DEA Rescheduling, Pa. Legalization Efforts May Breathe New Life Into Cannabis Practices

Duane Morris cannabis industry group team lead Paul Josephson spoke with The Legal Intelligencer on Pennsylvania cannabis legalization as the Drug Enforcement Administration has officially moved to reschedule marijuana from a Schedule I to a Schedule III substance.

“There’s not a legal practice area that hasn’t touched or worked for our cannabis practice here,” he said, although he and other attorneys emphasized the potential growth in financing work should rescheduling and local legalization efforts go through.

“Removing this from Schedule I … it provides immediate tax relief to companies in the cannabis business,” Josephson said, explaining that as the law currently stands, cannabis businesses aren’t allowed to deduct business expenses when they calculate and pay taxes, resulting in razor-thin profit margins. “When rescheduling happens, when that monkey comes off the back of the industry, it will improve cashflows for everyone in the business and allow for more investment.” Read more on the Duane Morris website.

Selling Cannabis: A Look at Advertising Practices as Pa. Considers Adult-Use Legalization

On Friday, April 23, 1999, the lights went out in Times Square—and in countless locations coast to coast—for tobacco advertising. That was the date by which the largest tobacco companies in the country agreed to ensure all cigarette advertisements were removed from billboards, transit locations, malls, stadiums, arenas and just about every other public place, in accordance with a settlement agreement involving most every state and territory in the United States.

The so-called Master Settlement Agreement resolved lawsuits between the country’s largest tobacco companies and more than 50 state and territorial attorneys general. Among its principal features was the imposition of significant restrictions on the marketing activities employed by tobacco companies, particularly any advertising and promotion practices that might target or appeal to young people.

Read The Legal Intelligencer article by Patrick Smith and Deanna Lucci on the Duane Morris website.

The American Lawyer Features Duane Morris on Cannabis Rescheduling

Seth Goldberg, partner and team lead of Duane Morris’ Cannabis Industry Group, spoke with The American Lawyer about how the firm is preparing for cannabis rescheduling.

“What makes reclassification a watershed event is that it frees up capital and allows for more growth and allows for potential consolidation and more successful companies, more competition with respect to multistate operators and get back to a place of equity investment,” said Goldberg.

“We have been preparing for that, and lawyers in each of our practice areas—whether IP, corporate, employment—who have cannabis practices are already thinking about how they‘re going to advise clients in the cannabis industry and also outside of the cannabis industry with respect to how reclassification impacts that type of law.” […]

The combined impact on cannabis businesses of tax liabilities and lack of access to financing “can’t be overstated,” Goldberg said. Removal of 280E “will have an immediate impact on operator balance sheets,” he said. Continue reading “The American Lawyer Features Duane Morris on Cannabis Rescheduling”

Marijuana Bankruptcy Reform Could Be Inching Closer for US Operators

Distressed U.S. marijuana operators remain largely unable to access bankruptcy relief, an ongoing challenge in a tough industry where business failures are common. But with federal marijuana rescheduling possible in the near future – and with signs of shifting attitudes in recent bankruptcy court cases – reform could be somewhere over the horizon.

Duane Morris’ Ryan Spengler is cautiously optimistic that progress in court rulings, combined with rescheduling, could help open the door to new bankruptcy options for U.S. plant-touching marijuana companies. Read the full article on the MJBiz Daily website.

Webinar: Mainstreaming Cannabis: Real Estate and Valuation

The Duane Morris Cannabis Industry Group, the American Trade Association for Cannabis and Hemp and Centri Business Consulting present Mainstreaming Cannabis: Real Estate and Valuation on Thursday, April 25, 2024, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. Eastern.

As with any type of business, the cannabis industry faces real estate concerns ‒ but with particular lease-related issues unique to the field. Facilities for the cultivation, manufacturing and distribution of cannabis and cannabis products are important not only to cannabis operators, but also investors and landlords, all of whom face federal, state and local regulations that can vary by location. Our panel will discuss the interplay between state and federal laws as it relates to cannabis regulations and implications for real estate transactions. REGISTER FOR THE WEBINAR.

What Rescheduling Could Mean For Cannabis Bankruptcies

Lawrence J. Kotler, Seth A. Goldberg and Ryan Spengler authored the Law360 article, “What Rescheduling Could Mean For Cannabis Bankruptcies.”

More than 75% of the U.S. population lives in states that have legalized cannabis for adult and/or medical use. Pursuant to a 2022 directive from President Joe Biden, a 2023 recommendation of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and a scientific review released in January supporting the HHS’s recommendation, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is now evaluating whether to reclassify cannabis as a Schedule III drug.

Read the full article. 

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The opinions expressed on this blog are those of the author and are not to be construed as legal advice.

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