to the canna-experience — and even some long-time canna-enthusiasts — may not be familiar with sticky weed. That’s okay. It doesn’t make you a bad person.

We’re here to help. In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about sticky weed and why you should get ahold of a few gooey nugs for yourself.

What Is Sticky Weed?

Sticky weed (or “sticky icky”) is a slang term for marijuana flowers that still contain a good deal of resin in their trichomes. It’s this resin (or essential oil) that gives sticky weed its name.

Think of it like the sap of a plant. Or like maple syrup for those of you who’ve already had enough biology for the day. Either way, it’s what makes this type of weed sticky to the touch.

So is that stickiness a good thing? Or should you smoke something dryer instead?

Is Sticky Weed Any Good?

Usually, with something sticky, we’d tell you to drop it like it’s hot. But with sticky weed, all we can say is, “Hold on to that …

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What You Need to Know Now: BCC Drops Revised, Proposed, Permanent Cannabis Rules

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california bcc cannabis rules
Huge changes ahead. Get your comments in by Nov. 5!

Last Friday, we wrote about the amended proposed permanent cannabis regulations that are now in a 15-day notice-and-comment period for each California agency—the Bureau of Cannabis Control (“BCC”), Department of Public Health (“DPH”), and Department of Food and Agriculture (“DFA”). Each of the proposed rules can be found here, here, and here. The next round of written public comments is due to each agency by November 5, 2018. It’s important then for California cannabis businesses to get a handle on the proposed regulations as quickly as possible to determine whether to provide written comments since some impactful changes are coming.

Here are the key proposed changes from the BCC regulations:

Intellectual Property Licenses: Yesterday, we explained the threat that the BCC’s regulations pose to cannabis intellectual property licensing in California. Our California cannabis lawyers are regularly involved in intellectual property licensing deals and we think it’s critical for cannabis businesses to speak up in opposition to this proposed rule. California would be the only state in the cannabis union to bar third-party IP-licensing deals for cannabis licensees, which will certainly undercut the business growth of a good amount of operators if this rule passes.

“Owners”: The BCC modified the definition of “owner” (as well

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California’s Proposed Modified Cannabis Regulations Could Prohibit Intellectual Property Licensing (!)

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california cannabis marijuana
Get your comments in by Nov. 5 and help us fix this.

On Friday, the California Bureau of Cannabis Control, California Department of Public Health, and California Department of Food and Agriculture issued 15-day notices of modification to the texts of their respective proposed regulations. The California Cannabis Portal has published links to each notice and the modified texts of the proposed regulations. For each set, the respective Department will accept written comments submitted by November 5, 2018.

And to all parties currently engaging in intellectual property (IP) licensing or manufacturing deals as or with a non-licensee, you should most definitely submit your written comments if you want to be able to keep those deals alive. The modifications to the text of the proposed regulations include the following:

5032. Designated M and A Commercial Cannabis Activity

(a) All commercial cannabis activity shall be conducted between licensees. Retail licensees, licensed retailers and licensed microbusinesses authorized to engage in retail sales may conduct commercial cannabis activity with customers in accordance with Chapter 3 of this division.

(b) Licensees shall not conduct commercial cannabis activities on behalf of, at the request of, or pursuant to a contract with any person that is not licensed under the Act. Such prohibited commercial cannabis activities include, but are not limited to, the following:

(1) …

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Paying Cannabis Workers Equally Under the Oregon Equal Pay Act: Part 2

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equal pay oregon marijuana employmentIn 2017 Oregon passed sweeping Equal Pay Legislation. Towards the end of August, Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) issued draft rules implementing the Oregon Equal Pay Act. This series of post is exploring those new rules and how they will affect cannabis businesses. In my last post, I unpacked the definition of “compensation” under the Equal Pay Act and the proposed rules. This week I’ll discuss “work of a comparable character.”

The Oregon Equal Pay Act prohibits employers from paying wages or other compensation to “any employee at a rate greater than that at which the employer pays wages or other compensation to employees of a protected class for work of a comparable character.” To put it simply, cannabis businesses need to pay employees doing the same work the same pay. But what is “work of a comparable character?”

