Dykema Gossett PLLC

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

Primer on the Emergency Rules for MRTMA

Co-Authored by Dykema Summer Associate Madison Laskowski

On July 3, 2019, the Marijuana Regulatory Agency (“MRA”) promulgated emergency rules to implement the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act (“MRTMA” or the “Act”). The licensing requirements and procedures under the emergency rules are substantively similar to those provided for under the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (“MMFLA”). These rules will remain in effect for six months and can be renewed for an additional six months, during which time additional rules may be promulgated. Final Rules will be promulgated thereafter. This process will likely replicate the rulemaking procedure used for the MMFLA rules. Read More ›

Michigan Releases Emergency Rules for Recreational Marijuana

Michigan’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) today issued emergency rules for the administration and implementation of the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act (MRTMA), accompanied by an explanatory press release. There are several notable highlights: Read More ›

The U.S. Supreme Court Denies Certiorari in Cannabis Case

On June 24, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court denied petition for a writ of certiorari to review the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in Alpenglow Botanicals, LLC v. United States, 894 F.3d 1187 (10th Cir. 2018). Alpenglow Botanicals, LLC (“Alpenglow”) is a medical marijuana business, which operates legally in the state of Colorado. After an audit of Alpenglow’s 2010, 2011 and 2012 tax returns, the Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) assessed a deficiency against Alpenglow by denying a variety of its business deductions under section 280E of the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”) and by concluding that Alpenglow had “committed the crime of trafficking in a controlled substance in violation of the CSA.” Section 280E disallows business deductions and credits for businesses engaging in trafficking of a Schedule I or II controlled substances. The federal government claims that marijuana is a Schedule I controlled substance, the possession or distribution of which is generally a serious federal crime.  Read More ›

Michigan’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency Provides Information About MRTMA at its First Public Meeting

Authored by Dykema Summer Associate Madison Laskowski

On June 13th, in its first public meeting, the Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) received comments and provided information on the administration of the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act (MRTMA). Read More ›

Michigan’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency Releases New Medical Marijuana Facilities License Applications: What to Know

The State of Michigan’s newly created Marijuana Regulatory Agency (“MRA”) has released its new Medical Marijuana Facilities License application forms and instructions, formally replacing the application process previously administered by the now dissolved Bureau of Medical Marihuana Regulation. In large part, the application process and the forms themselves remain much like the old, but now reflect recent changes to the Medical Marijuana Facilities Licensing Act (“MMFLA”) in effort to make the licensing process more streamlined and conducive to publicly traded companies, and remove inapplicable inquiries related to temporary operations under the previous “emergency rules.” The remaining changes are stylistic cleanups emphasizing the underlying requirement of truthfulness, provide separate forms for entities or individuals, and a streamlined application submission process. Applications remain a two-step process of submitting for prequalification (“Step 1”) and facility licensure (“Step 2”). Read More ›

Is Growing and Dispensing Cannabis a Sin?

In mid-May, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin told the Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government of the Senate Appropriations Committee that cannabis businesses would not be eligible for Opportunity Zone (“OZ”) tax benefits. According to news reports of his testimony, Secretary Mnuchin said that the business of growing and dispensing cannabis is misaligned with the intent of the OZ program, which he appears to believe is designed to directly uplift low-income residents of distressed communities through OZ investment dollars. Secretary Mnuchin apparently believes that the business of growing and dispensing cannabis has less tangible impact on the residents of distressed communities than the building of new upscale rental units or luxury hotels. Read More ›

Help Wanted in Michigan? Only Those 21 Years and Up Need Apply

“Help Wanted” signs are becoming familiar sights at most Michigan retailers. As unemployment rates have fallen across the state, and employers struggle to fill vacancies, the influx of students hitting the summer job market may come as welcome news. Unfortunately, would-be adult use marijuana businesses should temper their excitement.  Michigan’s Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act requires employees to be 21 years of age or older.  Specifically, MCL 333.27961(e), provides that: “No marijuana establishment may allow a person under 21 years of age to volunteer or work for the marihuana establishment.”  Read More ›

Illinois Cannabis Adult Use Measure: A Primer

As cannabis industry participants and observers are well aware, on June 4th, the Illinois General Assembly officially passed House Bill 1438, which will create the financial and regulatory framework for the sale and use of cannabis and cannabis-infused products in Illinois via (the “ Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act” or “CRTA”). This legislation was patterned after, and is structured to supplement, the Illinois Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, which became effective January 1, 2014 (the “MCPP”). Read More ›

USDA Provides Guidance on Hemp Transportation, Felony Convictions, and Implementation of 2018 Farm Bill

Authored by Dykema Summer Associate Olivia Avery

On May 28, 2019, the United States Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) issued a legal opinion addressing and clarifying a number of hemp-related provisions passed in the 2018 Farm Bill. The USDA Office of General Counsel also issued an executive summary of the legal opinion summarizing its key conclusions. The opinion offered guidance regarding (1) the removal of hemp from schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act; (2) the transportation of lawfully produced hemp across state lines under the 2018 Farm Bill and the 2014 Farm Bill; and (3) ineligibility restrictions for those growers with felony convictions relating to controlled substances.   Read More ›

Michigan’s New Marijuana Regulatory Agency Issues Guidance on the Treatment of “Temporary Operators” and Caregiver Product

Today, the new Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) issued a press release regarding recent Michigan Court of Claims rulings, explaining how “temporary operators” will be treated going forward as well as how “caregiver” product will be used to keep a supply chain open to meet patient demand. The Executive Director of the MRA, Andrew Brisbo, also discussed these issues at his Senate confirmation hearing today. Read More ›