In our latest podcast, Perkins Coie’s Cannabis Law Chair Barak Cohen interviews Bryan Passman, founder of two talent acquisition firms that focus on the cannabis industry. Barak and Bryan discuss the critical need for strong leadership in the industry, particularly during the ongoing pandemic. They also discuss some of the unique issues that cannabis businesses face, as well as recent cannabis legislation and what it portends for the industry and its leadership.
Leafly and Whitney Economics have issued an annual jobs report reflecting updated jobs and revenue numbers for the state-legal cannabis industry in 2020. While 2020 will be remembered as the year that a deadly pandemic shuttered thousands of small businesses, it should also be remembered as the year that set the cannabis industry on a path to become a leading economic contributor to the U.S. economy. Continue Reading Leafly Releases Job Report: Cannabis Job Growth “Astonishing”
Perkins Coie is proud to announce the launch of “Cannabis Law: A Primer on Federal and State Law Regarding Marijuana, Hemp, and CBD,” published by the American Bar Association, authored by various Perkins Coie Cannabis Law attorneys, and edited by Barak Cohen, chair of our Cannabis Law industry group, and Michael Bleicher. Until now, cannabis lawyers have not had a single reference to guide them through the full continuum of legal challenges in the industry. This treatise fills that gap from a sophisticated perspective by highlighting key issues in more than a dozen practice areas and covering the impact of cannabis law from U.S. state and federal, as well as Canadian, enforcement and regulatory agencies.
To learn more about the book, please click here.
Two recent actions from the Biden Administration may have immediate consequences for the cannabis industry. First, a new Executive Order signed by President Biden reversed prior policy requiring federal agencies to submit guidance documents to the White House for review. Second, the Biden Administration distributed a memorandum to federal agencies asking them to postpone any rules published in the Federal Register for 60 days. Continue Reading Looking Ahead: Cannabis Policy Update January 2021
In our latest podcast, Perkins Coie associate Michael Bleicher is joined by Dr. Tim Shu, founder and CEO of VetCBD, a startup marketing CBD-infused supplements for pets. Tim and Michael discuss the rewards and challenges of launching a business amid the current patchwork of cannabis laws, the scientific context for VetCBD’s products, and policy changes that would help cannabis industry entrepreneurs and promote consumer well-being.
Though it appeared the smoke might blow in a more favorable direction, the hopes of marijuana-adjacent businesses using the Bankruptcy Code were snuffed out once again by the Bankruptcy Court in Colorado. The Controlled Substances Act (the CSA) makes it illegal to rent, lease, or make available for use or profit from a location for the manufacture, storing, or distribution of controlled substances. Federal law generally imposes criminal liability for aiding and abetting the unauthorized manufacture, distribution, or dispensing of marijuana, which is a Schedule 1 controlled substance. A number of courts have ruled that businesses whose operations constitute federal crimes cannot take advantage of the federal bankruptcy system. Bankruptcy courts have even dismissed cases where the debtor does not operate a cannabis business, but operates ancillary businesses such as the manufacture or sale of equipment that may be used to cultivate marijuana (discussed below), or leasing real estate to marijuana growers. Continue Reading Another Blow to Bankruptcy Relief for Marijuana-Adjacent Debtors
Since the legalization of marijuana in a growing number of states and of hemp-derived CBD at the federal level, lawmakers have been hard pressed to keep pace with the explosive growth of the industry. However, with a number of potential sources for regulatory developments in both industries on the horizon, 2021 could be the year for greater legalization and regulatory clarity for marketing these products. Continue Reading Cannabis and CBD Marketing Developments in 2021
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) published a final rule today, building off the interim final rule it issued in October 2019 and incorporating both public comments and the agency’s takeaways from the 2020 growing season. In general, the final rule makes modest adjustments to the interim final rule in order to make it less onerous for producers to grow hemp while imposing stricter requirements on how crop must be tested.
Most importantly, the final rule recognizes that growers may accidentally produce crop that contains more than 0.3 percent THC and raises the limit for negligently doing so from 0.5 percent to 1 percent, but requires that producers test for total THC levels in crop, rather than for delta-9 THC levels. Testing for total THC levels makes it more likely a crop could exceed the legal limit for THC in hemp. Continue Reading USDA’s Final Rule Makes Hemp Easier to Grow, Harder to Test
If you’re looking for a landslide in the 2020 elections, look no further than the undisputed winner—marijuana. In each of the ballot initiatives up for consideration, voters said yes to expanded liberalization in cannabis-related laws by undeniably wide margins. Voters from across the political spectrum in red and blue states alike approved medical and recreational cannabis laws, including the legalization of medical cannabis in Mississippi and South Dakota and the legalization of cannabis possession by adults in Arizona, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota. Legislatures will soon enact laws in conformance with these ballot initiatives. A total of 35 states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for medical use, 15 of which allow adults to legally use the drug for recreational use as of November 2020. Continue Reading What Financial Institutions Need to Know About Banking Legal Cannabis Companies
On December 22, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued five warning letters to companies selling products containing cannabidiol (CBD). In a statement, the FDA’s Amy Abernethy, principal deputy commissioner, explained that the agency remains “focused on exploring potential pathways for CBD products to be lawfully marketed while also educating the public about these outstanding questions of CBD’s safety,” and that the agency “will continue to monitor and take action, as needed, against companies that unlawfully market their products—prioritizing those that pose the greatest risk of harm to the public.” Continue Reading FDA Issues 5 Warning Letters Targeting Unsupported CBD Health Claims