By Jeff Bess, third-year student at the University of Washington School of Law.
State-legal cannabis is a booming business and further state-level moves toward legalization and regulation are likely on the way. Though legalization has most famously resulted in economic growth and increased state and local tax revenues, it has also come with its fair share of problems. As Seattle-based cannabis business attorney Hilary Bricken wrote earlier this month: “[L]ike any new and high growth industry with complicated and constantly changing rules and regulations, the marijuana industry is chalk full of scammers and con artists.” A recently reported, ongoing cannabis fraud investigation in Oregon – the first of its kind in the state – illustrates one way that less-than-scrupulous investment in the cannabis space can potentially present significant pitfalls for investors and entrepreneurs alike.
By Sam Méndez, Executive Director of the Cannabis Law and Policy Project
At a month old, the news has already long been out. In a press release on August 11 the U.S Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) declined requests to reschedule marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act, along with opening up an important avenue to further marijuana research. The decision to not reschedule is no surprise to me, as I had predicted this back in April. The DEA has had a singular stance on this issue for 45 some-odd years, and just because there’s been reform at the state level and a change in public sentiment towards the substances does not mean the federal government will be so quick to reform its laws. A mere 9 months ago DEA Chief Chuck Rosenberg called the idea of marijuana being considered medicine a “joke,” so predicting a lack of policy reform wasn’t too difficult.
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