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Illinois Medical Cannabis License Applications. The Basics

The list of tasks you need to complete before you even submit your Illinois medical cannabis license application is quite long. But if you're a glass half-full type, you should view the state's rigorous application process as serving to both weed out (pun intended) the corner-cutters who could ruin the pilot program for us all, and as ensuring that you get all of your ducks in a row before entering the medical cannabis marketplace in Illinois. The recent release of the draft regulatory rules from the departments of Agriculture and Financial and Professional Regulation gave us a much better idea of what the application process will look like.

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Washington LCB Puts New Limits on Marijuana Production

The Washington State Liquor Control Board (LCB) today issued a message on its Listserv notifying cannabis production applicants that they will be restricted to just one license to produce and that they will be permitted to operate at 70% of total expected production.

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Illinois Medical Cannabis Licensing: Answers To Your Burning Questions

Over the past six months we have fielded dozens of calls (and emails) from people looking to get into Illinois’ MMJ scene, ranging from the mildly curious to the serious, well-heeled entrepreneur complete with an incorporated entity and investors in hand. But no matter who is on the other end of the line, certain questions

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Publicly Traded Cannabis Stocks. Be Careful Out There

I have a friend who is the mother of a 16 year old. This mom tells me that every time her daughter leaves the house, she reminds her kid to "make good choices." Someone should be saying this to everyone contemplating investing in a publicly traded marijuana company. I am not saying all publicly traded marijuana companies are bad, but I am saying that none of our cannabis lawyers have invested in one and none plan to do so any time soon.

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California, Get Your Cannabis Act Together

Now that the Department of Justice has announced its new guidelines for providing financial services to cannabis businesses under the Bank Secrecy Act, California banks and marijuana businesses should be good to go, right. Wrong.

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Normal Taxes for Marijuana Growers? Think Again

The debate on whether marijuana cultivation should be considered a commercial activity or an agricultural undertaking rages on. But why should you care? Because the answer will significantly impact the federal taxes of anyone who grows and sells marijuana. Washington and Colorado have already decided how to tax marijuana at the retail level, but both are still trying to figure out how to tax marijuana production. The AP tells us that some lawmakers in both states say marijuana growers should not be eligible for the tax breaks given to farmers who grow "conventional" crops. Other lawmakers say that marijuana, while it is growing, should be treated just like hops and barley that go on to become highly taxed alcohol.

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Feds Green Light Marijuana Banking

The Department of Treasury today issued guidance for financial institutions that want to do business with the marijuana industry. The primary force keeping banks away from the marijuana industry has always been regulations issued by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) dealing with money laundering. The Bank Secrecy Act that FinCEN enforces requires banks to investigate their customers and to neither negligently or knowingly do business with bad actors. State-legal marijuana businesses have always fallen into the category of bad actors for the banks, so they avoided potential fines by refusing to provide banking services to marijuana businesses. Today's regulations, however, clarify that banks can provide services to marijuana businesses without running afoul of federal regulations, so long as they abide by the following:

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How To Protect Your Cannabis Brand, Part III

If you want to eventually own a national cannabis/marijuana brand, you should take steps to establish and protect your trademarks now. Since cannabis and cannabis paraphernalia remain federally controlled, the United States Patent and Trademark Office will not issue a federal trademark registration for products that fall into either category. However, it is possible to obtain protection for your trademarks in those states that have legalized the medical and/or recreational use of cannabis. Here is what you should do now:

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LCB Says No Delays on Licenses.

Despite the fact that Washington’s Liquor Control Board (LCB) has decided to allow people with non-compliant locations a 30-day extension to find new digs before being booted from the licensing process, the Board promises that those extensions will not delay the licensing process for those who found compliant locations from the get-go. The LCB sent