Cannabis Litigation: Third-Party Subpoenas and the Illegality Defense
Canna Law Blog

Cannabis Litigation: Third-Party Subpoenas and the Illegality Defense

This post discusses the use of the federal “illegality defense” in connection with third-party subpoenas in litigation. Let’s start with a review of the illegality defense.  Cannabis litigators, investors, and companies who decide to file a lawsuit arising out of a business transaction likely are familiar with the “illegality defense.” An initial question is choosing

Cannabis Litigation: Attempt to Plead Around the “Illegality” Defense Fails
Canna Law Blog

Cannabis Litigation: Attempt to Plead Around the “Illegality” Defense Fails

As the country moves toward decriminalizing and even legalizing marijuana, federal courts largely remain closed to commercial disputes involving marijuana by operation of the illegality defense.  We’ve written about the defense on several occasions, see here and here. Briefly, the illegality defense is an affirmative defense pleaded by a defendant who has been sued for

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Canna Law Blog

Cannabis Patents: Will the Illegality Doctrine Ruin Everything?

Recently, William J. McNichol, Jr., Adjunct Professor at Rutgers University School of Law, wrote an article regarding the enforcement of cannabis patents that should definitely be discussed. As we’ve noted starting last summer, we expect to see an increasing number of patent infringement cases. We’ve also been providing updates on the very first patent infringement

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Canna Law Blog

Cannabis Litigation: Another Blow to the Illegality Defense (Kennedy v. Helix TCS, Inc.)

Yes, cannabis is still federally illegal. But no, that doesn’t mean cannabis businesses should act as if federal law doesn’t exist. It does, and it probably applies to any cannabis business. Nevertheless, our cannabis attorneys often hear claims that federal law doesn’t apply. In fact, two questions that I’ve heard numerous times are: If the

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Canna Law Blog

DC’s Last Day of Marijuana Illegality – Sort Of

At least to 64% of D.C. residents who in November voted for Ballot Initiative 71 (“I-71”) and the legalization of certain aspects of personal marijuana cultivation and possession, Muriel Bowser is proving to be what they needed in a mayor – a fighter. Mayor Bowser is standing her ground against certain U.S. Congress members and

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China Law Blog

Foreign Businesses in China and Illegality Per Se

When I judge mock trials at law schools, one of the things I find myself criticizing the lawyers-to-be for “talking like a lawyer.” I go after them for describing a person getting out of a car as “a person descending from a vehicle”.  This is my long handed way of apologizing for using Latin in

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Canna Law Blog

California Commercial Cannabis Leases: Will Courts Enforce Them?

A contract isn’t worth much without your being able to enforce it, and the same goes for commercial leases. We’ve written about unique problems in cannabis contracts due to the state-vs-federal illegality problem (see here, here, here) and of how courts have navigated that inconsistency in the context of contract enforcement. But when it comes to

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Canna Law Blog

Is Your Cannabis Copyright Enforceable?

I previously discussed how cannabis works of authorship, including the design of sufficiently original logos (only the graphic elements of the logo, not the words), are copyrightable. I also alluded to the possibility that such copyrights may be unenforceable due to the federal illegality of cannabis. Indeed, whether a cannabis copyright is enforceable remains speculative

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Canna Law Blog

California Cannabis Contracts and the Attorney-Client Privilege: A Legislative Update

We previously explored enforceability problems presented by commercial cannabis contracts in California, as well as some examples of how courts have strained to reconcile state-legal conduct with federal illegality. On October 6, California Governor Brown signed into law AB 1159, a short bill with important implications for commercial cannabis operators, service providers, and investors relating to the

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Canna Law Blog

Seeds of Change: D.C.’s Marijuana Seed Give-Aways

As of February 26 in Washington, D.C., the following are legal for individuals: possessing up to two ounces of marijuana; growing up to six marijuana plants in a principal residence; and smoking marijuana in private residences. See DC’s Last Day of Marijuana Illegality – Sort Of. But people wishing to engage in any of these