Cannabis Law Blog

News & Insights for Cannabis Law and Business

As the novel coronavirus (COVID or COVID-19) continues to ravage the United States, the cannabis industry is feeling the pandemic’s negative impacts despite an initial spike in sales after cannabis operations were deemed essential under various state “stay-at-home” orders.[1]  This article details the most recent state-level responses activated in California and Illinois.…
The cannabis industry faced heightened antitrust scrutiny from the Department of Justice (DOJ) in 2019.  There were public reports regarding several “Second Requests” seeking information about potential cannabis transactions.  Second Requests are a part of expensive and time-consuming antitrust investigations typically issued in the approximately 2 percent of transactions that present significant anticompetitive concerns.  To have several Second Requests within a short period of time in the same industry, particularly in an emerging industry such…
This article originally appeared in Cannabis Business Executive​ on June 10, 2020. Claimed “illegality” of cannabusinesses continues to be a critical issue for them in their ability to enforce their rights in the courts. The ability to seek judicial relief may be especially important to some cannabusinesses that are struggling as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic (e.g., to seek bankruptcy relief, or to obtain compensation from customers or suppliers that breach contracts). In our…
Many Illinois cannabis contracts, including intellectual property licensing agreements, development agreements and supply agreements, contain force majeure clauses.  Depending upon the language of these clauses, the COVID-19 pandemic may be an event that triggers these clauses and provides a defense to nonperformance of the contract. Companies that are experiencing difficulties complying with or enforcing compliance with their contracts should carefully examine their contracts to determine if a force majeure clause may excuse performance. On March…
On April 6, 2020, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (“DEA”) made history by descheduling  Epidiolex, GW Pharmaceuticals’ anti-epileptic oral solution containing cannabiodiol (“CBD”), thereby removing it from the purview of the Controlled Substances Act (“CSA”) even though it is derived from cannabis and not hemp.  The DEA’s recent descheduling continues the federal government’s trend of keeping the whole cannabis plant illegal as a Schedule I, while  permitting pharmaceutical derivations of cannabis. The DEA’s action on…
In an effort to stem the tide of COVID-19 transmission, many state and local governments have enacted “shelter-in-place” or “stay-at-home” orders to protect the health and well-being of citizens, and to establish a consistent approach to slow the spread of COVID-19.  Many of these orders identify certain services as essential, including food, prescriptions and healthcare, that can continue to operate despite the “stay-at-home” order.  In many jurisdictions, cannabis dispensaries have been labeled “essential” businesses, and…
As with essentially all aspects of American life, COVID-19 threatens to be a massive disrupter in the cannabis industry. As most cannabis operators and ancillary services providers are well aware, securing cannabis-related investments in the pre-COVID-19 world presented substantial obstacles. With worldwide markets dropping and investors drawing on their purse strings, the cannabis industry will likely feel a tighter pinch on access to investment dollars. Alternatively put, the already-tight outlook for capital in the cannabis…