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California Regulators Send Cease Order To 954 Businesses

Pharmaceutical companies are becoming more and more interested in exploring ways to profit from the medical properties of pot, but federal law makes this a challenging task. The Drug Enforcement Administration still classifies cannabis as a Schedule I drug with no recognized medical benefit, even though 29 states have legalized medical cannabis and numerous research studies confirm various therapeutic uses for the plant.

As a result of the federal prohibition on cannabis, it is extremely difficult for any U.S. research facility to acquire cannabis with which to conduct experiments. Up until recently, the only cannabis available to American researchers came from a National Institute of Drug Abuse-approved farm run by the University of Mississippi. Marijuana sourced from this facility, however, is of extremely poor quality, and completely unlike any weed that a consumer would purchase via a legal cannabis dispensary or even on the black market.

As reported by Business Insider, these limitations have forced pharmaceutical companies to find creative ways to get around federal restrictions in order to obtain premium-grade cannabis for research. Some of these companies are turning to other countries, such as Canada and Israel, which have more lenient medical cannabis laws. Multinational pharmaceutical firm Johnson & Johnson recently accepted two medical canna-businesses, Avicanna and Vapium Medical, into its Canadian JLabs Innovation network.

The partnership gives cannabis companies access to lab space and a chance to pick the brains of top scientists and researchers. “Partnering with JLabs allowed us to obtain a lot of credibility,” Avicanna CEO Aras Azadian said to Business Insider. Azadian’s Toronto-based business has been growing and harvesting their cannabis in Colombia for products intended for import to California among other U.S. states with legal cannabis. In 2015, Colombia passed a medical marijuana law that allows local cannabis cultivators to export their products to other countries. By teaming up with Johnson & Johnson, Avicanna is also hopeful that the pharma giant could eventually become one of their investors: “Since we’re part of their ecosystem it’s much more convenient to cooperate and collaborate — a lot more so than to start working with new company,” Azadian said to Business Insider. “I think we’ve positioned ourselves well to be a good fit for them.”

Some American companies are also looking into importing small quantities of medical cannabis for testing, since they are unable to legally source American-grown cannabis. One of these companies, Virginia-based Sanyal Biotechnology, has applied for a federal permit to import CBD into the country for testing, while Delaware drug firm Noramco has applied to import both cannabis extracts as well as whole plant material.

The difficulties in researching cannabis in the U.S. are so extreme that only one cannabis-based drug has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to date. In 1985, the FDA approved dronabinol, a synthetic form of THC, to treat nausea and vomiting brought on by chemotherapy. The drug, sold as Marinol, was later approved for a second use, as an appetite stimulant for patients suffering from AIDS-related anorexia.

Four decades after approving dronabinol, the FDA is close to approving its second cannabis-based medication. British drug firm GW Pharmaceuticals has recently secured a “priority review” from the FDA for Epidiolex, its CBD-based epilepsy medication. Unlike dronabinol, Epidiolex is made from actual cannabis plant material, but the drug does not contain THC and is not psychoactive in any way. The medication is currently in its final phase of FDA trials, and may gain final approval as early as this summer.

Published on April 9, 2018
Chris Moore
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Chris Moore is a New York-based writer who has written for Mass Appeal while also mixing records and producing electronic music.

Parents file suit to allow daughter to use medical marijuana at suburban grade school

Fascinating legal issues involved in this suit. Without having the opportunity to read the complaint, my first thoughts are that this has the possibility of turning the Supremacy Clause argument relied upon by Sessions on its head as the student is relying on Federal law, the ADA and IDEA and the school is relying on state law. We’ll be following this closely and commenting here as the case develops.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/ct-met-schaumburg-student-medical-marijuana-20180110-story.html

How Legal Marijuana Affects Small Business Owners

Marijuana laws are changing state by state and blurring the lines in the workplace. Small business owners can add legal medical marijuana use, and in some cases, recreational marijuana use to a long list of items to navigate in order to stay current with legislation. It’s important to take the time to look at business place policies to ensure compliance, as well as to preserve the workplace culture you’ve established.

Is marijuana no longer illegal?

This is confusing at best. Small business owners are correct to question if marijuana is no longer illegal for purposes of clarity and re-examining their HR policies. Considering that the federal Drug Enforcement Agency still prohibits marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act, passage of state provisions does raise issues for employers regarding enforcement of their own drug-free and smoke-free workplace policies.

Where are marijuana laws being relaxed?

A state-by-state rundown indicates a shift in public opinion. Currently, in 29 states and the District of Columbia, medical marijuana use in some form is legal. The eight states that have legalized recreational marijuana use are Alaska, California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Maine, Oregon, Nevada, and Washington. Ones to watch for in 2018 include Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and West Virginia.

Can employers still conduct drug testing?

Employers can most likely conduct drug testing, but it is not the same everywhere for the moment. Legal experts say the waters are murky at best, at least for another couple of years. The key takeaway here is to refer small business owners to local legislation in the relevant state. For example, in California when Proposition 64 decriminalized marijuana use, it left employers free to enforce a drug-free workplace.

How is medical use determined?

The states that have approved medical use of marijuana have vastly varying definitions of qualifying illnesses, chronic conditions, paperwork policies from physicians, registration, certification, possession, cultivation, and dispensary regulations. Some states restrict medical marijuana use to terminally ill patients only.

