Does the consumer have a legally protected right to cannabis at a price and of a quality determined by free market forces? Will this idea play a role in shaping state licensing schemes?
Author Archives: Anne Wallace
Australia Takes Steps Toward Medical Cannabis
Ninety-one percent of Australians reportedly favor legalization of marijuana for medical purposes. The strongest support comes from the over-50 set. In December, the federal government created a nationally-consistent licensing scheme to regulate the cultivation of cannabis for medicinal and scientific purposes.
Could Spanish-Style Cannabis Clubs Drive Tourism Dollars?
Cannabis tourism without cannabis clubs might strike some as the quintessential definition of a lost business opportunity.
Rule Change May Permit Out-of-State Financing in Washington State
The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board is considering rule changes that would allow more out-of-state financing in Washington’s cannabis industry. If adopted, the changes could go into effect as early as March 24.
Growth Prompts Tradiv to Hire Todd Palmieri as New CEO
On Jan. 12, 2016, Tradiv, an emerging online cannabis wholesale marketplace, announced that Todd Palmieri would succeed founder Aeron Sullivan as Chief Executive Officer and serve on the company’s board.
5 Trademark Tips for Marijuana Entrepreneurs
Kieran Doyle, partner at the New York firm of Cowan, Liebowitz & Latman, recently shared insights with MJINews about the particular challenge of securing trademark protection for cannabis products.
Is the Fight Over Federal Preemption Inevitable?
If the legal marijuana industry has to go into a dirt fight about federal preemption, the results may not be favorable. But Fourth Corner’s stated goal is clarity.
Third Michigan Legalization Petition Joins the Fray
Michigan now has a third full adult use legalization initiative in the signature gathering phase: MILegalize, Michigan Cannabis Control and Revenue Act and the most recent contender, Abrogate Prohibition Michigan, the least restrictive of the three.
Sparks Fly in Fourth Corner Hearing
On Dec. 28, 2015, the United States District Court for the District of Colorado heard oral arguments in Fourth Corner Credit Union v. Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
Most Likely to Succeed in 2016
Marijuana activists and political junkies can barely wait for 2016 to begin, and the list-making has been in full flower for months. But full adult-use legalization may depend as much on the nuts and bolts of petition deadlines or legislative calendars as it does on history, social attitudes and the state of medical marijuana regulation.
Marketing Marijuana to Women as a Wellness Alternative
Steve DeAngelo, founder and CEO of Harborside Health Center, believes that marijuana is better understood not along the usual medical/recreational divide, but as an essential component of wellness.
Top 10 Tips for Cannabusiness Debt Financing, Plus One
Speaking at the High Times Business Summit 2015 in Washington, D.C., Scott Jordan, Director of Business Development for Dynamic Alternative Finance, laid out his top 10 tips for cannabusinesses forced to think outside the box for financing. Then there was an extra that may trump all others.
Nic Easley Calls for Federal Regulation of Cannabis Agriculture
For all the positive vibes surrounding cannabis, Nic Easley, CEO and founder of Comprehensive Cannabis Consulting, reminded an audience at the High Times Business Summit 2015 in Washington, D.C., that commercial marijuana growing is industrial agriculture.
Merrill Lynch High on Marijuana
No one supposes that the core business of Bank of America, Merrill Lynch’s parent company, is social justice. But social investing is not a new idea.
Could Epidiolex Launch in 2017?
GW Pharma is reportedly ramping up production of Epidiolex in anticipation of FDA approval and the significant commercial demand for the drug that would follow.
Giadha Aguirre DeCarcer Speaks to Women Grow DC
On Dec. 4, 2015, Giadha Aguirre DeCarcer, Founder and CEO of New Frontier, spoke to the Women Grow DC meeting. The message in a nutshell was that now is the time and cannabis is the place for entrepreneurship. She described her own story as an example of the unique opportunities afforded to women and men in a new industry
CannLabs Loses Luster as Fallout Continues From Founder’s Termination
On Nov. 24, 2015, CannLabs closed its Denver laboratory and laid off as many as 15 people. Some question the company’s future viability. So what happened?
Will the Next Wave of Medical States Undo the Coats Decision?
The Coats decision may ultimately be remembered as an aberration, a false start in the effort to figure out marijuana regulation in the early days.