Work of a comparable character is not determined simply by job title alone. Two cannabis workers who have the same job title but perform different tasks are not necessarily performing “work of a comparable character.” Similarly, two cannabis workers that perform essentially the same tasks but have different job titles may be performing work of a comparable character.

According to the BOLI draft rules, to determine if different jobs constitute “work of a comparable character” the employer must …

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Breaking News: California Cannabis Agencies Modify Proposed Regulations

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california cannabis regulations
Here we go again!

This morning, the California Bureau of Cannabis Control, California Department of Public Health, and California Department of Food and Agriculture issued 15-day notices of modification to the texts of their respective proposed regulations. The California Cannabis Portal has published links to each notice and the modified texts of the proposed regulations. For each set, the respective Department will accept written comments by November 5, 2018.

Stay tuned to the Canna Law Blog for future posts analyzing modified proposed regulations, which are extensive.

Source: https://www.cannalawblog.com/breaking-news-california-cannabis-agencies-modify-proposed-regulations/…

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Watching Your Backside in California Cannabis: Indemnification Issues

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california cannabis indemnity
Don’t skim over that indemnification clause!

Coming from Seattle to Los Angeles, I’ve already seen one state flip from being a “gray medical cannabis state” to a fully regulated licensing system and I understand how painful a process this can be. So much of what I saw in Washington State is now happening in California.

In California today, folks are jockeying for operational licenses on the state and local levels under MAUCRSA and “the cream” is rising to the top, just as it did in Washington. One-to-two-person shops and mom and pop operators are feeling the financial pinch of licensing costs and compliance woes. The secondary market for buying cannabis businesses is also beginning to open up as cities and counties solidify and stick with their local cannabis entitlement programs. Transactions between cannabis licensees are becoming increasingly sophisticated, from IP licensing agreements, to distribution agreements, to white labeling agreements, to purchase and sale agreements for inventory.

And just as happened in Washington State at the onset of legalization there, we are seeing many cultivators and manufacturers overpromising on what they can deliver, more often due to overconfidence as to dishonesty. In legal terms, this means we are also seeing cultivation and manufacturing licensees, and distributors agreeing to indemnify retailers and other licensees for everything under the sun, quite …

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What Are You Smoking? Episode 58: Skinner Talks Cannabis and Art

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Artist, animator, and filmmaker Skinner joins Will and Bailey to talk about the role cannabis plays in his creative process and reflect on the questionable decisions we’ve all made when it comes to edibles.

The post What Are You Smoking? Episode 58: Skinner Talks Cannabis and Art appeared first on Leafly.

Source: https://www.leafly.com/news/podcasts/what-are-you-smoking-58-skinner-cannabis-art…

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The Trump Administration Wants Your Opinion on Cannabis

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cannabis marijuana FDALast Wednesday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it was seeking public comments regarding “abuse potential, actual abuse, medical usefulness, trafficking, and impact of scheduling changes on availability for medical use ….” of cannabis and other substances currently under international review. If you want to take FDA up on its offer, go here.

The FDA’s announcement was released as the World Health Organization (“WHO”)’s Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (“ECDD”) prepares to discuss the medical and legal status of cannabis in a November meeting in Geneva, Switzerland. Specifically, the ECDD is evaluating whether to recommend that certain international restrictions be placed or removed on the plant.

As we have previously discussed (here and here), marijuana is currently classified as a Schedule I substance under U.S. federal law and international drug treaties. Schedule I drugs, substances, and chemicals are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and with a high potential for abuse. Consequently, nations that are signatories to these international drug treaties are expected to treat cannabis as an illegal substance. However, depending on the outcome of the survey conducted by the ECDD, the November meeting may bring us one step closer to the rescheduling of cannabis, giving signatories the freedom to decriminalize, and possibly legalize, the plant within their own borders.

Legalization advocates …

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Canada Cannabis Legalization Today: U.S. Customs and Border Protection Update

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canada customs marijuana
U.S. border policy on Canadians and marijuana is tough.

On the eve of the Canada’s cannabis legalization, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) held a teleconference to explain the agency’s enforcement policy and field questions from journalists.

The on-the-record teleconference featured the head of the CBP’s Office of Field Operations (“OFO”), which has a staff of 28,000+ employees and an operating budget of $5.2 billion to oversee the agency’s operations at 328 ports of entry and air preclearance locations worldwide.

