Adam R. Dolan

All articles by Adam R. Dolan

 

I’m Back in a New York State of Mind

In a shocking bit of news, on Monday, March 25, 2019, New Jersey lawmakers called off a vote to legalize adult use cannabis. The news was particularly shocking given that New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy ran on a platform that partly emphasized the need and desire to legalize adult use cannabis. So what now? Specifically, what now for New York? If this decision is any indication, New York must get their proposed legislation correct. New York will need to decide if it sticks with six…  

FDA’s Opinion: CBD You in April…Maybe.

On Wednesday, February 27, 2019, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, testified before Congress. He testified that the agency planned a public meeting in April to begin a rule making procedure on CBD. The goal is to create “an appropriately efficient and predictable regulatory framework for regulating CBD products,” he said. This is good news for those in the hemp and cannabis market. Unfortunately, the statement also means that CBD infused products are still illegal in the U.S. Dr. Gottlieb’s testimony is further evidence of the…  

Medical Cannabis and the Potential for Criminal Charges

This past Monday, February 4, 2019, a medical cannabis patient in Utah plead guilty to a Class B misdemeanor for possession of a controlled substance. The patient had a quantity of CBD oil in his trunk. He used that oil as medicine to treat epilepsy. However, the patient purchased the oil in Oregon and it contained small amounts of THC, though not an intoxicating amount. Oregon allows its CBD oil to contain small amounts of THC. Utah does not allow the presence of THC in…  

Crossing (State) Lines

Since 2014, New York has made medical cannabis available to individuals suffering from a variety of conditions under the Compassionate Care Act.  However, in order to obtain medical cannabis, a patient must be certified by a medical professional licensed in New York.  Now, two states have decided that open lines of communication (and sales) should be allowed.  On January 2, 2019, the Arkansas Department of Health announced it planned on issuing registry identification cards by February, following a meeting by the Medical Marijuana Commission where…  

A New York State of Mind (on Cannabis)

Since 2014, New York has made medical cannabis available to individuals suffering from a variety of conditions under the Compassionate Care Act.  If recent news articles are to be believed, New York State is looking to legalize adult use cannabis early in 2019.  New York would then join the ranks of other states legalizing adult use such as Colorado, Massachusetts and California in allowing adults over the age of 21 to purchase and use cannabis. It will be interesting to see what the final adult…  

Employer/Employee Relationships Under Medical Marijuana Laws

I’ve recently been on a kick writing about Missouri’s recent passage of State Constitutional Amendment Two legalizing the use of medical marijuana within the state. Past posts discussed some of the specifics of the law and some of the problems that may develop when Missouri, like other states, has problems with conflicting federal laws (Second Amendment and gun ownership). Continuing on my Missouri kick as they are one of the more recent states to legalize medical marijuana, I thought we’d next address another thorny topic…  

Medical Marijuana and Guns (Still) Don’t Mix…For Now

A few weeks back, we discussed the issues Maryland faced now that it legalized medical marijuana – specifically, gun ownership.  As most of you know by now, federal law bars federal firearm licensee’s from selling firearms to persons who utilize medical marijuana.  Under the Federal Gun Control Act, 18 U.S.C. 922(d)(3), it is unlawful for any person to sell or otherwise dispose of any firearm or ammunition to any person knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that such person is an unlawful user of…  

Will Missouri Become the Next State to Legalize Medical Marijuana – Part II

On November 6th, 2018, Missouri voters will decide whether or not the use of medical marijuana to treat approved conditions becomes legal. There are three marijuana initiatives on the ballot – Constitutional Amendment Two, Constitutional Amendment Three and Proposition “C”. A vote for “Yes” on any of the three ballot initiatives would legalize medical marijuana. Each initiative has differences and we previously discussed Amendment Two in our last post. Today we focus on Amendment Three. Amendment Three proposes to
  • legalize marijuana for medical
 

