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Mississippi Supreme Court overturns voter-approved medical marijuana initiative

5/14/21--Of the 1.3 million people who cast ballots there in November, more than half — 766,000 — voted to establish a state medical marijuana program. In a 6-3 ruling, the Mississippi Supreme Court struck down struck down a medical marijuana initiative because of an odd flaw in the state constitution's voter initiative process — and the ruling is likely to doom other voter initiatives in the state as well. Read

‘Jasiel was dirty’: Marijuana biz owners testify about paying bribes to former mayor

5/5/21--Steph Machado of WPRI 12 reports on marijuana business owners testifying about paying bribes to former Massachusetts mayor Jasiel Correia to obtain a letter of non-opposition — a requirement before a prospective marijuana business could apply for a license with the state Cannabis Control Commission. Read

Top Massachusetts court in a haze over local control of cannabis

5/3/21--In a test case for how much control local governments can have over the burgeoning marijuana industry, the Massachusetts high court struggled Monday to figure out if cities and towns can require some dispensaries to operate as nonprofits. Read

Jury hears testimony about former Fall River mayor’s alleged pay-for-play marijuana scheme

5/3/21--Jurors in the trial of former Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia heard testimony Monday about an alleged pay-for-play scheme in the city, whereby Correia allegedly required bribes from prospective marijuana shop owners in exchange for his signature on a crucial document. Read

Court’s drug possession ruling upends WA’s criminal justice system

3/12/21--In the Blake decision, the Washington Supreme Court voided most drug possession cases in the state. For advocates of drug policy reform and those in the world of criminal defense, the ruling “was a much-needed nail in the coffin on the war on drugs,” according to Ali Hohman, director of legal services at the Washington Defender Association. Meanwhile, many prosecutors, law enforcement officials and lawmakers are nervous about its implications. Read

9 amicus briefs filed with Supreme Court in support of removing cannabis from Controlled Substances Act

9/17/20--Plaintiffs in the Washington v. Barr case, which seeks to declare the federal law that criminalizes marijuana unconstitutional, have received impressive support in the form of several amicus briefs from cannabis industry organizations, researchers and current federal lawmakers. The case, brought by former NFL player and current cannabis business owner Marvin Washington, claims that the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) is unconstitutional by blocking patient access to the medication and sits in contradiction with the U.S. government’s own statements. Read

DEA marijuana scheduling lawsuit will be appealed to Supreme Court following dismissal

4/23/20--A federal appeals court dismissed a lawsuit against the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) over the classification of marijuana last week after the plaintiffs announced they would not pursue an administrative policy change as the court had recommended. Read

Florida judge: FDA’s CBD review shouldn’t stop labeling claims

4/1/20--Ongoing CBD review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration shouldn’t mean that CBD makers can’t face labeling lawsuits, a federal judge in Florida ruled. The ruling means that Diamond CBD of Fort Lauderdale cannot await FDA guidelines before facing a 2019 allegation that it misrepresented the amount of CBD in its products. Read

Florida’s medical marijuana rules are unconstitutional, court says

7/9/19--A 1st District Court of Appeal decision in Tallahassee called the current medical marijuana regulatory system inconsistent with Amendment 2, the ballot proposal that legalized medical marijuana. Furthermore, it is being deemed unconstitutional for the way it caps licenses and charges companies with essentially being one-man bands — they must grow, process, package and sell medical marijuana without bringing in businesses to handle different parts of the process. Read

Ky. Appeals Court dismisses lawsuit challenging Kentucky’s medical marijuana ban

3/8/19--The Kentucky Court of Appeals has sided with a lower court judge in dismissing a lawsuit seeking to overturn the state's ban on marijuana for medical purposes. The three-panel appeals court unanimously agreed that the decision to legalize medical marijuana is something that must be decided by the legislature. Read

Arizona Supreme Court agrees to review legality of medical-marijuana extracts

1/8/19--The Arizona Supreme Court will review the legality of medical-marijuana concentrates in the state, the court decided on Tuesday, giving a boost of hope to patients and industry advocates. Read

Judge strikes down state’s marijuana program ‘racial quota’

11/19/18--Franklin County Judge Charles Schneider has declared that a provision in Ohio's medical marijuana program that 15 percent of licenses go to minority-owned groups is unconstitutional.The ruling by Judge Schneider said the provision denied Greenleaf Gardens, one of the cultivation license bidders, of its rights because two lower-rated, minority-owned firms were chosen ahead of it. Read

Arizona dispensaries sell cannabis extracts in defiance of court ruling

7/2/18--Dispensary associations and operators say they'll wait for a final ruling on the matter by the Arizona Supreme Court. Until then, they will continue to sell the products targeted by appeals court decision. The position is something of a gamble because the appeals court ruling technically applies statewide. Potentially, patients and dispensaries now face criminal prosecution over extracts, which are made into popular products found at dispensaries like vape pen oil, infused edibles, and shatter. Read

