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Republican lawmakers in Washington, D.C. have introduced legislation that would ban the spending of federal welfare benefits at cannabis dispensaries. Two pending pieces of legislation include language to prohibit the use of welfare benefits at marijuana retailers, including a wide-reaching Senate welfare reform bill and a stand-alone measure in the House of Representatives.

In the Senate, Republican Senator Steve Daines of Montana has included the ban in a welfare reform bill known as the “Jobs and Opportunity with Benefits and Services Act” or “JOBS Act,” (S.2381), which he introduced in the upper chamber of Congress on July 19.

The bill contains several reforms to the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, including provisions that provide job search assistance and others that require benefit recipients to work or actively seek employment. Also included in the JOBS Act is a section titled “Welfare for needs not weed,” a provision that bars the use of TANF funds at “any establishment that offers marihuana … for sale.”

“Finding and keeping a job is the best way for Montana families to go from government dependency to self-sufficiency,” Daines said in a statement on the legislation, which did not mention the cannabis provisions of the measure. “My

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A recent lawsuit filed against the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) claims that the organization did not make its meeting agenda available to the public, which violated a state law known as the Oklahoma Open Meeting Act.

The lawsuit is led by Tulsa-based attorney Ron Durbin of Durbin Law – Viridian, who spoke at a rally at the Oklahoma State Capitol in Oklahoma City on July 30. “One of the main reasons I’m here today is, we filed a new lawsuit against the OMMA, against Director Williams, against her secretary, against a lot of the new members of the board of health and the food safety standard board,” Durbin said.

Approximately 100 people attended the rally, according to Fox 25. “We don’t want to do this; this is ridiculous that we have to continue to do this stuff, but if they keep forcing our hand, we’re going to keep doing it.”

Oklahoma Being Sued for “Sneaky” Rule-making

The lawsuit claims that new, emergency rules for the industry, which went into effect on July 1, were agreed upon without making the community properly aware.

The lawsuit states that the OMMA violated the Oklahoma Open Meeting Act, which requires that all state meetings (such as local boards, commissions and

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Louisiana ended the punishment of jail time for possession of small amounts of recreational cannabis, which took effect Sunday. It was one of more than 250 new laws that took effect on the same day, including new requirements for doctors administering the abortion pill and restrictions on when police officers can use chokehold restraints.

That means people in Louisiana caught with small amounts of recreational cannabis will only face a fine—with no possibility of heading to jail. The new law makes possession of up to 14 grams of pot only a misdemeanor crime carrying a fine up to $100, even for repeat offenses.

The decriminalization effort there is long overdue. Several municipalities in the Louisiana area already had switched to fines instead of arrests for possession of small amounts of cannabis.

Louisiana Progress is a partnership between two organizations—Coalition for Louisiana Progress and Louisiana Progress Action Fund. The group was created to be a powerful statewide network focusing on supporting individuals, allies, advocates, organizations and elected officials who want to move an agenda built around more just and equitable systems in the state.

“Marijuana decriminalization will truly make a difference in the lives of the people of our state,” said Peter Robins-Brown, policy &

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On July 22, the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (“LCB”) issued a notice of adoption of an interpretive statement (the “Notice”) in which the agency clarified authorized practices for marijuana processor licensees. The Notice stipulates that licensed marijuana processors cannot legally convert cannabidiol (“CBD”) into delta-9 THC because their license privileges do not allow them to manufacture THC.

Specifically, the LCB explains that:

Licensed marijuana producer may produce “marijuana” products exceeding 0.3 percent THC concentration on a dry weight basis and are authorized by statute to source “marijuana” from licensed “marijuana” producers only; The statutory language does not authorize a licensed processor to source hemp-based product, such as legally derived CBD, and convert it to delta-9 THC; The process of conversion is not an identified privilege afforded to license marijuana processors; and RCW 69.50.326 enables licensed processors to source CBD products, whether from inside or outside the regulated system, for the purpose of enhancing the CBD concentration of marijuana and marijuana products. Yet, it does not address or affirmatively authorize the use of other isomers or derivatives of marijuana as additives to marijuana and marijuana products, nor does it authorize licensed processors to process other isomers or derivatives

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CANNABIS CULTURE – The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) is investing $2 million to address research gaps in the effects of cannabis on mental health among diverse populations of Canada.

“To gain a clear understanding of the mental health impacts of cannabis use in Canada, we must include representations from all areas of the population—particularly from those communities who are frequently overlooked in research,” said MHCC president and CEO Michel Rodrigue.

In total there are 18 research projects to address research gaps in the impacts of cannabis for individuals with a history of trauma, cannabis use among individuals with substance use disorders who identify as 2SLGBTQ+, and improved pathways to care for young people in racialized and Indigenous communities with emerging psychosis.