Will Missouri Become the Next State to Legalize Medical Marijuana

On November 6th, Missouri voters will decide whether or not the use of medical marijuana to treat approved conditions becomes legal. There are three marijuana initiatives on the ballot – Constitutional Amendment Two, Constitutional Amendment Three and Proposition “C”. A vote for “yes” on any of the three ballot initiatives would legalize medical marijuana. Each initiative has differences and over the coming days we’ll break down each of them. We start with Proposed Constitutional Amendment Two. Amendment Two proposes to:
  • legalize marijuana for
 

Medical Marijuana and Guns Don’t Mix in Maryland

When Maryland legalized medical marijuana, individuals suffering from a variety of medical problems gained access to a drug that can provide relief to them without many of the problems posed by more addictive opioids. However, now the state government has informed Maryland residents that if you are legally using medical marijuana to treat a condition, you can no longer own a gun. There have been efforts introduced to allow Maryland residents who are legally allowed to use medical marijuana to possess firearms, but to date…  

U.S. Federal Government Continues to Potentially Prevent Entry of Canadian Citizens

A few posts back, we discussed the ongoing tension between the United States Federal Government and Canada regarding Canadian citizens entering the United States if they were somehow connected to the cannabis industry.  On October 9, 2018, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, through the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, released a statement updating their earlier stance regarding the entry of Canadian citizens connected to the cannabis industry. At first blush, it seems a normal press release – drug addicts and convicted felons are barred…  

Noffsinger v. SSC Niantic Operating Company, LLC Update

For the last year or so, healthcare worker Katelin Noffsinger has been proceeding forward with a case against a former potential employer regarding her use of medical marijuana to deal with the effects of a car accident. As many know, Ms. Noffsinger informed her potential employer of this use ahead of a company mandated drug test. When a drug test came back positive, the nursing home rescinded her job offer anyway. As a result, Ms. Noffsinger brought an employment discrimination suit against SSC Niantic Operating…  

Daily Changes Across the Cannabis Legal Landscape

At this point, it should be no surprise to anyone that on a daily basis, the legal landscape of Cannabis law changes.  Zoning issues, licensing and potential medical conditions that can utilize cannabis for treatment are just some of the areas that face consistent legal scrutiny.  Below are just a few examples of some of the changes that have occurred in various states within the past two DAYS. In Richmond, Maine, voters at a special town meeting on September 24th decided against imposing a…  

Update on Medical Cannabis for Veterans

As we recently noted in our last blog post, Senators Nelson and Schatz from Florida and Hawaii introduced The Veterans Medical Marijuana Safe Harbor Act.  The legislation provided our military veterans access to medical cannabis if they were found to be suffering from chronic pain, PTSD and other serious medical conditions, as well as funding clinical trial research within the Department of Veterans Affairs. As quickly as it was introduced and actually approved in the Senate by a vote of 85-9, it was also quickly…  

Medical Cannabis for Veterans? We May be Closer Than You Think

Under current law, Department of Veterans Affairs physicians are not permitted to recommend the use of medical cannabis to veterans, even within the 31 states that have passed regulations allowing its use. However, two senators have just filed legislation seeking to change this stance. On September 5, 2018, Senators Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Brian Schatz (D-HI) filed legislation that would legalize medical cannabis use for military veterans and allow physicians employed by the federal government assist the veterans in obtaining the drug. The bill, titled…  

Issues Abound in Cannabis Cultivation – What Can We Expect

When cannabis began its march towards legalization, both medically and recreationally, there were many mistakes made by state agencies issuing licenses for cultivation, manufacturing and dispensing. This was the result of self-imposed deadlines, no clear path how to go about deciding who “wins” a license and who does not and various legal hurdles concerning everything from zoning to security for facilities. And as always, let’s not forget the Federal Government’s continued ban on cannabis as a Schedule I substance. Many believe other countries throughout the…  

A Big Week of Changes in Cannabis Law

Despite continued animosity by U.S. Department of Justice regarding marijuana and marijuana-based products, at least one branch of the federal government decided that the time was right to approve the use of a drug made from cannabidiol. As many of you know from our earlier posts, U.K. company GW Pharmaceuticals Plc, created a drug to treat seizures associated with two types of epilepsy that typically affect children. After providing substantial evidence to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), on Monday, June 25, 2018, the FDA…  

Potential Approval by the FDA of New Cannabis-Based Drug Used to Treat Rare Forms of Epilepsy

Despite continued animosity by U.S. Department of Justice regarding marijuana and marijuana-based products moving forward, at least one branch of the federal government has decided that the time is now right to at least consider the efficacy of certain medications that have their basis in cannabis. U.K. company GW Pharmaceuticals Plc, has created a drug to treat seizures associated with two types of epilepsy that typically affect children and recently provided “substantial evidence” of the drug’s effectiveness to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The…  

The End of Marijuana as a Schedule I Banned Substance?

