Author Archives: Adam R. Dolan

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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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