Cannabis Highlights Of 2014

Happy New Year and thanks for reading us, commenting on our posts, and following us (and giving us likes) on our Facebook Page.

You do not need us to tell you about what a great year 2014 was for cannabis, so we will try to avoid doing that. But we do want to use this post to give you what we see as the highlights of 2014 in key states (mostly defined as those states where big things happened in 2014).

In no particular order:

1. Oregon legalizes. To say we are bullish about Oregon would be an understatement. Oregon’s Measure 91 is the most business-friendly piece of marijuana legislation with which we have worked. It appropriately takes into account both business interests and the reality of the marketplace. Unlike most other states, Oregon currently treats out of state residents and businesses no differently than it treats in-staters. This alone creates amazing Oregon opportunities.

We love Oregon so much we set up an office there this year. We wrote 31 posts on Oregon in 2014 and we expect to be writing at least that number in 2015. To see our 2014 Oregon posts, go here. Even more importantly, our cannabis lawyers participated as speakers in most (all?) of the major Oregon cannabis events in 2014, including the following:

More importantly, on February 4, live in Portland and also via the web, we will be putting on a seminar on Recreational Marijuana in Oregon and What to Expect for your Marijuana Business. Go here to purchase tickets for only $35, but act fast because this early bird rate ends on January 4!

2. Alaska legalizes. Two of our lawyers are licensed in Alaska and a couple more are in the process of obtaining Alaska licensure. We wrote about Alaska ten times in 2014 and we fully intend to cover the state even more in 2015. To see our 2014 Alaska posts, go here. We urge you to check out our Alaska Marijuana FAQs, in which we answer common questions about Alaska’s new marijuana regime.

3. Medical marijuana opens up in Nevada, next comes recreational. We wrote 26 posts on Nevada in 2014, including one a couple weeks ago entitled, Nevada: Pot Business Mecca, in which we extol Nevada and its future for cannabis. To see our Nevada posts, go here. We also urge you to check out our post, Top Ten FAQs Regarding Nevada Medical Marijuana. Nevada has so far been a tough state in terms of securing a license, but we are expecting all kinds of liberalization to happen here in either 2015 or by 2016 at the latest.

4. Medical marijuana comes to Illinois. We wrote 36 posts on Illinois in 2014. To see our Illinois posts, go here. We wrote this Illinois update a few weeks ago. To get up to speed on Illinois, we also urge you to read our posts, Illinois MMJ FAQs: Answers for Dispensaries from the State and Illinois Cannabis FAQs: Answers for Growers. Illinois has a very restrictive medical marijuana regime right now and it is not clear when or if that will change. We, like so many others, are still waiting on behalf of some of our clients to see exactly what is going to shake out there. It is very difficult to make predictions for Illinois right now, but we should know a lot more in 3-6 months.

5. Medical marijuana fails in Florida. More a lowlight than a highlight. One word sums up Florida for us and for the cannabis industry: disappointing. But we have two Florida licensed lawyers and we likely will be adding a third, and we have no plans to give up on this important state. To see our 15 Florida posts in 2014, go here.

6. California continues to tread water. Also more of a lowlight than a highlight. To see our 18 California posts, go here. We also urge you to read Top Ten California Marijuana Law FAQs. Four of our lawyers are licensed in California, and we are very much interested in setting up an office there. But we are also very hesitant to go to California until it establishes robust regulations over its marijuana industry that conform with the most recent Cole Memo. We are expecting that will occur by 2016. Having said this, we have already worked with a number of California cannabis companies, mostly on navigating state and local marijuana laws in the state and on obtaining marijuana licenses and registrations in other states. We have also assisted many California cannabis companies with their federal and multi-state intellectual property and IP licensing matters.

7. The Federal Government loosens up just a bit. It would take us forever to even touch on all that happened in 2014 on the federal front, but we will grossly summarize by saying, new Cole Memo and a new U.S. Attorney General, new FinCen memo on banking, new memo on Native American tribes, and major activity in and regarding D.C.

8. Washington and Colorado chug along. Both states had their bumps in 2014, but overall both states proved that legalization works. Most importantly, both states also helped to normalize marijuana, and we fully expect that to continue in 2015.

One last thing. We love your comments both here and on our Canna Law Blog Facebook Page. Please, please, please keep ’em coming!