In a major turn of events, California recently passed the Medicinal and Adult Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (“MAUCRSA”), effectively repealing the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (“MCRSA”) and combining California’s medical and recreational cannabis laws into one master regulatory regime. To help you better understand what MAUCRSA means for your cannabis business, three of our California attorneys will host a free webinar on August 8, 2017 from 12 pm to 1 pm Pacific Time. Los Angeles-based Hilary Bricken will moderate San Francisco-based Alison Malsbury and Habib Bentaleb in a discussion on vertical integration and ownership of multiple licenses, distributorship, and major changes to the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act, as well as what California cannabis license applicants can expect more generally from the Bureau of Cannabis Control as rulemaking continues throughout the remainder of the year. In addition, the attorneys will address questions from the audience both during and at the end of the webinar.

To register for this free webinar, please click here. We look forward to your joining us!

Cannabis legalization Washington Oregon California

Today is America’s 241st Birthday where we celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence and our country’s creation. In honor of Independence Day, we’d like to take a moment to celebrate American federalism, which has permitted states to legalize marijuana in light of the federal government’s prohibition.

For the first 161 years after our Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence, cannabis was legal. That changed in 1937 when the Marihuana Tax Act was signed into law. This Act served as the precursor for including cannabis in the Controlled Substance Act which makes cannabis illegal on the federal level to this day.

In the last twenty years, states have started to push back on the federal government’s prohibition on cannabis. It started when California became the first state to permit the medical use of cannabis in 1996. Now, 29 states and Washington DC permit medical marijuana. In 2012, Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalize recreational cannabis. Alaska, California, Oregon, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, and Washington DC have all since followed suit, to one degree or another

Federalism allows these states to pass laws that conflict with the federal government’s prohibition. In America, both the federal government and state governments have powers to create laws. This system is fundamental to American government and is rooted in our Constitution. Federalism allows states to experiment with laws without making the entire country subject to the effects of those laws. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis famously referred to states as “laboratories of democracy” in his dissenting opinion in New State Ice Co. v. Liebmann (1932):

To stay experimentation in things social and economic is a grave responsibility. Denial of the right to experiment may be fraught with serious consequences to the nation. It is one of the happy incidents of the federal system that a single courageous State may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.

This Fourth of July Americans should celebrate that states are free to enact laws they deem fit, even when those laws are at odds with federal law. We should also celebrate those states like California, Washington, Colorado, Alaska and Oregon that have truly been in the forefront on cannabis legalization.

Our federal system has allowed states to chip away at federal cannabis prohibition and our “courageous States” that have legalized cannabis are laying the groundwork to end federal cannabis prohibition by proving legalization can and does work. States with legal cannabis are models for how the Federal Government can and should legalize and regulate cannabis. For now, we can take a moment on our Independence Day to celebrate cannabis’s progress and to look forward to ending cannabis prohibition at the federal level soon.

 

California cannabis seminar: june 22 and 23
California cannabis seminar: June 22 and 23

On June 22nd and 23rd in Santa Monica, Canna Law Blog’s own Hilary Bricken will be chairing and presenting at a day and a half long continuing legal education (CLE) event called “Medical and Recreational Cannabis in Southern California.” This will be Hilary’s third year heading up and presenting at this event. Robert McVay from our firm will also be speaking there. The roster of speakers lined up for this CLE is better than any previous year and everyone, including non-lawyers, would be well served to attend. For a full event description, including topics, speakers and registration links, go here.

Hilary’s talk will be on how California has borrowed from Washington and Oregon in creating its new cannabis regime. Hilary is particularly qualified to discuss this topic as she is licensed in both Washington and California and she often consults with our Portland, Oregon office on high level cannabis regulatory matters. Hilary began her career as a cannabis lawyer way back in 2010 in Seattle and she now heads up our California practice out of our Los Angeles office.

Robert’s talk is entitled, Investing in the Cannabis Industry, and it is described as follows:

How to raise money in California’s marijuana industry? Can entrepreneurs even raise funds under the current MCRSA or Proposition 64 regulatory rules? If they can, how do they do that? What should a solid marijuana PPM contain? What should the “Disclaimer” section disclose? What liability exists for investors? What kinds of questions should investors be asking? How should an investment deal be structured in the marijuana industry? Is that deal the same in every state? Are Kickstarter or other crowd funding sources possible for the marijuana industry? If not, why not?

It is amazing to see the pace at which California is attacking regulation of commercial cannabis activity under its Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act. Even though the state is just beginning to take public comment on its initial rules, those rules already show great attention to detail. For our take on what you need to know and do now in California if you are looking to start a cannabis business there, check out 10 Reasons Why You’re Already Behind on California Medical Cannabis Licensing.

California cannabis attorneys and potential license applicants alike need to familiarize themselves with California’s unique regulatory concepts and industry dynamics and this seminar will help with that. These concepts include the licensing schemes under the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act and the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (with an analysis of Governor Brown’s Trailer Bill), an analysis of the licensing models in Oregon and Washington from which California has already borrowed, government relations, emerging litigation trends and topics, and practical approaches to working with and in the cannabis industry through contracts. All of these issues will be addressed at this event and if you want to know what is happening and what is likely to happen with California’s cannabis industry, you shouldn’t miss it.

