Major News
United States
UK & Europe
Banking & Finance
Intellectual Property
Pharma Industry
Implications & Risks
Cannabis Industry
Major News
Marijuana Advocates Wait for Trump's Stance on Legalized Cannabis
In the wake of Donald Trump’s victory in the Nov. 8 election, marijuana legalization advocates are left with a big unanswered question: How will the Trump Administration change federal policies on cannabis? At this point, no one knows for certain. While some voice optimism about Trump’s past statements on legalized marijuana, others have concerns about the opinions of potential cabinet members and Vice President-elect Mike Pence. The difference between the two leaves plenty of room for uncertainty.

Entrepreneur Magazine on Nov 17, 2016
Pro Football Group Considers Marijuana as Pain-Management Tool for Players
The NFL Players Association told The Washington Post last week that it plans to form a committee that will consider marijuana as a potential pain-management tool for its players. “We are actively looking at the issue of pain management of our players,” said NFLPA Assistant Executive Director of External Affairs George Atallah to The Post. “And studying marijuana as a substance under that context is the direction we are focused on.”

Associations Now on Nov 15, 2016
Bars can’t seek new Denver social marijuana use permits allowed by Initiative 300, state rules
State licensing officials delivered a blow Friday to Denver’s voter-passed Initiative 300 by announcing a new rule that will keep bars and many restaurants from applying for new social marijuana use permits. The new regulation starting Jan. 1 will make clear that liquor licensees cannot allow the consumption of marijuana on their premises. It greatly expands the types of businesses that likely will be disqualified from applying for the new permits for on-site marijuana consumption areas when the city makes applications available in late January, as required by Initiative 300.

Denver Post Marijuana News on Nov 18, 2016
back to top 
United States
Preliminary licenses to dispense medical marijuana in Maryland will be announced in December
More than a year after they applied for one of about 100 licenses to dispense medical marijuana, the winners will be formally announced on Dec. 9. The Maryland Cannabis Commission announced late Thursday that winning applications, as ranked by the panel's double-blind process, will be selected at a 10 a.m. meeting in Howard County on Nov. 28. The identities of the winners will be revealed 10 days later. The state received more than 800 applications to open dispensaries across Maryland. The law legalizing medical marijuana allows for up to two dispensaries in each of Maryland's 47 legislative districts, plus one for each of the 15 marijuana growers.

Baltimore Sun News on Nov 19, 2016
Massachusetts marijuana law may change; higher tax possible
Massachusetts has become the first state on the East Coast to legalize recreational marijuana, and our state’s new law will go into effect in about a month. It was a hard-fought campaign on both sides, but ultimately, 54% of Massachusetts residents voted “yes” on Question 4, to legalize and tax the sale of recreational pot. Beginning on December 15, adults over the age of 21 will be legally allowed to possess up to one ounce of marijuana in public, and grow up to six plants at home. You will not see commercial retail stores open up until 2018. Top state leaders are already considering whether to increase the 12% tax on the drug, which is less than half the rate in Colorado.

on undefined NaN, NaN
Arkansas Lawmakers Weigh Launch Delay, Taxes for Medical Marijuana
Arkansas lawmakers are considering delaying the launch of the first medical marijuana program in the Bible Belt as well as an effort to impose taxes on the drug, as they work on legislation for next year's session spelling out how pot would be made available to patients. The ideas are among several that lawmakers are discussing after voters approved a constitutional amendment earlier this month allowing eligible patients to buy marijuana from licensed dispensaries. The state Legislature can change parts of the amendment with a two-thirds vote, as long as it doesn't affect provisions legalizing medical marijuana or setting the number of dispensaries allowed.

Arkansas Business Daily Report on Nov 18, 2016
Oregon cities setting rules after opting in to legal pot
Some 30 counties and cities in Oregon approved some type of marijuana businesses in last week's election, and officials in those communities now must establish rules for every step in the production and supply chain. When voters legalized recreational marijuana statewide two years ago, the communities — from the cowboy town of Pendleton to Sweet Home in the Willamette Valley — opted out. But many switched it up this month, voting to allow at least some form of the pot industry, including medical marijuana. "No one has done this in Oregon since liquor Prohibition," said Scott Winkels, a lobbyist with the League of Oregon Cities. "This is the first time we've had to step in and develop and regulate a marketplace for a controlled substance since 1933."

