Congress Already Moving on Marijuana Legislation

Members of the 116th Congress were sworn in today, and a few wasted no time introducing a bill for medical marijuana reform.

Steve Cohen (D-TN) and Don Young (R-AK) re-introduced the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States (CARERS) Act. The bill aims to allow states to set their own medical marijuana policies and permit doctors with the Department of Veterans Affairs to prescribe medical marijuana to veterans to treat serious and chronic conditions. It does not address the issue of federal legalization, but embraces the seemingly popular idea on the Hill that states should create their own marijuana policy.

It will be interesting to see how many members cosign onto the bill. With pressure mounting to reschedule cannabis, this bill does not go far enough for most advocates. Still, it is a solid start in the push for better research involving cannabis. There are huge opportunities on the horizon for hemp and marijuana companies looking to create products for patients with chronic diseases and serious ailments.

Growing Your Cannabis Business in a Regulatory Firestorm

Until cannabis is legalized at the federal level, companies working with marijuana-based products will continue to face regulatory burdens that make conducting business rather difficult. Every week, I hear of a new hurdle for patients and companies, these roadblocks leave cannabis businesses at risk for regulatory action.

A strong business strategy for those producing, selling, promoting, and providing cannabis, whether it is recreational or medicinal, is to get involved with state legislators who are creating business guidelines. Far too often, companies wait until proposed rules are up for a vote to get involved. This leads not only to a significant amount of stress and last minute scrambling, but the fall out from burdensome regulations can kill cannabis businesses all together. If your company doesn’t have someone paying attention to your state’s legislative and administrative actions of cannabis regulation, you have a major problem.

It is important to protect your intellectual property, have properly executed contracts, put plans in place to protect patient data, and form a solid business plan. However, this means little if these contracts, agreements, and plans are not being reviewed by an attorney who understands the complexities of state regulatory actions and legislation on the horizon. Your business should be able to adapt to the ever evolving world of cannabis, and so should your legal counsel.