Cannabis & the Law

We have developed this blog specifically to track the creation of the regulatory framework for the cannabis industry in Massachusetts and provide insight on legal issues of concern to potential operators.

With much of the cannabis oriented media focusing on the flurry of adult use bills and opportunities, it is easy to overlook that many states are doubling down on their medical marijuana infrastructure. For instance, over just the last few weeks, the Ohio Board of Pharmacy (“Board”) began its efforts at more than doubling its number of medical marijuana dispensaries. Ohio anticipates commencing an application round soliciting up to 73 additional dispensaries at some point…
With barely half of 2021 gone by, the wave of cannabis legalization continues with Alabama poised to become the 37th state with a lawful medical marijuana program. In particular, on May 6, 2021, the State Legislature voted to legalize medical marijuana, with the Governor still in the process of “reviewing,” though anticipated to sign in light of the bipartisan and strong margins through which the underlying Bill passed (68-34 and 20-9 respectively). But what will…
On April 19, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act in a 321-101 vote. The bill has benefitted from bipartisan support after being co-sponsored by a large group of both Democrats and Republicans in the House. Only one representative, Rep. Patrick McHenry of North Carolina, spoke in opposition to the bill during the House debate. The SAFE Banking Act will next move to the Senate. If the Senate…
The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (“CRC”) has finally come into existence, and now, the hard work begins. By way of background, the CRC was created by statute as part of New Jersey’s medical cannabis expansion law, though the full roster of commissioners was only recently appointed. The CRC will oversee both the medical and adult-use cannabis marketplace, and is tasked by New Jersey’s adult-use implementation law with creating the rules and regulations that…
New Mexico has recently followed the likes of Arizona, New Jersey, Virginia, and New York in becoming the 17th state to legalize adult use cannabis. Indeed, New Mexico became the second state in 24 hours to legalize adult use cannabis, following New York’s efforts the day before. Specifically, HB 2, passed the Senate and House by a vote of 22-15 and 38-32 respectively. The fundamental provisions of the adult-use law passed…
The SAFE Banking Act is back. First introduced in 2019, the Secure and Fair Enforcement Act (“SAFE”) passed in the House but died in the Republican-controlled Senate. Now, the bill has been reintroduced in both the House and the Senate with bipartisan support, as well as support from the American Bankers Association. Despite broad support, it remains unclear – and probably unlikely – the legislation could move as a standalone bill without accompanying removal of…
New York has been the most recent focal point of adult-use legalization activity following news last week that the Governor and Legislature have seemingly come to consensus on an adult use legalization bill. Just this weekend, the New York State Legislature made public its drafts of S854 and A1248, with a goal of passing these bills and signing them into law sometime this week. Admittedly, every state approaches adult-use legalization differently, such as New
On the heels of recent legalization and/or implementation efforts in states like Virginia, New Jersey, and Arizona, New York is now positioned to become the 17th state in the country to legalize adult use cannabis. Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes, D-Buffalo, the sponsor of A.B. 1248, the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (“MRTA”), has indicated that the New York Legislature will vote on a cannabis legalization bill sometime next week. While the…
Vape product sellers face a new legal landscape after Congress recently expanded the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking (“PACT”) Act to cover vaping devices. The amendments to the PACT Act came in the waning days of 2020 as a little noticed addition to a consolidated budget and Covid-19 relief bill. The requirements of the PACT Act now apply to all Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems, or “ENDS”, which are defined as: “any electronic device that, through an…
Prior to his Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing last week, Judge Merrick Garland had not clarified his views on marijuana policy and how he would approach the issue if confirmed as Attorney General. However, after his confirmation hearing, we can almost certainly expect to see the Justice Department shifting back towards the Obama-era approach and limiting resources spent on federal marijuana enforcement. During the first day of the confirmation hearings last week, Senator Cory Booker (D-New…