Marijuana Law, Policy, and Authority

Updates

The Corporate Tax Cut Might Have Done More for Marijuana Suppliers than Repealing Section 280E Would Have

As most readers will know, state licensed marijuana businesses pay a comparatively high effective federal tax rate, because a special provision of the federal tax code (section 280E) bars them from deducting all but their cost of goods sold (COGS) when calculating their federal tax liability. In other words, these businesses may not deduct their…

Posted by on February 16, 2018 in News, Updates, , , , , , , , ,


Cases to Watch: Minnesota Prosecuting Two Employees of State-Licensed Medical Marijuana Supplier

Since it legalized medical marijuana back in 2014, Minnesota has licensed two firms to supply the drug to qualifying patients: Leafline and Minnesota Medical Solutions (MMS). MMS is owned by Vireo Health, which also owns a firm licensed by the state of New York to supply medical marijuana to that state’s qualifying patients: Vireo Health…

Posted by on February 15, 2018 in News, Updates, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Marijuana and the Opioid Crisis

[Updated 2/19 to add further discussion of Powell et al. study.] The nation’s opioid crisis has sparked a lively debate about the relationship between marijuana and the use of harder drugs like opioid painkillers. Richard Friedman is the latest to weigh in on this debate. In a New York Times op-ed posted February 8, Marijuana…

Posted by on February 8, 2018 in News, Updates, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Cases to Watch: California Growers Association vs. California Department of Food and Agriculture

An association of small California marijuana cultivators has just sued state regulators for failing to restrict the size of licensed marijuana cultivators. The lawsuit stems from concerns over Big Marijuana (discussed in the book on pages 512-515 and in a previous post here). If successful, the suit could reduce concentration in California’s nascent recreational marijuana industry,…

Posted by on February 3, 2018 in News, Updates, , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Panel Discussion of The Promise and Pitfalls of the Marijuana Justice Act

On January 3, 2018, I had the pleasure of moderating a vibrant panel discussion on race and marijuana law at the American Association of Law Schools (AALS) annual conference in San Diego. I thoroughly enjoyed the panel, which discussed a broad range of topics, including the Marijuana Justice Act proposed by Senator Cory Booker (discussed…

Posted by on January 31, 2018 in News, Updates, , , , , , , ,


Some Observations About How Vermont Just Legalized Recreational Marijuana

On January 22, 2018, Vermont became the ninth state (and the tenth comparable jurisdiction, if we include D.C.) to legalize recreational marijuana. Vermont’s new law can be found here. Vermont’s law is similar in many respects to other recreational marijuana measures. Most importantly, it declares that: [A] person 21 years of age or older who…

Posted by on January 24, 2018 in News, Updates, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


New Study Defends Constitutionality of Racial / Gender Preferences in the Award of State Marijuana Licenses

At least two states (Maryland and Ohio) have attempted to use racial preferences in the award of their commercial marijuana licenses. However, as discussed in the book, Maryland’s licensing board abandoned that state’s preferences in 2015 after a Deputy State Attorney General wrote a brief letter suggesting the preferences would likely violate the Equal Protection…

Posted by on January 18, 2018 in News, Updates, , , , , , , , , , , , ,


How U.S. Attorneys Have Responded to the Rescission of Marijuana Enforcement Guidance

[Revised 1/14 for clarity and updates.] Now that the Attorney General has rescinded Obama-era marijuana enforcement guidance, local federal prosecutors (U.S. Attorneys) arguably have more leeway to pursue legal action against the state-licensed recreational marijuana industry. (The state-licensed medical marijuana industry is still protected by spending restrictions Congress has imposed on the DOJ, at least under the current federal budget .)…

Posted by on January 13, 2018 in News, Updates, , , , , , , , , , , ,


Jeff Sessions Rescinds Obama-Era Enforcement Guidance: Five Observations

[Post has been updated and revised again to add new links: Jan. 12, 2018] On January 4, 2018, Attorney General Jeff Sessions formally rescinded enforcement guidance that had been issued by the Obama Administration DOJ as far back as 2009. To simplify somewhat, that guidance had urged United States Attorneys not to enforce the federal…

Posted by on January 5, 2018 in News, Updates, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Is Small Marijuana Doomed?

FiveThirtyEight has just published an article detailing some interesting trends in the marijuana market in Washington state. I found two statistics particularly striking. First, the average retail price of a gram of flower has dropped 77 percent from July 2014 to December 2017. The average price is now $7.45 versus $32.48 when stores first opened…

Posted by on December 29, 2017 in News, Updates, , , , , , ,