Medical Marijuana Preemption

Medical Marijuana refers to the use of marijuana to treat or alleviate symptoms of certain illnesses. A growing number of states permit individuals to use marijuana on the recommendation of a physician. Despite... more +
Medical Marijuana refers to the use of marijuana to treat or alleviate symptoms of certain illnesses. A growing number of states permit individuals to use marijuana on the recommendation of a physician. Despite state laws to the contrary, Federal law still prohibits the use or possession of marijuana. The conflict between state and federal law on this issue has created interesting enforcement issues and significant legal hurdles for medical marijuana providers.  less -
News & Analysis as of

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

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

The Employment Law Authority - May/June 2016

The minimum salary threshold to qualify for the executive, administrative, and professional exemptions to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) will more than double on December 1, 2016, from $23,660 per year to $47,476 per...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

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

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

Can State Medical Marijuana Laws Trump Employer Rights?

Currently, 23 states and the District of Columbia have medical marijuana laws which allow a lawful level of marijuana use. One question which comes up often in such states is whether an employer can lawfully terminate an...more

State Law Preemption of Local Land Use Regulations and the Supreme Court's Recent Decision Upholding Citywide Ban on Medical...

The recent spate of court cases dealing with local regulation of medical marijuana dispensaries ("MMDs") offers an interesting illustration of the interplay between federal, state and local laws that regulate the same subject...more

California Cities and Counties Can Allow, Restrict, Limit or Exclude Facilities that Distribute Medical Marijuana

The California Supreme Court ruled unanimously on May 6 in City of Riverside v. Inland Empire Patients Health and Wellness Center that cities and counties have the right to ban medical marijuana dispensaries within their...more

California Cities And Counties Can “Just Say No” To Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

The California Supreme Court has unanimously upheld a local ban on medical marijuana dispensaries, holding that the ban was not preempted by state statutes governing medical marijuana. The decision does not come as a...more

Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Are Now Operating in Arizona

On December 3, 2012, an Arizona Superior Court judge issued an order holding that the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA) does not preempt the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act. Three days later, the first medical marijuana...more

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