Columbus CEO on Nov 19, 2016
back to top 
Donald Trump presidency will give Canadian pot firms a ‘head start’
Canada’s medical-cannabis companies say their American counterparts will continue to be stifled under the upcoming Trump presidency, during which Canadian growers will scale up to meet the domestic demand for recreational pot while preparing to enter the U.S. market as global industry leaders once prohibition there ends. Last Tuesday, voters in California, Massachusetts, Nevada and Maine legalized the sale of recreational marijuana, joining four western states and Washington, in allowing adults to use the drug. Florida, Arkansas, Montana and North Dakota also voted for medical cannabis, which is now supported by a total of 29 states. While one in five Americans will soon live in jurisdictions that have legalized recreational cannabis, president-elect Donald Trump has said he is against changing a federal law prohibiting the drug. That means the growth of U.S. companies will likely be stymied over the next four years by a number of barriers, including the inability to transfer the drug across state lines, blacklisting by risk-averse banks and not having access to capital from many institutional investors.

Globe and Mail on Nov 15, 2016
Shoppers Drug Mart right spot to sell medicinal pot: poll
A majority of Canadians are high on Shoppers Drug Mart selling medicinal marijuana, especially young adults and higher-income earners, a new Forum Research poll says. Sixty-one per cent said they approve of Canada’s largest pharmacy applying to become a licensed marijuana producer for the purpose of retailing medicinal weed while 30 per cent disapprove and the remainder have no opinion either way, the new survey says. Besides the 85 per cent of recent cannabis users, those ages 18 to 34 were most in favour, with 76 per cent giving Shoppers the thumbs up along with 71 per cent of the wealthiest surveyed (earning between $100,000 to $250,000 a year).

Toronto Star - Business News on Nov 14, 2016
Majority of Canadians worry road safety will decline when marijuana is legalized
Almost two thirds of Canadians are concerned that roads will become more dangerous with the legalization of marijuana, says a poll released by the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) today. "We need to make sure that road safety is a top priority as marijuana is legalized," said Jeff Walker, vice-president of public affairs, CAA National. "This is clearly a key issue for Canadians, and they are right to be worried." The CAA poll found 63 percent of Canadians worry road safety will decline when marijuana is legalized.

eTurboNews on Nov 14, 2016
back to top 
UK & Europe
Poll: Majority in Ireland Want Medical Marijuana Legalized
A new poll reports that a majority of adults in Ireland want the country to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes, as reported by The Journal. Amárach, a Dublin-based market research firm, conducted the poll for The Claire Byrne show and found that 77% of respondents supported medical marijuana legalization, 13% opposed it and 10% were undecided. According to The Journal, Ireland’s Minister for Health Simon Harris has requested that the Health Products Regulatory Authority open a dialogue with experts to gather advice on medical cannabis as a treatment option for particular conditions. Simon added that there are no plans to completely decriminalize cannabis in the country.

MJI News Marijuana Investors on Nov 16, 2016
Barcelona cannabis club shut down for selling marijuana candy
Authorities in Spain closed down a cannabis club in Barcelona that sold marijuana candy and other similar products to more than 16,000 people, many of them tourists, police said Tuesday. They arrested five managers of the club, which opened in 2013 in the centre of the popular Mediterranean seaside city, the Guardia Civil police force said in a statement. These types of clubs often fall into legal limbo in Spain, where trafficking marijuana is illegal but consuming it is not.
Digital Journal - Latest News on Nov 15, 2016
back to top 
Banking & Finance
Oakland takes steps to create city-owned bank for cannabis industry, local businesses
The City of Oakland is looking into creating a public bank in the hopes of helping cannabis businesses stay safer and have a better financial infrastructure that will allow them to grow responsibly, a councilwoman said this week. "Creating a local bank in the city of Oakland could benefit lots of local businesses," Oakland City Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan told local Fox affiliate KTVU."But, it's also a great match for the needs of our growing cannabis industry to have access to safe banking."

