As with many states, Texas and the cannabis plant have a long, complex history – from the first citywide cannabis ban adopted in El Paso in 1915, to the enactment of state laws in 1931 that made possession of any amount of cannabis illegal statewide, to imposing in 1955 sentences of up to life imprisonment for cannabis possession by repeat offenders.
Continue Reading Easing the Pain: Relief for Texans in the Form of Low-THC Cannabis

This article originally appeared in Cannabis Business Executive​ on June 10, 2020.

Claimed “illegality” of cannabusinesses continues to be a critical issue for them in their ability to enforce their rights in the courts. The ability to seek judicial relief may be especially important to some cannabusinesses that are struggling as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic (e.g., to seek bankruptcy relief, or to obtain compensation from customers or suppliers that breach contracts). In our December 2019 articles[i], we observed that a cannabusiness may find it difficult to pursue its Intellectual Property (IP) rights in certain jurisdictions where cannabis remains illegal. Here, we provide an update on the “illegality” issue, including outside of the IP arena. We discuss some recent legal rulings in the cannabis space and some potential ramifications to cannabusinesses’ ability to seek bankruptcy and other relief in the courts.
Continue Reading The Status of a Cannabusiness’ Ability to Seek Relief in the Courts — the ‘Illegality’ Issue

Many Illinois cannabis contracts, including intellectual property licensing agreements, development agreements and supply agreements, contain force majeure clauses.  Depending upon the language of these clauses, the COVID-19 pandemic may be an event that triggers these clauses and provides a defense to nonperformance of the contract.

Companies that are experiencing difficulties complying with or enforcing compliance with their contracts should carefully examine their contracts to determine if a force majeure clause may excuse performance.

On March 20, 2020, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker issued a stay at home order for all Illinois residents.  (Executive Order 2020-10.)  On April 30, 2020, Governor Pritzker extended the stay-at-home order through May 30, 2020.  (Executive Order 2020-32.)  Many other state and local government agencies have taken similar measures.  And, while cannabis dispensaries and cultivation facilities are deemed to be “essential businesses” under the Illinois orders, some other states, such as Massachusetts, have not exempted such facilities.[1]  As a result of the restrictions placed on businesses due to the COVID-19 pandemic, companies operating in the cannabis industry in Illinois may be experiencing compliance-related difficulties with their contracts.


Continue Reading IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON ILLINOIS CANNABIS CONTRACTS — Do Force Majeure Clauses Provide A Defense To Non-Performance

In an effort to stem the tide of COVID-19 transmission, many state and local governments have enacted “shelter-in-place” or “stay-at-home” orders to protect the health and well-being of citizens, and
Continue Reading Continued Cannabis Operation Deemed “Essential” In Many COVID-19 Stay-at-Home Orders

QR Codes for Retailers, Distributors, and Delivery

On February 13, 2020, The Bureau of Cannabis Control’s (BCC) emergency rulemaking for Quick Response Code (QR Code) certificate requirements was approved by
Continue Reading California Update: New QR Code Certificate Requirements, Uptick in Enforcement Actions, and the Future of California’s Cannabis Regulators

Effective January 1, 2020, Nevada became the first state to ban employers from refusing to hire job applicants for testing positive for cannabis use. Governor Steve Sisolak signed Assembly Bill
Continue Reading Nevada Law Prohibiting Denial of Employment Based on Failed Cannabis Test Leaves Unanswered Questions

In a case of first impression, the New Jersey Appellate Division determined that employers in the state must reimburse employees for medical cannabis following a workplace accident, despite federal prohibitions
Continue Reading New Jersey Court Commands Cannabis Reimbursement in Workers’ Compensation Dispute