Marijuana Controlled Substances Act

News & Analysis as of

Ninth Circuit Enjoins DOJ from Prosecuting Medical Marijuana Growers, But Future Uncertain

On August 16, 2016, the Ninth Circuit made an unexpected decision — it enjoined a federal criminal prosecution against medical marijuana growers in the Ninth Circuit. In the published opinion1, the three-judge panel (Justices...more

Before You Subscribe: Cannabis Investor Education

WITH ANY BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY COMES RISK AND THE CANNABIS industry is no different. Cannabis investors need to consider whether the potential recipient of their investment dollars has sufficient liquidity and access to...more

Ninth Circuit Uproots Department of Justice Prosecution of Medical Marijuana Cases

On August 16, 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit rebuked the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) in United States v. McIntosh, a case that involves the tension between federal and state laws involving...more

The Marijuana Industry’s Big Win: The DEA’s Refusal to Reschedule

Earlier this year, when the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) indicated it would have an announcement regarding a now five-year-old petition to reschedule cannabis, numerous industries on the “outside looking in” were...more

California Court of Appeal Resoundingly Rejects A Statutory Right To Access Medical Marijuana Shops By The Disabled

Pursuant to the Americans With Disabilities Act (“ADA”) (42 U.S.C. Section 1201, et seq.) and California’s Civil Code Section 54 (the “DPA”), individuals with disabilities are entitled to “the same rights as the general...more

The silver lining in the DEA’s refusal to reclassify cannabis

As far back as 2011, elected officials have sent letters to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration urging it to reclassify cannabis by removing it from the list of Schedule I controlled substances. After promising a...more

DEA Just Said No to Rescheduling Cannabis: Why It Matters

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) recently denied a petition to initiate proceedings to reschedule cannabis under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Thus, Cannabis will remain a Schedule I substance under the CSA. ...more

The DEA Is Getting Past Just Saying No: Scientific Research Into Medical Uses of Marijuana Is a Bridge Toward a Policy Shift

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)’s recent decision declining to reschedule cannabis is a step bridging the national discussion — a step toward a possible agreement on medical cannabis through scientific research. The...more

DEA Rejects Petitions Seeking to Reschedule Marijuana

The long-awaited decision maintains the illegal status of marijuana under federal law. On August 12, the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), despite much speculation to the contrary, published in the Federal Register its...more

DEA Rejects Petitions to Reclassify Marijuana, but Opens the Door to Expanded Marijuana Research Efforts

In a long-awaited decision released this morning, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration announced that it has denied two petitions to reschedule marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act (the “CSA”). The DEA...more

DEA Declines to Change Stance on Marijuana but Opens Door to Federally Sanctioned Marijuana Research

On August 11, 2016, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) formally declined to change its position on the medical or recreational use of marijuana, denying two petitions urging the federal government to change marijuana’s...more

Bongs and Busts – the Danger of State Cannabis Laws to Non-U.S. Citizens

Seattle, Washington, where I practice, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the U.S. Its natural beauty and cosmopolitan vibe are two of its biggest attractions. But increasingly, Cannabis Tourism has been a...more

Cannabis Trademark Strategy in Jeopardy

The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board of the U.S. Trademark Office (TTAB) just rejected a popular strategy for protecting cannabis-related marks at the federal level. Many forward-thinking cannabis businesses have applied to...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

Ninth Circuit Rejects Hawaii Cannabis Ministry’s RFRA Challenge

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently upheld the convictions of two ministers of the Hawaii Cannabis Ministry who admitted using and distributing large quantities of cannabis in accordance with their...more

Recreational Cannabis — Section 280E and Tax Efficient Structuring

I. The Conflict: The long arm of federal law Recreational cannabis businesses operate in a world of conflicting state and federal laws. Several states have legalized recreational cannabis, yet, under federal law, cannabis...more

Recreational Cannabis — Section 280E and Tax Efficient Structuring

Recreational cannabis businesses operate in a world of conflicting state and federal laws. Several states have legalized recreational cannabis, yet, under federal law, cannabis remains an illegal Schedule I drug under the...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

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

Ninth Circuit Agrees That Prohibition on the Possession and Distribution of Cannabis Does Not Violate RFRA

Founder and president of Oklevueha Native American Church of Hawaii, Inc. (“Oklevueha”), Michael Rex “Raging Bear” Mooney, filed suit in 2009 against various federal officials in the Federal District Court of Hawaii.  Mooney...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

U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Nebraska and Oklahoma’s Lawsuit Challenging Colorado Recreational Marijuana Laws

In December 2014, the States of Nebraska and Oklahoma filed a motion for leave to file a complaint against the State of Colorado with the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). The motion argued, among other things,...more

Cannabis-Related Contract Enforcement: A Solution Presents Itself?

One of many concerns regarding the cannabis industry is the federal courts’ refusal to enforce cannabis-related partnership agreements, loan agreements, and various contracts related to business formation and operation. While...more

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