Last Thursday, November 10, 2022, a court-appointed receiver threw the City of Chester, Pennsylvania into bankruptcy. At its most basic, a chapter 9 bankruptcy case is a rarely used provision of the Bankruptcy Code which is designed to protect a financially-distressed municipality from its creditors while it develops a plan to repay them. While chapter 9 filings are currently relatively rare, the combustible mix of the current state of the economy and this case filing could be a portent for a wave of similar filings in the next few years. But what truly separates this chapter 9 filing from those of the past (and gives rise to this alert) is the intersection of chapter 9 and the increasing legalization and taxation of cannabis by states and municipalities across the country. The State of Pennsylvania has not yet legalized so-called adult use cannabis, which is generating truly unprecedented amounts of tax revenue for many states, but it has enjoyed a fully functioning, legal, medicinal cannabis program for several years now, and enjoys the concomitant tax revenue therefrom. The City of Chester, Pennsylvania is therefore deriving tax revenue from the state’s medicinal cannabis program – a program centered around federally illegal conduct and the cash it creates.

On Friday, April 1, 2022, the U.S House of representatives voted to pass the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, which decriminalizes cannabis at the federal level. The vote was made mostly along party lines. The legislation will now move to the Senate. The MORE Act would be revolutionary legislation for the cannabis industry and individuals adversely affected by harsh penalties for cannabis convictions. The Act, which was first approved by the House of Representatives judiciary committee in late 2019, would officially remove cannabis from the ...

On Monday October 18, 2021, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued a notice through the Federal Register that proposed a large increase in production quotas for a number of controlled substances including cannabis and psilocybin (the active compound in so called “magic mushrooms”). Cannabis and psilocybin are currently categorized as Schedule I drugs in the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), meaning that pursuant to the CSA, these are drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. The notice issue by the DEA, however, signals a potential ...

The emerging cannabis industry in Illinois has plenty of regulatory issues to contend with including labeling, packaging, destruction and disposal of cannabis, security, inventory, and recordkeeping just to name a few. Dispensaries and other cannabis related businesses should take care not to overlook another highly-regulated area—text message and telephone marketing.

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) regulates how companies can utilize telephone calls and text messages as part of their marketing strategies. All companies should take note, as the penalties ...

Cannabis, or “marihuana” as it is referred to in the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), has been federally illegal in the United States since 1937. Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced that he will make legislation ending the federal prohibition of cannabis a top priority. In the recent press conference, Senator Schumer introduced a draft of the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act (the “CAOA”), which would lift the federal prohibition on cannabis and, critically, allow state-compliant cannabis businesses to have access to ...

After months and months of controversy around how Illinois managed the scoring and award of the first round of adult-use recreational cannabis retail licenses, Governor J.B. Pritzker has signed a new bill that not only expands the number of licenses to be awarded, but shakes up and expedites how the licenses will be issued. The new legislation expands the number of adult use cannabis retail licenses in Illinois from the originally allotted seventy-five, to one hundred and seventy-five. This bill (HB1443) is a critical step forward in what has been a tumultuous roll out of the state’s ...

Today, two Republican Congressmen introduced the “Common Sense Cannabis Reform for Veterans, Small Businesses, and Medical Professionals Act.” Representatives David Joyce (R-OH) Ohio and Don Young (R-AK) are the sponsors of the Act.  Joyce and Young are also the current co-chairs of the bipartisan Congressional Cannabis Caucus. This Caucus was launched in 2017 by well-known cannabis advocates, former Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, (R-CA) Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), former Colorado Rep. and current Colorado Governor, Jared Polis, and the aforementioned Rep. Young. The Act would ...

On the heels of the historic vote by the United Nations, which for the first time recognized the medicinal properties of cannabis and removed it from the most restricted substances under the 1961 Convention on Narcotic Drugs, the United States House of Representatives has voted to decriminalize cannabis. While certainly historic in every sense, this is potentially more of a symbolic moment, displaying the US legislature’s sluggish progress towards accepting the pro-cannabis opinions held by an ever increasing majority of their constituents (2/3 support legalization in some ...

On April 20, 2020, a company called United Cannabis Corp. filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy case in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Colorado. United Cannabis listed debts to its 20 largest creditors at over $4.9 million. United Cannabis also appears to be a cannabis-related business (or CRB). In other words, it appears that United Cannabis generates at least a portion of its revenue from operating in the cannabis industry. The problem with that is that in almost every case that has been filed in bankruptcy courts across the nation, both CRBs and individuals receiving ...

Lending under the federal government’s Payroll Protection Program (a part of the newly passed Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act)(the “CARES Act”) began Friday, April 3.  Financial relief under the Small Business Administration’s (the “SBA’s”) newly revamped “Disaster Loan” process has already begun.  In fact, many of the provisions in the CARES Act and similar COVID-19 legislation are aimed at providing financial protections and assistance to businesses struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Yet, one of the nation’s newest and thus ...

Welcome to the Cannabis Business Legal News blog where attorneys from Amundsen Davis blog about all things cannabis business and legal news related. 

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