New Jersey Officially Legalizes Marijuana After Years of Efforts

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.

Ritter Spencer, PLLCNew Jersey Officially Legalizes Marijuana After Years of Efforts
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Can Cannabis Businesses File for Bankruptcy?

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. 

Ritter Spencer, PLLCCan Cannabis Businesses File for Bankruptcy?
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What Does The MORE Act Mean for the Marijuana Industry?

As the marijuana industry grows and makes strides in the legalization of the substance, the legislation surrounding marijuana continues to significantly impact businesses in the market. Most recently, the House of Representatives voted to approve the MORE Act at the beginning of December 2020. As Ritter Spencer specializes in marijuana, cannabis, and CBD law, our experts explain what the MORE Act states and what it means for the marijuana industry. 

Ritter Spencer, PLLCWhat Does The MORE Act Mean for the Marijuana Industry?
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Will Texas Legalize Marijuana in 2021?

In the 2020 elections, voters approved statewide ballot proposals to legalize medical and/or adult-recreational-use marijuana in Arizona, Montana, New Jersey, Mississippi, and South Dakota. In total, medical marijuana is now legal in 36 states and recreational use cannabis is now legal in 15 states. Currently, marijuana legalization remains on the docket for Texas in 2021. While many lawmakers have high expectations for this year, loosening marijuana laws has been a long and grueling battle for the Lone Star State. 

Ritter Spencer, PLLCWill Texas Legalize Marijuana in 2021?
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What to Expect from the Cannabis Industry in 2021

2020 was a monumental year for the cannabis industry, and experts predict the momentum will continue well into the future. Specifically, when businesses across the globe were forced to close amidst the worldwide spread of Covid-19, cannabis dispensaries were deemed an essential business and permitted to continue operations at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. Cannabis activists across the country counted this as a significant win in the progress of our nation’s collective perception of the substance. As this fast-paced industry constantly evolves, expect to see continued strides made throughout the industry in the following year. Below we’ve included what to expect from the cannabis industry in 2021. 

Ritter Spencer, PLLCWhat to Expect from the Cannabis Industry in 2021
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Mexico Publishes Regulations Regarding Marijuana For Medical Use

In early January, Mexico published regulations for the legal use of medical marijuana, marking a significant move forward in the cannabis space. This is a substantial step in cannabis reform for Mexico and will have a notable impact on the rest of the world as well. While some feel these regulations were long overdue, Mexico’s Ministry of Health’s rules were signed by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Tuesday, January 12, 2021. 

Ritter Spencer, PLLCMexico Publishes Regulations Regarding Marijuana For Medical Use
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What the 2020 Election Results Mean for Marijuana in 2021

The 2020 elections proved that the nation may be as divided as it has ever been politically. However, based on the election results, Americans seem to be trending towards quite a  favorable outlook on cannabis legalization. This sentiment has changed over the years, as recreational marijuana was illegal in all 50 states less than just a decade ago. But what are the recent changes and results of the 2020 elections regarding marijuana legislation? And what does this mean for the cannabis industry as a whole? 

Ritter Spencer, PLLCWhat the 2020 Election Results Mean for Marijuana in 2021
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Understanding Texas’s Compassionate-Use Program

In 2015, the Texas Compassionate Use Act, Senate Bill 339, was enacted, requiring the Texas Department of Public Safety (“DPS”) to create a secure registry for qualified physicians to treat patients suffering from a limited list of medical conditions, such as ALS and intractable epilepsy, with low-THC cannabis. In 2019, the Texas Legislature expanded the Texas Compassionate Use Program (“TCUP”) via House Bill 3703 to include additional medical conditions, e.g., incurable neurodegenerative diseases, and physician specialties in which low-THC cannabis can be prescribed. Moreover, the Compassionate Use Registry of Texas (“CURT”) has been updated in accordance with the expanded TCUP to allow for a simpler process for physicians to register and prescribe low-THC cannabis to their patients. 

Ritter Spencer, PLLCUnderstanding Texas’s Compassionate-Use Program
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Cannabinol (CBN): Is It Legal?

As different cannabinoids begin to gain recognition in the hemp and marijuana industries, it is crucial to discuss the legal considerations and challenges facing manufacturers, producers, retailers, and other cannabis-based businesses. In such a new space, promising cannabinoids have the potential to make a significant impact on the market. One of the cannabinoids gaining notable traction is known as cannabinol (“CBN”). Today on the blog, we review its legal status.

Ritter Spencer, PLLCCannabinol (CBN): Is It Legal?
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Financial Due Diligence for Hemp-Related Businesses: Banking Update

In June of 2020, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) issued updated guidance regarding the Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering (“BSA/AML”) regulations for hemp-related business consumers. Financial institutions must do their due diligence for customers, but especially for hemp-related businesses, as the legalities and recommended practices are continually changing. Additionally, the National Credit Union Administration (“NCUA”) recently put forth further guidance for credit unions serving hemp-related businesses. As the hemp industry continues to progress, the banking industry is actively organizing their expectations and guidelines to keep up and simplify hemp-related interactions. Below, we summarize each of these resources to give you the straightforward essentials. 

Ritter Spencer, PLLCFinancial Due Diligence for Hemp-Related Businesses: Banking Update
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