Articles Posted in Federal Enforcement/ California Marijuana

It is common knowledge among our marijuana business attorneys and our clients that banks are highly restricted inmarijuana business how they can interact with the cannabis industry. Wells Fargo, however, recently took those restrictions too far when the bank closed the account of a candidate in Florida who made cannabis legalization a tenant of her campaign platform. According to New York Times, Nikki Fried is running for Florida agricultural commissioner and said expansion of the state’s current program is her highest priority.

The candidate runs her campaign finances through Wells Fargo, who questioned her support of marijuana and whether or not she also was planning to take donations from marijuana businesses to fund her campaign. When her campaign workers confirmed she would take such donations, Wells Fargo made an unprecedented move in shutting down her account.  Continue reading

It’s about time. The Drug Enforcement Administration is moving to increase the amount of cannabis to be legallymedical cannabis grown for research purposes in the U.S. and decrease the amount of opioid drugs produced under the group’s watch. You heard that right. The same organization whose leaders for years have been wringing their collective hands over marijuana, who said we simply did not know enough about its effects, who defended its Schedule I classification, might finally be waking up to smell the coffee the rest of the country has been happily sipping for some time now.

According to a report from Forbes, a new Federal Register filing shows the agency increasing allowance of cannabis plants to 5,400 pounds in 2019, more than five times the 1,000 pounds the department OK’d this year. Representatives of the department said the move was necessary to meet the demands of the medical and scientific communities for research purposes. Of course this demand is nothing new. Health care providers, laboratories, and medical schools have been desperate for proper research on cannabis for decades. California medical practitioners have been using limited studies, anecdotal evidence, and trial and error to treat patients since medical marijuana was legalized in the state in 1996 under Proposition 215. Continue reading

In late June, the Food & Drug Administration for the first time approved a cannabis-derived drug, and it could marijuana lawchange the landscape of marijuana in the United States, possibly within the next month. Epidiolex contains an active ingredient of CBD found in marijuana, and was approved to treat severe forms of epilepsy in children. 

According to a report from The Philadelphia Inquirer, the CEO of the company responsible for Epidiolex said before the drug can be prescribed, it must be reclassified to be lower than it’s current Schedule I status, Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812. He said he expects this to happen within 90 days of the FDA approval. This means marijuana could very well be reclassified by late September. It doesn’t mean that there will be a total free-for-all on cannabis use, but a lower scheduling will mean that the federal government will finally acknowledge the plant has medicinal benefits, and medical marijuana programs across the country can be released from the grips of the federal ban. 

Continue reading

A new bill was introduced in the House of Representatives in hopes of easing up burdens on federal employees whomarijuana lawyers work in states where marijuana has been legalized by allowing them to benefit from their state’s laws without fear of losing their job. HR-6589, the Fairness in Federal Drug Testing Under States Laws Act, would protect the employment of anyone working for or applying to work for a local office serving the federal government who is caught using cannabis so long as the person is abiding by proper state laws, according to a report from Washington Times.

The bill was introduced by Reps. Charlie Crist (D-Florida) and Drew Ferguson (R-Georgia) once again proving cannabis is an issue that truly brings people together across the aisle.

In many ways, one would not know that marijuana is prohibited by federal law in the United States. In 30 states and Washington, D.C., cannabis has been legalized for medical use, with about a third of those permitting recreational use. While more than half of the states in the U.S. have legalized some form of marijuana, many Americans still have to make careful decisions about whether or not to consume for the sake of their careers. Even where cannabis is legal, employers are perfectly within their rights to drug test and to hold employees accountable for marijuana found in their systems. This includes employees who have a recommendation from their doctor. It becomes even more complicated when the employer serves the federal government. Federal employers must abide by federal law, regardless of the state in which they are located.  Continue reading

The hysteria regarding marijuana laws and the heightened attention to border security have cannabis business lawyerscombined to reach a new fever pitch, with border patrol reportedly enforcing wildly audacious rules and ruining lives in the process. U.S. border guards have allegedly started turning away Canadian citizens entering the U.S. if it is revealed that they work in the cannabis industry, regardless of whether or not they are in compliance with Canada’s laws or even if their business deals directly with the drug or not, according to The Vancouver Star. Involvement in the cannabis industry means you are profiting from illicit drug trading, in the eyes of U.S. border patrol, an offense that can get you banned from entering the U.S. for life. Once you’re on the list, you never fall off, and admittance into the country would require the help of an immigration attorney and special temporary waivers. Even admitting to ever using cannabis has reportedly led to Canadians being turned away at the border.

