• Ground-Breaking Documentary MARY JANES: THE WOMEN OF WEED Premieres in Portland
    A ground-breaking documentary about women leading the cannabis industry, debuts in Portland, Oregon this month. ... read more
    Source: The Weed BlogPublished on 2018-04-06
  • Is Medical Cannabis a Practical Treatment for BRONJ?
    What is BRONJ and could medical cannabis be a practical treatment for this condition? ... read more
    Source: The Weed BlogPublished on 2018-04-06
  • New Orleans Had a 1 Percent Arrest Rate for Cannabis Between 2016 and 2017
    The city passed an ordinance that allowed police to give a summons instead making an arrest. ... read more
    Source: The Weed BlogPublished on 2018-04-06
  • Connecticut Legislative Committee Passes Recreational Marijuana Bill
    Connecticut is on track to become the tenth state to approve adult use of cannabis. ... read more
    Source: The Weed BlogPublished on 2018-04-05
  • The Arduous Path to Legalizing Cannabis
    The illegality of cannabis has prevented scientists from properly researching the medical qualities of the plant. ... read more
    Source: The Weed BlogPublished on 2018-04-05
  • Is the Medical Marijuana Market a Thing of the Past?
    Jamie Schau of The Brightfield Group explains the landscape for the cannabis industry in regards to the medical market. ... read more
    Source: The Weed BlogPublished on 2018-04-05
  • 5 Reasons to Invest in an Indoor Garden With Your Tax Refund
    Investing in an indoor cannabis garden has many benefits. ... read more
    Source: The Weed BlogPublished on 2018-04-05
  • BREAKING NEWS: Josephine County Sues the State of Oregon to Kill Its Cannabis Programs
    Josephine County is ALL IN on prohibition. For the past several months we have been following Josephine County’s efforts to regulate away its cannabis industry, specifically in rural residential zones. This saga started has taken many twists and turns (see here, here, here, and here), but yesterday brought perhaps the biggest twist yet: Josephine County has sued the State of Oregon to invalidate its cannabis program entirely. The legal skirmishes began back in December, when Josephine County passed an ordinance to severely curtail cannabis production on over 16,000 rural residential properties. A group of growers appealed the ordinance to Oregon’s Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA), raising a procedural argument (improper notice to affected properties) and two substantive arguments (the county cannot ban pre-existing lawful uses and the ordinance exceeds the county’s ability to impose reasonable time, place, and manner regulations on cannabis production). Last month, LUBA ruled against the county, solely on the procedural issue. Josephine County failed to provide proper notice of the public hearings where the ordinance was discussed. As a result, LUBA did not reach the substantive merits. As expected, Josephine County elected to appeal the procedural question. Surprisingly, Josephine County also decided to take the drastic step of filing a lawsuit against the State of Oregon in federal court. We gave our initial take on this aggressive move in news coverage here. In short, Josephine County wants the federal court to: Declare that cannabis production cannot qualify as a pre-existing “lawful use” because of federal prohibition; Declare that counties can place any restrictions they want, including a full ban, on cannabis businesses because state legal regimes are pre-empted by federal law; Declare that Oregon’s medical and recreational regimes unlawfully restrict the county’s police powers in light of federal prohibition; Enjoin the State from bringing official misconduct charges against any local or county official that ignores their duties under state law. This is a stunning overreach, as a victory could presumably give counties the ability to even ignore Oregon’s decriminalization statutes. As a county that allegedly wants to crack down on bad actors and the black market, and is apparently struggling to provide basic services, Josephine County should be welcoming law abiding, tax paying cannabis farms with open arms. Instead, I am reminded of my young daughter breaking her own toy when she doesn’t get her way. This lawsuit raises core constitutional questions, involving states’ rights to promulgate cannabis programs despite the federal Controlled Substances Act, and over the objection of local jurisdictions. In the past, we ... read more
    Source: Canna Law Blog – OregonPublished on 2018-04-05
  • Mayor of Minneapolis Supports Legalizing Marijuana
    Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey is in support of legalizing marijuana and will now push for full legalization for the city. ... read more
