Marijuana Law, Policy, and Authority

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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, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


How the Trump Administration is Using International Law to Block Cannabis Research in the United States

I’ve just posted a short paper that will soon appear in the American Journal of International Law Unbound (the journal’s online companion). The paper illuminates how the Trump Administration has used international law to block research on marijuana in the United States. The full paper, Using One Dying Regime to Save Another: The Influence of International Drug…

Posted by on September 22, 2020 in News, Updates, , , , , , , , , ,


UPDATE: DEA (sort of ) Explains Why It’s Demanding Confidential State Licensing Records

As I blogged back in July 2020, the DEA has subpoenaed the California Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC), demanding records the agency has gathered on a handful of state-licensed cannabis companies. See DEA Subpoena of California BCC Licensing Records is Probably Unconstitutional. The records include cannabis inventory reports submitted by the licensees. Not surprisingly, California considers…

Posted by on August 8, 2020 in News, Updates, , , , , , , , , , , , ,


DEA subpoena of California BCC licensing records is probably unconstitutional

Back in January, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued an administrative subpoena to the California Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC), demanding the state agency turn over information regarding a handful of state-licensed cannabis companies. The information includes license applications and shipping manifests from the companies. At the time, the BCC refused to comply, claiming…

Posted by on July 26, 2020 in News, Updates, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Locals Sue, Seeking to Force Maine to Re-instate Residency Requirement for Marijuana Licenses

As I blogged about earlier, the state of Maine recently abandoned a residency requirement for obtaining commercial adult use marijuana licenses. See Company Sues Maine for Discriminating Against Non-residents When Licensing Marijuana Businesses and UPDATE: Maine Drops Residency Requirement for Adult-Use Commercial Licenses, Moots Legal Challenge. Residency had been expressly required by the state’s adult use marijuana law (the 2018 Marijuana Legalization Act),…

Posted by on June 27, 2020 in News, Updates, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


New Paper on Murphy v. NCAA, Commandeering, and State Marijuana Reforms

I’ve just posted a new paper analyzing Murphy v. NCAA, the Supreme Court’s 2018 decision invalidating a federal statute that barred the states from legalizing sports gambling: Murphy’s Mistake, and How to Fix it (SSRN). I previously blogged about the case here. The new paper discusses the case and its implications for state marijuana reforms in much greater depth. The paper has also been…

Posted by on June 15, 2020 in News, Updates, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


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