Blog

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

  • Upcoming Program: The Legalization of Marijuana in Canada and the Future of Cannabis Law in the United States On September 26 in Fox Rothschild’s New York City office, the American Foreign Law Association will host a special program, “The Legalization of Marijuana in Canada and the Future of Cannabis Law in the United States.” The program, featuring Fox partner Matthew Kittay and Gordon Cameron from Stikeman Elliott LLP, will explore the Canadian framework for legalized marijuana and the burgeoning domestic and international market for Canadian cannabis as well the patchwork of laws and regulations in the United States, including an understanding of... More
  • Connecticut Federal Court Grants Medical Marijuana User Summary Judgment on Failure to Hire Claim A federal district court in the District of Connecticut recently granted summary judgment to a plaintiff who brought a claim against an employer that withdrew a job offer due to the plaintiff’s positive drug test for marijuana.  This case offers lessons for businesses wading into this new and developing area of employment law. Copyright: jirkaejc / 123RF Stock Photo In Noffsinger, the plaintiff was registered under Connecticut’s medical marijuana program and used marijuana to treat post-traumatic stress disorder. Noffsinger initially received a job offer,... More
  • Webinar: How Does Legalized Marijuana Affect the Construction Work Site? All employers face challenges in navigating issues surrounding legalized marijuana. For construction industry employers, the challenges are particularly difficult given the necessary emphasis on safety. Last week, my colleague Jeff Polsky, co-chair of Fox’s Labor and Employment Department, recorded a 90-minute webinar for Lorman addressing the issues construction employers face in jurisdictions that have legalized medical or recreational marijuana. Jeff discussed developments in state law, conflicts between state and federal laws, drug testing, maintaining a drug-free workplace, and responding to employees’ requests... More
  • Is the First Cannabis Patent Lawsuit at Risk of Failing Because It Covers a Product of Nature Only? John Shaeffer writes: On July 30, 2018, United Cannabis Corporation (“UCNN”) filed a lawsuit in Federal District Court in Colorado against Pure Hemp Collective Inc. (“Pure Hemp”) alleging that Pure Hemp infringed U.S. Patent No. 9,730,911 (“the ‘911 Patent”), which is entitled Cannabis Extracts and Methods of Preparing and Using Same.  The ‘911 Patent issues on August 15, 2017, based on an application filed on October 21, 2015. As is typical in a patent case, the complaint tells us little.  The ‘911... More
  • Florida Court Ruling Dismantles Restrictive Medical Marijuana License Law Florida’s medical marijuana regulations and laws have been the subject of repeated litigation ever since Amendment Two was passed by voters in 2016.  A recent Florida Court Opinion has ruled in favor of Plaintiffs seeking to expand Florida’s restrictive vertical license law (which requires the license holder to grow, distribute and sell medical marijuana). Leon County Circuit Judge Charles Dodson ruled that the cap on the number of “medical marijuana treatment centers, (MMTC)” ran afoul of Amendment Two which had no... More
  • Changes in Florida’s Medical Marijuana Leadership See this post by Dori K. Stibolt regarding the abrupt resignation of the Director of Florida’s Office of  State of Florida’s Medical Marijuana Use.... More
  • New E-Book: Employment Compliance in the Age of Legalized Marijuana Though cannabis is illegal under federal law, at least 30 states and the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis for medical use and nine states, as well as D.C., have legalized it for recreational use—a dichotomy that presents a unique and complex challenge for employers. In a new e-book, Fox attorneys Joseph A. McNelis III, Lee Szor, William Bogot and Joshua Horn provide an overview of federal and state marijuana laws, discuss specific aspects of the employment relationship affected by the... More
  • Massachusetts U.S. Attorney Issues Guidance, Signaling Good News for Recreational Marijuana Industry Entrepreneurs looking to enter Massachusetts’ newly minted recreational marijuana market can sleep a bit easier tonight after a statement from U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling (the top federal prosecutor for the state) regarding his enforcement priorities surrounding marijuana sales. Copyright: jirkaejc / 123RF Stock Photo As many in the industry are aware, federal prosecutors for years were guided by the “Cole Memo,” which endorsed a hands-off approach to enforcement against businesses operating where marijuana had been legalized under a state-sanctioned program. But this... More
  • Nevada To Begin Accepting Recreational Retail Marijuana Establishment Applications Sooner than Expected Nevada legalized the recreational adult-use of marijuana on July 1, 2017 and the state has generated millions in tax revenue as a result. Nonetheless, the Nevada Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act (the “Act”) provides that until November 2018, only registered marijuana certificate holders may apply for recreational retail marijuana establishment licenses. The Nevada Department of Taxation (the “Department”) ceased accepting applications at 2017 year’s end. The Act further provides that at least once a year, the Department will determine whether... More
  • Florida Medical Marijuana – Citrus Preference Licensing Litigation Florida’s citrus industry has been ailing and declining for years.  Florida’s recent medical marijuana regulations were designed to help, in part, by providing two medical marijuana licenses for the citrus industry to switch from growing oranges to marijuana. As I’ve posted before, Florida medical marijuana licensing regulations have been the subject of repeated litigation challenges.  See posts here, here and here.  Now, the most recent challenge involves this citrus preference rule. Louis Del Favero Orchids (“Orchids”) is challenging the rule.  The orchid company argues that the rule... More