Marijuana Law, Policy, and Authority

Updates

On this page, you’ll find blog posts and links to external sites discussing important new developments in the field of marijuana law and policy. Where applicable, the posts will explain where the new materials fit in the book.

 

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...... KEEP READING

Posted on Friday, February 16th, 2018 in News, Updates | Tags: , , , , , , , , No Comments »


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...... KEEP READING

Posted on Thursday, February 15th, 2018 in News, Updates | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , No Comments »


Marijuana and the Opioid Crisis

[Updated 2/9 for exposition and clarity] 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 Can Save Lives, Friedman lauds...... KEEP READING

Posted on Thursday, February 8th, 2018 in News, Updates | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 1 Comment »


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,...... KEEP READING

Posted on Saturday, February 3rd, 2018 in News, Updates | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , No Comments »


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...... KEEP READING

Posted on Wednesday, January 31st, 2018 in News, Updates | Tags: , , , , , , , Comments Off on Panel Discussion of The Promise and Pitfalls of the Marijuana Justice Act


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...... KEEP READING

Posted on Wednesday, January 24th, 2018 in News, Updates | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 1 Comment »


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...... KEEP READING

Posted on Thursday, January 18th, 2018 in News, Updates | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , Comments Off on New Study Defends Constitutionality of Racial / Gender Preferences in the Award of State Marijuana Licenses


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 .)...... KEEP READING

Posted on Saturday, January 13th, 2018 in News, Updates | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , Comments Off on How U.S. Attorneys Have Responded to the Rescission of Marijuana Enforcement Guidance


Why Teach and Write About Marijuana Law?

On the thought it might be of some interest to readers, I’ve posted below an interview I recently did with my publisher on why I teach and write about marijuana law (and related questions). I’ve discussed these issues before in the media, in blog posts, and in lectures, but this is probably the most complete account...... KEEP READING

Posted on Thursday, January 11th, 2018 in News | Comments Off on Why Teach and Write About Marijuana Law?


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...... KEEP READING

Posted on Friday, January 5th, 2018 in News, Updates | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , Comments Off on Jeff Sessions Rescinds Obama-Era Enforcement Guidance: Five Observations


Call for Papers on the Economics of Marijuana and Drug Policy

Economic Inquiry, a peer-reviewed economics journal, has issued a call for papers on the economics of marijuana and drug policy. Submissions are due March 1, 2018. Interested authors can find out more about the CFP here.... KEEP READING

Posted on Saturday, December 30th, 2017 in News | Tags: , , , , , , Comments Off on Call for Papers on the Economics of Marijuana and Drug Policy


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...... KEEP READING

Posted on Friday, December 29th, 2017 in News, Updates | Tags: , , , , , , Comments Off on Is Small Marijuana Doomed?


Cases to Watch: Lawsuit Challenges Florida Restriction on Smokable Marijuana

In fall 2016, Florida voters approved an initiative (Amendment 2) to legalize the “medical use” of marijuana. In June 2017, the Florida legislature passed a bill to implement Amendment 2. One provision of that bill defined permissible “medical use” to exclude the use of marijuana “in a form for smoking . . .” Fla. Stat....... KEEP READING

Posted on Wednesday, December 20th, 2017 in News, Updates | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Comments Off on Cases to Watch: Lawsuit Challenges Florida Restriction on Smokable Marijuana


Cases to Watch: Applicant Sues to Block Ohio from Using Racial Preferences in the Award of Commercial Marijuana Licenses

In the book, I discuss the lack of racial diversity in the state-licensed commercial marijuana industry, as well as the measures states have adopted to boost minority participation in that industry (pages 454, 520-25). There are several steps states could take to improve diversity, but one of the most direct is to employ some form...... KEEP READING

Posted on Friday, December 15th, 2017 in News, Updates | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , Comments Off on Cases to Watch: Applicant Sues to Block Ohio from Using Racial Preferences in the Award of Commercial Marijuana Licenses


It’s Getting Easier for Marijuana Companies to Open Bank Accounts

Stateline has a nice article today (posted here) suggesting that marijuana suppliers are increasingly able to obtain financial services from banks and credit unions. The article notes that as of June 2017, roughly 400 banks and credit unions reported providing services to marijuana-related businesses. It suggests that some states (like Washington) have facilitated access by helping these banks comply with the Treasury...... KEEP READING

Posted on Wednesday, December 6th, 2017 in News, Updates | Tags: , , , , , , , , , Comments Off on It’s Getting Easier for Marijuana Companies to Open Bank Accounts