Marijuana Law, Policy, and Authority

Updates (aka, The Blog)

The Marijuana Law, Policy, and Authority Blog

On this page, you’ll find all of my blog posts 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 posts on this page are organized chronologically, with the most recent post appearing first. The “Resources” tab (on the right) has additional pages that organize the posts differently, to fit different needs. One page organizes the posts by topic, indicating the specific sections of my book where each post most logically fits. The second page highlights a subset of posts that are of particular relevance to certain states.

According to the Bluebook, Rule 18.2, citations to the Blog should be formatted as follows:

Robert A. Mikos, [title of post], Marijuana L., Pol’y, & Auth. Blog ([date]), [web address].

For example:

Robert A. Mikos, The Looping Problem in Marijuana Sales, Marijuana L., Pol’y, & Auth. Blog (May 9, 2018), https://my.vanderbilt.edu/marijuanalaw/2018/05/the-looping-problem-in-marijuana-sales/.

 

The PTO has Overstepped its Statutory Authority in Refusing to Register Trademarks for Marijuana

The title of this post is the key takeaway of a new article I have recently posted on SSRN: Robert A. Mikos, Unauthorized and Unwise: The Lawful Use Requirement in Trademark Law, 75 Vand. L. Rev. __ (forthcoming January 2022). Here is the abstract: For decades, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) has...... KEEP READING

Posted on Wednesday, June 23rd, 2021 in News, Updates | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , Comments Off on The PTO has Overstepped its Statutory Authority in Refusing to Register Trademarks for Marijuana


Three Federal Courts (So Far) Have Held That State Residency Requirements for Cannabis Licenses (Probably) Violate the Dormant Commerce Clause

Federal courts in Michigan and Missouri have just issued rulings in lawsuits challenging those states’ residency requirements for cannabis licenses. Both courts found that the plaintiffs were likely to prevail on the merits of their challenges. In particular, both courts held that using residency to award cannabis licenses probably violated the Dormant Commerce Clause (DCC). The...... KEEP READING

Posted on Tuesday, June 22nd, 2021 in News, Updates | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Comments Off on Three Federal Courts (So Far) Have Held That State Residency Requirements for Cannabis Licenses (Probably) Violate the Dormant Commerce Clause


New Article on How Biden Administration Should Respond to State Psilocybin Legalization

On April 30, 2021, the Illinois Law Review posted a wonderful collection of essays commenting on President Biden’s First 100 Days. Contributors covered a variety of topics. The full collection of essays is available here. Jason Mazzone graciously asked me to lend my voice to the volume, and I decided to advise the Biden Administration...... KEEP READING

Posted on Wednesday, June 16th, 2021 in News, Updates | Tags: , , , , , , , , Comments Off on New Article on How Biden Administration Should Respond to State Psilocybin Legalization


Did Federal Judge Give Oklahoma a Free Pass to Violate the Constitution?

On June 4, 2021, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit challenging Oklahoma’s residency requirement for commercial cannabis licenses. The full decision in Original Investments v. Oklahoma is here: Original Investments v. Oklahoma (W.D. Okla. June 4, 2021) (it’s only about 5 pages long). The suit claimed that Oklahoma’s residency requirement violated the Dormant Commerce Clause (DCC). The...... KEEP READING

Posted on Thursday, June 10th, 2021 in News, Updates | Tags: , , , , , , , Comments Off on Did Federal Judge Give Oklahoma a Free Pass to Violate the Constitution?


State Restrictions on Interstate Commerce in Cannabis are Unconstitutional

The title of this post is the takeaway of a new law review article I have just posted on SSRN. The article challenges the widely held assumption that legalization states may ban imports of cannabis or otherwise prevent nonresidents from participating in their local cannabis markets. Here is the link to a nearly final draft...... KEEP READING

Posted on Wednesday, March 3rd, 2021 in News, Updates | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 1 Comment »


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...... KEEP READING

Posted on Wednesday, January 6th, 2021 in News, Updates | Tags: , , , , , , , , , Comments Off on South Dakota Bar Warns Lawyers that Counseling Marijuana Clients Might be Ethics Violation – Not First State to Say So


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:...... KEEP READING

Posted on Thursday, December 3rd, 2020 in News, Updates | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , 2 Comments »


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...... KEEP READING

Posted on Wednesday, November 4th, 2020 in News, Updates | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 1 Comment »


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...... KEEP READING

Posted on Wednesday, October 7th, 2020 in News, Updates | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , 1 Comment »


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?...... KEEP READING

Posted on Wednesday, September 30th, 2020 in News, Updates | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Comments Off on Why the President Cannot Legalize Marijuana via Executive Action


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...... KEEP READING

Posted on Tuesday, September 22nd, 2020 in News, Updates | Tags: , , , , , , , , , Comments Off on How the Trump Administration is Using International Law to Block Cannabis Research in the United States


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...... KEEP READING

Posted on Saturday, August 8th, 2020 in News, Updates | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , Comments Off on UPDATE: DEA (sort of ) Explains Why It’s Demanding Confidential State Licensing Records


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...... KEEP READING

Posted on Sunday, July 26th, 2020 in News, Updates | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 1 Comment »


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),...... KEEP READING

Posted on Saturday, June 27th, 2020 in News, Updates | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , Comments Off on Locals Sue, Seeking to Force Maine to Re-instate Residency Requirement for Marijuana Licenses


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...... KEEP READING

Posted on Monday, June 15th, 2020 in News, Updates | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Comments Off on New Paper on Murphy v. NCAA, Commandeering, and State Marijuana Reforms


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