CBP officials confirmed that U.S. government policy remains unchanged in the face of cannabis legalization in Canada: past use of, and any affiliation with, cannabis is grounds for getting a lifetime ban from entering the U.S. without a waiver, as explained in a previous post.

The key takeaways from the teleconference are as follows:

  • Possession: Individuals attempting to cross the Canadian-US border while possessing marijuana are subject to arrest and prosecution. If prosecution is deferred, the individual is subject to a fine of $5,000.
  • Amnesty or Pardon for Past Use: U.S. law will not recognize any amnesty or pardon by Canadian authorities for cannabis-related convictions. Admitting to a CBP officer that you used marijuana any time before legalization is the equivalent of a formal court conviction for that crime and you will likely be denied entry into the

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Canada Legalizes Cannabis!

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canada cannabis marijuana

 

Congratulations to all of our Canadian readers! Today is the big day!

Whether you are a cannabis business owner, consumer, lawyer, doctor, advocate, or even an opponent, you can surely appreciate this historic day. Canada has bucked international trends and become the first North American country to legalize recreational, adult-use marijuana.

Canada has instantly become an international leader in marijuana policy. If states like Washington, Oregon, and California are any indication, there will surely be bumps along the way, but Canadians should be excited about what comes next.

For those celebrating today, be safe and enjoy responsibly!

For more on Canadian cannabis, check out these posts:

Source: https://www.cannalawblog.com/canada-legalizes-cannabis/…

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Lemon Curd with Amnesia BHO Live Resin

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Lemon curd is a fast and easy to prepare recipe, a delicious lemon cream ideal to fill cakes, cupcakes or to use just as decoration. On this occasion, we’ll show you how to cook your own version, of course enriched with cannabinoids thanks to the cannabis butter used to prepare it.

Ingredients to prepare Lemon Curd

Necessary ingredients to prepare Lemon Curd

Super Lemon Curd: Lemon cream and cannabis resin

To prepare your super lemon curd you’ll need some cannabis butter, which you can easily cook by following the instructions on the link. In this case, we’ll use butter enriched with BHO (Amnesia Live Resin. We chose this strain – rich in limonene – to combine it with the citrus taste of the cream).

How to make marijuana butter

Once cooked, allow your marijuana butter to cool in the fridge and get everything ready to prepare the lemon curd. You’ll need (for 2 people):

  • 50g of powdered sugar
  • 1 egg
  • The juice of one lemon
  • 50g of butter (we’ll use 2g of BHO butter and 48g of regular butter, see final note)

Beat the icing sugar and the lemon juice in a small bowl until getting a uniform mixture. Allow to cool for a few minutes and then add the cold butter and the egg. Cook the mixture over a low heat and …

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Bumps Ahead: The U.S. Border After Canada Cannabis Legalization

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u.s. border customs marijuana cannabisCanada’s cannabis legalization creates yet another wrinkle in the relations between the U.S. and its northern neighbor.

U.S. Attorney General Jeffrey Sessions harbors a well known hatred towards anything cannabis and he clearly has no love for Canada’s Cannabis Act either. What will this mean though for Canadians who are 100% legally involved in Canada’s cannabis industry when coming to the United States?

The answer came last week, when U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) issued its Statement on Canada’s Legalization of Marijuana and Crossing the Border:

[a] Canadian citizen working in or facilitating the proliferation of the legal marijuana industry in Canada, coming to the U.S. for reasons unrelated to the marijuana industry will generally be admissible to the U.S. [H]owever, if a traveler is found to be coming to the U.S. for reason related to the marijuana industry, they may be deemed inadmissible. (Emphasis supplied).

Though this statement is a welcome surprise, it still provokes skepticism from U.S. immigration lawyers who have seen countless foreign nationals banned for life from entering the U.S. because they once used marijuana or were once associated with the cannabis industry.