Vermont Entrepreneurs Propose New Economic Model for Cannabis
The Vermont Cannabis Collaborative, aided by Colorado law firm Vicente Sederberg and the Marijuana Policy Group, a Denver-based consulting group, has issued a report that proposes an economic model for an adult-use cannabis industry in Vermont.
MMJ Moves a Step Forward in Pennsylvania
On Nov. 18, 2015, the Pennsylvania House Rules Committee voted overwhelmingly in favor of a bill that would legalize medical marijuana in the state. SB3 now goes to the full House, which could vote on it as early as today, Nov. 23, 2015. The bill has the support of Gov. Tom Wolf, so House approval is the last step.
Squaxin Island Tribe Opens First Tribal Marijuana Store in Washington
At 4:20 p.m. on Nov. 12, 2015, the Squaxin Island Tribe opened its retail marijuana store, “Elevation.” The shop is reportedly the first tribal recreational marijuana store to operate under a compact with Washington state.
Recreational Legalization Gets a Hearing in New Jersey
On Monday, Nov. 16, 2015, the New Jersey Senate’s Judiciary Committee will hear testimony about whether to legalize, tax and regulate marijuana like alcohol. Toward those ends, Sen. Nicholas Scutari, chair of the committee, introduced S1896 early in the session, but the bill and a companion Assembly bill have languished in committee.
South Dakota Tribe Halts Work on Marijuana Resort
On Saturday, Nov. 7, the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe burned its first marijuana crop, reportedly worth millions of dollars, and stopped development of a first-ever marijuana resort to be constructed on the reservation.
Logistics Trust Seeks $5 Million for Doobster Development
On Sept. 30, 2015, Logistics Trust Inc. issued a private placement memorandum, seeking up to $5 million in equity investment from accredited investors for funds to be used for further marketing and development of its Doobster on-demand mobile platform, which it touts as a multi-purpose cannabis ordering and logistics app.
Why Marijuana Crashed and Burned in Ohio
Issue 3 is dead. Election officials called it early Tuesday night, declaring that ResponsibleOhio’s Marijuana Legalization Initiative had failed to garner the majority support necessary to become law.
Tradiv Scores $1 Million in Seed-Stage Funding
Tradiv.com announced on Thursday that it had completed its $1 million seed-stage round of funding. The round was led by investors TL Partners, Poseidon Asset Management, and Anslinger Capital. After pitching to the ArcView Group’s Investor Network, Tradiv was approached by investors who like the online, wholesale, B2B marketplace idea.
Ohio Legalization Faces Complicated Future
On Nov. 3, 2015, Ohio voters will have the opportunity to amend the Ohio Constitution to legalize medical and adult recreational use of marijuana in the state. But even if Issue 3 passes, the future of legal marijuana is far from certain in Ohio.
GetHempButter.com: One Year After The Marijuana Show
Kyla Hill, Chief Hemptress, Creator and CEO of GetHempButter.com, took the last of her startup capital and flew to Denver to audition for The Marijuana Show. This was October 2014.
New Study Confirms Patients Substitute Cannabis for Rx Drugs
Plenty of anecdotal evidence suggests people suffering from pain, nausea, anxiety or other forms of emotional distress often swap their prescription drugs for marijuana. A new study completed by the Centre for Addictions Research of British Columbia adds yet more scientific rigor to the casual observations.
Competitive Compensation: Paying Cannabis Employees with Equity
Cannabusinesses will look for creative ways to hold onto talent. The classic response, especially for a new business in a young industry, is to offer equity-based incentive compensation to key employees.
Reform CA Files Recreational Initiative
Reform CA recently filed initiative language with the California Attorney General that, with enough support, would put recreational marijuana on the 2016 ballot. The proposed initiative will likely be only one of several alternatives, a scenario causing concern that the fragmentation of support might cause reform to fail again.
No Bankruptcy Relief For Marijuana Businesses
Starting over in the world of legal marijuana can be very difficult because, as the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals recently confirmed, there is no bankruptcy relief for marijuana businesses. Without that option, a business failure can mean permanent financial ruin for the cannabis entrepreneur.
What’s Next for Green Bits?
Green Bits, the San Francisco TechCrunch Disrupt first runner up, brings point-of-sale software services to the world of legal retail marijuana.