“I think it’s fair to say that the [MHCC] research on cannabis and mental health is making a really unique contribution because it’s so focused on the needs of diverse populations,” says Dr. Mary Bartram, MHCC Director of Mental Health and Substance Use. “And because it’s been really guided by what we call lived—and sometimes living—experience of cannabis and mental health. And that’s a core principle of the [MHCC] and, frankly the mental health and substance abuse

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Rhode Island is still dealing with legal setbacks to its medical cannabis lottery. 

Regulators in the state have once again delayed the lottery, which was initially supposed to take place this week. Now, it has been postponed because of an administrative appeal from a rejected lottery applicant. 

This is the second time the lottery has been delayed since the idea was first presented in the state. It was initially supposed to take place last spring, and now it will not be scheduled “until that appeal has run its course,” according to the Office of Cannabis Regulation in Rhode Island. 

The Office of Cannabis Regulation is managed with oversight from The Department of Business Revenue. They selected 24 applications from the 28 applicants who initially applied, and one who was not selected was not happy with the results.

Enlite RI, Livity Compassion Center, The Edward O. Hawkins Center and Atlas Enterprises were the companies that did not make the cut. Atlas Enterprises filed the appeal that is holding up the lottery. Now, because of this setback, regulators in the state are still figuring out how the lottery will work. 

Matthew Stacroce, chief of the Office of Cannabis Regulation, claims that it may be clearer “in a

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Charlotte’s Web Holdings, Inc. announced on July 30 that the company’s CW Labs science division and Colorado State University’s (CSU) College of Agricultural Sciences have completed the first of three collaborative metabolomic hemp studies to decode the complex chemical profile of full spectrum hemp extracts—made from the company’s patented hemp cultivars. 

Researchers continue to examine cannabinoid profiles in hemp extracts under varying cultivars and conditions. The studies explore the extent of the impact of environmental conditions, geographic regions, harvesting times and different extraction methods, regarding the resulting phytochemical profile of the hemp plant and its botanical extracts. 

Phase I of the investigation explicitly analyzed how hemp harvest processing and extraction protocols can be standardized to generate a consistent chemical profile. Under the oversight of Dr. Jessica Prenni, Associate Professor in the Department of Horticulture at CSU, graduate student Janina Bowen researched the Company’s proprietary hemp extracts in the Prenni Lab of the College of Agricultural Sciences.

“This is one of more than a dozen third-party scientific investigations Charlotte’s Web is conducting on the efficacy and safety of our hemp extracts,” Charlotte’s Web CEO Deanie Elsner said in a press release. “We have a commitment to advancing the science on hemp to support personal

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In the continuing trend of normalizing the cannabis industry for practical reasons, the New York State Bar Association’s (NYSBA) Committee on Professional Ethics issued Opinion 1225 (the Opinion). In short, the NYSBA now expressly permits lawyers to represent clients in New York’s recreational cannabis industry.

The NYSBA actually issued 3 separate determinations, each of which is incorporated into the New York Rules of Professional Rules of Conduct for attorneys:

First, attorneys may now ethically provide legal services to assist clients in compliance with New York’s recreational marijuana law (the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act). The NYSBA, in the context of Rule 1.2(d) which prohibits assisting clients to violate the law, adopted its prior opinion with respect to New York medical cannabis legislation to the recreational cannabis industry.

The NYSBA provided four reasons for its opinion:

In light of the federal government’s continued decision not to prosecute state-legalized medical cannabis, attorneys are provided “cover” to practice cannabis law: “Inasmuch as 17 states, plus Washington, D.C., and Guam, have now legalized recreational use of marijuana in some form . . . it seems fair to say that for nearly a decade of federal forbearance in the enforcement of federal narcotics laws

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Getting to closing on a cannabis M&A transaction is always a hurdle (read about that process in detail here). There are always a lot more contingencies to closing for cannabis M&A transactions than for run-of-the-mill businesses that don’t operate in highly regulated fields (e.g., cannabis acquisitions will require approval from state and possibly local agencies).

One closing condition that people often don’t focus on enough is landlord consent which often can be a huge challenge. In this post, I’ll look at why this is even an issue, and what makes it so challenging.

For the purposes of this post, I’ll focus mainly on business and asset purchase transactions. In California, M&A transactions generally involve business purchases given rules that prohibit transfer of license. Other jurisdictions may allow licenses to be transferred or at least obtained more easily while a business continues to operate and so purchases of all assets of the business (including their leasehold interest in the property they use) may be more common.

Whether someone is buying some of a cannabis business, all of a cannabis business, or just the assets of a cannabis business, the buyer is going to need to get the landlord that owns the property

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