What about under 21-year-old workers?

Again, this is a call for the states. However, current and pending legislation points to a distinct pattern of excluding minors from consideration under relaxed marijuana laws.

What about use outside of work?

The issue of marijuana use outside of work went all the way to California’s Supreme Court in 2008 in what remains a controversial decision in Ross v. Ragingwire Telecommunications, Inc. The case debated whether an employee can be fired for testing positive for off-the-job, doctor-approved, medical marijuana use.

Yet in Massachusetts in 2017, an employee using marijuana to treat Crohn’s disease had her case upheld when the state’s highest court ruled that companies cannot fire employees who have a prescription for medical marijuana simply because they use the drug. “The use and possession of medically prescribed marijuana by a qualifying patient is as lawful as the use and possession of any other prescribed medication,” Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants wrote in the decision in Barbuto v. Advantage Sales & Marketing LLC.

State supreme courts have conflicting interpretations

The rulings of state supreme courts highlight the tricky area where state marijuana laws, including cases where the employee had revealed the circumstances of prescribed medical use, conflict with federal law. Making things trickier, the Massachusetts suit was brought against a California-based sales and marketing firm.

It’s a good time to brush off workplace policies and take a closer look. Legal marijuana in an increasing number of states is affecting the workplace for small business owners as well as large industries navigating the gaps between relaxed state cannabis rulings, federal laws, and employee laws and rights.

Think of an Attorney as a Tool not a Necessary Evil

I’ve worked with Fortune 500 Companies and start-up and everything in between and for the most part, the one thing these business have in common is the view that attorneys and lawyers are a necessary evil – someone they need but are not vital to the success of their businesses. And no doubt, considering the way lawyers have charged people in the past – if not outright gouged them – they have some reason to think this way. But it is our goal that you not view us as a necessary evil, or a cost of doing business, but as someone who can help you and your business operate and grow.

There is no doubt that all businesses operate within a complex legal system, some more than others, and the businesses that know these rules and how they affect their operations have an advantage over the competition. Whether you run a restaurant, car dealership, barbershop, insurance company or cannabis business, knowing the rules and regulations and anticipating how those rules and regulations affect you now and will affect you in the future is vital to your success in generating revenue. That is what we do – we help you navigate the laws and the rules and we can help you make your business a success. If you don’t believe us, give us a call and let us show you.

4 Types of Contract Breaches

Breach of Contract LawyersWhen two individuals or businesses agree to certain terms, a contract is written up and signed by both parties. Since this is a legally binding document and it must be upheld. When someone does not hold up their end of the deal it is called breach of contract. Listed below are the different types of contract breaches.

Minor Breach- This type of breach gets its name when a minor part of the contract is not completed. This breach is small and will not interfere with finishing the rest of the contract.

Material Breach- When one party fails to complete a major part of the contract and prevents it from being finished.

Actual Breach- The non-breaching party is allowed to sue for damages when the other party does not complete their part.

Anticipatory Breach- When one of the parties states ahead of time that they will not complete their part of the contract, this is known as an anticipatory breach because the other party anticipates them not to follow through.

If you feel like your contract has been breached, turn to McQueeney & McQueeney. Our breach of contract lawyers are waiting to get started on your case. Contact us today at (708) 979-0614 and schedule a consultation.

3 Things You Need to Know about Preparing a Will

No one wants to think about who will inherit their assets after they have passed away. However, preparing a will before you pass is the best way to ensure your last wishes are fulfilled. We thought we would share details about the important roles you will nominate the people in your life for.Chicago business law

Executor- Selecting an executor for your will should take some consideration. This person should be organized and able to follow your last wishes to your exact description. They will also be in charge of distributing your personal property to your beneficiaries.

Beneficiaries- Many people name their family members as the beneficiaries. You can name specific people to inherit specific items such as land, jewelry, or anything sentimental.  If you don’t have any living relatives, people often choose a charity or nonprofit to donate their assets once they are liquidated.

Guardians- This one applies if you have young children who will need someone to care for them in your absence. You should consider someone who is a close family member or friend who shares the same values as you do. After a loss of a parent, your child will want someone they know looking after them.

Even though we specialize in Chicago business law, we can help you with your will preparation. Give McQueeney & McQueeney LLC a call today at (708) 979-0614 and schedule a time to write your will.

Different Types of Business Structures

Congratulations on deciding to start your own business! It can be very overwhelming when deciding on how your taxes will be paid and other major factors such as the business structure. Our firm has broken down the most common types of business structures to help get you started.Business Formation Lawyer

Partnership- This structure is chosen when you and another person decide to share the responsibility for the business together. When a business is a partnership, the business itself does not get taxed. Each partner has to report any losses or profits on their own income tax return.

Sole Proprietorship- Commonly chosen due to the fact that one person will be operating the business. This person is responsible for any debts the business may encounter.

Corporation- The business itself can be held accountable for liability and is taxed normally. However, the main benefit of electing a corporate status is removing all personal liability from the equation.

Limited Liability Company (LLC)- Many people choose this structure type because the owners are not personally held accountable for the company’s debt or liabilities. The company is not taxed, just like a partnership.

Take the next step towards your dream of opening your own business by letting us be your business formation lawyer. Schedule a time for a one-on-one consultation with one of our attorneys when you call our firm at (708) 979-0614 today.