Controlled Substances Act Medical Marijuana

News & Analysis as of

In the Weeds Between Federal and State Law: Brand Name for Legal Marijuana Sales Denied Federal Registration

In a precedential opinion, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) affirmed a USPTO refusal to register the trademark HERBAL ACCESS on the basis the use of the mark in commerce was unlawful under the Controlled Substances...more

Trademark Goods/Services Limitations, Why Not Exclude Any Federal Unlawful Activities?

Those involved in the cannabis industry — where certain activities are legal in some States, but unlawful under federal law — continue to search for creative strategies and solutions in protecting their trademarks and service...more

High Stakes: Investing in a Legal Marijuana Business

Considering diversifying with a high-risk investment? Heard the lure of the “green rush” toward a possible $100 billion legal marijuana industry? Before you write that check... Please see full Article below for...more

Court Declines to Prevent Merger of Washington Medical and Recreational Marijuana Markets

Over the last year, the Washington state marijuana industry has anticipated the transition from an unregulated medical marijuana market to an integrated, medical-recreational market on July 1, 2016, under the Cannabis Patient...more

Ohio Becomes the Latest State to Legalize Marijuana for Certain Medical Uses While Avoiding Constitutional Ballot Initiatives

Last year, Ohio legislators found themselves caught in the middle of a media firestorm created by various pro-legalized marijuana groups who were politically savvy and financially funded enough to place multiple proposed...more

Medical Marijuana and an Employer’s Rights in DC, Maryland, and Virginia

The District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia have all taken steps toward legalizing marijuana in some form. However, these laws differ in many respects and raise some interesting questions for employers. Because medical...more

Pennsylvania's Medical Marijuana Act Leaves Employers' Ability to Enforce Strict Drug-Free Workplace Policies Hazy

On April 17, 2016, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed legislation authorizing the use of medical marijuana (the Medical Marijuana Act or MMA) in Pennsylvania. The new law – effective May 17, 2016 – allows patients...more

The Challenges of the Evolving Marijuana Industry: Reconciling State Legislation with Federal Prohibition

Cultivation, production, distribution, or possession of marijuana is a federal criminal offense under the Controlled Substances Act (the CSA). Yet, despite federal prohibition, state-sanctioned marijuana industries have...more

Employment Practices Newsletter - February 2016

In New Guidance, DOL Gets Aggressive on “Joint Employment” - By issuing a new interpretative document in January, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division attempted to clarify the concept of “joint...more

Haze Lifting on Employer's Rights and Medical Marijuana

The fast expansion of the medical marijuana movement has brought with it growing confusion on the line between a workers' rights to take advantage of the rights afforded by these state statutes and an employer's right to...more

Waiting to Exhale: Cannabis industry breathes sigh of relief over extension of Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment

With the recent signing of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016 (H.R. 2029), President Obama extended a provision through September 2016 that restricts the federal government from interfering with states’ rights to...more

California marijuana dispensary scores victory against DOJ … but how long will it last?

The Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana (MAMM), one of California’s oldest lawful marijuana dispensaries, won a major victory against the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in October. In U.S. v. Marin Alliance for Medical...more

Top takeaways from the 2015 Las Vegas Marijuana Business Convention

Joan Lebow, Carl Rowley, and Fred Roth of Thompson Coburn's cannabis practice attended Marijuana Business Media’s 2015 Marijuana Business Conference at the Rio Hotel, Las Vegas, where more than 5,500 attendees attended...more

Federal court rules that DEA must stop interfering with compliant medical marijuana businesses

On October 19, 2015, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California rejected an argument by the US Government seeking a narrow interpretation of congressional legislation designed to limit federal...more

Employers and medical marijuana: Are California's anti-drug policies up in smoke?

What’s an employer to do when faced with employees using marijuana in or out of the workplace? How should employers respond to employees who use or possess marijuana legally under California law? How does such use or...more

A Real Bummer for The Marijuana Industry

As a general rule, in accordance with IRC § 162(a), taxpayers are allowed to deduct, for federal income tax purposes, all of the ordinary and necessary expenses they paid or incurred during the taxable year in carrying on a...more

Conflicting State and Federal Laws May Result in Crippling Blows to Business in the Marijuana Industry

As of October 2015, four states have legalized marijuana for recreational use: Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington. The recreational marijuana movement—although slow in terms of states following by legalizing use—has had...more

Growing Medical Marijuana, Problematic in Bankruptcy, and Out

Frank Arenas is licensed in Colorado to grow and dispense medical marijuana. He and his wife own a building, half of which is used for the cultivation and the other half of which is leased to a marijuana dispensary. These...more

Employer Required to Reimburse Employee For Medical Marijuana Treatment

The Court of Appeals of New Mexico issued a decision last week that many employers believe flies in the face of the Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. §§ 801 (“CSA”), and the Justice Department’s August 29, 2013 Memorandum....more

Colorado Supreme Court Upholds Firing For Medical Marijuana Use

In a closely watched case, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that an employer could lawfully terminate an employee who tested positive for marijuana in a random drug test, even though the employee’s use of marijuana was...more

Colorado Medical Marijuana Case is Not as Far-Reaching as Expected

On June 15, 2015, the Colorado Supreme Court issued its highly anticipated decision in Coats v. Dish Network. In a unanimous decision, the court in Coats upheld the termination of an employee who failed a random drug test...more

Colorado Supreme Court Plays Debbie Downer for Medical Pot Users

The wait is finally over. Employers in Colorado – and in other states with similar lifestyle laws – can breathe a sigh of relief following a recent ruling by the Colorado Supreme Court. In Coats v. Dish Network, a...more

HHS Removes Extra Hurdle for Marijuana Research

The process for studying the potential medical benefits of marijuana became more streamlined on Tuesday, when the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services eliminated a controversial requirement for Public Health Service...more

Colorado Supreme Court Okays Discharge of Medical Marijuana-Using Employee

Colorado, like some other states including New York, has a law that generally prohibits an employer from discharging an employee for engaging in lawful activities outside of work. Earlier this week, in Coats v. Dish Network,...more

It’s Not All “High” in the Rockies – Colorado Supreme Court Finds That Employees Can Be Fired For Use of Medical Marijuana

As more states legalize medical marijuana and consider legalization of “recreational” marijuana, many employers have wrestled with the question of whether they can still maintain a drug free workplace or must allow employees...more

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