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Cannabis Law Blog

Cannabis Law Blog

Cannabis Law Blog

News and analysis focusing on the full spectrum of cannabis-related issues facing businesses, investors, financial institutions and all levels of government throughout the United States

Contributors

Will HB 4209 Allow Hemp to Be Grown in Michigan?

Over the past four years, the Michigan Legislature has devoted much discussion to legislation that licenses and regulates medical marihuana-related facilities. However, very little, if any, of that discussion has addressed how that legislation might impact hemp cultivation in Michigan. The reason for this is that the intent of HB 4209, or its predecessors, has never been to authorize commercial hemp cultivation in the State. Regardless, it appears that an argument can be made that HB 4209 might unintentionally do just that. Read More ›

Recent Trademark Ruling Impacts Cannabis Businesses

As the cannabis industry evolves, one of the issues facing many marijuana-related businesses is how to establish a valuable brand that not only allows the business to stand out amongst an influx of competitors, but also gives the business the potential to successfully expand across jurisdictions. Part of establishing such a brand is protecting the business’ intellectual property (“IP”), including its trademarks/service marks, trade dress, etc. However, most IP protections arise under federal law, either deriving from art. I, § 8, cl. 8 of the United States Constitution (patents and copyrights) or federal statute (trademarks). Thus, as IP protections are largely a creature of federal law, and the federal Controlled Substances Act (“CSA”) continues to prohibit the cultivation and sale of marihuana, IP is yet another area of law that is complicated by the dichotomy between state and federal laws with regard to cannabis. Read More ›

Governor Rauner Officially Signs Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Extension Bill

Quietly and without fanfare following the passage of Illinois’ “Stop-Gap” State Budget on June 30th, Governor Bruce Rauner signed Senate Bill 10, which will allow for the extension of the state's Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act through July 1, 2020. The program was previously set to sunset on January 1, 2018. Among the changes in SB 10 is clarification language in the Act regarding the "lawful" and "unlawful" use of cannabis for medical and non-medical purposes. It also expands the list of approved "debilitating medical conditions" to include post-traumatic stress disorder and terminal illness with a prognosis of six months or less to live. Read More ›

Illinois Cannabis Activity Update

A flurry of activity has occurred in Illinois over the last few days including a judicial order to add Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to the list of approved conditions for medical cannabis treatment. The judicial ruling came in response to a lawsuit previously filed in Cook County Circuit Court that claimed the state’s public health director conducted a “private investigation” that was “constitutionally inappropriate” in the process of rejecting the Illinois Cannabis Advisory Board’s unanimous recommendation to add PTSD to the list of approved medical conditions. The judge further ruled that Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director Nirav Shah’s rejection of PTSD was based on a standard of medical evidence that “appears nowhere in the Act or the Department’s rules” and that it was a violation of the plaintiff’s due process rights.This ruling could have implications on other pending medical cannabis “approved condition” lawsuits in Illinois, including those calling for the inclusion of chronic post-operative pain, migraines, irritable bowel syndrome, polycystic kidney disease, osteoarthritis, intractable pain and autism. Read More ›

Key Takeaways From the Third Annual Cannabis Business Summit & Expo

Last week, two of our Dykema Cannabis Law Group professionals attended the National Cannabis Industry Association’s Cannabis Business Summit & Expo in Oakland, California. After attending numerous seminars and meeting with countless industry insiders, here are their key takeaways from the conference: Read More ›

Congress’ Latest Effort to Unstick Marijuana Banking

Last week, the Senate Appropriations Committee adopted an amendment to the FY 2017 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill that aims to help resolve the problems that marijuana-related businesses have faced in attempting to obtain banking services. The bill would prohibit the federal government from using funds appropriated under the bill to “prohibit or penalize” a financial institution that provides banking services to a marijuana-related business in a state where such activity is legal. The amendment, sponsored by Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon), passed the committee by a 16-14 vote, and the entire bill will now head to the Senate floor for consideration. Read More ›

Michigan Senate Fails to Pass Legislation, Continues Tortured History

Late last week, it was expected that the Michigan Senate would vote out HBs 4209, 4210, and 4827, a package of legislation that would create a statewide regulatory and licensing system for medical marihuana facilities; allow for the manufacture, use, and possession of marihuana-infused products; and create a seed-to-sale tracking system for medical marihuana. However, amidst a flurry of caucus meetings, whip counts, and stakeholder conversations, the Senate adjourned for the summer without passing the bills, leaving the future of the legislation in question. Read More ›

State Board of Canvassers Unanimously Rejects “MI Legalize” Initiative Petitions to Legalize Adult Use of Marijuana

As we have previously reported, on June 1, 2016, “MI Legalize” submitted petitions to the Michigan Board of State Canvassers for a 2016 ballot initiative that would legalize the adult use of marihuana. This year, petitions for an initiated law require 252,523 valid signatures to make the ballot.

Michigan law provides that signatures obtained more than 180 days before petitions are filed are “rebuttably presumed” to be stale and void. Board of Canvassers policy provides a method to rebut that presumption, but MI Legalize, and others, contend that the policy is functionally unworkable. An MI Legalize advocate had proposed that the Board instead adopt a new policy, which would use the State’s Qualified Voter File to determine if petition signers were registered voters both at the time of signature and within the 180-day period prior to the petitions being filed. The Board had failed to act on that proposal. Read More ›

Michigan Elections Staff Recommends Rejection of “MI Legalize” Initiative Petitions to Legalize Adult Use of Marijuana

As we have previously reported, on June 1, 2016, “MI Legalize” submitted petitions to the Michigan Board of State Canvassers for a 2016 ballot initiative that would legalize the adult use of marihuana. This year, petitions for an initiated law require 252,523 valid signatures to make the ballot. Read More ›

Illinois Legislature Approves Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Extension

The Illinois General Assembly approved legislation this week that will allow for the extension of the state's Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act through July 1, 2020. The program was previously set to sunset on January 1, 2018. Among the changes in SB 10 is clarification language in the Act regarding the "lawful" and "unlawful" use of cannabis for medical and non-medical purposes. It also expands the list of approved "debilitating medical conditions" to include post-traumatic stress disorder and terminal illness with a prognosis of six months or less to live. Read More ›