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.

 

Only One State Has Not Yet Legalized Marijuana in Some Form . . .

While updating some of the charts and figures in my book, I discovered that, since early May, 2018, only one state in the nation has not yet legalized marijuana in some form for at least medical purposes. I won’t keep you waiting: it’s Idaho. At the start of the year, Idaho had some company. Kansas...... KEEP READING

Posted on Monday, July 16th, 2018 in News, Updates | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , No Comments »


New York State Department of Health Releases Report on Legalization

The New York Department of Health just released its report on legalization of marijuana in the empire state. The report had been commissioned by Gov. Andrew Cuomo back in January, 2018. The full report can be found here. The news media has previously discussed some contents of the report, but this is the first time the...... KEEP READING

Posted on Friday, July 13th, 2018 in News, Updates | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , No Comments »


UPDATE: Maine Supreme Court Holds State Worker Compensation Law Preempted

Last week the Maine Supreme Court issued its decision in Bourgoin v. Twin Rivers. For the full opinion, see here. I blogged about the case back in October: see Cases to Watch: Bourgoin v. Twin Rivers and Workers’ Compensation. In this post, I’ll briefly describe the court’s recent holding and then provide a few thoughts...... KEEP READING

Posted on Thursday, June 28th, 2018 in News, Updates | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Comments Off on UPDATE: Maine Supreme Court Holds State Worker Compensation Law Preempted


Two New Articles on the International Law Ramifications of State Marijuana Reforms

State marijuana reforms raise a host of nettlesome–and seldom discussed–questions about United States compliance with and the ultimate fate of international drug control treaties. Fortunately, two new articles focus on those questions and begin to fill the gap in the literature. The first is by Brian Blumenfed, an attorney and researcher: Pacta Sunt Servanda: State Legalization of Marijuana...... KEEP READING

Posted on Saturday, June 9th, 2018 in News, Updates | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Comments Off on Two New Articles on the International Law Ramifications of State Marijuana Reforms


Analysis of the Warren-Gardner STATES Act

[Update 6/8: I redrafted some of the language below for clarity and conciseness.] On June 7, Senators Elizabeth Warren (D MA) and Cory Gardner (R CO) formally introduced legislation to eliminate much of the conflict between state and federal marijuana laws. A full copy of the proposed legislation, called the “Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through...... KEEP READING

Posted on Thursday, June 7th, 2018 in News, Updates | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 4 Comments »


Should the Patent & Trademark Office Register Trademarks for Marijuana Products?

Two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to debate the question posed by the title of this post with Shabnam Malek, a pioneering trademark attorney with Brand & Branch, LLP. The debate was organized by the International Trademarks Association (INTA) for its annual meeting in Seattle, and it was expertly moderated by Dean Megan Carpenter...... KEEP READING

Posted on Wednesday, June 6th, 2018 in News, Updates | Tags: , , , , , , , , , Comments Off on Should the Patent & Trademark Office Register Trademarks for Marijuana Products?


Arizona Supreme Court says State May not Criminalize Possession of Medical Marijuana on College Campuses

On Wednesday, in Arizona v. Maestas, the Arizona Supreme Court invalidated a 2012 state statute that had criminalized the simple possession of medical marijuana on college campuses. The Court found that the statutory prohibition conflicted with a voter approved initiative—the 2010 Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA). The AMMA lists a handful of places where the legislature...... KEEP READING

Posted on Friday, May 25th, 2018 in News, Updates | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Comments Off on Arizona Supreme Court says State May not Criminalize Possession of Medical Marijuana on College Campuses


The Implications of Murphy v. NCAA for State Marijuana Reforms

[Updated for clarity] On Monday, the Supreme Court decided a case that should help insulate state marijuana legalization from preemption challenge. The decision in Murphy v. NCAA invalidated a federal law–the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA)—that had prohibited the states from (inter alia) “authoriz[ing] by law” sports gambling. 28 U.S.C. § 3702(1). I’ll summarize the...... KEEP READING

Posted on Thursday, May 17th, 2018 in News, Updates | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Comments Off on The Implications of Murphy v. NCAA for State Marijuana Reforms


The Looping Problem in Marijuana Sales

States commonly limit the quantity of marijuana that a licensed supplier may sell to a consumer (see book pages 462-463). For example, Colorado’s Retail Marijuana Code Rule 402 provides that “A Retail Marijuana Store and its employees are prohibited from Transferring more than one ounce of [marijuana] . . . in a single transaction to...... KEEP READING

Posted on Wednesday, May 9th, 2018 in News, Updates | Tags: , , , , , , , , , 2 Comments »


Two Interesting Developments in Maryland’s Medical Marijuana Law

The Maryland legislature just passed a bill amending the state’s medical marijuana law. The Governor is expected to sign the legislation, which can be viewed here. Two particular changes struck me as noteworthy: First, the bill adopts new—and carefully designed—measures to address racial disparities in the state-licensed commercial marijuana industry. As I discuss in the...... KEEP READING

Posted on Thursday, April 12th, 2018 in News, Updates | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Comments Off on Two Interesting Developments in Maryland’s Medical Marijuana Law


Marijuana, Opioids, and Some Thoughts on Empirical Research on Marijuana Policy

Back in February, I discussed research suggesting that legalizing marijuana could help combat the nation’s opioid epidemic. See Marijuana and the Opioid Crisis. The theory is that once marijuana is legalized some people will use marijuana in lieu of opioids to treat chronic pain. It is the reverse of the gateway hypothesis that was once...... KEEP READING

Posted on Monday, April 9th, 2018 in News, Updates | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , Comments Off on Marijuana, Opioids, and Some Thoughts on Empirical Research on Marijuana Policy


Congress Renews DOJ Spending Rider

The $1.3 trillion budget Congress passed on March 23, 2018 included a rider that continues to bar the DOJ from enforcing the federal marijuana ban in some circumstances. It is identical in substance to the Rohrabacher-Farr (or Rohrabacher-Blumenauer) amendments Congress has passed each budget cycle since 2014 (see book pages 353-358). The latest rider will...... KEEP READING

Posted on Wednesday, March 28th, 2018 in News, Updates | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Comments Off on Congress Renews DOJ Spending Rider


PharmaCann v. BV Development: Another Land Use Issue Confronts Marijuana Suppliers

As discussed in the book, marijuana suppliers have a relatively difficult time leasing real property for their operations (see pages 655-662). The problem stems from a provision of the federal Controlled Substances Act CSA) that makes it a crime for a landlord to lease any real property “for the purpose of unlawfully manufacturing . ....... KEEP READING

Posted on Wednesday, March 21st, 2018 in News, Updates | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Comments Off on PharmaCann v. BV Development: Another Land Use Issue Confronts Marijuana Suppliers


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...... KEEP READING

Posted on Thursday, March 15th, 2018 in News, Updates | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , Comments Off on California Takes on Weedmaps Over Unlicensed Marijuana Shops


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...... KEEP READING

Posted on Thursday, March 8th, 2018 in News, Updates | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Comments Off on DOJ Suit Challenging California Sanctuary Laws Could Have Ramifications for State Marijuana Reforms as Well