    Source: The Weed BlogPublished on 2018-04-04
  • Failed MMJ Bill Withdrawn by Senate Sponsors in Tennessee
    Senator Steve Dickerson told Tennessee’s Senate Judiciary Committee that he did not have enough support for the bill. ... read more
    Source: The Weed BlogPublished on 2018-04-04
  • Illinois Bank of Springfield is Pulling Out, Pushing Operators to use Cash-Only
    After two years of happily servicing Illinois’ medical marijuana industry, the Bank of Springfield is closing its doors. ... read more
    Source: The Weed BlogPublished on 2018-04-03
  • Albuquerque City Council Just Voted to Decriminalize Small Amounts of Marijuana
    This ordinance is a first step to push back against laws that have deeply impacted, in particular, poor communities. ... read more
    Source: The Weed BlogPublished on 2018-04-03
  • Cannabis Companies and Wage and Hour Laws: Meek v. CNH Labs
    Failure to pay wages can cost you — a lot. We get a lot of questions regarding how to pay employees and the consequences of failing to do so properly. With a few exceptions, if you hire someone to work for your cannabis business, you need to pay them at least minimum wage. Failure to pay employees or to provide required meal and rest breaks can come with hefty fines and civil penalties in Oregon. A recent case filed against an Oregon marijuana company is a great example of the potential liability your business could face for failing to pay employees. In a complaint filed in Lane County, Kenneth Meek contends his employer, cannabis company CNH Labs, LLC, failed to pay him any wages. According to the lawsuit, Mr. Meek started working for CNH Labs in October 2016 prior to CNH Labs being licensed by the OLCC. The parties had an agreement that Mr. Meek would be paid $1,000 per week once CNH Labs was licensed. According to Mr. Meek, CNH Labs did not start paying him upon licensure and did not intend to pay him until CNH Labs was profitable. Mr. Meek’s employment with CNH Labs ended in December 2017 and he subsequently sent CNH Labs a letter demanding payment of the wages. Ultimately, Mr. Meek filed suit against CNH Labs for $65,000 plus interest and attorney fees. Unfortunately, this type of fact pattern is not terribly uncommon in the cannabis industry, but it brings up two very important points: In Oregon, employees cannot waive their right to minimum wage. Meaning, even if your employee agrees to receive an amount less than minimum wage (or as in Mr. Meek’s case, no wage at all), the employee can still bring a wage claim later. Thus, the agreement Mr. Meek admits he struck with his employer should not hurt his case, assuming the allegations are true. Mr. Meek’s complaint requests the unpaid wages and penalties under Oregon Wage and Hour Statutes. In Oregon, the penalty for failing to pay an employee is the employee’s regular rate of pay for eight hours a day for up to 30 days. In Mr. Meek’s case this is equal to approximately $4,000. If he prevails, the employer may also be required to pay Mr. Meek’s attorney fees. That fact alone may be a strong incentive for CH Labs to settle right away:  in a case like this, attorney fees will exceed the $65,000 claimed by Mr. Meeks, if the case goes to trial. Whatever ... read more
    Source: Canna Law Blog – OregonPublished on 2018-04-01
  • How Canadian Public Companies Invest in U.S. Cannabis
    Coming to a cannabis business near you? We represent investors from all over the world making plays in state-legal cannabis. The phenomenon began in earnest a couple of years ago, when Oregon became the first U.S. state to open its marijuana industry to non-residents. Some of those early deals were backed by Canadian public money, and the phenomenon of Canadian investment has only increased over time. In 2018 alone, we have closed three good-sized acquisitions in Oregon on behalf of Canadian public companies, with still more in the hopper here and in California. The fact that Canadian money is flowing into adult-use states has received an uptick in media attention lately, especially after Toronto-based Cronos Group Inc. became the first cannabis stock to list on the NASDAQ exchange last month. Cronos Group is a large company, although it is outside of the “big four” Canadian public cannabis companies—consisting of Canopy Growth Corp, Aurora Cannabis Inc., Aphria Inc. and MedReleaf Corp.