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.

On June 24, John Elias, a former Acting Chief of Staff to the United States Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division, testified in front of the U.S. House of Representative’s Judiciary Committee that last year the Antitrust Division had investigated ten cannabis mergers and the California/automakers emissions agreements based on political pressure from Attorney General Bill Barr and not based on any concerns about harm to competition. In his testimony, based on a whistleblower…
In November 2019, the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) released new regulations dictating that Marijuana Cultivators engaged in indoor cultivation must include a report of their energy and water usage over the 12-month period preceding the date of their license renewal applications. This requirement is outlined in 935 CMR 500.103(4)(c). All applications for renewal filed on or after July 1, 2020 must include this required documentation. The Cannabis PowerScore is specified by the Massachusetts CCC…
In September 2019, Metrc, a prominent cannabis seed-to-sale tracking company, filed suit against the Missouri Office of Administration (OA) requesting the ability to charge additional fees beyond those specified in its contract with the state. In April 2019, Metrc was awarded a five-million-dollar contract to oversee three of Missouri’s medical marijuana programs. Metrc was one of  20 bids for the contract. The Missouri Division of Purchasing advised bidders to provide “firm, fixed pricing” in their…
The Boston Cannabis Board on June 24, 2020 held a virtual public meeting addressing the current state of adult use marijuana licensing in the City of Boston.  Established by a City Council ordinance in November 2019, the Board was intended to bring additional clarity and transparency to cannabis licensing in Boston.  Chairwoman Kathleen Joyce stated that the Board sought to ensure a “clear, predictable, and transparent process” for businesses seeking a license, and to ensure…
During a Cannabis Control Commission (“Commission”) regulatory policy discussion on June 19th, Chairman Steven Hoffman confirmed the Commission’s plans to publish draft revised regulations within the next few weeks and to vote on final regulations by the end of August. The revisions will address numerous issues that the Commission has identified since it updated its regulations last fall, including proposing new requirements for vape products and establishing a permitting process for cannabis research projects. Likely…
On May 15th the House of Representatives approved the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act (H.R. 6800). This bill included the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act of 2020 which would exempt financial institutions from Federal prosecution for providing services to cannabis-related businesses legally operating under their respective states’ laws. If passed, the bill would promote access to financial services by prohibiting Federal banking regulators from penalizing or taking any adverse…
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced today that Massachusetts adult-use cannabis retail stores will be allowed to re-open for curbside pickup beginning on Memorial Day.  The announcement was a part of the Governor’s comprehensive plan for re-opening businesses across the Commonwealth, which includes mandatory workplace safety standards, sector-specific protocols, and a phased approach to reopening businesses. Phase 1 of the Governor’s reopening plan allows retail businesses of all types to conduct curbside pickup beginning on Memorial…
When Maine enacted the Marijuana Legalization Act in 2018 the legislature included one of the most stringent residency requirements in the nation.  In order to obtain a license, an applicant had to be majority owned by individuals who were Maine residents for the past four years.  Earlier this week Maine’s Attorney General conceded that the residency requirement was likely unconstitutional and Maine’s Office of Marijuana Policy announced that it would no longer enforce the requirement.…
The Massachusetts Appeals Court has vacated a preliminary injunction issued in January by a Superior Court judge to prevent the City of Cambridge from enforcing an ordinance that delays medical cannabis facilities (“MTCs”) from converting to adult-use facilities.  The Appeals Court’s order in Revolution Clinics II, Inc. v. City of Cambridge was issued by a single justice on April 24, 2020, and reverses the Superior Court on narrow grounds. As we detailed back in January
On April 20, United Cannabis Corporation filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition for reorganization in Colorado.  The Bankruptcy Court for the District of Colorado has previously dismissed bankruptcy cases for marijuana businesses due to the substances’ federally illegal status.  In In re Rent-Rite Super Kegs W. Ltd., 484 B.R. 799 (Bankr. D. Colo. 2012), the court found that there was “cause” under 11 U.S.C. § 1112(b) to dismiss the debtor’s Chapter 11 case because the…