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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

The CDC’s New Definition of “Close Contact”: What You Need To Know

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has expanded the definition of close contact to now evaluate exposure cumulatively over a 24-hour period such that “15 cumulative minutes of exposure at a distance of 6 feet or less can be used as an operational definition for contact investigation,”[1] Because the newly expanded definition is not limited, it impacts many different industries (including transportation and logistics, health care, automotive, manufacturing, and educational industries) and different persons (e.g., first responders, health care professionals, customer-facing employees, and others). As winter is coming and the holiday season is upon us, the CDC’s new “close contact” definition greatly impacts all workers, employers, and workplaces, as everyone now needs to evaluate physical distancing in smaller, repetitive increments of time. Read More ›

National Cannabis Industry Association Releases Sustainability Report

Blog Post is Co-Authored by Jerry Hincka from EHS Support

As readers of this blog well know, the cannabis industry is one of the fastest growing and most regulated industries in the United States.  Rapid growth, in sales and in States allowing cannabis use, creates dynamic regulatory challenges, and unprecedented opportunity for environmental sustainability leadership.  Recognizing this, the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) has released a detailed report on the topic: Environmental Sustainability in the Cannabis Industry: Impacts, Best Management Practices, and Policy Considerations Read More ›

Michigan Court of Claims Denies Request for Injunction Against State Over Local Licensing Decisions

On November 11, 2020, Attitude Wellness D/B/A Lume Cannabis Company (Lume), filed suit in the Michigan Court of Claims against the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA), the Village of Edwardsburg, and two private parties, after the Village denied Lume’s application for village marijuana establishment licenses. Lume sought an injunction to prevent the MRA from issuing state licenses to the two businesses that won licenses from the Village.  Last week, the Court of Claims denied that request, finding Lume’s claims against MRA to be “speculative and inexact.” Read More ›

Marijuana Regulatory Agency Sets Process for Accepting an Adult Use License Application from Any Applicant

On October 6, 2020, the Marijuana Regulatory Agency (“MRA”) announced that starting March 1, 2021 it would be removing the eligibility restriction on certain adult use license applications under the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act (“MRTMA”). Section 9 of MRTMA prohibits MRA from accepting an application from a person who does not hold a medical marihuana facility license under the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (“MMFLA"), with the restriction applying to: Retailer, Processor, Class B Grower, Class C Grower, and Secure Transporter. Although the restriction was initially set to last for two years from the date MRA first began accepting Adult Use license, MRTMA allows MRA to rescind the prohibition after one year if MRA (as it did with the October 6 announcement) “determines that additional state licenses are necessary to minimize the illegal market for marihuana in this state.” Read More ›

Maine Residents Seek to Have Federal Court Declare Maine’s Residency Requirement Constitutional

Following up on our previous posts (here and here) regarding lawsuits by non-residents challenging the residency requirement in Maine’s marijuana licensing law as violating the Dormant Commerce Clause, a recent lawsuit filed by residents of Maine is asking the District Court of Maine to declare that the requirement does not violate the Dormant Commerce Clause. Read More ›

November 2020 Election Great for Michigan Cannabis

Although the outcome of the Presidential election remains in doubt nationally, marijuana businesses and advocates won overwhelmingly in Michigan this year. For those scoring at home, we call it seven “yeas” and one “nay.” Read More ›

IRS Allows Reduction of Gross Receipts For State-Legal Cannabis Businesses

On Saturday, September 12, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) updated a marijuana industry frequently asked questions (“FAQ”) page that provides relief to state-legal cannabis businesses. The FAQ announces that state-legal cannabis businesses can reduce their gross receipts by using an alternative accounting method under Section 471 of the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”). Read More ›

Federal Court Signals Municipalities Cannot Give Preference to Residents for Marijuana Licenses

As we have previously reported, the city of Portland, Maine, has been the most prominent recent test case over municipalities seeking to favor their own residents in marijuana licensing. 

On August 14, 2020, a federal court granted a preliminary injunction in favor of out-of-state businesses claiming that the City’s licensing system unconstitutionally favored residents over non-residents by basing licensing decisions in part on whether an applicant is a Maine resident. August 14, 2020 Order, Wellness Connection v. City of Portland, Docket No. 2:20-CV-00208-NT (W.D. Maine). In granting the injunction, the court held that the City failed to justify that its residency preference was necessary to achieve a legitimate purpose, which the City argued “was to ensure that the City understood the amount and quality of oversight and could easily verify any past violations.” Id. at 24. Read More ›

Why Cannabis Companies Need to Care About the TCPA

Cannabis companies nationwide are facing yet another statutory obstacle that can have serious (and potential ruinous) consequences for the emerging industry if not appropriately addressed—the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”). There is a recent uptick in class-action lawsuits filed against cannabis companies across the country premised on alleged violations of the TCPA including lawsuits in Michigan and California. These complaints allege cannabis companies sent unsolicited marketing text messages or placed automated phone calls to individuals without their consent. Cannabis dispensaries and other cannabis-related businesses should add TCPA compliance protocols to their checklist of regulatory requirements to be satisfied in this quickly emerging industry.  Read More ›

Michigan Adopts New Hemp Law for Federal Approval of Hemp Program; What’s Next?

On July 8, 2020, the Michigan Industrial Hemp Growers Act (“IHGA”), 2020 PA 137, MCL 333.28101-333.28701, went into effect (which was somewhat surprising since the legislation was reported from committee only a few weeks beforehand).  The new law creates a regulatory scheme for industrial hemp that should allow Michigan to obtain approval from the United States Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) of its plan to administer an industrial hemp program under the 2018 Farm Bill.  Currently, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (“MDARD”) administers an industrial hemp pilot program under the Industrial Hemp Research and Development Act (“IHRDA”), MCL 286.841-286.859, pursuant to the 2014 Farm Bill. Read More ›