Oregon Cannabis SeminarOn June 9, my Portland colleague Will Patterson and I will present at an all-day continuing legal education (CLE) event called The Business of Marijuana in Oregon. This will be my third year presenting at the event and my second year as chair. The roster of speakers lined up for this CLE is better than any year to date, and everyone, including non-lawyers, would be well served to attend. For a full event description, including topics, speakers and registration links, click here.

Looking back over the past few years, it is amazing to see how much things have changed in Oregon cannabis. At this point, the OLCC’s recreational marijuana program has begun to hit its stride, with over 2,500 applicants now on file with the state. We are proud to call many of these Oregon producers, processors, wholesalers and retailers our clients, alongside the many investors and ancillary service providers we represent.

Sometimes, it is said that pioneers get slaughtered and settlers get rich. Now that the Oregon regulatory groundwork has largely stabilized, we have begun to see a second wave of entrepreneurs move in on the local industry. Many of these entrepreneurs bring skills, capital and experience from other regulated markets, while others are new to the space. Over the next year or so, with the increase in market entrants, we expect to see a fair amount of market consolidation throughout the Oregon cannabis industry.

Oregon attorneys and business owners alike need to be familiar with the unique regulatory concepts and industry dynamics that will be discussed on June 9, in order to best serve the Oregon cannabis industry. These concepts include state administrative governance and pending legislation, developments in the highly dynamic federal sphere, and practical approaches to working with and in the cannabis industry.

We hope you will join us on June 9 for an eight-hour survey of Oregon cannabis that is both broad and deep. And if you are a Harris Bricken client or a friend of the firm, please click here to request a promotional discount code, which can be applied to either the webcast, or to in-person attendance.

See you soon.

Last week, Canna Law Blog’s Hilary Bricken and Matt Maurer of Canada Cannabis Legal put on a webinar on the laws that impact  the cannabis businesses in the United States and Canada. This webinar covered the medical and recreational cannabis markets of the United States and Canada, investment considerations, cross-border legal issues, and opportunities for companies and individuals looking to invest in the US or Canada cannabis industries. For those of you not able to attend this event live, we provide you with the recorded version below.


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On June 1st, from 12-1:30 p.m. Pacific, three of our Los Angeles and San Francisco attorneys, Hilary Bricken, Alison Malsbury, and Habib Bentaleb, will present a free webinar on the initial MCRSA rules, which were released on April 28, 2017 and now make up the bulk of the regulatory standards for California cannabis licensing.

The speakers will give an in-depth analysis of these new rules and give you the knowledge you need to secure a medical cannabis business license from the State of California when January 1, 2018 comes around.

This webinar will cover cannabis licensing issues for:

In addition to these topics, the presenters will take audience questions both during and at the end of the webinar.

To register for this free event plese go here.

We look forward to your attendance.


We previously discussed the two-tier industrial hemp registration system Oregon adopted last year. In brief, the Oregon Department of Agriculture allows registration as either a grower (producer of industrial hemp), or a handler (processor of industrial hemp into commodities, products or agricultural hemp seed). Currently, only registered hemp handlers can process industrial hemp or sell industrial hemp products. However, a bill winding its way through the Oregon legislature could significantly upend the status quo for CBD concentrates and extracts.

Oregon’s hemp advocates should keep a close eye on Senate Bill 1015. When it comes to CBD concentrates and extracts, the bill would open up industrial hemp processing to Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) licensed recreational marijuana processors. The processed CBD concentrates and extracts could then be delivered to recreational marijuana retailers for sale in OLCC licensed dispensaries.

Of course, the bill places some restrictions on OLCC processors:

  • The recreational processor must be registered with OLCC for the express purpose of processing industrial hemp into CBD concentrates and extracts. Presumably, the OLCC would create a new registration process for this purpose;
  • The grower must provide the recreational processor with all test results on the hemp and the recreational processor must retain the test results in its records; and
  • The industrial hemp must still be tracked as outlined in ORS 475B.150.

The bill would also allow the processed CBD products to be delivered to an industrial hemp handler for resale provided that:

  • The CBD products were produced “independently” of any marijuana products. This might require separate processing facilities to prevent cross-contamination;
  • The products have been properly tested;
  • The products are tracked as required by ORS 475B.150; and
  • The THC concentration in the products are below a threshold to be set by the OLCC (probably .3 percent if the OLCC follows the Department of Agriculture’s lead).

