The Week in Weed: May 2021

Seyfarth Shaw LLP

[author: Susan Ryan]

Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.

Two bipartisan cannabis research bills start their legislative journey. The Supreme Court refuses to hear a 280E case. Attorney General Garland reiterates his disinterest in prosecuting marijuana users abiding by state law. The Texas legislature moves on cannabis decriminalization. And finally, you can now purchase Amish CBD.


A bipartisan, bicameral group recently introduced the VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act. This bill directs the Department of Veterans Affairs to conduct research into the efficacy of medical marijuana in treating veterans with PTSD. Also this week, another bipartisan, bicameral group introduced the Marijuana Data Collection Act. This bill requires the federal government to study the effects of legal cannabis on state economies, public health, criminal justice, and employment.


Moving to the judicial branch, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear a case involving section 280E of the Internal Revenue Code this week. The case began in 2015 in the U.S. Tax Court, which threw out an attempt to appeal an IRS tax bill decision. Then, the 9th Circuit affirmed the Tax Court’s decision. With the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear the case, the companies will have to pay up. This is not the first time the Court has refused to hear a 280E case; they did the same thing in 2019.


Attorney General Merrick Garland stated that he did not believe prosecuting marijuana users in states where cannabis is legal is a good use of the Justice Department’s resources. His remarks came during a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing during which he was asked about large-scale trafficking. In other state-law protection news, a bipartisan group of House members sent a letter to House leadership asking that the DOJ be prevented from prosecuting those who follow state cannabis laws. The request would preserve protections for medical marijuana companies and users and add protections for the adult-use industry.


In state news, the Texas House passed several bills dealing with cannabis. One would decriminalize marijuana possession. The second would expand the state’s medical marijuana program, and the third would reduce penalties for possession of some concentrates. The measures now move to the Senate – further bulletins as events warrant.


If you’ve been hoping to purchase CBD from Amish vendors, you are in luck.

Stay safe and be well everyone – we’ll be off next week, so we’ll see you again on May 21.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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