Cannabis Companies Sue U.S. Attorney General Over Federal Cannabis Laws

October 28, 2023 · Ganjapreneur

A group of Massachusetts-based cannabis companies are suing U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland over federal cannabis laws, arguing the laws infringe on state powers, harms their business, and threatens the businesses’ safety because the laws force them to operate entirely in cash.  

The plaintiffs include Canna Provisions, Inc., Wiseacre Farm, Inc., Verano Holdings Corp., and Gyasi Sellers, an individual who operates a cannabis courier business.

The lawsuit points to a 2005 Supreme Court decision (Gonzales v. Raich) that found because Congress intended to “eradicate” cannabis from interstate commerce, including both economic and noneconomic uses of cannabis, the federal government had a rational and therefore lawful purpose in intruding on the states’ own cannabis regulation; however, the lawsuit contends that “in the decades since that decision, Congress and the Executive Branch have abandoned any intent to ‘eradicate’ marijuana.”

The plaintiffs allege their businesses have been harmed by federal cannabis prohibition. Sellers says his businesses are unable to obtain Small Business Association (SBA) loans because the agency deems cannabis businesses are “ineligible for SBA assistance” regardless of whether they comply with state law. Canna Provisions contends it has been barred from MassHire, one of the state’s career services organizations, from posting jobs or running workshops and that company employees and officers have had personal bank accounts shut down or mortgages declined because they work with cannabis. Wiseacre Farm claims it was unable to lease lands from a willing Massachusetts farmer because the farmer feared losing federal agriculture grant money.

“All of these harms, along with numerous other harms to Plaintiffs alleged herein, are caused by the federal government’s unconstitutional ban on cultivating, manufacturing, distributing, or possessing intrastate marijuana,” the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit further contends that the federal ban on cannabis results in punitive taxation and eliminates state-regulated cannabis businesses’ rights under federal law because companies are not allowed to claim deductions or credits on federal taxes and are unable to trademark their products.

The plaintiffs seek to have the Controlled Substances Act, as it relates to cannabis, ruled unconstitutional and prohibit the federal government, namely the attorney general, from enforcing the law “in a manner that interferes with the intrastate cultivation, manufacture, possession, and distribution” of cannabis under state laws. (Full Story)

In category:Legal
Next Post

Federal Judge Denies Attempt to Block Virginia Hemp Restrictions

A federal judge in Northern Virginia on Monday denied an attempt to block a recently enacted state law that imposed stricter limits on intoxicating hemp products, the Virgnia Mercury reports. In the opinion, U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema said the state “demonstrated…
Previous Post

Federal Appeals Court Rules Against DEA In Psilocybin Rescheduling Lawsuit Brought By Doctor Who Wants To Give Psychedelic To Cancer Patients

A federal appeals court has ruled against the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in a lawsuit over a Washington State doctor’s petition to reschedule psilocybin. The court said DEA failed to explain its reasoning when it denied the petition, and it ordered…
Random Post

Psilocybin’s ‘Efficacy And Safety’ For Bipolar II Depression Demonstrated By American Medical Association Study

Results of a new clinical trial published by the American Medical Association “suggest efficacy and safety” of psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy for treatment of bipolar II disorder, a mental health condition often associated with debilitating and difficult-to-treat depressive episodes. “The 15 participants…
Random Post

New York Approves Plans to Allow Cannabis ‘Showcases’ & Sales at Public Events

New York cannabis regulators on Wednesday voted to approve a “cannabis showcase” program that would allow growers to sell products to the public at events, NBC 5 reports. The Cannabis Showcase will allow growers to partner with adult-use cannabis retailers and processors to organize events…
Random Post

New York Marijuana Retail Licensing Pause Extended at Least Two Weeks

The temporary restraining order that halted further cannabis retail licensing in New York was extended by at least two weeks by a state judge on Friday, in a case that has hundreds of conditional permitholders wondering what will come next…
Random Post

Why This Cannabis Capital Conference In Chicago Is A Must-Attend In Fall

In a highly anticipated move that's sending ripples through the cannabis industry, the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference is set to return to Chicago on September 27-28, following its spectacularly successful April event in Miami. This flagship event has steadily grown in reputation and influence,…