The bill is now before the Joint Committee on Marijuana Regulation, which will hold a public meeting on Senate Bill 1015 today (May 9), at the Oregon Capitol Building. If you want to get involved in the future of Oregon’s hemp industry, arrive at Room HR B before 5:00pm. Also, take note that the Committee will be considering this classic “gut-and-stuff” amendment, so you can safely ignore the text of the bill as originally introduced.


Tomorrow at 9 am Pacific (12 p.m. Eastern), Matt Maurer, Chair of the Cannabis Law Group at Minden Gross, LLP and author of Canada Cannabis Legal  will team up with Canna Law Blog’s own Hilary Bricken to provide a free webinar on the cannabis laws that impact cannabis industries of both the United States and Canada.

Though medical marijuana is legal in Canada, it remains federally illegal in the United States. Over half of the United States has legalized medical cannabis, and eight of the states have legalized recreational marijuana for adults 21 and up.

This webinar will cover the following:

  • The Medical and recreational cannabis market of the United States
  • The Medical and (potential) recreational cannabis market in Canada
  • Investment considerations
  • Cross border legal issues
  • Opportunities for companies and individuals looking to invest in the US or Canada cannabis industries
  • Questions posed from the audience

You can register for this free event here. We look forward to seeing you there!


Cannabis business webinar On May 9, 2017 at 9 am Pacific (12 p.m. Eastern), Canna Law Blog’s Hilary Bricken will team up with Matt Maurer, Chair of the Cannabis Law Group at Minden Gross, LLP and author of Canada Cannabis Legal , to present a webinar to provide a primer on the cannabis laws that impact cannabis industries in both countries.

Though medical marijuana is legal in Canada, it remains federally illegal in the United States. Eight states in the United States have legalized marijuana for adults 21 and up, and even more have legalized marijuana for medical use. Canada has yet to take on recreational legalization, though it is expected to do so in 2018.

This webinar will focus on the cannabis laws of both countries, and in particular how they interact for those interested in investing across the US-Canada border. We will cover the following:

  • Medical and recreational cannabis market of the United States
  • Medical and (potential) recreational cannabis market in Canada
  • Investment considerations
  • Cross border legal issues
  • Opportunities for companies and individuals looking to invest in the US and/or Canada
  • Questions posed from the audience

You can register for this free event here.

Should you have questions, please feel free to write to us at firm@harrisbricken.com.

American lawyer in BarcelonaI spent last weekend in Barcelona attending Spannabis. Our Barcelona lawyers constantly get inquiries from serious international businesspeople wanting to start a cannabis social club or some other sort of cannabis business in Spain. And with more than 200 medical marijuana social clubs in Barcelona alone, I wanted to go there to meet with key industry players to learn more about what is going on with marijuana in Catalonia’s capital city and in the rest of Spain.

Barcelona and medical marijuana felt to me like some combination of California, Oregon, and Washington seven years ago. Namely, it feels like an unregulated, quasi-commercial gray market chalk full of “collective” non-profits and rotating patient members, unclear laws and inconsistent enforcement of those laws. For a breakdown on the current medical marijuana laws in Spain and in Barcelona, go here. This unclear and pioneer atmosphere was also in full force at Spannabis, which was in many respects just like pretty much every other marijuana trade show/expo I’ve attended in the United States: light on serious education about marijuana laws and regulations and heavy on promoting marijuana consumption and on seeking to preserve the counter-culture. But with cannabis cups and consuming events dwindling in the U.S. from increasing state marijuana regulations, I would be remiss if I did not mention how the Spannabis fairgrounds managed to maintain a steady cloud of overhanging marijuana smoke from its more than 3,000 attendees who openly and consistently consumed despite the presence of law enforcement.