Please join us in Santa Monica on June 22nd and 23rd for a day and a half survey of California medical cannabis that will be both broad and deep. And if you are a Harris Bricken client, a friend of our firm or a steadfast Canna Law Blog reader, click here to request a promotional discount code, which can be applied to either the webcast, or to your in-person attendance.

We are proud to have so many clients among the pioneers in California’s brave new world of regulated medical cannabis (and, eventually, adult use cannabis) and we hope to see you soon in Santa Monica.

On June 1st, three of our Los Angeles and San Francisco attorneys, Hilary Bricken, Alison Malsbury, and Habib Bentaleb, put on a webinar on California’s new MCRSA rules. Nearly 1500 signed up for this. Topics covered include cannabis licensing issues for California Retailers, Distributors, Transporters, Manufacturers and Cultivators, and audience questions.

You can find the handouts distributed during the webinar here and here.

Enjoy!

Cannabis lawyers on social media
Please check out our cannabis posts

Our cannabis business lawyers are always getting emails from blog readers asking them where they can be found on social media. This blog is our attempt to respond to those emails and to let all of our readers know about the full extent of our social media presence. If you cannot get enough of Canna Law Blog, you can find more of us in the following places:

Facebook. We have an exceedingly popular and perpetually growing Facebook page here. We are nearing 175,000 likes/followers there and we regularly get more than a million visitors weekly there. Our goal with that page is to widely disseminate and initiate discussion on a wide swath of uber-topical cannabis issues. That site is meant to be a less serious than this one and the range of cannabis topics we address there is considerably wider than on here, which is much more focused on legal issues. We allow for a wide range of views on our Facebook page and we delete only those comments hateful of others, but we do not delete comments that are anti-cannabis. We also delete comments that involve the selling of anything.

Twitter/Publications.  Our blog and a number of our cannabis lawyers have the following twitter accounts, with posting frequencies all over the map:

  1. @cannalawblog We use this account to tweet 2-4 times a day, mostly on important cannabis issues of general interest.
  2. @cannabizlawyer. This is Hilary Bricken’s account. Hilary tweets pretty regularly and as head of our Los Angeles cannabis practice, many of her tweets have a California/Los Angeles flavor. Hilary also authors a once-a-week column for Above the Law on all things cannabis law and policy across the United States. And Hilary writes the occasional piece for Culture Magazine, too.
  3. @vince-sliwoski. This is Vince Sliwoski’s account. Vince heads up our Portland cannabis business practice and he tweets pretty regularly on general interest and Oregon cannabis issues. Vince also writes a bi-weekly column for the Portland Mercury called Ask a Pot Lawyer.
  4. @alison-malsbury. This is Alison Malsbury’s account. Alison focuses on cannabis intellectual property law and she splits her time between our Seattle and our San Francisco offices (with a bit of Los Angeles also). Her tweets reflect this, as they usually are on California or Washington or IP issues.
  5. @dshortt90. This is Daniel Shortt’s account. Daniel is based in Seattle and he tweets regularly about general interest and Washington State cannabis issues. Daniel Shortt also frequently contributes to The Fresh Toast, writing about cannabis legal issues.
  6. @jghunthb. This is Jim Hunt’s account. Jim focuses on federal and state taxation as they relate to cannabis businesses and his posts often relate to cannabis taxation issues.
  7. Will Patterson, an attorney in our Portland office and he too writes bi-weekly for the Portland Mercury’s Ask a Pot Lawyer column.

The rest of our cannabis lawyers either do not post on cannabis for social media, or post so seldom as to not be worthy of mention above, at least not yet.

Please follow us and enjoy!

 

california-webinar (1)

Today at noon Pacific time, three of our Los Angeles and San Francisco attorneys, Hilary Bricken, Alison Malsbury, and Habib Bentaleb, will be putting on a FREE webinar on California’s new MCRSA rules. These rules came out less than a month ago and they now make up the bulk of the regulatory standards for California cannabis licensing.

Our speakers will discuss these new rules and give you the information you need to secure a California medical cannabis business license.

This webinar will cover cannabis licensing issues for California Retailers, Distributors, Transporters, Manufacturers and Cultivators.

The presenters will take audience questions both during and at the end of the webinar.

To register for this free event please go here. But don’t wait because we will close down orders before the webinar.

We’ll see you there.

california-webinar (1)

In exactly one week, on June 1, starting at noon Pacific time, three of our Los Angeles and San Francisco attorneys, Hilary Bricken, Alison Malsbury, and Habib Bentaleb, will be putting on a FREE webinar on California’s MCRSA rules. These rules came out less than a month ago and they now make up the bulk of the regulatory standards for California cannabis licensing.

Our speakers will extensively discuss these new rules and give you the information you need to secure a California medical cannabis business license.

This webinar will cover cannabis licensing issues for California Retailers, Distributors, Transporters, Manufacturers and Cultivators

The presenters will take audience questions both during and at the end of the webinar.

To register for this free event please go here.

We’ll see you there.

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.

Enjoy!

california-webinar (1)

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.