—each of which is valued at more than C$1 billion. According to Bloomberg, pot companies on Canadian exchanges have a combined market value of about C$32 billion. That’s a lot of buying power. Most of the Canadian companies we represent are not new companies, and most of them were not cannabis companies until recently. Instead, the preponderance were junior mining companies, of all things. These stagnant prospector vehicles generally ceased operations when the Canadian mining industry faltered around ten years ago. Some of them still hold permit rights to mining claims in Canada and other countries, which remain present as curious footnotes on their listing materials. Generally speaking, though, the companies are little more than resuscitated shells that have paid ongoing listing fees on the prominent Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) or the more limited TSX Venture Exchange (TSXV) over the past decade. Resuscitated junior mining companies have inherent value for cannabis investment because they are already publicly listed, and do not have to undergo a full securities commission review or file a prospectus in order to access public money. They are perfect vehicles to raise public money quickly. As such, many new entrants go public via a reverse takeover and use the old mining company (or oil and gas company) shell as the listing vehicle. There are probably 40 or so of these former shells now operating in the cannabis space, and our understanding is that clean shells are getting harder to find. As far as new cannabis listings in Canada, including for U.S. companies, the go-to exchange is the Canadian ... read more
    Source: Canna Law Blog – OregonPublished on 2018-03-27
  • Oregon Cannabis: OLCC Systems Audit Gets Mixed Results, Part 2
    OLCC could use a technology lifeline. Recently, we discussed the official report of the Oregon Secretary of State’s audit (the “Report“) of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission’s (“OLCC”) information technology systems, related to Oregon’s recreational cannabis industry. In our previous post on the topic, we discussed findings and recommendations relating specifically to the OLCC’s Marijuana Licensing System (MLS) and the separate Cannabis Tracking System (CTS), and whether the OLCC has sufficient technical controls in place to ensure that the MLS and CTS are supporting effective regulation of the recreational cannabis industry. Today we are going to look at the OLCC’s general information technology (IT) security concerns and disaster recovery procedures, and whether the OLCC has implemented sufficient security procedures to protect against known technical and physical threats. The Report first lays out two “key findings” in this area: The “OLCC has not implemented an effective IT security management program for the agency as a whole.” The “OLCC has not formally developed a disaster recovery plan and has not tested backup files to ensure they can be used to restore mission-critical applications and data.” Digging deeper, the Report paints a bit of a grim picture of the OLCC’s IT capabilities: [W]e found that OLCC management has not implemented an appropriate security management program for all agency IT systems. OLCC does not have sufficient policies, procedures, and plans in place to ensure that computer resources are protected against known vulnerabilities and physical threats. Although this does not affect the externally hosted marijuana applications, other programs and administrative systems at OLCC may be at risk. – The Report According to the Report, the OLCC currently does not have an up-to-date security plan, doesn’t adequately track information IT assets, doesn’t have a process to monitor for unauthorized changes or devices, cannot identify security vulnerabilities, lacks sufficient controls for physical access to OLCC sites and resources, and generally has servers and devices running on outdated platforms. None of that sounds very good. Additionally, the Report observes that OLCC hasn’t developed an adequate recovery plan in the event of a system wide event. To be fair, the OLCC backs up its data, but hasn’t tested whether those backups can be used to restore systems, so there is no knowing whether the established backup protocol will even work. All of these problems come back to the core issue we identified in the prior post: The OLCC is drastically underfunded for its mission. Fixing these problems will take expertise and resources that historically haven’t ... read more
    Source: Canna Law Blog – OregonPublished on 2018-03-24
 
  • Ground-Breaking Documentary MARY JANES: THE WOMEN OF WEED Premieres in Portland
    A ground-breaking documentary about women leading the cannabis industry, debuts in Portland, Oregon this month. ... read more
    Source: The Weed BlogPublished on 2018-04-06
  • Is Medical Cannabis a Practical Treatment for BRONJ?