On January 4, 2018, Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded what is commonly referred to as “The Cole Memorandum.” The Cole Memo was drafted in 2013 by United States Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole and governed federal prosecution of offenses related to marijuana/cannabis. Under the memo, U.S. attorneys generally refrained from prosecuting state-licensed cannabis businesses unless they violated state as well as federal law. For the most part, this was not an issue, as those states which had legalized marijuana heavily regulated its use, and…  

Potential Criminal Repercussions Under Medical Marijuana Laws for Physicians

Many states have their own medical marijuana laws that define who can use medical marijuana, what qualifying conditions are necessary, and what licenses are required to distribute the drug. In Arizona, the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA, A.R.S. §36-2801) immunizes physicians from prosecution for providing written certifications that a patient is likely to receive therapeutic or palliative benefits from the medical use of marijuana to treat or alleviate a patient’s debilitating medical condition. The physician is required to specify the debilitating medical condition and sign…  

Federal Law Preempts State Law Regarding Discrimination Lawsuit Brought by Employee Terminated due to Medical Marijuana Use

In our last two posts related to this issue, we’ve discussed how states have interpreted and applied their own laws regarding medical marijuana use in the context of employment discrimination lawsuits when faced with opposing federal law under the Federal Controlled Substances Act. In Noffsinger v. SSC Niantic Operating Company LLC, 2017 WL 3401260, the Connecticut Supreme Court held that any person who used marijuana for medicinal purposes in compliance with Connecticut law may maintain a cause of action against an employer who refused…  

State Law Wins (Again) Over Federal Law When Firing Someone for the Legal Use of Medical Marijuana

We recently discussed Noffsinger v. SSC Niantic Operating Company LLC, 2017 WL 3401260, wherein the Connecticut Supreme Court analyzed whether federal law precluded enforcement of a Connecticut law that prohibited employers from firing or refusing to hire someone who used marijuana for medicinal purposes. The Connecticut Supreme Court held that any person who used marijuana for medicinal purposes in compliance with Connecticut law may maintain a cause of action against an employer who refused to employ them for this reason. The issue continues to…  

State Law Trumps Federal Law When Firing or Refusing to Hire Someone Due to Use of Medical Marijuana

As noted in some of our earlier posts, a growing number of states have allowed marijuana use when it is used for medicinal purposes. This is despite the fact that federal law still classifies marijuana as a Schedule I substance, on par with heroin and cocaine. Because of the growing use of medical marijuana, more and more litigation is arising. In Connecticut, a recent court decision firmly announced that state law trumped federal law when dealing with employment issues related to medical marijuana use.…  

Medical Marijuana Faces Potential Challenge by the Federal Government

During the last week of June 2017, the House Appropriations Committee released its 2018 Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Appropriations bill, which determines the funding levels for numerous federal agencies, including the Department of Justice. Interestingly, the bill did not include language limiting the Justice Department from taking action against state-sanctioned medical cannabis producers, retailers, or consumers. This language is known as the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment. It is interesting because on or about May 1, 2017, the President signed an extension of the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment (the bill’s…  

Introduction of CARERS Act Next Step Forward in Medical Marijuana Field

On June 15, 2017, the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States (CARERS) Act of 2017 was re-introduced in the U.S. Senate. It was introduced by Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (New York), Cory Booker (New Jersey), Al Franken (Minnesota), and Rand Paul (Kentucky). It was additionally supported by Republican Senators Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Senator Mike Lee (Utah). It was previously introduced in March 2015. The CARERS Act is intended to safeguard patients in states with medical cannabis programs and to expand research opportunities. It would…