With the COVID-19 pandemic throwing a wrench in their plans for cannabis policy last year, lawmakers and state regulators are pushing for big changes in 2021. Some of the standout bills introduced by legislators involve hemp, delivery, and provisional licenses.
Legally-Blunt is a Manzuri Law Publication that focuses on cutting-edge legal issues and is part of our educational mission.
Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (“SPACs”) May Be the Future of Cannabis and Hemp Business Growth, and Industry Consolidation
Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (“SPACs”), have gained significant popularity over the past year and have been involved in several major cannabis transactions. They will likely be a driver of continued growth as well as consolidation in the industry, particularly in the highly fragmented California market. This article will discuss how SPACs raise & invest capital, and also highlight a few of the recent major cannabis SPAC deals.
One of the most important business and legal considerations for companies is how to protect valuable intellectual property assets. But businesses in the cannabis space face unique challenges in protecting their trademarks. This article reviews the differences in the level of protection afforded by federal trademark law for cannabis and hemp-derived products and services.
Meital Manzuri's Article "Legal Consequences for Using or Acting as an Unregistered Broker-Dealer in the Cannabis Industry" published in California Lawyers Association's Real Property Journal
This article discusses the rise of unregistered broker-dealers in the cannabis industry. The focus of this article is defining what are broker-dealers and the potential legal consequences for both the cannabis businesses who engage unregistered broker-dealers and the unregistered broker-dealers themselves.
The first Cannabis Commission hearing of 2021 was packed with information for LA operators and applicants. Read key takeaways from the Executive Director's Report impacting all applicants in our LA Update.
CA Cannabis License Citations and Suspensions: Your Regulatory Rights When Facing Enforcement and Disciplinary Proceedings
Due to the cannabis industry’s developing nature, licensed cannabis operators in California sometimes find themselves in violation of constantly-changing rules and standards implemented by cannabis regulators. Thankfully, California law details the procedures that cannabis regulators must follow when accusing licensed operators of violations. This article provides an analysis of a licensee’s rights and the processes involved in an administrative enforcement action brought by cannabis regulators.
California has enacted regulations to implement Assembly Bill 1525. The regulations provide a mechanism for licensees to request that state licensing agencies provide certain information to financial institutions, and for the agencies to provide such information to improve access to banking for the cannabis industry.
Meital Manzuri was recently quoted in A.J Herrington's article "Post-Election outlook for federal cannabis legalization uncertain," which was featured in the November/December 2020 edition of Cannabis Connections of Maine. The article focuses on the potential changes to cannabis policy under ...
Meital Manzuri and other industry leaders were recently asked by WeedWeek to share their predictions for the California cannabis market in 2021. According to Meital, expansion will be essential in the new year, with “an emphasis on top line revenues and an eye towards liquidation. "Although th...
Meital Manzuri recently spoke to Forbes for its coverage of the patent infringement lawsuit filed by cannabis giant Canopy Growth over its CO2 extraction method. According to the piece, the recently acquired patent is broad enough that other companies using this popular technique could very well ...
In January, we predicted 2020 would be a battle for survival amongst cannabis licensees and an exciting landscape for hemp businesses, but not even we could have predicted the economic, socially-distanced experiment to come. Despite the industry's infancy, cannabis businesses were deemed esse...
As businesses continue to grow and combine, they must not overlook legal restrictions on communicating with consumers. Cannabis companies need to be proactive and ensure they are minimizing the risks of potential TCPA lawsuits against them.
It used to be that law enforcement could use an officer’s mere subjective belief that they smelled cannabis in order to justify a warrantless search based off probable cause. Now? Not so much.
Meital Manzuri was recently quoted in Anthony Noto's Benzinga article "Weed On The Ballot: 5 States Consider Cannabis, And One Is 'A True Toss-Up,'" which discusses how cannabis reform may unfold in New Jersey, Arizona, Montana, Mississippi, and South Dakota. According to Meital, it is likely tha...