    What is BRONJ and could medical cannabis be a practical treatment for this condition? ... read more
    Source: The Weed BlogPublished on 2018-04-06
  • New Orleans Had a 1 Percent Arrest Rate for Cannabis Between 2016 and 2017
    The city passed an ordinance that allowed police to give a summons instead making an arrest. ... read more
    Source: The Weed BlogPublished on 2018-04-06
  • Connecticut Legislative Committee Passes Recreational Marijuana Bill
    Connecticut is on track to become the tenth state to approve adult use of cannabis. ... read more
    Source: The Weed BlogPublished on 2018-04-05
  • The Arduous Path to Legalizing Cannabis
    The illegality of cannabis has prevented scientists from properly researching the medical qualities of the plant. ... read more
    Source: The Weed BlogPublished on 2018-04-05
  • Is the Medical Marijuana Market a Thing of the Past?
    Jamie Schau of The Brightfield Group explains the landscape for the cannabis industry in regards to the medical market. ... read more
    Source: The Weed BlogPublished on 2018-04-05
  • 5 Reasons to Invest in an Indoor Garden With Your Tax Refund
    Investing in an indoor cannabis garden has many benefits. ... read more
    Source: The Weed BlogPublished on 2018-04-05
  • BREAKING NEWS: Josephine County Sues the State of Oregon to Kill Its Cannabis Programs
    Josephine County is ALL IN on prohibition. For the past several months we have been following Josephine County’s efforts to regulate away its cannabis industry, specifically in rural residential zones. This saga started has taken many twists and turns (see here, here, here, and here), but yesterday brought perhaps the biggest twist yet: Josephine County has sued the State of Oregon to invalidate its cannabis program entirely. The legal skirmishes began back in December, when Josephine County passed an ordinance to severely curtail cannabis production on over 16,000 rural residential properties. A group of growers appealed the ordinance to Oregon’s Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA), raising a procedural argument (improper notice to affected properties) and two substantive arguments (the county cannot ban pre-existing lawful uses and the ordinance exceeds the county’s ability to impose reasonable time, place, and manner regulations on cannabis production). Last month, LUBA ruled against the county, solely on the procedural issue. Josephine County failed to provide proper notice of the public hearings where the ordinance was discussed. As a result, LUBA did not reach the substantive merits. As expected, Josephine County elected to appeal the procedural question. Surprisingly, Josephine County also decided to take the drastic step of filing a lawsuit against the State of Oregon in federal court. We gave our initial take on this aggressive move in news coverage here. In short, Josephine County wants the federal court to: Declare that cannabis production cannot qualify as a pre-existing “lawful use” because of federal prohibition; Declare that counties can place any restrictions they want, including a full ban, on cannabis businesses because state legal regimes are pre-empted by federal law; Declare that Oregon’s medical and recreational regimes unlawfully restrict the county’s police powers in light of federal prohibition; Enjoin the State from bringing official misconduct charges against any local or county official that ignores their duties under state law. This is a stunning overreach, as a victory could presumably give counties the ability to even ignore Oregon’s decriminalization statutes. As a county that allegedly wants to crack down on bad actors and the black market, and is apparently struggling to provide basic services, Josephine County should be welcoming law abiding, tax paying cannabis farms with open arms. Instead, I am reminded of my young daughter breaking her own toy when she doesn’t get her way. This lawsuit raises core constitutional questions, involving states’ rights to promulgate cannabis programs despite the federal Controlled Substances Act, and over the objection of local jurisdictions. In the past, we ... read more
    Source: Canna Law Blog – OregonPublished on 2018-04-05
  • Mayor of Minneapolis Supports Legalizing Marijuana
    Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey is in support of legalizing marijuana and will now push for full legalization for the city. ... read more
