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.

New Jersey Cannabis had itself a week. Following a recent decision permitting the New Jersey Department of Health, Medical Marijuana Division (“DOH”) to continue scoring its 2019 Request for Applications (“2019 RFA”) and award twenty-four (24) additional medical cannabis licenses, New Jersey doubled down; with Governor Murphy not only signing into law the adult-use enabling legislation, but also finally appointing the remainder of the Commissioners to the five (5) person Cannabis Regulatory Commission (“CRC”). But…
As many are well-aware, the Cannabis Regulators Association (“CANNRA”) was formed at the end of 2020 with the goal of sharing institutional knowledge and regulatory best practices in order to assist federal, state and local jurisdictions that have approved or are considering approving the legalization of cannabis. The goals and collective wisdom of a body like CANNRA have only become all the more important with growing discussions as to whether and in what format cannabis…
“The stay previously entered by this court is hereby vacated.” As many are well-aware, the cannabis industry has been plagued by litigation, and New Jersey’s recent experience is no different. Indeed, New Jersey has taken great strides to expand its medical marketplace, with the patient population recently eclipsing 100,000 total patients. Moreover, the New Jersey Department of Health, Medical Marijuana Program (“DOH”) was on pace towards expanding access and production to meet this patient…
The Virginia General Assembly is currently considering adult use cannabis legalization this session. Governor Northam has made it a priority. The legislative black caucus has endorsed it and the legislative sponsors in both chambers are senior members of their caucuses. However, there remain a few hurdles to passing this legislation. First, the adult use legislation does not guarantee adult use cannabis licenses to the existing medical cannabis operators in the Commonwealth. This is an issue.…
In what appears to be a win-win for the city and cannabis businesses, the City of Northampton announced it is dropping the 3% community impact fee it collects from marijuana establishments and medical marijuana treatment centers. Instead, the City will collect an impact fee only after identifying a specific cost incurred by the community. The change applies to both existing and prospective licensees. Massachusetts law allows communities to collect a fee—limited to 3% of gross…
On February, 3, the highest court in Massachusetts, the Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”) will hear two cases involving municipalities’ scope of authority in allowing adult-use cannabis businesses, Mederi Inc. v. City of Salem and CommCan, Inc. v. Town of Mansfield. The facts leading up to the Mederi case began nearly three years ago in 2018 when Mederi Inc. was denied a host community agreement (“HCA”) with the city of Salem following a Committee of applications…
As we previously blogged, “agricultural employees” are excluded from coverage under the federal National Labor Relations Act, which governs unionization.  The National Labor Relations Board’s Division of Advice (which determines which cases to prosecute) has now weighed in for the first time as to what this means for cannabis grow workers.  In an opinion just released, the Division of Advice found that workers in an indoor greenhouse are excluded from the NLRA’s coverage…
The Cannabis Control Commission has filled its last vacant seat, ending a prolonged stretch without a full roster of Commissioners.  Filling the void left by Commissioner McBride’s resignation late last year, Governor Baker, Treasurer Goldberg and Attorney General Healey recently appointed Ava Callender Concepcion as the Commission’s newest member.  A Dorchester native and graduate of New England Law School, Concepcion joins the Commission from the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office where she most recently served…
For the first time in nearly a decade all three branches of the Federal Government are controlled by Democrats. The Democratic Party has a plethora of agenda items it is looking to enact within this unified government. One of those policy issues is the federal legalization of cannabis. House Democrats recently passed the MORE Act, which would federally legalize cannabis. The House leadership intends to re-introduce the MORE Act and pass it in short order.…
Unlike states like South Dakota and New Jersey, who are experiencing stumbling blocks with respect to the implementation of their voter backed adult-use cannabis referendums, Arizona has already hit the ground running. By way of background, Arizona’s Proposition 207 was passed by 60% of voters, and broadly legalized the possession and use of marijuana for adults aged 21 years and older, permitted individuals to grow no more than 6 marijuana plants, and designated the…