Biz Journal - Banking & Financial News on Nov 17, 2016
New REIT Focused on Medical-Use Cannabis Facilities Plans $175M IPO
A new San Diego-based real estate investment company, focused on medical-use cannabis facilities and led by former BioMed Realty CEO Alan Gold, has filed for a $175 million initial public offering of its common stock. The real estate investment trust, called Innovative Industrial Properties Inc., lists a Rancho Bernardo address as its main office. According to a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company has filed to sell 8.75 million shares of Class A common stock at $20 per share, and has been approved to list shares on the New York Stock Exchange. The company made its initial filing on Oct. 17 and revised the filing on Nov. 7. Its prospectus indicates that its real estate investments will consist of primarily industrial properties “suitable for cultivation and production of medical-use cannabis.”

San Diego Business Journal - Finance on Nov 14, 2016
back to top 
Intellectual Property
Potchain 1.0 and Blockchain
This is not a post about marijuana, weed, dope, pot or whatever you want to call marijuana. Well, maybe it is, but from a technological perspective on how the legal cannabis industry is embracing blockchain technology. If you are an employer interested in the legal issues, I recommend reading through the legal alerts that my law firm Fisher Phillips attorneys have written. With an increasing number of states (now 28) plus the District of Columbia having passed medical marijuana legislation, this new, fast-growing sector of the economy presents challenges. Even in legalized states, there are things that cannabis-related businesses can't do, particularly when it comes to banking and legal protection. A host of startups are beginning to tackle these challenges with blockchain. They are employing the distributed, immutable ledger technology in everything from banking, finance and regulatory compliance to storing cannabis strain DNA via blockchain technology to protect growers' intellectual property (IP). put together a list of some of those blockchain companies competing in this space.

JD Supra on Nov 19, 2016
back to top 
Pharma Industry
Marijuana could help curb opioid addiction, study finds
Medical cannabis could help individuals battling alcohol or opioid abuse disorders curb their addiction, according to a systematic review of mental health literature published in Clinical Psychology Review. For the review, researchers examined 60 articles on marijuana use and mental health. Thirty-one of the articles focused on the use of cannabis for therapeutic purposes and 29 articles examined cannabis use — not explicitly tied to therapeutic purposes — and mental health. In addition to identifying preliminary evidence suggesting medicinal marijuana use could help curb addictions to pain medications and alcohol, reviewers found evidence suggesting cannabis use for therapeutic purposes could help mitigate symptoms of depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and social anxiety. However, reviewers also discovered evidence suggesting therapeutic marijuana may not benefit individuals suffering from bipolar disorder and psychosis.

Becker's Healthcare - Infection Control & Clinical Quality on Nov 16, 2016
back to top 
Implications & Risks
California's Medical Marijuana Industry Will Be Tax-Free Until 2018
The successful passage of California's Proposition 64 legalized recreational marijuana in the state. But for the next 14 months, medical marijuana patients will enjoy tax-free cannabis. California voters, along with Nevada, Maine and Massachusetts voters, legalized recreational marijuana on election day. These states now join Colorado, Oregon, Washington and Alaska as the only states in the U.S. that have decided to tax and regulate marijuana similar to alcohol. But due to what the authors of the ballot measure refer to a typographical error in its language, California's medical marijuana patients will not have to pay sales tax on purchases until 2018. This negates, at least for a year, one of the major benefits of marijuana legalization -- hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue from adult use sales. (Colorado alone brought in $996 million last year.) Headlines on Nov 17, 2016
Marijuana Legalization Means More Tobacco Smokers, Prediction Says
State of California's decision to legalize marijuana was touted as a victory for those who had argued that the state needed a system to decriminalize, regulate and tax it. But the new law, approved by voters on Nov. 8, also could be a boon to the tobacco industry at a time when cigarette smoking is down and cigarette companies are looking for ways to expand their market, according to researchers in Los Angeles County and around the state. They warn that unless the state proceeds carefully, the legalization of marijuana for recreational use could roll back some of the gains California has made in reducing the use of tobacco.
Venture Capital Post on Nov 19, 2016
Legal Pot Poses a Problem for Gun Buyers
Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s husband and sons ordered her a new Benelli 12-gauge shotgun as a gift, but when the Alaska Republican—and enthusiastic duck hunter—went to pick it up, she was puzzled by a question on the federal background form she had to fill out. The form asked if she used marijuana for medicinal or recreational purposes, both of which are legal in Alaska. If she answered yes, she would be unable to get the gun, because federal law prohibits anyone who uses illegal drugs from buying a firearm. The senator doesn’t use pot, but she was taken aback by the notion that an activity that is legal in her state could block gun ownership. “I don’t like marijuana—I voted against legalization—but we passed it,” she said in an interview. “Now, you’ve got this conflict.”