Hemp industry loses case against US drug enforcement agency

5/3/18--A federal appeals court sided with the Drug Enforcement Administration and upheld its decision that CBD is a Schedule 1 controlled substance — a major setback for the American hemp industry. The decision, issued Monday by a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit in San Francisco, means that hemp producers can only sell cannabidiol where it is allowed under state law. Read

Celebrity sues CBD line, claiming trademark violation

9/28/17--Actress Jessica Alba is suing a Colorado business that makes CBD nutritional supplements, claiming that Honest Herbal infringes on the trademark of her Los Angeles firm, The Honest Co., which makes personal-care products and vitamins. Alba argues in the federal lawsuit filed in California that the 3-year-old CBD company is trying “to confuse consumers and profit from the goodwill and consumer recognition associated with The Honest Co.’s HONEST Marks,” which include product lines Honest Beauty, Honest Man, and Honest Baby. Read

Court upholds Kentucky’s medical marijuana ban

9/21/17--Franklin Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate ruled to uphold Kentucky’s medical marijuana ban. In the ruling, he cited the need to “curtail citizens’ possession of a narcotic, hallucinogenic drug.” Judge Wingate’s decision ended a furious debate brought forth by three plaintiffs who decided to sue the state over “denying sick people safe medicine.” Read

Federal laws do not preempt Connecticut law providing employment protections to medical marijuana users

9/18/17--Connecticut employees using medical marijuana for certain debilitating medical conditions as allowed under Connecticut law for “qualified users” are protected under state law from being fired or refused employment based solely on their marijuana use. Employers who violate those protections risk being sued for discrimination, according to a recent federal district court decision. Read

Judge asks Kentucky officials to explain reasons for medical marijuana ban

8/24/17--Judge Thomas Wingate recently asked legal counsel for Governor Matt Bevin and Attorney General Andy Beshear to explain their reasons for maintaining a prohibitionary standard with respect to the cannabis plant in the Bluegrass States. He is trying to understand exactly why the state has not yet legalized a medical marijuana program, especially since “we’ve pretty much decriminalized” the herb in more than half the nation. Read

Arizona Supreme Court to hear lawsuit over medical marijuana on campus

8/9/17--Arizona Supreme Court will hear a challenge to law outlawing the possession of medical marijuana on college campuses. Plaintiff Andre Maestas, a medical marijuana patient, filed a lawsuit after being arrested on the Arizona State University campus for possessing doctor-recommended cannabis. His lawyer argues that the state had no legal authority to criminalize on-campus possession and is asking the court to throw out Maestas’ conviction. Read

Bevin and Beshear ask judge to dismiss medical marijuana lawsuit

7/13/17--Gov. Matt Bevin and Attorney General Andy Beshear want a Frankfort judge to dismiss a lawsuit calling for the legalization of medical marijuana in Kentucky. Although Bevin and Beshear both seek dismissal of the lawsuit, their positions on the underlying issue differ. Read

Did medical marijuana cost a man his job?

7/5/17--Joseph Cobb III, a glass company worker, claims he was wrongfully fired for using medically prescribed marijuana to treat his chronic illness. He has filed a discrimination lawsuit against Bridgeton-based Ardagh Glass, claiming he was let go despite his "stellar work performance." Cobb is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. Read

Beavercreek property owners file racketeering suit against neighbors growing marijuana

7/5/17--Rachel McCart and Erin McCart, two Beavercreek property owners who own about 11 acres of fenced pastures and woodland off South Highland Crest Drive, are suing their neighbors, contending that they are engaged in racketeering by producing and selling marijuana. The McCarts argue that any business producing or selling marijuana is a criminal enterprise, and those who participate in the business should be subject to civil liability for causing injury to others. Read

RI ACLU files suit to block Smithfield’s restrictive medical marijuana ordinance

6/22/17--Civil libertarians filed suit Thursday against the town of Smithfield, charging its new ordinance against medical marijuana production infringes on rights allowed under state law. The American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island filed the lawsuit in Superior Court on behalf of two licensed medical marijuana patients and the Rhode Island Patient Advocacy Coalition (RIPAC), a medical marijuana educational group. Read

Lawsuit challenges city’s marijuana ordinance

6/22/17--The Drug Policy Alliance and the ACLU of California have filed a lawsuit against the City of Fontana, challenging the city's ordinance, which places some restrictions on marijuana use. The lawsuit alleges that the ordinance is intended to effectively prevent residents to enjoy the rights granted to them by Proposition 64 (also known as the “Adult Use of Marijuana Act”). Read

Medical marijuana investors and partners to be made public knowledge

6/11/17--The Florida court of appeals ruled yesterday that investors and partners of businesses that sell medical marijuana will be disclosed under the Florida public-law and would not be considered a trade secret. As a result, partners and investors of Surterra Florida LLC and Redlands Nursery Inc. will be disclosed in the license applications and disclosed to the Florida Department of Health against their wishes. Read