Under the U.S. Controlled Substances Act (“CSA”), passed by U.S. Congress in May 1971, cannabis is classified as a Schedule I drug, which is reserved for substances that: (i) …

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Cannabis Tax Crimes: Don’t Even Think About It

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Today let’s talk about Matthew Price, the Oregon marijuana businessman headed to jail for tax crimes. This story got a lot of coverage when it broke last month, partly because it was the first known tax-related prosecution for a licensed pot business owner, and partly because Price was fairly well known in Oregon. He once sat on an Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) rules advisory committee for cannabis retail, and he owned three dispensaries. Seems like he was off to a pretty good start.

Well, not any longer. In addition to the seven-month lockup, Price was ordered to pay the I.R.S. $262,776 in restitution on the nearly $1 million in taxable income he raked in from 2011 to 2014. He will probably never be allowed to participate in the OLCC program again, given the agency’s recent tightening of the screws, and its authority to bar anyone with a federal conviction “substantially related to the fitness and ability of the applicant” to obtain a license.

cannabis marijuana tax IRS

Generally speaking, marijuana businesses are liable for lots of tax under IRC 280E. As cannabis business lawyers, we work with CPAs and others to attempt to mitigate our clients’ tax liability, but at the end of the day, that liability is always there. Tax obligations do not end at the federal level, …

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Hemp Oil Benefits: They Might Not Be What You Think

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Hemp Oil Benefits

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: the cannabis culture is a creative culture. They enjoy few things more than making up slang terms for their beloved wacky weed (which in itself is a slang term). Usually, this isn’t a problem. You can say any of the following and people will know what you mean:

  • I’ve got a date with Mary Jane.
  • I’m going to fire up a fat one.
  • Let’s smoke a doobie.
  • We gettin’ our ganja on.

But sometimes, substituting one word for another is bad form and can communicate the wrong information. Case in point: calling a blunt a joint, or vice versa. There are distinct differences between a blunt and a joint, and trying to use them interchangeably will confuse those who understand the differences.

Another prime example is the confusion wrought by the careless use of the term hemp oil. Hemp oil is often used to refer to CBD oil, cannabis oil, and canna oil (just to name a few). But there is a big difference between hemp oil and the cannabis oil to which most people are referring when they use the term.

The experts at Honest Marijuana are here to set the record straight about hemp and hemp oil benefits. Along the way, we’ll address such issues

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Paying Cannabis Employees Equally Under the Oregon Equal Pay Act: Part 1

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oregon marijuana equal pay

Back in 2017, the Oregon legislature passed equal pay legislation prohibiting employers from asking applicants about compensation history. The law is known as the Equal Pay Act. This law, like other employment laws, applies to cannabis businesses. The equal pay provision of the law goes into effect on January 1, 2019. Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) was tasked with drafting rules implementing the Equal Pay Act and recently released draft rules. This series of posts will unpack the new rules and explain the impacts on your cannabis business.

The Equal Pay Act prohibits employers from paying disparate compensation for work of a comparable character. The Equal Pay Act defines compensation as “wages, salary, bonuses, benefits, fringe benefits and equity-based compensation.” What this means is each of these taken in total is an employee’s compensation. The proposed BOLI rules provide clarification to each of the words that make up “compensation.”

BOLI defines benefits as:

“the rate of contribution that an employee makes irrevocably to a trustee or to a third person under a plan, fund or program; or the rate of costs to the employer in providing benefits to an employee beyond what is required by federal, state or local law pursuant to an enforceable commitment to carry out a financially responsible plan or program which is committed …

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California Cannabis: Does Your Business Have a Website? If So, You Probably Need a Privacy Policy.

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california cannabis marijuana privacy policy
No longer optional for your canna business website.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months, you’ve probably read about the host of sweeping new laws in California, like its new Internet of Things law, cannabis privacy law, or net neutrality law, to name just a few. California has long been regarded a trailblazer when it comes to making people who are outside of California do things to comply with California law. So it probably comes as no surprise that website operators outside of California may need to comply with a privacy policy law in California: the California Online Privacy Protection Act.

Pursuant to this law, any business that owns or operates a website that advertises to, services, or in many cases is simply accessible by California residents will almost certainly need to conspicuously post (and—importantly—actually follow) a privacy policy containing statutorily defined disclosures. This requirement applies when a website collects “personally identifiable information” about California consumers, including first and last name, home or other address, email address, telephone number, Social Security number, or any other information that would permit a person to contact a website user (either physically or online). Moreover, a policy may be required even for businesses located in distant areas of the United States just by virtue of …

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Washington’s Unwritten Cannabis Rules

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lcb washington cannabis marijuana
Unfortunately, a lot of this stuff is not written anywhere.

