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

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

borat cohen cannabis marijuana copyright infringement

Cannabis Copyright Infringement: It’s NOT Nice

Our posts here regularly cover celebrity-backed cannabis companies who are doing things right (and sometimes, doing things wrong), but a recent copyright infringement case proves that not all celebrities are interested in getting involved in the industry – and certainly shouldn’t be presumed to be okay with using their fame to promote it. Solar Therapeutics

bloom kool cannabis trademark infringement

Cannabis Trademark Litigation: A Trademark is the Sum of Its Parts

In a case we’ve been watching closely, a California District Court Judge recently denied a motion by cannabis company Capna Intellectual. The motion sought to dismiss tobacco giant ITG Brands’ dilution claim for its “KOOL” brand. ITG’s branding uses “KOOL OOs” while Capna’s branding uses “BLOOM OOs.” As a refresher, in December 2020, ITG had

washington cannabis lcb tied house

Washington Court of Appeals Overturns LCB Interpretation of “Tied House” Rule

The State of Washington strictly regulates the relationships between marijuana producers and processors, on the one hand, and marijuana retailers, on the other. Many states permit the same persons to hold financial interests in all three types of licenses. But not Washington. Under RCW 69.50.328, neither a licensed marijuana producer nor a licensed marijuana processor

cannabis marijuana statute of limitation

Cannabis Litigation: Know Your Statutes of Limitation!

A recent decision in the case of Elevations Plus, LLC v. City Council of Riverbank, in the Eastern District of California, reminded me of something: when undergoing administrative proceedings, always know the relevant statute of limitations. Statute of limitations are laws that determine the expiration date of a claim. In theory, they make sense and

cannabis marijuana bankruptcy

Current Trends in Bankruptcy for Cannabis Companies

In a recent bankruptcy decision by the Ninth Circuit Bankruptcy Panel (“BAP”), the BAP had the occasion to explore some of the intricacies of how the Bankruptcy Code interacts with the cannabis industry. Burton v. Maney, 610 B.R. 633 (B.A.P. 9th Cir. 2020) (“In re Burton”). While, generally, a putative debtor cannot enjoy the protections

hemp trademark cannabis

Hemp Trademarks and the Perils of Generic Terms: PanXchange v. New Leaf Data Services

Two companies that provide data to the hemp industry are embroiled in a trademark dispute. New Leaf Data Services (“New Leaf”) sued PanXchange in Connecticut federal court, alleging that PanXchange’s offer of services under marks such as PANXCHANGE® HEMP BENCHMARKS constitutes infringement of New Leaf’s supplemental trademark registration, HEMP BENCHMARKS (Reg. No. 5079914). The case