Democrats on Marijuana Policy
On Oct. 13, 2015, political junkies who just cannot get enough of pre-pre-pre-2016 maneuvering will have the chance to see and hear from the likely Democratic candidates for the nomination. With any luck and some social media pressure, there might even be a question about marijuana legalization.
Local Control a Looming Issue
The devolution of marijuana regulation to states and, by extension, to even more local levels of government, is a two-edged sword that could ultimately limit and destabilize the legal marijuana market. Local control, like the issue of state’s rights, is an appealing concept at first blush, but it has some troubling side effects.
CannaPitch Ready to Educate at Marijuana Investor Summit
CannaPitch is coming to the Marijuana Investor Summit on September 16, 2015, at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Moderated by Dooma Wendschuh, co-founder of ebbu, the event will feature fresh faces in the world of cannabis startups.
Cannabis Investor Town Hall Online
On Sept. 10, Viridian Capital Advisors LLC, in collaboration with CannabisFN, rolled out the first of its free monthly online events designed to give investors the opportunity to interact with leading analysts and investment bankers in the cannabis industry.
Growing ‘Women Grow’ in Washington, DC
At the local level, Women Grow provides the opportunity for cannabis entrepreneurs to meet and exchange ideas.
Debt Crowdfunding for Cannabusinesses
Cannabis entrepreneurs may underestimate the potential for debt financing, a topic that will be explored in detail by Scott Jordan, Director of Business Development for Dynamic Funding at the Marijuana Investor Summit on Sept. 16 in Los Angeles.
CBD Pet Meds to Debut in November
Dixie Brands Inc., in partnership with TBSK LLC, has announced the debut of Therabis, an innovative medical pet supplement containing trace elements of hemp-derived CBD and other natural ingredients.
FBI Targets UFCW Cannabis Division Organizer
On Aug. 10, 2015, the FBI filed a criminal complaint against United Food and Commercial Workers organizer Dan Rush, alleging that he took bribes and kickbacks and rigged the union organizing process. Rush has been a central figure in efforts by the UFCW’s Cannabis Division to organize legal marijuana workers.
What Remains on the Ballot for 2015
The risk of incremental losses at the ballot box may weigh more heavily than the potential for incremental gains in 2015.
ResponsibleOhio Initiative Faces Unlikely Opponents
ResponsibleOhio’s Marijuana Legalization Initiative is confronting an unusual storm of opposition from sources that include not only the expected opponents, but also organizations that have long worked for legalization. Friends are giving friends the cold shoulder on this one.
Ohioans to Face Legalization Dilemma in November
Ohioans soon will have the opportunity to vote on the Ohio Marijuana Legalization Initiative, which would legalize medicinal and recreational marijuana. But for many, the opportunity is poisoned by the way that licenses would be awarded.
Could Legal Recreational Sales Begin in DC in 2016?
The Financial Services spending bill adopted by the Senate Appropriations Committee on July 23, 2015, omitted language that would ban regulated sales of marijuana in Washington, D.C.
Mother-Daughter Business Wins NY License
On Friday, July 31, 2015, the New York State Health Department announced five organizations that will be allowed to grow and sell medical marijuana. Among them is Etain, LLC., which will open a manufacturing facility in Warren County and dispensaries in Albany, Ulster, Westchester and Onondaga counties.
Equity Crowdfunding for Cannabis in Colorado
Could equity crowdfunding for cannabis take off in Colorado? On July 16, 2015, Colorado’s Division of Securities sent a cease and desist letter to a man who posted ads on Craigslist looking for “high net worth investors to strategically partner with one of the largest MMJ chains in Colorado.” So, no, not for that guy.
The Challenge of Public Consumption
The issue of public consumption seems the farthest from resolution at the moment. It is most serious for tourists and people who live in rental housing with restrictive lease conditions. The gap in the law leaves many with nowhere to go to safely consume products that are legal.
SEC Settles Charges in 2014 Marijuana Stock Scam
On July 9, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it had settled charges against Alexander Hawatmeh and Christopher Mrowca. So far, so good, but is the legal marijuana industry any safer for investors?
Marijuana Momentum Moves to The Mid-Atlantic
California once looked like the center of marijuana reform, but Hunter Holliman, Regional Project Lead of 4Front Ventures, says, “The Mid-Atlantic region is driving cannabis policy in the U.S. right now.”