To successfully work in Washington’s regulatory cannabis industry, you need to understand the overlapping levels of laws and rules that are in the state’s regulatory arsenal. State statutes in RCW 69.50 set forth the boundaries of the regulatory system. State regulations in WAC 314-55 fill in the details of that regulatory system. Then there are official Liquor and Cannabis Board guidance documents, administrative cases, and court cases that formally interpret those statutes and rules. But there is yet another tier of rulemaking that is harder to see. This tier houses all the unwritten, often changing policies and interpretations of the LCB. If you aren’t aware of these unwritten rules, you can get yourself into a lot of trouble, including potentially losing your license — even if you think you’ve done everything by the book.

For example, did you know that the LCB has two different enforcement policies with regard to its “minor frequenting” violation? If a marijuana retailer does not check ID at its door, here’s the order of events. The minor enters the retail store and attempts to make a purchase. The store employee checks ID and sees that the minor is underage and asks the minor to leave without completing a sale. There is no violation. However, take …

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What Are You Smoking? Episode 57: Ed Rosenthal and Greg Zeman Go Beyond Buds

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Cannabis icon Ed Rosenthal visits the show again. He and his co-author, Greg Zeman, discuss their new book, Beyond Buds, and talk about what’s happening—and what’s next—in the rapidly changing world of cannabis concentrates and extracts.

The post What Are You Smoking? Episode 57: Ed Rosenthal and Greg Zeman Go Beyond Buds appeared first on Leafly.

Source: https://www.leafly.com/news/podcasts/what-are-you-smoking-57-ed-rosenthal-beyond-buds…

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The FDA and DEA Disagree Over CBD Scheduling

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fda dea cbd cannabis
FDA and DEA are in a bit of a tiff over CBD.

Last week, following the highly-anticipated U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) approval of Epidiolex, G.W. Pharma’s oral cannabidiol (“CBD”) solution for the treatment of seizure associated with Lennox-Gastraut and Dravet syndrome, the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”) issued a Final Order rescheduling FDA-approved drugs containing cannabis-derived CBD with no more than 0.1 percent THC under Schedule V of the Controlled Substances Act (“CSA”).

The DEA’s decision to reschedule this very specific formulation of FDA-approved CBD was largely influenced by a joint recommendation made by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) and the FDA earlier this year (“Memo”). However, according to a letter released last week by HHS Assistant Secretary Brett Giroir (“Letter”), the FDA concluded that CBD and its salts “could be removed from control” because:

  • “There is little indication that CBD has abuse potential or presents a significant risk to the public health”;
  • “No evidence for a classic drug withdrawal syndrome for CBD, and no evidence that CBD causes physical or psychic dependence”;
  • “CBD does not appear to have abuse potential under the CSA”;
  • “There is no signal for the development of substance use disorder in individuals consuming CBD-containing products”; and
  • “It is unlikely that CBD would act as an immediate precursor

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California Cannabis Bill Round-Up: What Matters Most

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california cannabis marijuanaIt’s not a normal day in California if there aren’t around 50 cannabis bills floating around Assembly halls. And this legislative session did not disappoint in getting certain much-needed cannabis legislation passed (though some important legislation also bit the dust). All in all, there is a lot of legislation and it can be difficult to keep track of. It can also be difficult to identify what’s going to have the greatest impact on California’s cannabis industry. We are still in an emergency rule period under MAUCRSA (with permanent regulations probably taking full shape and adoption in early 2019), so it’s comforting to see the legislature fill some of the gaps left over from the emergency rules.

Here’s my list of the most important/recent cannabis bills of 2018 for California:

Provisional licenses. Without a doubt, the industry would have gone into a tailspin and then come to a screeching halt after December 31 of this year without the advent of provisional licenses. We wrote about the provisional license bill, SB 1459, before its passage, and the bill is now law. The basic gist is that if your business holds or has held a temporary license and you’ve file for your annual license, you’re going to get a provisional license (which is good for only one year) in order to …

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