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

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

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

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

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

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

Marijuana leaf next to Cal
Canna Law Blog

ICYMI: Here Comes California-Certified “Comparable-to-Organic” Cannabis

Due to the federal illegality of cannabis, cannabis businesses don’t receive normal treatment from the federal government (with maybe one or two exceptions, like the NLRB and the 2014 FinCEN guidance for access to financial institutions). This obviously mucks up the ability of a cannabis business to operate in a consistent and reliable way, and

superhero shadows
Canna Law Blog

NIST and FDA May Be the Cannabis Quality Assurance Heroes We Need

Over the years, we’ve pointed out when federal agencies opt to ignore the federal illegality of cannabis. It happens more often than you might think depending on the topic (see, for example, the NLRB). One agency, though, that has surprisingly never lifted a finger against state-legal cannabis–though it is taking a closer look at CBD–is

Canna Law Blog

Medical Marijuana Raids: A Thing of the Past?

We’ve reminded you again and again that marijuana is still illegal on a federal level — just look at our disclaimer to the right. No matter how legal marijuana may be in your state, its illegality under federal law can cause problems. Some changes may be underway, however, when it comes to how the federal marijuana prohibition is enforced.