    Source: The Weed BlogPublished on 2018-04-04
  • Failed MMJ Bill Withdrawn by Senate Sponsors in Tennessee
    Senator Steve Dickerson told Tennessee’s Senate Judiciary Committee that he did not have enough support for the bill. ... read more
    Source: The Weed BlogPublished on 2018-04-04
  • Illinois Bank of Springfield is Pulling Out, Pushing Operators to use Cash-Only
    After two years of happily servicing Illinois’ medical marijuana industry, the Bank of Springfield is closing its doors. ... read more
    Source: The Weed BlogPublished on 2018-04-03
  • Albuquerque City Council Just Voted to Decriminalize Small Amounts of Marijuana
    This ordinance is a first step to push back against laws that have deeply impacted, in particular, poor communities. ... read more
    Source: The Weed BlogPublished on 2018-04-03
  • Cannabis Companies and Wage and Hour Laws: Meek v. CNH Labs
    Failure to pay wages can cost you — a lot. We get a lot of questions regarding how to pay employees and the consequences of failing to do so properly. With a few exceptions, if you hire someone to work for your cannabis business, you need to pay them at least minimum wage. Failure to pay employees or to provide required meal and rest breaks can come with hefty fines and civil penalties in Oregon. A recent case filed against an Oregon marijuana company is a great example of the potential liability your business could face for failing to pay employees. In a complaint filed in Lane County, Kenneth Meek contends his employer, cannabis company CNH Labs, LLC, failed to pay him any wages. According to the lawsuit, Mr. Meek started working for CNH Labs in October 2016 prior to CNH Labs being licensed by the OLCC. The parties had an agreement that Mr. Meek would be paid $1,000 per week once CNH Labs was licensed. According to Mr. Meek, CNH Labs did not start paying him upon licensure and did not intend to pay him until CNH Labs was profitable. Mr. Meek’s employment with CNH Labs ended in December 2017 and he subsequently sent CNH Labs a letter demanding payment of the wages. Ultimately, Mr. Meek filed suit against CNH Labs for $65,000 plus interest and attorney fees. Unfortunately, this type of fact pattern is not terribly uncommon in the cannabis industry, but it brings up two very important points: In Oregon, employees cannot waive their right to minimum wage. Meaning, even if your employee agrees to receive an amount less than minimum wage (or as in Mr. Meek’s case, no wage at all), the employee can still bring a wage claim later. Thus, the agreement Mr. Meek admits he struck with his employer should not hurt his case, assuming the allegations are true. Mr. Meek’s complaint requests the unpaid wages and penalties under Oregon Wage and Hour Statutes. In Oregon, the penalty for failing to pay an employee is the employee’s regular rate of pay for eight hours a day for up to 30 days. In Mr. Meek’s case this is equal to approximately $4,000. If he prevails, the employer may also be required to pay Mr. Meek’s attorney fees. That fact alone may be a strong incentive for CH Labs to settle right away:  in a case like this, attorney fees will exceed the $65,000 claimed by Mr. Meeks, if the case goes to trial. Whatever ... read more
    Source: Canna Law Blog – OregonPublished on 2018-04-01
  • How Canadian Public Companies Invest in U.S. Cannabis
    Coming to a cannabis business near you? We represent investors from all over the world making plays in state-legal cannabis. The phenomenon began in earnest a couple of years ago, when Oregon became the first U.S. state to open its marijuana industry to non-residents. Some of those early deals were backed by Canadian public money, and the phenomenon of Canadian investment has only increased over time. In 2018 alone, we have closed three good-sized acquisitions in Oregon on behalf of Canadian public companies, with still more in the hopper here and in California. The fact that Canadian money is flowing into adult-use states has received an uptick in media attention lately, especially after Toronto-based Cronos Group Inc. became the first cannabis stock to list on the NASDAQ exchange last month. Cronos Group is a large company, although it is outside of the “big four” Canadian public cannabis companies—consisting of Canopy Growth Corp, Aurora Cannabis Inc., Aphria Inc. and MedReleaf Corp.