On Monday, July 13, 2015, President Barack Obama announced that he would commute the sentences of 46 nonviolent drug offenders held in federal prisons.
Author Archives: Anne Wallace
Earlier this month, the Drug Policy Alliance released its report, “Marijuana Legalization in Washington After 1 Year of Retail Sales and 2.5 Years of Legal Possession.” It is essentially a story of what did not happen to crime rates and usage among youth. But industry watchers know a lot has happened in Washington State over the last year.
Anirban Basu, chairman and chief executive officer of Sage Policy Group, a Baltimore economic and policy consulting firm, reportedly sees a bright future for medical marijuana in Maryland, describing it as a “new multimillion-dollar industry … that will create hundreds of jobs.”
The New York Times reported on Friday, July 3, that President Obama is expected to commute the sentences of dozens of nonviolent drug offenders during the next few weeks. But most drug convictions happen under state law. Is there any relief on the horizon for nonviolent drug offenders over-sentenced in state courts?
On Friday, June 26, 2015, Maryland published the text of proposed regulations that will shape the medical marijuana industry in that state.
As the legalized marijuana industry booms, entrepreneurs are becoming increasingly mindful of the need to protect intellectual property and brands. The fact that cannabis is a Schedule I substance, however, complicates the situation and calls for some creative solutions.
The Department of Health and Human Services announced that researchers who want to conduct non-federally funded research involving marijuana will no longer have to submit study proposals for Public Health Service review.
Oregon’s Measure 91 permits four license types for the recreational cannabis industry: producer, processor, wholesaler and retailer. A company can apply for all four, thus setting itself up as a vertically integrated operation; it can apply for one only; or it can mix and match, to carve out its own niche.
Negotiating the paperwork to get a medical marijuana card in Washington, D.C., may be difficult for someone who is struggling with illness or simply not adept at filling out forms. Finding a doctor who will recommend marijuana can be even harder.
Tradiv expects to roll out the commercial version of its software in Colorado this September and in Washington and Oregon in the months thereafter. The model calls for adapting an existing e-commerce engine to address the peculiar issues that cannabusinesses face in accessing the market.
“Ban the Box” or Fair Chance to Work laws are state statutes that limit an employer’s ability to ask an interviewee about arrests and convictions. Most job seekers assume that checking the box banishes an application to oblivion.
Etain, LLC, is one of what will likely be hundreds of applicants for the five medical marijuana licenses to be awarded by the state of New York in July.
On May 6, 2015, Colorado legislators approved a measure that appears to ease restrictions on out-of-state investment in marijuana businesses.
Diversity, like love and peace, is a virtue widely embraced. Getting it done takes working through the grittier details, though.
Since the central issue for the legal marijuana industry is the classification of marijuana as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act, a new focus on re-classification could be promising.
It is often thought that the economic future for recreational marijuana is relatively limited. The people who use it for fun will eventually move from the black market to the legal market.
When banks close the accounts of legal marijuana businesses, they frequently cite the prohibitive cost of following Department of Justice and Financial Crimes Enforcement Network guidance about complying with the Bank Secrecy Act.
A Missouri woman recently claimed Missouri’s “Right to Farm” constitutional provision as a defense in a felony prosecution for growing nine marijuana plants in her basement.
The recent Investor Report by New Frontier Financials has found a strong correlation between illicit marijuana use and adoption of medical marijuana laws.
“We’re way past ‘back of the envelope,’ now,” said Giadha Aguirre DeCarcer, Founder and CEO of New Frontier Financials.
The United Food and Commercial Workers union has been organizing employees in the U.S. cannabis and hemp industries since 2008. Its Cannabis Workers Division now represents several thousand workers in six states and Washington, D.C.
Amanda Ostrowitz, attorney, co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer of CannaRegs Ltd, winner of last fall’s Marijuana Tech Startup Competition, has announced that it will launch its web-accessible database of medical, retail and hemp regulations in late May 2015.
Carbon pollution could be used as a powerful argument against legalization, but preventing it could also be a powerful principle for shaping the legal industry.
At the Marijuana Investor Summit on April 22, 2015, attorneys Marc Ross, partner at Sichensia Ross Friedman Ference LLP, and Michael McGrory, partner at SmithAmundsen LLC, explored the history of marijuana laws and the factors that will shape future marijuana legislation.
