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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


Prohibiting Recourse to Receivership or Bankruptcy for Cannabis Industry Can Perversely Assist Bad Actor’s Continuation of Bad Acts—A Real Life Analogy

Currently there are no clear laws specifically addressing the means for addressing insolvency issues for debtors and creditors involved in the Cannabis industry. Like the industry itself, the laws are evolving. Using a Cannabis grower business as an example, at this time the Federal Court system is not available to address such entities insolvency issues. Even if state courts are theoretically willing to consider a receivership proceeding, without statutory protections or clarity addressing the licensing issues, it would be a challenge to find a person with sufficient expertise in addressing financially troubled companies willing to undertake the risks associated with acting as the receiver and operating the highly regulated company.   Read More ›

More FDA Warning Letters for CBD Sellers

On November 25, 2019 the FDA sent 15 more warning letters to CBD product manufacturers and sellers regarding the content and labeling of their products. For the most part, the warnings relate to claims made about the products which the FDA concludes make the products new drugs because they claim to cure or prevent a disease. Some of the claims include: Read More ›

Michigan to Beat Illinois!

With the simple release of an Advisory Bulletin, Michigan’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) has assured that Michigan will be the first Midwest state to allow adult-use sales, commencing December 1, 2019!

As we have previously reported, Michigan’s Emergency Rules for Adult-Use Marijuana provide for companies that hold equivalent medical marijuana business licenses to transfer medical marijuana and medical marijuana products to their equivalent adult-use licenses. In other words, a dual-licensed grower can transfer inventory from medical to adult-use—and so can a provisioning center/retailer (in non-Michigan parlance, a dispensary).  Read More ›

New Information on the Use Transfers to Feed the New Adult Use Cannabis Market

As we have reported in the past (9/27/19 and 10/7/19) Michigan’s Emergency Rules for adult-use marijuana provide for medical products to be transferred to the adult-use market as long as the transfer takes place between equivalent licenses under common ownership. In other words, an adult-use grower can transfer in plants from a medical grower operated by the same entity; a co-located adult-use retailer/medical provisioning center can transfer medical products to the adult-use retail operation. But the Rules also provide that MRA will set a defined start date and end date and may announce other requirements for such transfers. We have been working for some time to get clarity from MRA as to how this rule will work. As recently as last week, MRA had no guidance to offer. Read More ›

Annual Financial Statements Are Due by December 31, 2019: Here’s What You Need to Know

In an advisory bulletin published on October 3, 2019, the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) outlined the requirements for filing annual financial statements. Only facilities licensed as of August 1, 2018 must file for the reporting period beginning on August 1, 2018 and ending on July 31, 2019. The annual financial statement must be filed by December 31, 2019, follow specific procedures, and contain specific schedules. Read More ›

Adult-Use Establishment Applications Have Been Released; Can be Filed November 1

The Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) released its adult-use marihuana establishment license application forms last Thursday, along with detailed instructions and checklists. As reported previously, the MRA will begin accepting applications November 1, and those who are already licensed on the medical marihuana side of the industry will face a less rigorous application process to tag on adult-use licenses. As with the existing medical licensing process, the adult-use process will have two steps: (1) prequalification of the main applicant (usually a business entity) and certain associated individuals through background reviews; and (2) establishment licensing, which vets the physical location of the establishment and the business’s operating plans. New applicants who do not hold a medical marihuana facility license—including those who have been prequalified for a medical facility license but are not yet licensed—will have to undergo full prequalification background review and submit an establishment license application. Currently licensed medical facilities need only submit a few notarized attestation forms, a social equity plan, and the “Step 2” establishment application. Read More ›

Adult-Use Establishment Applications Are One Month Away in Michigan: Here’s What to Plan For

For medical marijuana facility licensees and some first-time applicants who are looking to jump into the adult-use marijuana industry in Michigan, the day when the Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) will begin accepting applications—November 1—is approaching quickly. While the application itself has not yet been released online, the MRA has been on tour during September, holding public educational sessions to familiarize potential applicants with the requirements and process. There will be an abbreviated application process to assist current medical licensees into the adult-use market. Read More ›

House of Representatives, in a Historical Moment, Passes a Standalone Marijuana Bill to Assist Banks that Service Cannabis Businesses

In a vote of 321-103, the House of Representatives took the first steps to securing better access for the cannabis industry by passing the Secure and Fair Enforcement Act, “SAFE” Banking bill. Introduced by Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), the bill has slowly gained momentum as the cannabis and financial industry have continued to lobby and pressure Congress into acting. With over 206 co-sponsors, the House Leadership scheduled a floor vote under suspension of the rules thereby eliminating any amendments and the need for two-thirds vote of the House of Representatives. Read More ›

Social Equity Program and Impact to Applications, Lessons from MRA’s Educational Sessions

As required under the new adult use act—Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act (MRTMA), MRA is required to create a social equity program to “promote and encourage participation in the marihuana industry by people of communities that have been disproportionally impacted by marihuana prohibition and enforcement and to positively impact those communities” MCL 333.27958(1)(J). Continuing its effort to assist eligible applicants wanting to enter the cannabis industry, MRA is holding numerous sessions across the state to begin education on the “how to” and “what to expect” for eligible individuals looking to apply and operate in the industry.   Read More ›

Outlook Hazy For Cannabis TMs Under Unlawful Use Doctrine

It is established, for now, that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will not register a trademark used for cannabis or cannabis-related goods or services (other than hemp) because, to be registerable under the Lanham Act, a mark must be in lawful use in commerce, and cannabis products remain unlawful under the Controlled Substances Act — even in states where medical and/or recreational marijuana has been legalized.[1] Read More ›