In The Weeds Blog

Matt contributes to the firm's In The Weeds blog, which explores developments in cannabis law and business. The blog aims to keep today’s cannabis entrepreneur well informed by tracking 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.

The blog offers 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

  • Florida 2018 Legislative Session Comes to a Close With Tweaks to Medical Marijuana Laws and Budget As Florida’s 2018 legislative session comes to a close, its time to review legislative changes to Florida’s medical marijuana laws. First, Florida’s Senate passed HB 6049,  This bill removes the requirement that the Florida medical marijuana license (Florida has a vertical licensing system) reserved for a Black farmer must go to a Black farmer who is a member of the Black Farmers and Agriculturalists Association. As I explained in my earlier posts (here and here), Columbus Smith, a Black farmer from Panama City, filed... More
  • Healthcare Facility Policies in the Age of Medical Marijuana Richard L. Holzworth writes: Copyright: thommorrisphotography / 123RF Stock Photo Despite Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana industry being in its infancy, more than 17,000 patients have registered for the program, and more than 4,000 already have received their medical marijuana card from the Department of Health. Now that cannabis products have burst onto the scene, hospitals and other residential healthcare facilities are struggling with what to do when patients present medical marijuana cards and attempt to use marijuana in the facilities. Indeed, it is... More
  • Trial Set in Florida Case Challenging Medical Marijuana Smoking Ban As I’ve posted before, Florida’s implementation of Amendment Two (medical marijuana) does not permit patients to smoke medical marijuana. Not surprisingly, the ban on smoking of medical marijuana triggered litigation.  Now, that case has been set for a bench trial in May 2018. The lawsuit seeks a declaratory judgment that the smoking ban is contrary to the amendment’s language, which itself does not expressly say medicinal cannabis can be smoked. The suit is against the Department of Health, which regulates medical marijuana.   Dori... More
  • A Pennsylvania Physician’s Guide to Navigating Medical Marijuana Registration On Fox’s Physician Law blog, associate Richard Holzworth recently outlined the requirements for physicians in Pennsylvania who wish to issue medical marijuana “certifications” to their patients under Act 16, the commonwealth’s recently signed law legalizing medical marijuana. In April 2016, Gov. Tom Wolf signed into law Pennsylvania’s compassionate medical cannabis legislation (Act 16), effectively legalizing medical marijuana in the Commonwealth. Since that time, the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) has awarded 12 licenses to grow medical marijuana and 27 licenses to operate... More
  • Will Florida Trade Orange Trees for Hemp Fields? Citrus greening, a disease that has been slowly spreading throughout Florida since 2004, has been putting the squeeze on Florida’s key agricultural crop (the citrus industry in Florida is worth $10.7 billion).  Citrus greening impairs the citrus trees ability to produce fruit and eventually kills the trees.  Many Florida citrus farmers are turning to other crops to replace their orange juice and citrus fruit business including olives, hops (for beer), pomegranates, and even pongamia (a type of legume). Another crop that has... More
  • New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy Signs Executive Order Expanding Access to Medical Marijuana Copyright: adamgolabek / 123RF Stock Photo Peter Kelly writes: New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed an executive order directing the New Jersey Department of Health and the Board of Medical Examiners to review the state’s existing medical marijuana program with a focus on ways to expand access to marijuana for medical purposes. The review will include: An evaluation of the current rules regulating operating and siting of dispensaries and cultivation facilities with particular focus on whether relaxation of rules should be revised to... More
  • California Revised its Contract Law to Protect Cannabis Contracts (Effective January 1, 2018) Jack Praetzellis writes: California law requires all contracts to have a “lawful object”.  Previously, this posed a problem for contracts involving cannabis since cannabis-related contracts are largely unlawful under federal law.  On January 1, 2018, California enacted Civil Code Section 1550.5. That Code Section explicitly states that cannabis-related contracts have a lawful object under California law. California’s new law provides that commercial activity relating to adult-use cannabis conducted in compliance with California law is deemed to be the lawful object of a... More
  • Florida Senate Health Committee Passes Bill Addressing Unconstitutional Requirement in Medical Marijuana Law Following up on my post from earlier this week, the Florida Senate Health committee unanimously passed SB 1134 which would strip out the requirement that black farmers who want to obtain a coveted medical marijuana license be a member of the Florida Chapter of the Black Farmers and Agriculturalists Association (which has closed its membership). As I explained in my earlier posts (here and here), Columbus Smith, a black farmer from Panama City, filed a lawsuit challenging the law implementing Amendment Two (medical... More
  • California Evidence Code Section 956(b): How to Preserve the Attorney-Client Privilege Over Advice Concerning Medical and Adult-Use Cannabis Jack Praetzellis writes: California Governor Jerry Brown signed an amendment to California Evidence Code Section 956 ominously known as the “crime-fraud exception”.  The newly-revised Code Section attempts to address the tension between state and federal law governing cannabis. Under normal circumstances, California’s attorney-client privilege makes confidential communications among an attorney and a client exempt from disclosure.  Essentially, neither a lawyer nor a client can be compelled to testify about the substance of their communications. The crime-fraud exception punctures the attorney-client privilege.  It provides... More
  • Florida Judge Issues Temporary Injunction Regarding Portion of Medical Marijuana Law Last week, Leon County, Florida Circuit Judge Charles Dodson granted a temporary injunction sought by Columbus Smith regarding a portion of the Florida law passed last year to implement Amendment Two (medical marijuana).  I posted before about Smith’s lawsuit. The law implementing Amendment Two called for an overall increase of 10 licenses for Medical Marijuana Treatment Center (Florida has a vertical integrated license structure which means licensed Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers grow, distribute and sell medical marijuana) by October 3, 2017. ... More