Shockingly, despite the fact that the legal industry relies on legalization advocacy efforts, very little funding for three of the “Big Four” of marijuana advocacy organizations comes from within the industry.
Ever since the SEC cracked down on marijuana-related investments in 2014, potential investors have been painfully aware of the need to conduct adequate due diligence on the early-stage companies that come courting.
The American Academy of Neurology has reported promising results in early trials of the drug, Epidiolex, which is 98 percent pure cannabidiol, in treating severe forms of pediatric epilepsy, including Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.
On April 15, 2015, U.S. District Judge Kimberley Mueller denied the defendants’ motion to dismiss the case against them on the basis that their equal protection rights under the 14th Amendment had been violated because there is no rational basis for treating marijuana as a Schedule I substance.
On April 9, 2015, Rep. Earl Blumenauer and Sen. Ron Wyden announced that they will introduce the Small Business Tax Equity Act of 2015 in Congress next week. The purpose of the bill is to amend Section 280E of the Internal Revenue Code.
We have become more sophisticated in the ways that we discuss marijuana legalization since former Texas Rep. Ron Paul last ran for President in 2012.
On April 3, 2015, the Washington state Senate approved a measure that would replace the current three-tiered excise tax on cannabis with a single 37 percent tax to be paid on retail sales.
When it was signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in July 2014, New York’s Compassionate Care Act became one of the most restrictive medical marijuana laws in the country. Regulations proposed in December and expected to be final by this spring appear to limit patient access even further.
Section 280E of the Internal Revenue Code sharply limits the deductions legal marijuana businesses can take against federal income tax liability. It may be the biggest threat to the financial viability of many fledgling cannabusinesses.
Medical marijuana is a legal industry in Israel, estimated to be worth $40 million. It has benefitted greatly from 50 years of research and development at academic institutions like the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
State licensing rules won’t determine who gets rich in the green rush, but they will determine who won’t. Making the rules is a process that involves balancing policy objectives and weighing the interests of consumers, investors, businesses and the state.
If Brandon Coats, the quadriplegic who was fired solely because of off-duty legal medical marijuana use at his home in Colorado, had lived and worked in New York, would his job have been protected?
Were the law to change in ways that would permit rigorous scientific research into the medical potential for marijuana, patient outcomes could improve and a whole new world of pharmaceutical investment could open up.
One of the announced goals of Initiative 91, through which Oregonians voted to legalize recreational marijuana, is to prevent the revenue from the sale of marijuana from going to criminal enterprises, gangs and cartels.
Smith v. Hickenlooper, the latest lawsuit seeking to overturn Colorado’s marijuana laws, was filed on March 5, 2015, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado on behalf of a group of sheriffs and prosecutors in Colorado, Nebraska and Kansas.
On February 13, 2015, the Washington state Senate adopted Bill 5052, introduced by Republican Sen. Ann Rivers in an attempt to combine the state’s recreational and medical marijuana industries.
One of the greater obstacles to legalization in California is early success. Humboldt County, in the heart of the Emerald Triangle, is often seen as the cradle of the legal cannabis industry.
On Saturday, February 28, 2015, ArcView Market Research and Viridian Capital Research will co-host a session on “Funding Your Cannabusiness” at the Comfytree Cannabis Convention in Washington, D.C.
On February 19, 2015, Safe Streets Alliance filed two lawsuits in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado in another effort to derail the state’s legal marijuana industry.
Tourism is a big industry in the District, but these tourists may not put much money directly into the city’s coffers without tax revenue from marijuana sales.
On Friday, February 13, 2015, Maryland state delegate Curt Anderson introduced HB 911, a bill that would tax and regulate marijuana like alcohol.
On Monday, February 9, the Council of the District of Columbia was scheduled to hold a hearing on Bill 21-0023 that would establish a comprehensive system for licensing and regulating retail sales of marijuana.
Fourth Corner has not opened, and it is not clear when it will. The problem is with the Federal Reserve master account.
The state legislatures that tackled marijuana law reform over the past several years stopped short of righting old wrongs. A policy of retroactive ameliorative relief may be part of the solution.
Loretta Lynch, President Barack Obama’s nominee to succeed Eric Holder as attorney general, began confirmation hearings on January 28, 2015. She made news immediately by saying that she does not support the legalization of marijuana.
The Federal Drug Administration is willing to support continued research into a treatment option that is based on Dronabinol, a cannabinoid, which is one of the many non-THC derivatives of the cannabis plant.