Spannabis had only a single panel on the legality and rules surrounding Barcelona’s (mostly medical) marijuana social clubs and the panelist gave little detail or explanation about the law that enables cannabis clubs to operate. That panel was made up of one criminal defense attorney telling attendees about the national and local government’s conflicting policy positions on health and law enforcement and the rights of individuals to consume cannabis for medical use. Needless to say, since our cannabis lawyers represent the business side, I didn’t this panel very helpful. More importantly, this panel served as just another indication that Barcelona and Spain as a whole have just not yet really “arrived” yet as destinations for those seeking to form and operate a cannabis business fully compliant with local (in this case Barcelona), provincial (Catalonia) and federal (Spain) laws. Fortunately, our Spain lawyers mostly focus on representing ancillary cannabis businesses and CBD businesses, along with the standard fare of helping foreign companies in all industries seeking to form a business in Spain and make a go of things there.

But as many in the industry there were quick and emphatic about telling me, the cannabis scene in Barcelona and in Spain is slowing maturing and slowing getting “more legal.” As we wrote just last week, the regional Parliament of Catalonia has proposed reforms in line with a 2014 initiative advocated by Regulacion Responsible in advance of the 2014 Spain national elections. The initiative’s aim was to create a framework for the national reform of cannabis laws to permit regions like Catalonia and cities like Barcelona to set their own cannabis policies. Though the 2016 legislative initiative stalled, it has recently reemerged and anticipation is building for a revised version of this bill that would mean increased regulation for legalized marijuana businesses on a regional basis. Given the inconsistent enforcement of current laws (within both Catalonia and Spain) and the lack of meaningful or comprehensive business regulations, such reforms cannot come soon enough to better protect and give more structure to those cultivating and distributing marijuana for and to patients. Patients would also benefit from such regulation as it would increase both transparency around the sourcing of cannabis products and cannabis quality assurance standards.

Even though marijuana social clubs in Spain exist in a risk-laden gray area, it’s clear that manufacturing and distributing CBD is a popular and, more importantly, legal practice in Spain and Barcelona (in contrast to the United States). Indeed, the majority of booths on the exhibitor floor at Spannabis focused on hemp seeds (there was even a company there from Humboldt County) and CBD-based products. Manufacturing and distributing cannabis paraphernalia or equipment used for consuming, cultivating or handling are also legal and ancillary companies are alive and well in Barcelona, just like in most of the U.S. This is why foreign investors looking at Spain are mostly focusing on financing, starting, managing or assisting ancillary companies and not so much on marijuana social clubs, all of which are non-profit because of existing laws prohibiting commercial “trafficking.” The Arcview Group (well-known for angel investments in ancillary marijuana businesses) held an investor meeting in Barcelona for the first time last week.

Barcelona’s medical marijuana marketplace remains immature and risky (these were the words used by many of those with whom I spoke while I was in Spain), but it no doubt has tremendous potential. Once local governments in Spain are given the freedom (and they might soon) to take the reigns on cannabis regulation and to create a better business atmosphere for cultivators, manufacturers, and distributors, Barcelona will no doubt quickly become a major marijuana city in terms of popularity, investment, and access. The lawyers in our Barcelona office can hardly wait.


Cannabis Lawyers
Happy New Year from all of us at Canna Law Blog!

We wish a happy new year to all of our readers! We will continue to write about cannabis law and business in 2017.

Please let us know with your comments below the topics you wish to see us cover in the upcoming year.


Cannabis lawyers

This was a HUGE year for cannabis and we had a great time covering it.

As 2016 comes to a close, we’d like to share some of our favorite/most popular blog posts of 2016:

  1.  Florida Legalizes Medical Marijuana, So No What? Here’s the 4-1-1
  2. California Legalizes Recreational Cannabis, So Now What? Here’s the 4-1-1
  3. BREAKING NEWS: Jeff Sessions Named as AG: Doom for Pot?
  4. The Top Ten Things You Need to Know to Start a Cannabis Business in Washington and Oregon
  5. Pesticide Testing of Cannabis Retailers
  6. Cannabis Industry Labor Laws
  7. Think You Are Selling “Legal” CBD Oil? DEA Says Think Again.
  8. Cannabis Branding and Trademarks With and Without Celebrities
  9. Oregon Medical Marijuana: The Wholesale Conundrum
  10. They Said It On Marijuana, Quotable Saturday, Part CXXXVIII (Barack Obama)

We would also like to thank all of our readers (both on here and on our Facebook page) and most emphatically state that we, the cannabis lawyers behind Canna Law Blog, are looking forward to continuing to write on legal cannabis here and to representing the leading cannabis businesses out there!

May your 2017 be a great year.