Wall Street Journal Politics News on Nov 15, 2016
back to top 
Cannabis Industry
CU says the marijuana scientists study isn't as strong as it should be
A study by the University of Colorado Boulder determined that the marijuana that's studied by federal scientists isn't as nearly as strong as what's available to consumers. That's a problem, the study reported, because it is "potentially compromising the validity of research into the drug’s effects."

Biz Journal - Agriculture News on Nov 16, 2016
California marijuana industry is a '$25 billion opportunity'
MedMen likens itself, as many cannabis companies do, to an early tech startup. Its West Hollywood dispensary looks a bit like an Apple store, with samples of product in polished glass cases and information about each on iPads. In a grow facility in Sun Valley, north of Los Angeles, marijuana plants grow in coconut fiber, sustained by drip irrigation and marked by thin plastic labels stuck in soil. Beyond the dispensary and cultivation center, the company offers "turnkey management services" to others in the cannabis space and boasts a $100 million venture capital fund. This is the future of legal marijuana in California: Diversification, slick branding and professional investment.

USA Today - Money News on Nov 18, 2016
Marijuana market poised to be worth $1.6 billion in Florida by 2020
A new report says that Florida's newly legal medical marijuana marketplace will be worth over $1 billion during the next election cycle. California-based Arcview Market Research, through a study with New Frontier, projected that Florida's marijuana market will be valued at $1.6 billion by 2020 after voters approved Amendment 2.

NY Business Journal Health Care News on Nov 14, 2016
Rescheduling Marijuana Could Shut Out Smaller Businesses
The presidential election wasn't the only major decision voters made on Election Day. Residents in nine states also voted on whether to legalize marijuana, five of which were voting on a recreational-cannabis initiative. California is of particular importance for the pot industry, since it alone represents the eighth-largest GDP in the world. The thinking is that If the marijuana industry can successfully be regulated in California, it can presumably be regulated throughout the United States. So what might the marijuana industry look like with Donald Trump as president?

Newsweek on Nov 19, 2016
Carlos Santana Launches Cannabis Inhaler in Colorado
On Nov. 16, 2016, Carlos Santana launched his branded cannabis inhaler, Santana Smooth, at Marisol Therapeutics in Pueblo West, Colorado. “We want to affect consciousness with healing and giving people a better quality of life physically and hopefully psychologically. The world needs to know that there’s a difference between medicine and drugs,” Santana said, as reported by FOX21 News. “Humans make drugs in laboratories. Mother Nature makes medicine.” According to the Pueblo Chieftain, Marisol Therapeutics’ owner Mike Stettler, the medical and recreational dispensary’s staff, the Greater Pueblo Chamber of Commerce and fans all joined Santana for the launch of his cannabis inhaler.

MJI News Marijuana Investors on Nov 18, 2016
Cannabis industry ecosystem sprouts in Oregon
We already knew legalized marijuana was boosting Oregon revenues directly through a sales tax, kicking $40.2 million to Salem in the first nine months of the year off more than $160 million in sales. Now there are fresh signs that legalization is capable of doing more[.]
NY Business Journal Legal Services News on Nov 18, 2016
back to top