—each of which is valued at more than C$1 billion. According to Bloomberg, pot companies on Canadian exchanges have a combined market value of about C$32 billion. That’s a lot of buying power. Most of the Canadian companies we represent are not new companies, and most of them were not cannabis companies until recently. Instead, the preponderance were junior mining companies, of all things. These stagnant prospector vehicles generally ceased operations when the Canadian mining industry faltered around ten years ago. Some of them still hold permit rights to mining claims in Canada and other countries, which remain present as curious footnotes on their listing materials. Generally speaking, though, the companies are little more than resuscitated shells that have paid ongoing listing fees on the prominent Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) or the more limited TSX Venture Exchange (TSXV) over the past decade. Resuscitated junior mining companies have inherent value for cannabis investment because they are already publicly listed, and do not have to undergo a full securities commission review or file a prospectus in order to access public money. They are perfect vehicles to raise public money quickly. As such, many new entrants go public via a reverse takeover and use the old mining company (or oil and gas company) shell as the listing vehicle. There are probably 40 or so of these former shells now operating in the cannabis space, and our understanding is that clean shells are getting harder to find. As far as new cannabis listings in Canada, including for U.S. companies, the go-to exchange is the Canadian ... read more
    Source: Canna Law Blog – OregonPublished on 2018-03-27
  • Oregon Cannabis: OLCC Systems Audit Gets Mixed Results, Part 2
    OLCC could use a technology lifeline. Recently, we discussed the official report of the Oregon Secretary of State’s audit (the “Report“) of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission’s (“OLCC”) information technology systems, related to Oregon’s recreational cannabis industry. In our previous post on the topic, we discussed findings and recommendations relating specifically to the OLCC’s Marijuana Licensing System (MLS) and the separate Cannabis Tracking System (CTS), and whether the OLCC has sufficient technical controls in place to ensure that the MLS and CTS are supporting effective regulation of the recreational cannabis industry. Today we are going to look at the OLCC’s general information technology (IT) security concerns and disaster recovery procedures, and whether the OLCC has implemented sufficient security procedures to protect against known technical and physical threats. The Report first lays out two “key findings” in this area: The “OLCC has not implemented an effective IT security management program for the agency as a whole.” The “OLCC has not formally developed a disaster recovery plan and has not tested backup files to ensure they can be used to restore mission-critical applications and data.” Digging deeper, the Report paints a bit of a grim picture of the OLCC’s IT capabilities: [W]e found that OLCC management has not implemented an appropriate security management program for all agency IT systems. OLCC does not have sufficient policies, procedures, and plans in place to ensure that computer resources are protected against known vulnerabilities and physical threats. Although this does not affect the externally hosted marijuana applications, other programs and administrative systems at OLCC may be at risk. – The Report According to the Report, the OLCC currently does not have an up-to-date security plan, doesn’t adequately track information IT assets, doesn’t have a process to monitor for unauthorized changes or devices, cannot identify security vulnerabilities, lacks sufficient controls for physical access to OLCC sites and resources, and generally has servers and devices running on outdated platforms. None of that sounds very good. Additionally, the Report observes that OLCC hasn’t developed an adequate recovery plan in the event of a system wide event. To be fair, the OLCC backs up its data, but hasn’t tested whether those backups can be used to restore systems, so there is no knowing whether the established backup protocol will even work. All of these problems come back to the core issue we identified in the prior post: The OLCC is drastically underfunded for its mission. Fixing these problems will take expertise and resources that historically haven’t ... read more
    Source: Canna Law Blog – OregonPublished on 2018-03-24