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

illegality defense cannabis litigation
Canna Law Blog

Cannabis Litigation: The Illegality Defense and Damages

Around this time last year, my colleague, Jesse Mondry, wrote about a District of Colorado case, entitled Sensoria, LLC et al. v. Kaweske, et al. , which involved a group of plaintiffs who sought to recover their investment in a cannabis business, Clover Top Holdings. The underlying set of facts involve an all-too-familiar cannabis investment

canna law blog
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

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
Canna Law Blog

Crafting a Marijuana Business Contract That Will Stand Up in Court

A few weeks ago we ran a post examining the “illegal” nature of marijuana contracts and the challenge of enforcing such agreements, entitled, “Your Cannabis Contract: Is it Worth the Paper its Written On?” Today we follow up on that post and discuss how to draft your contracts so they have the best chance at enforceability. Although states are

canna law blog
Canna Law Blog

Your Cannabis Contract: Is It Worth The Paper It’s Written On?

We write frequently about the importance of contracts to the state-legal cannabis industry. (For a crash course, check out Doing Business with Pot Businesses #2: Cannabis Business Contracts; Marijuana Contracts: Get them in Writing; and How to Draft an Effective Marijuana Contract.) We preach about the need to have solid contracts in place before you need them, covering

canna law blog
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
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
Canna Law Blog

Commercial Cannabis Case Law Update: Federal Courts Continue to Find a Balance

We’ve written previously about how courts, especially U.S. District Courts charged with applying and interpreting federal law, are wrestling with inconsistencies between state and federal law when it comes to state-legal cannabis. A little over a year ago, the emerging solution when it comes to enforceability of contracts involving cannabis was to apply the legal

canna law blog
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