Continue reading

State law, federal law, and religious liberties have collided to form an unholy trinity in a casecannabis lawyers involving First Church of Cannabis. The church had put in a bid attempting to allow smoking of marijuana as a religious sacrament in Indiana. The group sued the state, attorney general, and then Gov. Mike Pence in 2015. But a judge out of Marion County Superior Court recently ruled against the church, according to RTV6.

Indiana currently has extremely limited medical marijuana provisions and relatively strict laws against recreational use. Attempts to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana were thwarted in 2013, and instead an amendment to IC 35-48-4-11 was added to HB 1006 to increase penalties of certain types of possession to felonies rather than misdemeanors. Some attempts to legalize medical marijuana also failed a few years ago, but last year the legislature was able to push through a bill allowing CBD oil specifically for seizures. Considering all of the people nationwide who have found relief from cannabis for a wide variety of ailments, this seems to be the absolute least they could do. Continue reading

A bipartisan blend of politicians has come together to support a bill that could finally offer some marijuana businessconcrete relief from the oppressive federal law that continues to bind the hands of marijuana businesses despite state legalization. The STATES Act, Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States, is a more formal way of declaring that state laws regarding cannabis usurp the federal government’s Schedule I classification under Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812.

According to a report from Leafly, the bill allows representatives who refuse to step into the 21st Century to support marijuana businesses without taking a stance on marijuana at all. It turns the matter purely into a states’ rights issue, which has become the great unifier in the cannabis debate. It also removes industrial hemp from the definition of “marijuana,” freeing many industries that create products unrelated to the psychoactive properties of cannabis. Continue reading

While we try to hash out how to handle marijuana laws across the U.S., World Health Organizationmedical marijuana is bringing their findings to the global stage. WHO was tasked by secretary general of United Nations to deliver a recommendation on the level of international control necessary for cannabis, according to a Mother Jones report. It is of no surprise to our cannabis law firm that the first report from WHO described marijuana as a “relatively safe drug.”

An international team of marijuana experts contributed to the report, which was presented to the Expert Committee on Drug Dependence. The report analyzed both THC and CBD and found evidence it has medical benefits, particularly in relieving symptoms of cancer treatments, pain relief, and anxiety. It also concluded that driving under the influence of cannabis is risky, but not as risky as alcohol. Marijuana use also can also be risky for pregnant women and children. Continue reading

One of the biggest obstacles for any farming community is how to best control pests. Each plant attracts a differentcannabis business set of insects and animals and requires special care to deter wildlife from harming crops. Farmers must also take into consideration how pest-control methods could harm natural surroundings and affect the people who will consume the product. Cannabis farms are no different, though they lack the years of shared wisdom other farmers have gathered. In fact, cannabis farmers have to be even more thoughtful in some ways about what they use because their end product isn’t easily washable like an apple. Although it wouldn’t seem a cannabis attorney would be your first consult on this front, it’s worthwhile to review it with your counsel so you are sure you’re abiding local and state environmental regulations.

The California Department of Pesticide Regulation, has been tasked by California’s Medicinal Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act to provide guidelines for pesticide use in cannabis farming. The department said there is not a pesticide product federally registered for use specifically for cannabis farmers. However, there are plenty of pesticides that can legally be used on cannabis so long as they meet certain criteria. Continue reading

An ally in the fight for states rights to enact marijuana legislation has come from an unlikely place. A landmarkmarijuana rights Supreme Court decision is primed to have a major effect on marijuana rights throughout the country, but the content of the case is not cannabis: It’s sports gambling. The recent decision in Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association opposed a federal law that prohibited states from legalizing gambling on sports. At the heart of the lawsuit is a states’ rights issue, one that will set a precedent far beyond betting on games.

The case began with Congress passing the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in 1992, which made it illegal for states to allow sports gambling if they did not already have laws permitting the activity on the books, according to an article from The Hill. Years later, in 2011, New Jersey voters passed a ballot initiative to amend the state constitution and put in place sports gambling permissions and regulations, which sparked the lawsuit with NCAA and sports leagues. It was determined this was in violation of PASPA, so New Jersey legislators instead repealed the laws they had in place forbidding sports bets in casinos, hoping to create one legal avenue. Federal courts stuck down this action as well, which forced a Supreme Court decision on the matter. The Supreme Court, however, sided with New Jersey, stating that PAPSA violated anti-commandeering doctrine. Continue reading