Marijuana Law, Policy, and Authority


The PTO has Overstepped its Statutory Authority in Refusing to Register Trademarks for Marijuana

The title of this post is the key takeaway of a new article I have recently posted on SSRN: Robert A. Mikos, Unauthorized and Unwise: The Lawful Use Requirement in Trademark Law, 75 Vand. L. Rev. __ (forthcoming January 2022). Here is the abstract: For decades, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) has…

Posted by on June 23, 2021 in News, Updates, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Three Federal Courts (So Far) Have Held That State Residency Requirements for Cannabis Licenses (Probably) Violate the Dormant Commerce Clause

Federal courts in Michigan and Missouri have just issued rulings in lawsuits challenging those states’ residency requirements for cannabis licenses. Both courts found that the plaintiffs were likely to prevail on the merits of their challenges. In particular, both courts held that using residency to award cannabis licenses probably violated the Dormant Commerce Clause (DCC). The…

Posted by on June 22, 2021 in News, Updates, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

New Article on How Biden Administration Should Respond to State Psilocybin Legalization

On April 30, 2021, the Illinois Law Review posted a wonderful collection of essays commenting on President Biden’s First 100 Days. Contributors covered a variety of topics. The full collection of essays is available here. Jason Mazzone graciously asked me to lend my voice to the volume, and I decided to advise the Biden Administration…

Posted by on June 16, 2021 in News, Updates, , , , , , , , ,

Did Federal Judge Give Oklahoma a Free Pass to Violate the Constitution?

On June 4, 2021, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit challenging Oklahoma’s residency requirement for commercial cannabis licenses. The full decision in Original Investments v. Oklahoma is here: Original Investments v. Oklahoma (W.D. Okla. June 4, 2021) (it’s only about 5 pages long). The suit claimed that Oklahoma’s residency requirement violated the Dormant Commerce Clause (DCC). The…

Posted by on June 10, 2021 in News, Updates, , , , , , , ,

State Restrictions on Interstate Commerce in Cannabis are Unconstitutional

The title of this post is the takeaway of a new law review article I have just posted on SSRN. The article challenges the widely held assumption that legalization states may ban imports of cannabis or otherwise prevent nonresidents from participating in their local cannabis markets. Here is the link to a nearly final draft…

Posted by on March 3, 2021 in News, Updates, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

South Dakota Bar Warns Lawyers that Counseling Marijuana Clients Might be Ethics Violation – Not First State to Say So

In fall 2020, South Dakota voters approved measures to legalize both medical and recreational marijuana. See Marijuana Reforms Win Big at the Polls. In January 2021, however, the South Dakota State Bar Association warned attorneys that providing legal services to marijuana businesses would violate the South Dakota Rules of Professional Conduct (i.e., the bar’s code of…

Posted by on January 6, 2021 in News, Updates, , , , , , , , , ,

What are the Possible Ramifications of the UN’s Vote to Reschedule Marijuana?

On Wednesday, the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs narrowly voted to re-schedule cannabis under the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961. In particular, the Commission approved a recommendation from the World Health Organization (WHO) to remove cannabis from Schedule IV of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961. (The recommendation in full stated:…

Posted by on December 3, 2020 in News, Updates, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Marijuana Reforms Win Big at the Polls

On November 3, five states had measures on the ballot to legalize recreational and / or medical marijuana: Arizona, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota. Voters in Mississippi, Montana, and South Dakota actually had more than one measure to consider. Notably, all of proposed ballot measures passed, most by hefty margins. This is the…

Posted by on November 4, 2020 in News, Updates, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

UPDATE: Federal Judge Finds that State Residency Requirements for Marijuana Licensing are Unconstitutional

As I blogged in the summer, Maine has become a hotbed of litigation concerning residency requirements for marijuana licenses. Many states (including Maine, for a time) limit the ability of non-residents to own and operate marijuana businesses. The litigation began when a Delaware firm (Wellness Connection) challenged a provision of Maine’s new recreational marijuana law…

Posted by on October 7, 2020 in News, Updates, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Why the President Cannot Legalize Marijuana via Executive Action

I have just posted a paper addressing the question posed by the title of this post. Here’s a link to the paper on SSRN: POTUS and Pot: Why the President May Not (and Should Not) Legalize Marijuana Through Executive Action And here’s the abstract: Could the President legalize marijuana, without waiting for Congress to act?…

Posted by on September 30, 2020 in News, Updates, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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