In the Weeds

In the highly regulated cannabis industry, success is reserved for those who take a thoughtful and strategic approach to entering this market. In the Weeds aims to help keep today’s cannabis entrepreneur well informed. We track developments in marijuana law and business, including regulatory framework in states where cannabis has been legalized for medical and/or recreational uses and the unique issues that businesses in the cannabis industry face. Authors offer insights on banking, real estate, finance, corporate entity formation and governance, taxation and creditor rights issues that are distinct to companies in the legal marijuana space, as well as the interplay of collateral businesses to the cannabis industry.

Recent Blog Posts

  • Update on Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Practitioner Registry A few weeks ago, I blogged about the establishment of the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program’s Practitioner Registry. As I noted there, having doctors registered and approved to certify patients as medical marijuana cardholders is critical for the success of Pennsylvania’s program. In the Department of Health’s Press Release announcing the Registry, the DOH noted that it surveyed close to 200 doctors, and 75% of them indicated they would register for the Program. According to Dr. Rachel Levine, Pennsylvania’s Physician General and the Acting... More
  • Senator Cory Booker Introduces The Marijuana Justice Act of 2017 Yesterday, U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) introduced the Marijuana Justice Act of 2017.  The bill, which Senator Booker first announced on Twitter and then described more fully on Facebook Live, aims to end the federal prohibition on cannabis with a multi-faceted approach.  First, the bill seeks to amend the Controlled Substances Act to declassify marijuana as a controlled substance under Schedule I of that Act.  Presently, marijuana is in the same category as heroin. Copyright: mesutdogan / 123RF Stock Photo Although Senator... More
  • Pennsylvania Announces Practitioner Registry for Medical Marijuana Program In a July 26, 2017 Press Release, the Pennsylvania Department of Health announced the opening of its Practitioner Registry. This marks the next critical step in implementing Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Program, which the DOH expects to be fully operational by 2018. Physicians can find out more about the Medical Marijuana Program here and complete the Registry here. Copyright: megaflopp / 123RF Stock Photo Last month, the DOH released final Regulations for Physicians and is now officially soliciting doctors to participate in the program.... More
  • Fox Employment Attorneys Provide Further Analysis on Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Ruling Yesterday, I blogged about the recent decision from the Massachusetts Supreme Court, Barbuto v. Advantage Sales and Marketing, in which the Court held that an employee could pursue her claims for disability discrimination after she was terminated for testing positive for marijuana. Over at Fox’s Employment Discrimination Report blog, my colleague Justin Schwam has further analysis on the decision. Check out Justin’s post here. Joseph McNelis works in Fox Rothschild’s Blue Bell, PA office and focuses his practice on labor and employment matters. Joe... More
  • Massachusetts High Court Allows Disability Discrimination Claims of Medical Marijuana User to Proceed In a decision awaited by many in the industry, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that a licensed medical marijuana user who was fired after testing positive for marijuana can proceed with claims under the state’s “handicap discrimination” statute. The case is Cristina Barbuto v. Advantage Sales and Marketing and the Court’s opinion was issued on July 17, 2017. After accepting a job offer from Advantage Sales and Marketing, Barbuto was told she would be required to undergo a drug test. Barbuto,... More
  • Rhode Island Court Finds in Favor of Job Applicant Denied for Medical Marijuana Use In one of the first “employee friendly” decisions on this issue, a Rhode Island state court granted summary judgment to a plaintiff job applicant who sued for employment discrimination on the basis of her medical marijuana use. After the plaintiff disclosed as part of the application process that she was a medical marijuana user and would not pass the required pre-employment drug test, the company did not hire her and she filed suit. The case is Callaghan v. Darlington Fabrics Corp. via... More
  • Florida Municipalities Debate Dispensaries As a follow up to my post on the City of Boynton Beach having its regulations overturned by Florida state law, other Florida municipalities are debating medical marijuana dispensaries. Those adopting or extending moratoriums on dispensaries: Marathon City, located in the Keys, has extended its moratorium for another 180 days. Winter Garden, located near Orlando, recently voted in favor of a moratorium. Collier County has also imposed a county-wide moratorium through the end of 2017. Coral Gables, located near Miami, has also voted to impose... More
  • The State of Florida Vetoed the City of Boynton Beach’s Local Regulations The City of Boynton Beach, Florida wanted to be ready for the implementation of Amendment 2 (medical marijuana) so they set up their own limits on dispensaries that included the following: One dispensary per 67,000 residents; Location was limited to one part of town the community commercial district; No drive-throughs; Limited hours. Boynton has now learned that the new state law overrides their attempt at local control.  While cities can impose a short moratorium and control minor details regarding dispensaries they cannot impose the location... More
  • Ransomware; don’t be held hostage Ransomware has become an ever increasing problem as we become more technology dependent. To learn more about it and how to avoid it, read this blog.... More
  • Litigation Over Smoking in Florida As noted in my prior post, when the Florida Legislature finally passed laws to implement Amendment 2 (medical marijuana) it did not include smoking as a permissible use for medical marijuana. And, as expected, litigation has been filed to allow medical marijuana to be smoked. The Florida law does permit vaping of medical marijuana.  Florida legislators have defended their position by noting that Amendment 2 did not specifically identify smoking of medical marijuana and instead made clear that smoking medical marijuana... More