Cannabis Control Commission Update: Retail Licenses

Although the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission has begun awarding provisional, adult-use licenses to some entities in the Commonwealth as of July 1, only one retail license has been awarded and, to date, no retail stores have yet opened for business.  One large impediment to opening retail stores is the statutory requirement that all cannabis sold in the Commonwealth for adult use be tested by an independent testing laboratory, which itself must be licensed as such by the Commission. … More

How to Protect Your Trademarks When You Can’t Protect Your Trademarks

This article was published first in Cannabis Industry Journal

While the USPTO might not register your trademark, there are still some tools available to protect your intellectual property.

Federal trademark registrations are invaluable tools for emerging businesses. They put the world on notice of a company’s name; they can secure nationwide priority over others using similar names; they distinguish a product in the marketplace;… More

U.S. Senate Votes to Legalize Hemp

The United States Senate voted last week to legalize hemp as part of a provision of the omnibus Farm Bill.  If signed into law, the measure would legalize the plant for growth and production across the country.  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) noted in support of passage that “consumers across America buy hundreds of millions in retail products every year that contain hemp, but due to outdated federal regulations that do not sufficiently distinguish this industrial crop from its illicit cousin,… More

Adult Use Cannabis is Coming to Massachusetts Very Soon

Pursuant to the legislature’s direction, the Cannabis Control Commission can start issuing adult use licenses after June 1 and the Commission has indicated that they will start issuing licenses soon.

We expect that a handful of previously medical-only cannabis dispensaries that are awarded adult use licenses will be dispensing both adult use and medical cannabis on July 1 or shortly thereafter.  The lines will be very long.  … More

Can We Give State Cannabis Trademarks Some Teeth While Waiting for a Federal Solution?

Cannabis trademarks. By now, most IP lawyers know two things about them.

First, even though cannabis is legal in an increasing number of states (9 allow recreational use; 29 allow medical use), the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is refusing applications to federally register cannabis trademarks, no matter the home state of the applicant, until the substance gets reclassified by or removed from the Controlled Substances Act (which doesn’t seem to be on the immediate horizon).… More

Marijuana Ad Rules Set In Massachusetts, But Federal Prohibition Creates Uncertainty

We posted in January about proposed regulations for advertising adult-use marijuana in Massachusetts once retail sales begin on July 1, 2018.  After a series of public meetings and more than 500 public comments, the Cannabis Control Commission (“Commission”) revised the draft and unanimously approved final regulations in early March.  This means that the rules of the road for advertising by “Marijuana Retailers” in Massachusetts are now set,… More

It is Go Time in Massachusetts!

Sticking to the timeline that it promised, the Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) has created the framework so that adult use dispensing will begin in Massachusetts in July.

The regulations are finalized.  The timeline for applications is as follows:  (i) potential priority applicants can apply for certification as of April 1; (ii) certified priority applicants can apply for licenses as of April 15; (iii) non-priority applicants can apply for cultivation,… More

Cannabis Regulators Establish Ground Rules For Marijuana Advertising In Massachusetts

With the first retail sales of adult use marijuana slated to take place in just over five months, the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission (the “Commission”) is working overtime to regulate an industry that some project will exceed $1 billion in revenue by 2020.  As the July 1st target date for the opening of retail cannabis shops approaches, one area that will undoubtedly become the focus of much attention is the ability of retailers to market their wares. … More

CCC Releases Draft Regulations

The Cannabis Control Commission issued its draft use regulations for the adult-use market in late December and have asked for public comment by February 15 so that the regulations can be finalized and released to accept applications for licensure in early April.  As we have noted here before,  the CCC deserves credit for moving as quickly as they have and for keeping themselves on track to have dispensing of adult-use cannabis in July. … More

What Does Attorney General Sessions’ Decision Mean for Massachusetts?

The decision by Attorney General Sessions to repeal the Cole and Ogden memos has brought greater legal uncertainty to an industry that is used to uncertainty.  What does the decision mean for Massachusetts?

First, at least in the short term, the decision should not have a major effect on our medical marijuana industry in the Commonwealth.  Under the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, federal prosecutors may not use resources to prosecute those in the medical marijuana industry who are acting consistently with state law. … More