Will Cannabis Businesses Finally Gain Access to the Federal Banking System?

On May 15th the House of Representatives approved the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act (H.R. 6800). This bill included the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act of 2020 which would exempt financial institutions from Federal prosecution for providing services to cannabis-related businesses legally operating under their respective states’ laws.

If passed, the bill would promote access to financial services by prohibiting Federal banking regulators from penalizing or taking any adverse action against financial

institutions that provide banking services to cannabis businesses.… More

Memorial Day Re-Opening for Adult-Use Retail in Massachusetts

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced today that Massachusetts adult-use cannabis retail stores will be allowed to re-open for curbside pickup beginning on Memorial Day.  The announcement was a part of the Governor’s comprehensive plan for re-opening businesses across the Commonwealth, which includes mandatory workplace safety standards, sector-specific protocols, and a phased approach to reopening businesses.

Phase 1 of the Governor’s reopening plan allows retail businesses of all types to conduct curbside pickup beginning on Memorial Day. … More

Maine Drops Residency Requirement Over Constitutionality Concerns

When Maine enacted the Marijuana Legalization Act in 2018 the legislature included one of the most stringent residency requirements in the nation.  In order to obtain a license, an applicant had to be majority owned by individuals who were Maine residents for the past four years.  Earlier this week Maine’s Attorney General conceded that the residency requirement was likely unconstitutional and Maine’s Office of Marijuana Policy announced that it would no longer enforce the requirement.… More

Appeals Court Vacates Injunction, Remands in Cambridge MTC Case

The Massachusetts Appeals Court has vacated a preliminary injunction issued in January by a Superior Court judge to prevent the City of Cambridge from enforcing an ordinance that delays medical cannabis facilities (“MTCs”) from converting to adult-use facilities.  The Appeals Court’s order in Revolution Clinics II, Inc. v. City of Cambridge was issued by a single justice on April 24, 2020, and reverses the Superior Court on narrow grounds.… More

Treasury Report Recommends Increased Audits of Cannabis Companies and Highlights Potential Section 280E Relief

On March 30th, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (“TIGTA”) released a report which concluded, based on its estimates, that the IRS could have collected significant additional tax revenue from cannabis companies if IRS audits of such companies were increased.  In particular, TIGTA reported on potential income tax deficiencies arising from the denial of business deductions and credits under Internal Revenue Code Section 280E.

As a general matter,… More

United Cannabis Corp.’s Chapter 11 Filing Provide Another Test Case for Industry

On April 20, United Cannabis Corporation filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition for reorganization in Colorado.  The Bankruptcy Court for the District of Colorado has previously dismissed bankruptcy cases for marijuana businesses due to the substances’ federally illegal status.  In In re Rent-Rite Super Kegs W. Ltd., 484 B.R. 799 (Bankr. D. Colo. 2012), the court found that there was “cause” under 11 U.S.C. § 1112(b) to dismiss the debtor’s Chapter 11 case because the debtor was violating the Controlled Substances Act by renting space in its warehouse to parties who were growing marijuana. … More

Massachusetts Land Court Issues Favorable Ruling for RMDs

A Massachusetts Land Court judge has ruled that a Mansfield RMD license-holder can use its property for adult-use sales even though the property is not locally zoned for adult-use sales. The Land Court’s decision provides strong authority for RMDs provisionally licensed before July 1, 2017 who would like to expand to adult-use operations.

The case is Rosenfeld v. Town of Mansfield. Rosenfeld and her licensed RMD,… More

Governor Baker’s “Essential Services” Order Excluding Adult Use Faces Justified Backlash

Last week, Governor Baker issued a COVID-19 Essential Services Order establishing which businesses in the Commonwealth may remain open as “essential” while most of our commerce, unfortunately but necessarily, shuts down in order to slow the deadly Coranavirus pandemic.  Medical Marijuana Dispensaries and Liquor Stores made the cut.  Adult use cannabis did not.

Following suit, the Cannabis Control Commission issued a Summary Cease and Desist Order that (1) allows medical marijuana activity to continue unabated (separately,… More

Massachusetts CCC Leverages Waiver Program to Permit Telehealth Consultations for New Patients

The Cannabis Control Commission announced on March 20, 2020, that healthcare providers registered with the CCC to prescribe medical marijuana will have the option to issue prescriptions to new patients following a telehealth consultation.  This new guidance is a departure from the CCC’s regulations, which require patients to be physically present for a clinical visit in order to receive a prescription.  See 935 CMR 501.0101(7). … More

Cannabis Retailers and Regulators Adapt for COVID-19 Restrictions

The global outbreak of COVID-19 is disrupting lives and businesses across the world, and the cannabis industry and its customers are no exception.  Our new reality is not only of great financial concern, but also presents serious public health challenges.  Cannabis patients, of course, need to maintain access to essential medicine.

While many states have rightly concluded that medical marijuana dispensaries are an “essential service” that may remain open during shutdowns in the same manner as pharmacies,… More