California Attempts to Address Public Safety with Cannabis Banking Legislation

Seth Goldberg
Seth A. Goldberg

I have previously written about the public safety concerns resulting from the lack of banking in the cannabis industry.  As I noted in that article, the elimination of the Cole Priorities in January 2018 has left federally-regulated banks wondering how they can follow FinCen’s guidance for banking cannabis issued in February 2014, which was explicitly dependent on the Cole Priorities.

While the Cole Priorities were in place, that guidance provided a clear path for banking cannabis industry participants adhering to the Cole Priorities.  FinCen’s guidance is still in place, and banking cannabis is still possible, but confusion about how to do so without the Cole Priorities as guideposts has caused greater reluctance on the part of banks.

Enter proposed legislation in California, SB-930,  which passed in the California Senate yesterday.  Not a complete solution to the banking problem by a long shot, but progress nonetheless.  If it becomes law SB-930, would result in the establishment of a California-chartered bank that would permit California cannabis industry participants to deposit the proceeds of their state-lawful cannabis activities, and would provide to them limited banking services that would allow for payment of taxes and vendors by check.

As reported in the Sacramento Business Journal, the Bill’s sponsor, Sen. Bob Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys), characterized SB-930 as an attempt alleviate the public safety concerns resulting from the federal government’s current hands off approach to banking cannabis.  As Herzog stated, “It’s not only impractical from an accounting perspective, but it also presents a tremendous public safety problem. This bill takes a limited approach to provide all parties with a safe and reliable way to move forward on this urgent issue.”

California’s Re-Adopted Emergency Regulations – What Cannabis Cultivators Need to Know

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), through its CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing division, is the state agency designated under the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA) as responsible for issuing licenses to commercial cannabis cultivators in California.

The CDFA issued emergency regulations for cannabis cultivators in November 2017, and has now proposed readopting those regulations for another 180 days. Based on feedback from the public and stakeholders in the industry, the CDFA has proposed some changes to these regulations.

This blog post will highlight the changes to the CDFA emergency regulations and identify key issues for cannabis cultivators. In separate posts, we will be describing the changes made by the Bureau of Cannabis Control and the California Department of Public Health. Click here for those updates. Continue reading “California’s Re-Adopted Emergency Regulations – What Cannabis Cultivators Need to Know”

California Cannabis Licensing Authorities To Readopt Emergency Regulations with Proposed Changes

California’s three cannabis licensing authorities, the Bureau of Cannabis Control, California Department of Public Health and California Department of Food and Agriculture, have proposed readopting their emergency regulations currently in effect for another 180 days.  Since the original regulations were released in November 2017, representatives from the three agencies have been soliciting feedback from stakeholders and the public.  As a result of that process, some changes are being made to the emergency regulations.  Continue reading “California Cannabis Licensing Authorities To Readopt Emergency Regulations with Proposed Changes”

FDA to Consider Approval of Botanical (not synthetic) CBD Drug

Authored by Robert Prince, Ph.D, https://www.duanemorris.com/attorneys/robertwprince.html

On Thursday April 18, 2018, at 8:00AM-12:30PM EST, an FDA advisory panel will consider whether to recommend or not recommend approval of GW Pharmaceutical’s cannabis-based drug Epidiolex ® for use in treating two rare types of epilepsy in children- Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Epidiolex is an oral formulation of a purified form of cannabidiol (CBD) a component found in cannabis. CBD does not have any psychoactive effects as compared to another component of cannabis tetrahydocannabinol (THC). Epidiolex has less than 0.1 percent of THC.

If approved, Epidiolex would be the first botanical cannabis product approved in the U.S. for any indication. The FDA has approved Marinol® and Syndros® for uses in the U.S. for the treatment of anorexia associated with weight loss in AIDS patients. Both products contain dronabinol, a synthetic delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. Another FDA approved drug Cesamet® contains nabilone, which is a synthetic drug with a structure similar to THC that is used to treat nausea and vomiting.

The FDA released briefing documents on April 17, 2018, which did not seem to raise any major issues with Epidiolex, resulting in the share price of GW Pharmaceuticals to rise sharply- up 2.27%. The Center for Drug for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) indicates that it plans to provide a free of charge, live webcast of the April 19, 2018 meeting of the Peripheral and Central Nervous System Drugs Advisory Committee. Information regarding the webcast, including the web address for the webcast, will be made available at the following website: http://www.fda.gov/AdvisoryCommittees/Calendar/default.htm. At the time of writing this note, the FDA has not provided any login information for the webcast.

IP Protection and the Cannabis Industry: Strategies and Trends

Protection of intellectual property is a key element in any company’s efforts to secure a competitive advantage. For companies in the cannabis space, efforts to secure intellectual property protection play out against a background of conflicting federal and state regulations. Cannabis continues to be a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act, and possession of cannabis is prohibited by federal law. However, 29 U.S. states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical cannabis, and eight U.S. states have legalized recreational cannabis. This article will address various IP strategies, including trademarks and branding, patents and trade secrets, for protection of cannabis and cannabis-related products and services. The article will also discuss trends in the industry as well as contrasting protections available on the state and federal levels.

To read the full text of this article by Duane Morris attorneys Gretchen Temeles, Christiane Campbell and Vicki Norton, please visit the Duane Morris website.

Access to Medicinal Marijuana in New Jersey Improves

In response to Executive Order No. 6, issued by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, the New Jersey Department of Health (the “Department”) reviewed certain elements of New Jersey’s Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act and the implementation of the Medical Marijuana Program (“MMP”) (Executive Order 6 Report). …

The Department’s analysis resulted in the recommendation and approval of an immediate expansion to the MMP. The first stage of the expansion includes the addition of five conditions to the existing list of diagnoses for which medicinal marijuana can be prescribed. Patients with chronic pain related to Musculoskeletal Disorders, Migraines, Anxiety, chronic pain of Visceral Origin, and Tourette’s Syndrome are now eligible to participate in the MMP.

Read the full story on the Duane Morris Health Law Blog.

 

Interview with Seth Goldberg: Is NJ About To Fire Up The East Coast Regulation Rush? And Hemp vs Cannabis

You may have read a piece by CLR on Duane Morris’ approach to the national cannabis market late last year.

They are running ahead of their competitors and continue to do so.

They are one of the few firms in the Am Law 200 to have taken up the challenge presented by this de-centralized and sometime rather chaotic corner of the American economy.

Seth Goldberg, based in Philadelphia, practices in business and litigation with a particular emphasis in highly regulated industries such as healthcare and Pharma, saw the opportunities in cannabis and hemp early on in the game and has developed a multidisciplinary cannabis practice drawing across a wealth of experience in the firm.

The practice now comprises 48 attorneys, of whom a good 30 or so are partners.

They are taking the sector seriously and here at CLR we’re surprised that more in the top echelons still aren’t doing the same. …

It’s a question we posed to Seth during our hour long conversation and he concurred that he was equally surprised at the lack of cannabis / hemp practice development at the larger firms on the eastern seaboard.

To read the full text of this article, please visit the Cannabis Law Report website.

© 2009- Duane Morris LLP. Duane Morris is a registered service mark of Duane Morris LLP.

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

Proudly powered by WordPress