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I used to spend about half my waking day playing basketball, watching basketball, or thinking about basketball. I learned a lot from basketball that applies to life (including lawyering and China), such as the following: 1. Focus on your own improvement and on how you can improve your team as a whole. 2. Do not focus on the mistakes of others, such as your teammates, your coach, or the referee. Doing that is rarely productive…
Our California hemp lawyers have been getting pummeled with questions about the legality of industrial hemp derived cannabidiol (“Hemp CBD”) ever since the 2018 Farm Bill was signed in January (and especially since our recent hemp and Hemp CBD webinar). One of the most frequent questions we receive is whether CBD is a lawful additive in foods. The answer is often no depending on the state in which Hemp CBD food products will be…
When Huawei’s CFO, Meng Wanzhou, was picked up by Canadian police on allegations of breaching US sanctions against Iran she was carrying an iPhone, a MacBook Air, and an iPad Pro, this according to Bloomberg News.  Embarrassing for Huawei? Hell yes. Surprising to anyone else? Hell know. Important to those who do business in China? Hell yes. Many years ago I spoke at a webinar where one of my fellow speakers mentioned having just returned…
It’s amazing to experience such an impressive international gathering like Spannabis taking place in a country where, regardless of the massive cannabis culture and high social tolerance, legislation on the matter is way behind, and keeps criminalizing and punishing anything that goes beyond private consumption and self-growing. Culture, industry, business, mainstream and specialists, celebrities, growers, breeders and users from around the world met last weekend in and around Spannabis 2019. Spannabis is one of the…
With all that is going on with China’s economy and with its trade discussions with the United States and with US tariffs and with the EU’s mounting frustration with China, our China lawyers are finding themselves more often engaged in “big picture” discussions with our clients than ever before.  We are constantly getting hit with questions like the following: 1. What are you seeing in China? 2. Where do you see things going in China?…
Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) held a public meeting during which hemp stakeholders shared their opinion on the promulgation of rules to regulate the crop. Pursuant to the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized hemp by descheduling the crop under the Controlled Substance Act, the USDA is tasked with overseeing and regulating the production of hemp in the United States. Specifically, the federal agency is to review and approve “plans” submitted by…
Recently, we wrote about the increasing frequency of litigating cannabis business disputes in the courts, noting several possible causes for this change from the early days when private arbitration was the preferred forum. Meanwhile, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) is beginning to treat violators of the rules governing recreational marijuana much more seriously. One of the keys to prevailing in either (or any) forum, is efficient and thorough discovery. Cannabis businesses should…
Under U.S. pressure, China recently adopted a new Foreign Investment Law 中华人民共和国外商投资法 (“FIL”) that had been under discussion for several years. Many believe this law will lead to foreign invested enterprises being treated the same as domestic Chinese private businesses. Unfortunately (and not surprisingly), the existing system that limits foreign participation in China’s economy will be retained. The actual effect of China’s new Foreign Investment Law will be to eliminate the few remaining policies that…
There is an old saying about how lawyers do well when times are good and lawyers do well when times are bad. The only bad times for lawyers are when there is little to no change at all. In spite of the trade tensions, China’s declining economy, and just the overall uncertainty, our China lawyers have of late been getting a stream of requests from companies (mostly European for some unknown reason) looking to set…
Recently, the concept of “supervoting shares” in U.S. public companies has surfaced again in the news. Supervoting shares are created where founders wish to dilute themselves in an economic sense (in exchange for transformative capital), but retain outsized control in management and governance. This is different than your typical “class A and B shares” setup, where the former class of stock features robust voting rights, and the latter claims marginal or no voting rights.…