Category

United States

Category

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) released on January 15, 2021, a final rule package designed to serve as the framework for a U.S. hemp industry that gained federal legal status a little more than two years ago. The 301-page package delivers some changes from an October 2019 interim final rule that provided initial guidelines to implement the 2018 Agriculture Improvement Act (known colloquially as the “2018 Farm Bill”). The 2018 law removed hemp from the Controlled Substances Act and…

This article was originally published by Law360 on December 16, 2020. On Nov. 3, Oregon passed Measure 110, a novel law[1] that reclassifies personal or noncommercial possession of controlled substances such as heroin, cocaine and methamphetamines, from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class E violation, punishable only by a $100 fine.[2] It also establishes a drug addiction treatment and recovery program funded in part by the state’s marijuana tax revenue and state prison savings.[3] In 1973, Oregon was the…

This article was originally published by Law360 on December 2, 2020. “You have a row of dominoes set up, you knock over the first one, and what will happen to the last one is the certainty that it will go over very quickly.” —Dwight D. Eisenhower What did this election do for the marijuana industry? A lot. Four states — three traditionally red — voted to legalize recreational marijuana while a fifth, one of the reddest, voted to legalize medicinal…

The Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”) implementing regulations at 31 CFR Chapter X require covered financial institutions to file reports of suspicious transactions with the Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) in circumstances where the bank knows, suspects, or has reason to suspect that the transaction “involves funds from illegal activities.”  The requirement to file such suspicious activity reports or “SARs” arises under federal law.  Marijuana-related business activity that has been legalized under certain state laws—e.g., recreational cannabis…

On July 21, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued its draft guidance on clinical research for the development of drugs that contain cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds of botanical origin (as opposed to synthetic). The draft guidance isentitled “Cannabis and Cannabis-Derived Compounds: Quality Considerations for Clinical Research, Draft Guidance for Industry.”  The guidance provides some clarity on the use of cannabis in clinical research in light of the changes made by The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, Public Law 115-334 (the…

The Department of Justice recently took the extraordinary step of releasing a previously confidential memo from its Office of Legal Counsel concluding that DEA’s long-standing policy on marijuana research violates federal law and U.S. treaty obligations. Why did DOJ do this? What does the memo mean for the future of marijuana research? In this podcast, Matt Zorn and Shane Pennington, the lawyers who litigated this case, explain how they got DOJ to release the memo and what it all means.…

In August, the FBI announced that it would be focusing on public corruption in state marijuana licensing. In September, the Mayor of Fall River, Massachusetts was indicted for extorting more than $250,000 in bribes from cannabis businesses in return for assistance with licenses.  In October, alleged Rudolph Giuliani associates Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman were indicted for, among other things, a scheme to make illegal campaign finance donations in connection with a planned recreational marijuana business in Nevada.  Last week,…

Adam Schleifer is a candidate for Congress in New York’s 17th congressional district. He previously worked as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles where he prosecuted violent drug cartels. In this podcast, he talks about why he believes that federal legalization of marijuana would be an effective means of combating drug cartels. Please join us for a fascinating discussion. Global Cannabis Compliance Podcast · Episode 4 – Legalization as a strategy to combat drug cartels?

The Great Depression and the need for tax revenue to fund the New Deal ended prohibition in 1933.[1] The economic fallout from the COVID crisis, according to some experts, could result in a “New New Deal,” and Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) recently said that 2021 would, like 1933, have an “FDR moment.”[2] Just as the first “FDR moment” included the (re) legalization of alcohol, there are indications that the next may include the legalization of marijuana. The COVID crisis has…

The majority of states in America have legalized marijuana either for medical or recreational use—yet it remains illegal on the federal level. This poses regulatory challenges for financial institutions operating at the federal level and for some only operating in one state (because some are still subject to federal mandates, e.g., the Federal Deposit Insurance Act). Despite this disparate guidance, the multi-billion dollar U.S. cannabis market continues to expand. Dow Jones partnered with Baker McKenzie and FIBA, a nonprofit trade…