Marijuana Law, Policy, and Authority


New Article on Enforcement of Marijuana Patents

I recommend readers check out Professor Bill McNichol’s (Rutgers) new article on the enforcement of marijuana patents: William J. McNichol, Jr., The New Highwayman: Enforcement of U.S. Patents on Cannabis Products, 101 J. of Patent and Trademark Office Society 24 (2019). (The link is to the SSRN version of the piece.) Here is the abstract:…

Posted by on June 6, 2019 in News, Updates, , , , , , , ,

The Collision Between Federal Immigration Law and State Marijuana Reforms

In mid-April, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued new guidance clarifying the immigration consequences of state marijuana reforms. The USCIS guidance can be found in Chapter 5 of the USCIS Policy Manual. The guidance was prompted by recent cases in which USCIS has denied the citizenship applications of immigrants, solely because those immigrants acknowledged…

Posted by on April 22, 2019 in News, Updates, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Federal Marijuana Banking Bill Advances (a Little)

As reported by Tom Angell, the House Committee on Financial Services just voted (45-15) to approve a version of the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act. You can find the full story at Forbes here. Here is the text of the original House bill (HR 1595): SAFE Banking Act (Original House version).   The Forbes article…

Posted by on March 30, 2019 in News, Updates, , , , , , , , , ,

UPDATE: Florida Passes Law Removing Ban on Smokable Marijuana

Back in the fall of 2016, Florida voters passed Amendment 2, which legalized the medical use of marijuana. When Florida lawmakers passed legislation to implement the Amendment, they imposed a limitation on how patients could consume marijuana: namely, they defined “medical use” to exclude smoking of marijuana: “(j) ‘Medical use’ . . . . does…

Posted by on March 20, 2019 in News, Updates, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

States have Proposed Hemp Regulations, but None Yet Approved by USDA

As I explained back in Nov., the 2018 Farm Bill makes some important changes to federal law governing marijuana. See New Congressional Farm Bill Legalizes Some Marijuana. By redefining “marijuana” to exclude hemp (i.e., cannabis plants with very low levels of THC), the Farm Bill legalizes the manufacture, distribution, and possession of those cannabis plants as…

Posted by on March 4, 2019 in News, Updates, , , , , , , , ,

NYT piece on popularity of CBD

Roni Caryn Rabin has a new piece in the New York Times discussing what’s behind the newfound popularity of CBD: CBD is Everywhere, but Scientists Still Don’t Know Much About It. As the title of the linked piece suggests, demand for CBD is booming, driven in large part by the belief that the substance can be used…

Posted by on February 26, 2019 in News, Updates, , , , , , ,

Federal Court Refuses (for now) to Order Return of 7,000 Pounds of “Hemp” Seized by State Police

In late January 2019, Idaho state police seized a shipment of nearly 7,000 pounds of cannabis plant material on its way from Oregon to Colorado. They have also charged the driver of the truck with felony marijuana trafficking. See coverage of the case at, here, and at the Idaho Statesman, here. The case raises…

Posted by on February 13, 2019 in News, Updates, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Interesting New Tax Court Decision on Section 280E

[Updated 1/24/19 to elaborate a bit on my two observations] Happy (belated) new year! Back in late November 2018, the United States Tax Court issued a noteworthy decision in a tax proceeding against Harborside Health Center, one of the nation’s largest (if not THE) largest state licensed marijuana suppliers. The full decision in Patients Mutual…

Posted by on January 23, 2019 in News, Updates, , , , , , , , , , , ,

New Congressional Farm Bill Legalizes Some Marijuana

[Updated 12/21 10:45 am: As expected, President Trump signed the Farm Bill into law on Dec. 20. The Commissioner of the FDA also issued a notable statement on the Bill (h/t to Doug Berman). The Commissioner emphasizes the points I make below regarding the ongoing limitations imposed by the FDCA on the use of CBD…

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

UPDATE: State Judge Holds Use of Race in Ohio Medical Marijuana Licensing Unconstitutional

A state trial judge has just held that Ohio’s use of racial preferences in the award of state medical marijuana cultivation licenses violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment (and the Ohio state constitution). The full decision in PharmaCann Ohio, LLC v. Ohio Department of Commerce can be found at Pharmacann Ohio v….

Posted by on November 20, 2018 in News, Updates, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,