After several years of failed attempts and efforts, New Jersey finally legalized marijuana on Monday, February 22, 2021, when Governor Philip D. Murphy signed three bills into law. These bills permit and regulate the use of recreational marijuana in the Garden State (with some strict stipulations) and focus on community outreach for previous marijuana-related convictions. The legalization of marijuana in New Jersey comes after a long run of unsuccessful attempts and hopes to end the era of arrests and ambiguity. Below, we take a closer look at New Jersey’s path to legalization of marijuana, as well as the recently enacted legislation itself.
After establishing the Texas Compassionate Use Program in 2015 and augmenting it in 2019, Rep. Stephanie Klick (R) has once again initiated expanding the program with an incremental approach. With several beneficial provisions, this bill will potentially be the most effective and favorable legislation regarding medical marijuana reform in Texas. Although there are more comprehensive medical marijuana bills in other states, H.B. 1535 presents a significant opportunity for the Texas cannabis community.
After a tumultuous 2020, many business owners wonder what the economy both in the United States and abroad will look like in the new year. While all the effects of the coronavirus pandemic are far from predictable, the experienced team at the Dallas law firm, Ritter Spencer PLLC, has researched a few possible directions the 2021 economy will go. Read below to learn about our thoughts on economic recovery in 2021 and what businesses can expect.
On February 4, 2021, the Hemp and Hemp Derived-CBD Consumer Protection and Market Stabilization Act of 2021 was re-introduced to the United States House of Representatives, sponsored by Reps. Kurt Schrader (D-OR) and Morgan Griffith (R-VA), as well as 17 additional co-sponsors. This is an exciting development for the hemp and cannabidiol (“CBD”) industries, as widespread support has already been shown for this bill. As the bill continues to make headway, it’s important that the hemp and CBD communities help get this legislation passed. Julia Gustafson, the VP of government relations for the Council of Responsible Nutrition (“CRN”), referred to the bill as “critical” toward the development of safe and stronger dietary supplements on the market.
The United States’ hemp industry is a constant work-in-progress; however, the country has made significant strides in establishing a domestic hemp production program. The United States Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) recently released its final rule, which has been long-awaited by the hemp community. Read below for a recap of recent progress as a reminder to continue putting forth effort and energy toward uniform cannabis legislation in the United States.
As the medical marijuana, hemp, and CBD industries are still relatively new, many cannabis business owners are unsure whether they qualify for trademark protection or not. The 2018 Farm Bill clarified the legal distinction of hemp from marijuana and the status of popular cannabinoids and derivatives, such as CBD. Accordingly, positive changes regarding hemp-based trademarks have taken place, which the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) outlined in an Examination Guide in May of 2019. Below, we outline the basics of trademarking with a focus on cannabis and hemp products at the federal and state level.
Trademarks are common as companies make efforts to stand out in competitive industries. However, in this pursuit of differentiation, some businesses may take inspiration from a competitor’s creative assets. These actions risk infringing on the trademark of the business that registered the concept with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Trademark infringement cases can be complicated, which is why companies should work with an experienced Texas trademark lawyer from Ritter Spencer PLLC. Read below to learn some of the basics of trademark infringement and what legal options are available to businesses with a registered trademark.
Breweries, distilleries, and wineries with ambitions of infusing or selling their beverages with cannabidiol (“CBD”) and/or tetrahydrocannabinol (“THC”) derived from hemp will have to wait for a change in law by the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (“TTB”), or a divergent conclusion by the United States Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) finding that these beverages fall into a legal exemption. On April 25, 2019, the TTB, which regulates the alcohol and tobacco industries in the United States, issued an industry circular as a response to numerous inquiries from the alcohol and hemp/CBD industries about whether CBD or THC can legally be introduced into alcoholic beverages: the TTB made it clear that, at this time, it will not approve formula or label applications for alcoholic beverages containing CBD or THC.
After a challenging year for many businesses, small businesses in particular, filing for bankruptcy may be the only viable option left. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to impact a range of markets, and filing for bankruptcy gives honest debtors a chance to rebuild. However, marijuana remains illegal under federal law, and hemp and cannabis businesses are commonly deemed ineligible for this recourse as federal bankruptcy courts cannot support either the possession or sale of illegal assets.
While no business wants to consider bankruptcy as an option, commercial bankruptcy often provides a valuable lifeline for troubled companies, especially during an economic downturn. But what are some of the alternatives to bankruptcy for cannabis businesses? Have the events of 2020 set any new precedents for bankruptcy in the cannabis industry? Below we take a closer look at some of the options and recent developments for cannabis business owners.
Organizing finances and adapting to evolving economic situations are constant challenges of running a business. Even companies that feel prepared for a change in their financial status may find themselves on the brink of bankruptcy. With the volatility of the global economy and an unpredictable market, businesses should prepare for the worst and work with a bankruptcy attorney to create a financial plan in case of bankruptcy. Work with the Dallas commercial bankruptcy attorneys at Ritter Spencer PLLC to plan for your company’s future.