Marijuana Law, Policy, and Authority


California Issues (Draft) Formal Ethics Opinion for Attorneys Advising Marijuana Clients

It escaped my attention earlier, but it looks like the California Bar Association in June issued guidance for California-licensed attorneys informing them of what legal services they may (and may not) ethically provide to marijuana clients. The 16 page opinion from the State Bar Standing Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct (COPRAC) can be found…

Posted by on November 14, 2019 in News, Updates, , , , , , , , , , ,

California Takes on Weedmaps Over Unlicensed Marijuana Shops

In February 2018, California regulators demanded that Weedmaps stop advertising marijuana shops that aren’t licensed by the state. The confrontation has raised some interesting legal issues concerning the liability of third parties (the subject of Chapters 11-14 of my book) which I discuss below. But first, let me provide some necessary background on Weedmaps and…

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

DOJ Suit Challenging California Sanctuary Laws Could Have Ramifications for State Marijuana Reforms as Well

On March 6 the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a lawsuit challenging California’s sanctuary state policies as preempted. Those sanctuary policies are designed to mitigate state concerns over the enforcement of federal immigration laws. The DOJ’s Brief in Support of its Motion for a Preliminary Injunction provides a useful summary of the challenged state laws…

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

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

UPDATE (2/20/20): The California Grower’s Association voluntarily dropped its lawsuit back in January of 2019. See Scott Rodd, Growers association drops lawsuit against state over permitting large-scale cannabis cultivators, Sacramento Business Journal. However, the issues discussed below remain relevant as states ponder whether / how to regulate the structure of the licensed marijuana industry. An association of…

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

Do (Should) State Marijuana Reforms Apply Retroactively?

Suppose that Danica violates her state’s marijuana prohibition. If the state later repeals that prohibition, does (and should) the repeal apply retroactively to Danica’s offense? To date, most states have failed to explicitly address this question. But California and Colorado have recently begun offering relief for some marijuana offenses that pre-date their respective reforms. California’s…

Posted by on December 2, 2017 in News, Updates, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

California’s Public Education Campaign

When states legalize marijuana for adults, they commonly launch campaigns to educate the public on how to use the drug safely. The book discusses some examples drawn from early adopters, like Colorado’s “Good to Know” campaign (see pages 232-35 and 500, n.3). Now California is getting in on the act. Last month the state department…

Posted by on October 20, 2017 in News, Updates, , , , , , , , , ,

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