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Tracking Cannabis

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FinCEN guidance looks to enhance availability and transparency of financial services to hemp companies

A field of hemp plants

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network has provided additional guidance for financial institutions that monitor hemp companies, and “is intended to enhance the availability of financial services for, and the financial transparency of, hemp-related businesses in compliance with federal law.” READ MORE

How California is defending statewide cannabis delivery

June 23, 2020
A delivery of cannabis products in a labelled paper bag

The viability of many California cannabis delivery businesses may be at stake as a landmark lawsuit brought by local municipalities against the Bureau of Cannabis Control heads to trial. This post provides background information on the case, details the arguments presented by both parties and discusses the lawsuit’s implications on cannabis delivery in California. READ MORE

ABA urges Congress to reform federal cannabis policy

Carl Rowley Jack Jacobson August 22, 2019

The ABA House of Delegates has adopted a resolution recommending the rescheduling or de-scheduling of cannabis under the CSA. The resolution urges Congress to enact legislation removing cannabis from Schedule 1 of the CSA and defer to states in drafting cannabis policies. READ MORE

What’s new for medical cannabis facilities after the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act

Kevin Young July 29, 2019
indoor cannabis production

With the passage of the June 25, 2019 Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, Illinois has legalized recreational cannabis use for adults 21 and older. The Act outlines new regulations for medical dispensaries, cultivation centers, and social equity components for medical facilities already operating under Illinois’ medical cannabis program. READ MORE

Highlights from Missouri Cannabis Business Breakfast

Marijuana buds on prescription sheet

On June 25th, Thompson Coburn’s St. Louis office hosted prospective cannabis-industry players for its Missouri Cannabis Business Breakfast. Our attorneys discussed the legal issues related to licensing, corporate formation and securities, banking, and real estate in the context of Missouri medical cannabis. READ MORE

Highlights from the USDA listening session on federal hemp regulations

April 1, 2019
Photo of hemp crops

On March 13, 2019, the U.S. Department of Agriculture held a listening session to solicit comments to aid in the drafting of rules that implement sections of the 2018 Farm Bill pertaining to industrial hemp cultivation. Topics included the regulatory timetable, federal agency cooperation, and more. READ MORE

Cannabis investors analyze industry, share predictions in Thompson Coburn-led ArcView panel

February 13, 2019
A jar of cannabis buds laying on money

During a panel at the ArcView Investment Forum, leading private fund managers and industry analysts discussed the potential opportunities and risks for investing in the booming cannabis market, including predictions about developments that may significantly impact the industry in 2019. READ MORE

Opportunities and risks for cannabis tenants

Gayle Mercier December 21, 2018
Cannabis farm and greenhouse facility

With medical cannabis now legal under Missouri law, the coming industry creates new opportunities for real property owners interested in expanding their businesses. However, several risks and questions remain, and entities interested in utilizing real property for cannabis businesses need to be aware of the current issues and possible solutions. READ MORE

CBD drugs moved to Schedule 5; no promises for cannabis

October 1, 2018
Marijuana and cannabis oil

The DEA has moved CBD prescription drugs with THC levels below .01% to a Schedule 5 drug after the FDA’s approval of Epidolex. However, despite the reschedule, cannabis still remains a Schedule 1 substance. READ MORE

Top 5 warning signs for cannabis investors

Carl Rowley David Kaufman September 11, 2018
Marijuana leaves in the shape of a dollar sign

As state laws shift on cannabis legalization, some are using the opportunity to defraud investors in the cannabis industry. At the risk of federal prosecution, it is important for cannabis investors to remember these 5 warnings signs of potential fraud. READ MORE

Making sense of California’s ban on industrial hemp in food products

August 13, 2018
Photo of hemp crops

While California law allows marijuana-derived CBD in food products, CBD from industrial hemp does not have the same privilege and faces a shrinking market both inside and outside the Golden State. READ MORE

Cook County voters’ support of recreational cannabis in non-binding referendum promising for future of Illinois cannabis

March 26, 2018
cannabis ballot

On March 20, 2018, during a state primary voting cycle, Cook County (which includes the city of Chicago) residents voted on a non-binding referendum addressing the legalization of recreational cannabis in the State of Illinois. READ MORE

Fate of legalized cannabis hinges on key vote

March 22, 2018

On Thursday, March 22, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to approve the most recent omnibus spending bill, allocating the funds approved by President Trump when he signed a budget deal on February 8, 2018. READ MORE

Big month ahead for federal cannabis policy in Congress

February 6, 2018

The clock is ticking on stopgap legislation shielding the medical cannabis industry from potential federal intervention. With protections under the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment set to expire on Feb. 9, our Lobbying & Policy Practice breaks down what's in store for federal cannabis policy before Congress in the coming weeks. READ MORE

Cannabis at work: An update for employers

July 18, 2017

Recent California legislation allows employers to enforce policies prohibiting cannabis use by employees – even if consumption occurs outside of work and does not impair performance. However, cannabis businesses must be careful when drafting such policies. READ MORE

Cannabis companies: Think twice about ‘Alternative Public Offerings’


While an Alternative Public Offering structure may offer some benefits to potential cannabis companies or their potential investors, the structures have reputational and other issues that need to be considered. READ MORE

Calif. cities lift medical marijuana delivery ban: Is L.A. next?

