Cannabis Law & Policy Update

This blog provides news, discussion on relevant legal issues, and highlights on emerging trends in New England cannabis law as presented by the attorneys in Preti Flaherty's Cannabis Business practice group.

Recent Blog Posts

  • The website has posted a report that Maine is the no.1 state for marijuana investments. This doesn’t mean that Maine has the most investor dollars in marijuana, but just that Maine investors are more interested on average in marijuana stocks than investors in other states. I took interest in this report because it brings us back to our concerns over Maine’s restrictions on out-of-state... More
  • The results of a June legislative performance audit show that, in 2018, the State of New Hampshire failed to issue identification cards within the statutory deadline of five days after approval on 98.4% of the applications for the Therapeutic Cannabis Program. On average, in 2018, identification cards were received within 14 days after approval of the application. The 2018 numbers are an... More
  • Last week, the National Credit Union Administration (“NCUA”) released interim guidance advising federally insured credit unions that they may provide certain financial services to legally operating hemp businesses. The interim guidance was released in response to the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill in December 2018 that removed certain hemp-derived products, including cannabidiol, from the list of... More
  • As we’ve previously discussed, Maine is claiming that, until September 19, food products sold in Maine cannot contain CBD grown elsewhere. So how is this policy working out in practice? We’ve heard from several folks in the industry that the "crackdown" isn’t really materializing. Inspectors from Maine’s Department of Agriculture have been talking about this issue with some retailers in the... More
  • We’re tracking statements from the FDA regarding CBD in food. With state policy fluctuating so wildly on this issue and often attempting to mimic federal laws, the FDA’s evolving position on CBD is important.  So it’s notable that earlier this week a member of the FDA’s cannabinoid working group, Lowell Schiller, reaffirmed the FDA position that “under current law, it’s unlawful to sell a food... More
  • As local readers likely know, Portland completed its zoning regulations for marijuana stores last February. But at the time, the City deferred on a number of decisions such as what stores will be allowed to sell, and what criteria will need to be met to be able to open a retail store. Now the City has taken a big step toward answering those questions. The City released draft licensing rules last... More
  • reported earlier this week that the State of Washington has eliminated a law requiring a 4-mile buffer between outdoor marijuana and hemp farms. This requirement was a substantial barrier to the state’s hemp industry, and its elimination will open significant tracts to potential hemp farming in Washington. But the whole point of this buffer, originally, was to prevent... More
  • Maine’s cannabis tourism program might be hitting its stride. The Office of Marijuana Policy has reached “instant reciprocity” arrangements with 23 states which allow medical cannabis patients from those states to also use their patient cards in Maine. Here’s the announcement from the OMP. Consistent with state law, the visiting qualifying patient can purchase up to 2.5 oz of medical marijuana... More
  • Maine regulators are going after CBD food products again, it appears. Inspectors from the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry have been handing out the letter pasted below to retailers and others in Maine over the past week. According to these "guidelines," the State is interpreting LD 630 to require that any CBD edibles contain CBD derived from Maine-grown hemp. Given the... More
  • Yesterday the U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on the Judiciary held a first-ever hearing which, essentially, advocated for significant reforms of our nation’s marijuana laws. The hearing was titled "Marijuana Laws in America: Racial Justice and the Need for Reform," and you can watch it on YouTube here, if that’s the sort of thing you’re into.  At least a majority of the committee... More
  • New York City is nine days into a CBD prohibition. Straight from the NYC Health Department website: “As of July 1, 2019, the Health Department is embargoing food and drink products that contain CBD – the products will have to be returned to the supplier or discarded.” And beginning October 1, 2019, NYC will begin fining retailers and food service establishments that sell CBD products. With... More
  • Many of you have probably seen the Proposed Rules:  Marijuana Manufacturing Facilities from the Office of Marijuana Policy.  In case you missed it, the public hearing is next Monday, July 8 at 8am in Augusta. And the comment deadline for these rules is July 18.  The rules are fairly technical, and I’m guessing that any comments will be fewer and less impassioned than the comments to the... More
  • The U.S. Supreme Court, today, issued a decision which seems to support the argument that the residency requirements in Maine’s marijuana laws are unconstitutional.  In Tennessee Wine and Spirits Retailers Assn. v. Thomas the Court considered a Tennessee law requiring that an individual must have been a resident of the state for the previous two years in order to obtain a license to operate a... More
  • Last week, the FDA made yet another effort to clarify the status of CBD under federal law with a “What you need to know” webpage. The FDA continues to state that, aside from Epidiolex, it “has not approved any other CBD products.” Yet, the FDA acknowledges, in what may be the understatement of the century, that “we are aware that there may be some products on the market that add CBD to a food.... More
  • The adult use rules necessary to launch Maine’s new market are still winding their way through the legislature, but they’ve been voted out of committee with a number of changes, and should be sent along (in one form or another) to the Governor in the next couple days. The majority report from the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee contains the changes to the rules and some related changes to... More