Immigrants who undertake the cumbersome process of becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen need to establish their “good moral character” (“GMC”) as part of their applications. That just got harder for immigrants who work in the cannabis industry. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) recently released policy guidance regarding “controlled substance-related activity and good moral character determinations.” The guidance clarifies that a violation of federal marijuana law “is generally a bar” to establishing GMC,… More
Last month, the House Financial Services Committee advanced a federal marijuana banking bill to the full House on a bi-partisan 45 to 15 vote. The “Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act” or “SAFE Banking Act” would prevent federal banking regulators from taking adverse actions against financial institutions solely due to an institution’s provision of financial services to state-legal cannabis businesses. The bill would also provide protections for financial institutions that do business with cannabis-industry service providers by declaring that proceeds from such providers do not constitute “proceeds from an unlawful activity.” And,… More
Partner Dave Kluft discusses five questions to think about when considering marijuana packaging and advertising in a legal column for Packaging Strategies magazine.
With each passing year, the legalized cannabis industry grows as the stigma associated with it decreases. Ten states currently permit recreational marijuana, over 20 more permit medicinal use, and annual nationwide spending on legal cannabis is projected to reach nearly $50 billion in the next decade.… More
There is no business quite like cannabis, and very few that need constant attention to regulatory compliance in every aspect of operations. Friend of the blog and Director of Legal Compliance at Acreage Holdings, Gary Kaminsky, penned an excellent column recently for Law360 suggesting cannabis companies should implement regulatory Enterprise Risk Management (“ERM”) principles. The column can be found here: A Holistic Approach To Compliance For Cannabis Cos. –… More
CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of the two most prominent molecules found in the cannabis plant. But unlike the other more well-known cannabinoid, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD doesn’t have any psychoactive properties. In Massachusetts, CBD containing more than 0.3 percent THC is considered cannabis and is regulated by the state’s Cannabis Control Commission. Otherwise, products containing CBD are not regulated.
All signs point to 2019 being another huge year for the cannabis industry, with medicinal and recreational use expanding to more states and the diminishing threat of federal prosecution paving the way for the industry to meet or exceed soaring market expectations.
But with booming sales comes the prospect of booming litigation. As the number of cannabis users increases, so too will the number of actual or suspected side effects from such use. … More
President Trump’s nominee to replace Jeff Sessions as U.S. Attorney General appears to have a softer stance on state-legal marijuana companies than his predecessor. During his confirmation hearings today, Barr stated that we would “not go after” marijuana companies that operate legally under state law.
The statement places Barr in stark contrast with Sessions, who rescinded the “Cole Memo” – an Obama-Era Department of Justice memo that deprioritized prosecuting state-legal marijuana businesses. … More
On November 29, a U.S. Tax Court judge confirmed that § 280E of the Internal Revenue Code prevents state-legal cannabis businesses from deducting ordinary and necessary business expenses from their federal taxes. The ruling is a blow to businesses in the cannabis industry, who incur significantly higher federal tax burdens than they otherwise would if, like other businesses, they were allowed to deduct their business expenses.
Section 280E declares that “[n]o deduction or credit shall be allowed for any amount paid or incurred during the taxable year in carrying on any trade or business if such trade or business .… More