April 24, 2017

More and more cities in California are allowing the once-banned delivery of medical marijuana directly to consumers. Learn about the latest developments statewide, including in Los Angeles. READ MORE

DEA awards Schedule II classification to synthetic THC drug

Kevin Young April 4, 2017
cannabis perscription

The DEA has applied a stricter scheduling classification to a new cannabis-containing drug than a similar drug already on the market. What can be read into this decision and how will it affect the future development of cannabis pharmaceuticals? READ MORE

AG's latest remarks signal no outright campaign against cannabis yet

March 20, 2017

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions continues to tune his stance on legalized medical and recreational marijuana in public comments. His latest proclamation in mid-March gives hope to the industry on medical use while leaving recreational use susceptible to a crackdown. READ MORE

The end of legalized recreational cannabis under President Trump?

March 2, 2017
cannabis brownie

Early signs of the Trump administration's stance on legalized cannabis indicates that recreational cannabis might be in the crosshairs. Companies engaged in both medical and recreational cannabis need to move swiftly to insulate medical cannabis business assets from their recreational businesses. READ MORE

Cannabis in animal supplements: A hazy proposition

January 9, 2017
cannabis dog

Until further guidance comes from the FDA, the cannabis industry should tread carefully in the production and marketing of cannabis-containing animal supplements. Supplement makers should take care to avoid drug-like claims for their products and adhere to strict food safety regulations in the manufacturing process. READ MORE

Thompson Coburn takes stage at Cannabis Business Summit

Carl Rowley July 6, 2016
Tracking Cannabis_default blog

Carl Rowley of Thompson Coburn’s cannabis practice attended the 2016 Cannabis Business Summit hosted by the National Cannabis Industry Association in Oakland, Calif., in late June. READ MORE

Top takeaways from the 2015 Las Vegas Marijuana Business Convention

November 20, 2015

One overarching concern among all participants at the Conference was that of legal compliance. Every business at the convention has to worry about IRS concerns related to claiming business expenses, the paucity of banks willing to deal with the cannabis industry and accept cannabis-related funds, and the inability to work with credit cards. READ MORE

California Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act: What you need to know

November 10, 2015

As the various state agencies look to draft rules and the timeline for implementation, we review the highlights of the new laws. READ MORE

Investing in cannabis? Industry presents unique considerations

Barry Fischer November 9, 2015

In the words of Niels Bohr, “prediction is very difficult, especially about the future,” and prediction in the cannabis industry is made especially difficult due to certain unique issues facing cannabis businesses. READ MORE

Employers and medical marijuana: Are California's anti-drug policies up in smoke?

John Viola November 2, 2015

What’s an employer to do when faced with employees using marijuana in or out of the workplace? How should employers respond to employees who use or possess marijuana legally under California law? How does such use or possession affect termination, disability and drug testing issues? READ MORE

Limiting Tort Liability for Cannabis: Failure to Warn Part I – the LivWell Lawsuit

Carl Rowley October 14, 2015

As the legal cannabis market grows, so will the number of product liability lawsuits against the industry, including cases based upon a failure to warn of real or imagined risks, such as those alleged in the LivWell complaint. Later installments in this series will address the potential scope and bases of cannabis industry liability under failure to warn theories. READ MORE

Limiting tort liability for cannabis: Dram shop-type laws

Carl Rowley September 21, 2015

As more states enact laws legalizing the sale of medical and recreational marijuana, cannabis businesses may start to question whether they could be held liable if customers cause injury or harm to others while using their products. A good reference for the cannabis industry is the dram shop laws that affect purveyors of alcohol. READ MORE

Thompson Coburn advises clients on state laws governing the business of cannabis to facilitate compliance with those state laws. Federal laws concerning cannabis currently conflict with state laws in states that have legalized cannabis or possession of cannabis. Although federal enforcement policy may at times defer to these states’ laws and not enforce conflicting federal laws, interested businesses and individuals should be aware that compliance with state law in no way assures compliance with federal law, and there is a risk that conflicting federal laws may be enforced in the future. In addition to this Cannabis-specific note, readers should review Thompson Coburn’s Conditions of Use / Disclaimers page containing other important information.