In The Weeds

Exploring Developments in Cannabis Law and Business

Last week North Carolina regulators followed suit with public health officials in several other states and began cracking down on CBD infused products.  Cannabidiol, better known as CBD, is one of over a hundred cannabinoids, such as THC, found in the cannabis plant, but unlike THC it doesn’t have conscious-altering effects and can’t give you a “high.”  Many believe that CBD consumption has a variety of health benefits from pain and anxiety relief to treating…
A recent case out of Pennsylvania serves as a good reminder that even in states where medical marijuana is legal, individuals cannot “self-prescribe” and then seek to claim protections that might be available to properly registered medical marijuana users. In this case, the employee applied for and was granted leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) in order to undergo and recover from foot surgery. Several months after returning from leave, the employee was…
On March 22, 2019, the Pennsylvania Bar Institute will hold its second annual Medical Marijuana & Hemp Law Symposium, a full-day interactive event that will touch on all aspects of the emerging cannabis industry in Pennsylvania. Speakers will include attorneys, government officials, doctors, and other experts in the industry, and the Symposium will feature Fox Rothschild attorneys Josh Horn and Joseph McNelis. The Symposium will be held live in Philadelphia, simulcast to 18…
Despite the fact that oral arguments were just held in the appellate case involving the State of Florida’s appeal of a court decision legalizing smoking medical marijuana, new Florida Governor has announced and hinted at big changes to Florida’s regulatory and legal structure for medical marijuana. First, Gov. De Santis recently stated that he wants Florida’s legislature to strip the ban on smoking from the medical marijuana law, but if that doesn’t happen he will…
Despite the rumor that Florida’s new governor (Ron De Santis) will be friendlier to medical marijuana than Rick Scott, oral arguments were held earlier this week and the attorneys representing the State of Florida vigorously argued to uphold the current smoking ban.  Leon County Circuit Judge Karen Gievers had previously agreed with the plaintiffs and struck down the smoking ban, but her decision had been stayed after the State of Florida appealed. During…
On January 15, 2019, Fox Rothschild attorneys Josh Horn and Joseph McNelis will present Employment Compliance in the Age of Legalized Marijuana to the Greater Valley Forge HR Association in King of Prussia, PA. The presentation will discuss the challenges Pennsylvania employers face given the dichotomy between state and federal laws governing cannabis. Josh and Joe will will provide an overview of federal and state marijuana laws (particularly the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Act), discuss specific aspects of…
Because of IRC Section 280E, accounting and tax planning are two essential functions of operating a viable cannabis businesses. Over at our Tax Controversy Blog, Fox Partner Jennifer Benda discusses the importance of a recent Tax Court decision which held that a management company established for the purpose of providing employees to work at a licensed dispensary, but which itself did not hold a license to dispense cannabis, was subject to Section 280E. The case…
Congress has passed the 2018 Farm Bill by an overwhelmingly majority and the President is expected to sign it into law. The Farm Bill has huge implications for the industrial hemp industry because it removes hemp from the federal list of controlled substances and enables farmers to apply for crop insurance. Hemp is a variety of the cannabis sativa plant that contains very low levels – .3 percent or less – of THC found in…
In the latest Tax Court opinion addressing the application of Section 280E to cannabis businesses there is no good news. However, there is some new guidance.  In Patients Mutual Assistance Collective Corp. v. Comm’r, 151 T.C. No. 11, the taxpayer made a litany of arguments to convince the court that their business, or a portion of their business was not subject to Section 280E.  These include arguments we have seen before, including (1) that…
Jennifer Benda, a Partner in Fox’s Denver, CO office, is an experienced tax attorney who handles tax controversy and income tax planning and compliance matters. She has significant experience assisting companies in the cannabis industry with tax planning and compliance matters. On December 5, 2018, Jennifer will present “Legal Cannabis and Taxes,” a primer on tax issues facing cannabis businesses, including Section 280E, IRS regulations and audits, and related litigation. To find out more…