On February 2, 2022, Republican Governor Tate Reeves signed the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act, which legalizes medical marijuana for the treatment of certain debilitating conditions. Those debilitating conditions include, among others, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, HIV/AIDs, sickle cell anemia, Alzheimer’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, and autism. The law became effective immediately, making Mississippi the 37th state

By a 50-46 vote, the Senate today confirmed Dr. Robert Califf as commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The narrow decision reflected opposition to the nomination by several Democratic senators, notably Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., who co-wrote a recent op-ed against Califf’s nomination. Six Republicans, including Susan Collins, R-Me., and Richard Burr, R-N.C., voted

In July 2021, three Democratic senators—Cory Booker, Ron Wyden, and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer—distributed a discussion draft of the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act, a major bill promising sweeping reforms of cannabis regulation at the federal level, notably descheduling the substance under the Controlled Substances Act. The senators’ offices invited public comment from stakeholders. On

Sheri Orlowitz

The discussion about federal regulation for the cannabis industry is complex. The Council for Federal Cannabis Regulation wants to ensure that federal regulations are informed by and grounded in science, best business practices, sound public policy, and social justice principles. Sheri Orlowitz, founder and chairman of the board of the Council for Federal Cannabis Regulation,

On November 12, President Biden announced his intention to nominate Dr. Robert Califf as Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”). Dr. Califf, a cardiologist, previously served as FDA Commissioner in the Obama Administration between February 2016 and January 2017. Califf is currently a professor of medicine at Duke.

The FDA has been

Earlier this month, the FDA released a seven-page plan to accelerate its research into the safety of cannabis-derived products. The plan follows two reports to Congress last year (which the Perkins Coie Cannabis Industry Group has previously written about here and here) on the safety and labeling of products containing cannabidiol (CBD) and a public statement from outgoing FDA leadership in early 2021 seeking better data for a better understanding of CBD safety. For those in the industry hoping that this latest FDA announcement is the agency’s long-awaited CBD enforcement guidance, the wait continues. Instead, the FDA recognizes that “the growth of the [cannabis-derived product] market continues to outpace the growth in the science and our understanding of the public health implications of these products.”

Before issuing new rulemaking and guidance, the FDA’s new data acceleration plan notes that the agency “needs a better understanding of the quality and safety systems that are currently in place across the overall supply chain from origin, manufacturing, and distribution to consumer usage” with regard to products derived from cannabis. According to the agency, the market for these products is “fragmented and dynamic” “with hundreds of small manufacturers selling products online,” and is “rife with potential quality and safety concerns.”
Continue Reading FDA Releases Plan to Obtain Data Regarding Cannabis-Derived Product Usage & Safety


State Attorneys General (AGs) play a central role in enforcing cannabis laws and protecting consumers. As legalization continues to sweep the country, the interplay between state and federal law demands particular attention. In this edition of The 411 on 420, Perkins Coie senior counsel Andrew Kline discusses the role of the State AGs with Austin

To say that the United States has a complicated relationship with hemp is an understatement. In this edition of The 411 on 420, Perkins Coie partner Barak Cohen discusses hemp’s complicated past and promising future with Eric Steenstra, founding member of the Hemp Industries Association, Vice President of the California Hemp Council and President of

Late last evening, the U.S. House of Representatives passed SAFE Banking legislation by voice vote, offered as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA/H.R. 4350). While SAFE Banking legislation previously passed in the House, it had stalled in the Senate due to Republicans’ demands for changes that would have transformed the bill from one offering protection to financial institutions in the cannabis industry, to one enacting additional guardrails on federal marijuana policy. SAFE Banking legislation’s inclusion in a must-pass bill this time around marks a critical step in the effort to enact this legislation this Congress.

What is SAFE Banking legislation?

The SAFE Banking amendment would enable financial institutions to support the cannabis industry by eliminating two major risks of adverse government action. The proposed law explicitly permits financial institutions to do business with cannabis companies and prohibits the government from terminating or limiting a financial institution’s deposit or share insurance solely because the institution works with a cannabis business. These changes would remove current federal restrictions that have resulted in only a limited number of financial institutions currently willing to take on the risk of banking cannabis companies. And those that do charge exorbitant fees and costs that foreclose the services to many—predominately impacting small and diversity-owned entities. As a result, the economic development of all cannabis industries, and especially small and diversity-owned entities, has been impeded through reduced liquidity, heightened entry barriers, and heightened security issues for some businesses forced to depend upon cash transactions.
Continue Reading U.S. House Votes SAFE Banking Legislation into Defense Bill

Last week, Senators Schumer (D-NY), Booker (D-NJ), and Wyden (D-OR) circulated a discussion draft of the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act, a legislative proposal to deschedule and legalize cannabis.  In related statements to the Senate, Senator Schumer emphasized that cannabis legislation will be prioritized during this Congress, stating “it’s time to end the federal prohibition on marijuana [a]nd as majority leader, I am going to push this issue forward and make it a priority.”

While there is much to explore in the bill’s 163 pages, here are five immediate takeaways for the cannabis industry.
Continue Reading Senators Propose Cannabis Descheduling Plan: Five Takeaways for The Cannabis Industry