How bizarre pot smell ruling could destroy Colorado’s marijuana industry

6/8/17--A court victory by two Colorado landowners who complained that the smell from a nearby marijuana grow made horse riding on their property less pleasant advances a strategy, based on federal racketeering laws, that anti-marijuana forces hope will help them destroy the marijuana industry in Colorado and throughout the country. This ruling could be game-changing. Read

Neighbors can sue pot grower for stinky smells

6/8/17--A pot farm’s neighbor can sue them for smells and other nuisances that could harm their property values, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday. The 10th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruling revives a lawsuit between a Colorado horse farm and a neighboring marijuana company. Read

DEA seeks dismissal of hemp industry lawsuit fighting drug code for “marihuana extracts”

6/2/17--The Drug Enforcement Administration stands firm on its drug code for “marihuana extracts” in a brief filed Friday to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and seeks to have a federal lawsuit by the hemp industry dismissed. The DEA laid out various reasons as to why the legal challenge filed by the Hoban Law Group on behalf of trade group Hemp Industries Association, and hemp businesses Centuria Natural Foods and R.M.H. Holdings Inc. is invalid. Read

Supreme Court limits government seizure of assets in drug conspiracy cases

6/5/17--The Supreme Court is placing new limits on the government’s ability to seize assets from people who are convicted of drug crimes but receive little of the illegal proceeds. The unanimous ruling on Monday comes as the Justice Department has moved to impose harsher punishments for drug trafficking and related crimes. Read

Colorado Supreme Court sides with city on local controls for marijuana licensing

4/20/17--The state’s highest court ruled that Northglenn’s code language listing criteria such as “number, type, and availability” of existing medical marijuana centers when considering new applications was not “unconstitutionally vague.” The decision, which reverses a district court ruling, serves as an affirmation for local control — for the discretion granted to cities to craft locally appropriate ordinances for licensing and regulating marijuana centers and related facilities. Read

Oregon vineyard owners sue to halt nearby cannabis cultivation

4/21/17--Oregon vineyard owners in the heart of the state’s wine region filed a lawsuit asking a judge to ban a neighbor from cultivating marijuana, complaining that the smell of cannabis could drift over and taint their grapes. The winemakers’ lawsuit claims the marijuana farmer’s outdoor grow could jeopardize the Momtazi’s Demeter Biodynamic certification, which recognizes the vineyard for organic farming. Read

Ruling overturns law banning medical marijuana on campuses

4/6/17--An appellate court ruled that Arizona colleges and universities can prohibit medical marijuana on campuses but lawmakers can't make it a crime. The ruling struck down a 2012 decision by the Legislature to expand the off-limits list by adding college and university campuses. Read

Cops can’t be forced to return marijuana in failed drug cases

1/23/17--The Colorado Supreme Court on Monday ruled that law enforcement officers cannot be forced to return marijuana to defendants even after they are acquitted of pot crimes because doing so would force officers to be marijuana “distributors” and violate federal law. Read

Court rules medical marijuana users cannot be charged with DUI

1/6/17--Arizona’s Court of Appeals ruled that legal medical cannabis patients can fight their DUI charges. The burden of proof for charging cannabis users with a DUI is now on the police, not patients. Medical marijuana patients charged with a DUI can fight it in court, and it’s now up to the arresting officer to prove that the THC impaired the driver. Read

Arkansas Court says voters can decide medical marijuana plan

10/13/16--The Arkansas Supreme Court ruled Thursday that voters can consider a medical marijuana proposal on the November ballot. Justices sided with supporters of a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow patients with certain medical conditions to purchase marijuana from dispensaries. The proposal is one of two medical marijuana proposals on the ballot. Read

Arkansas court rejects challenge to medical marijuana plan

9/22/16--The Arkansas Supreme Court has rejected one of two efforts to block a medical marijuana proposal from the November ballot. Justices denied a challenge from a group opposed to the proposed initiated act that would allow patients with certain medical conditions to buy marijuana from dispensaries. Read

Smell of marijuana keeps potential juror off hot car death trial

9/15/16--Judge Mary Staley Clark passed on selecting a convicted felon for the trial of a metro Atlanta man accused of killing his toddler son by leaving him in a hot SUV. Cobb County prosecutor Chuck Boring said that man showed up for jury selection "with an odor of marijuana about him." Read

Court ruling on guns & MMJ could lead to millions in lost dispensary sales

9/12/16--Arizona has the potential to lose more MMJ sales than any other state as a result of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that a Nevada woman’s Second Amendment rights were not violated by a federal law prohibiting gun sales to an “unlawful user of and/or an addict to marijuana.” Read

Ninth Circuit rules marijuana card holders may not own firearms

9/5/16--A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court’s decision that holding a marijuana card precludes its owner from keeping and bearing arms. In the process, pills the panel threw out the First, discount Second, and Fifth Amendment rights. Read

On marijuana users’ right to bear arms: Where’s NRA?

9/2/16--While the NRA staunchly opposes gun sale restrictions on would-be pistol packers on the government’s “no-fly” list, the NRA is OK with banning state-legal medical cannabis patients from purchasing firearms without due process. Read