Two Important Pieces of CA Legislation Explained: CDFA’s Appellations Program and BCC’s Rules for Denial of Licensure Based on Prior Convictions
In response to their statutory mandates, California cannabis regulators have worked this year on draft regulations for the cannabis appellations program and implementation of AB 2138 (Chiu) regarding the rules for denial of licensure based on prior convictions. Under SB 67, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) must finalize their standards on the appellations of origin program by January 1, 2021. AB 2138 went into effect on July 1 of this year and the Bureau of Cannabis Control released their first draft on AB 2138 implementation in mid-October. Read below to learn the details of both of these important pieces of legislation.
We are receiving more and more calls from individuals who are not getting along with their business partners, want to legally separate from them, and want our help in doing so. Generally, unless a buyout provision is included in the corporate paperwork, a forced separation from a partner or investor can be difficult and messy to effectuate and leaves a party susceptible to costly litigation with uncertain results. However, especially in the climate of social equity, when an investor has engaged in certain bad acts (as further described below), a party likely has a legal claim for separation.
Shane Nelson's Los Angeles & San Francisco Daily Journal article “A New Path,” profiles Manzuri Law in the October 19, 2020 issue. The article discusses how the firm is able to stay on top of the shifting regulatory landscape, and also mentions how founding partner Meital Manzuri is at the forefront of cannabis law related matters.
Regardless of how tumultuous a year is, statutory deadlines remain the same, and thus we have reached the end of another legislative session. Governor Newsom delayed publishing decisions on most bills this year due to the wildfires throughout the state but has finally issued approvals or vetoes to all pending legislation.
On August 21, 2020, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) published an interim final rule (IFR) to implement hemp-related amendments to the Federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA) that were made by the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 (the “2018 Farm Bill”). Certain language in the IFR, however, has the industry questioning whether this is actually the case, and raises questions about how the DEA plans to implement and enforce the amended regulations.
On September 21, 2020, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) released its proposed Regulatory Plan for Hemp Production (the “Regulatory Plan”). Notably, the regulations provide guidelines for procurement of industrial hemp cultivation registration at the county and state level in furtherance of the federal Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 (“2018 Farm Bill”) requiring that states promulgate their own industrial hemp plans or use those proffered by the USDA.
IRS Confirms 280E will Continue to Plague Cannabis Businesses While Proposed Bills and Legal Challenges Remain Pending
At the state tax level, California cannabis companies are not subject to 280E, but must still contend with state income tax, excise tax, cultivation tax and sales tax. These multiple taxes, combined with complicated and burdensome regulation, make the legal cannabis space quite difficult to navigate in California.
Meital Manzuri's article "Bill opens bank doors to cannabis operators (read the fine print)” was published in the Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journal on September 16, 2020. In the piece, Meital discusses Assembly Bill 1525, which was recently signed into law by California Governor Gavin N...
On July 29, 2020, a live resin vape cartridge customer filed a consumer class action in San Francisco Superior Court against cannabis brand Raw Garden. Industry experts have predicted a coming wave of this type of cannabis consumer class action based on allegations of false advertising and unfair competition. Although claims brought under the UCL and CLRA will be difficult to avoid as the California cannabis market expands, a well-informed licensee may nevertheless effectively mitigate its risk through vigilance and by instituting best practices consistent with the regulations.
Questions & Answers can be found below, click on each question to see the relevant clip! The deadline to submit a Notice of Intent to Relocate was on July 19, 2020 for Phase 2 business without Temporary Approval. Has DCR provided additional information about next steps? Should Phase 1 &...
Stakeholders Push for CA Regulators to Consider Creating Statewide Retail Ordinance for Locals to Opt Into
A new report commissioned by Weedmaps and the California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce estimates that California's total taxable cannabis sales could reach $9.8 billion if the market was allowed to reach its full potential. Nearly four years after legalization through Prop 64, the illicit market s...