The regulated U.S. cannabis industry is a hot mess. That might be the only thing everyone in the industry agrees on. Right now, there are two markets for cannabis in most of the country: One is the traditional underground market; the other is the state-legal, licensed market. It’s a tale of two markets, and there’s a collision course happening between the two. Those of us who’ve been working with the plant for decades – and made it legal – are… Read more.
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A combination of tax methods could help cannabis companies reduce their tax burden under Section 280E of the federal tax code. If recent case law is applied equitably, the cannabis industry could be sitting on millions of dollars in unclaimed federal tax refunds. The first, a method I call “the 280E asset,” is supported by very old case law and a recent federal claims court decision that barred the practice of deductions being recognized as basis. Basis refers to a business owner’s… Read more.
Believe it or not, Ron DeSantis used to be one of the coolest Republicans when it came to weed. Unfortunately, spineless Ron DeSantis has capitulated and fallen in line with the majority of his fellow career-politician Republican prohibitionists. The facts show he is now squarely opposed to the super-majority of Americans (including a majority of Republican voters) who support legalization. This is yet another reason why he must not be elected president. To be fair, before I continue to trash him,… Read more.
Bankruptcy can be a helpful tool for distressed businesses. The process allows a business to stop collection actions, discharge certain debts, cancel unfavorable contracts and provide breathing room to restructure the business. If your plant-touching cannabis operation is struggling or failing, however, the bankruptcy court will not provide protection to businesses that work with high-THC cannabis, or marijuana. Enter the state court receivership. Receivership is an equitable remedy that is often employed as a bankruptcy alternative. A receivership can address… Read more.
What if I told you that you could sell real cannabis edibles in traditional grocery, convenience and liquor stores in a few dozen states without being bound by local marijuana laws and regulations? What if I told you there’s a huge opportunity for cannabis companies to get their edibles in front of millions of consumers who would never consider walking into a marijuana retailer, but the biggest players in the MJ space seem too scared to take advantage of it?… Read more.
Since California legalized the use of cannabis for medical purposes in 1996, there has existed a growing chasm between state-level marijuana policies and federal law. Today, the majority of states and the District of Columbia authorize the state-licensed production and sale of cannabis to qualifying patients. Twenty-three of these states also regulate the possession and use of marijuana by adults. Nonetheless, under the U.S. Controlled Substances Act (CSA) of 1970, the cannabis plant is classified as a prohibited controlled substance. The CSA exists to… Read more.
If you have been paying attention to the California cannabis market recently, you have heard about the credit crisis many suppliers are dealing with. Not only do marijuana-related operators in the state owe more than $250 million in unpaid taxes – a primary reason for small-business failure in corporate America – but they also are owed millions of dollars in accounts receivable (up to $600 million) from other cannabis-related businesses. Because of this, a coalition of marijuana firms in California is trying to pass Assembly… Read more.
Last fall, President Joe Biden called on the leaders of the U.S. departments of Justice and Health and Human Services to “review expeditiously” how marijuana is scheduled. The move opened the door to renewed speculation about how descheduling – or rescheduling – marijuana would affect regulated cannabis markets operating across the country. Those of us in the industry were obviously pleased with Biden’s request. But the president’s move also emphasized the need for policy reform that will benefit smaller, independent cannabis businesses – not… Read more.
As states navigate the distribution of marijuana business licenses, a number of markets have implemented state residency as a condition to apply for or receive a license. However, as three recent court cases have addressed, residency requirements might be in conflict with the implicit dormant commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution, which generally prohibits states from passing legislation that discriminates against or excessively burdens out-of-state citizens compared to in-state citizens. The clause expressly grants Congress the right to regulate commerce… Read more.
In 2014, Colorado made history as the first state in the country to open recreational dispensaries for legal cannabis sales. No one really knew what to expect, but one thing was clear right away: The infant industry was growing fast. As consumers became more savvy and product lines became more diverse, entrepreneurial-minded individuals working in the space saw a wealth of opportunity. One sector that provided this opportunity hinged on growing interest in vape products. Two Colorado budtenders at a… Read more.
The Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) of 1970, also known as the Currency and Foreign Transactions Reporting Act, requires banks and other financial institutions to report cash deposits over $10,000 in order to help the federal government detect and/or prevent money laundering and other financial crimes. Financial institutions are subject to audits by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to make sure they are in compliance with BSA reporting and recordkeeping requirements. It is extremely important for plant-touching businesses to understand… Read more.
By Reggie Babin, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP With the recent reintroduction of the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, Congress is once again engaged in an effort to achieve a meaningful breakthrough on federal cannabis reform. Understandably, many have serious doubts as to whether this time will be any different than previous iterations while others are likely convinced that it won’t be. After spending the past six years working to advance this issue in Congress as the… Read more.
In the United States, we have an amazing variety of choices in our beverage alcohol marketplace—and every choice a consumer makes can be made with confidence knowing that the beverage they are about to consume is safe, free of illicit or dangerous ingredients and the proof is exact. More than 50 percent of the U.S. population lives in a legal adult-use cannabis state, yet these same regulations and testing standards that keep American beverage alcohol consumers safe don’t exist for… Read more.
Everyone talks about the homeless problem, and now the DUI problem, but never addresses what has really changed in Arizona. The decision to legalize cannabis was a major mistake, especially after seeing the negative effects it had on Colorado after that state legalized recreational marijuana before the pandemic. The gateway drug is now legal, and the access to all drugs is out of control. We cannot blame this on our county officials. Unfortunately, we the voters created this new environment. (Full Story) Read more.
The status of federal legalization in the United States is still a topic of conversation, though more so abroad than at home. Once a hot topic on domestic trade-show panels and podcasts, the energy and excitement admittedly have died down in what many refer to as the “post-pandemic” period. Legalization has lost its place on most national news outlets’ broadcasts and proverbial front-page news slots. Online, a keyword search for “federal legalization” and related terms yields few results. Instead, most search-engine returns… Read more.
Many cannabis businesses might look at HVAC systems as simple heaters or air conditioners, but the reality is quite different. HVAC is a highly complex system of interconnected equipment that must work in harmony to create the precise temperature, humidity and air-quality conditions that marijuana plants need to thrive. A lack of comprehensive HVAC planning in both new and recommissioned facilities – as well as less-than-regular maintenance – can cause myriad problems within these complex systems. Even minor fluctuations in… Read more.
When you apply for a marijuana business license in California, one of the many documents you must sign is a sworn statement that your business will enter into a labor peace agreement, or LPA. Almost every licensed cannabis entrepreneur will eventually have to sign an LPA, which is a preliminary contract between your business and a labor union. However, many in the industry sign an LPA without even reading it or understanding what it means for their business – let… Read more.
The cannabis industry is in distress. Marijuana companies across North America are laying off employees, retailers are closing their doors and cultivation facilities are turning off the grow lights. It is not all doom and gloom, though. Cannabis producers can take steps to adopt a craft-at-scale model built to handle the downturn. Improve efficiency and quality The decrease in cannabis wholesale prices can be mitigated by limiting operational expenses. Automation is one way to reduce labor costs. As general labor is… Read more.
In an industry that once had an unusually high percentage of female CEOs, the marijuana sector now has fewer women in leadership positions than the U.S. average. According to MJBizDaily’s 2022 report, “Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in the Cannabis Industry,” the percentage of women executives in cannabis fell from 36.8% in 2019 to 23.1% last year. Meanwhile, the Russell 3000 index of publicly traded companies reports that women now hold 28% of board seats of the 3,000 largest U.S. stocks it tracks. How did… Read more.