Marijuana’s illegal status under federal law means no bankruptcy protection for these businesses. In the July/August NWLawyer, read how Washington’s first marijuana receivership was able to reach a successful conclusion thanks to an alternative procedure provided by Washington law. Read more
With House Bill 2700 going into effect on June 9, 2016, it is important to keep DUI clients informed on sentencing and licensing changes. Here are four updates to DUI laws that your clients may need to know. Read more
In November 2012, Washingtonians voted in favor of Initiative 502 (I-502), which legalized the possession of certain amounts of marijuana by adults 21 and older. I-502 also legalized the commercial cultivation, manufacture, and retail sale of marijuana. While I-502 created a legal marijuana economy in Washington, it had no effect on the federal Controlled Substances Act. Should lawyers opt to practice in the ever-changing area of marijuana business law, here are five issues to consider before starting such a practice.
I know you’ve heard it, but it’s worth saying again…
This is still illegal at the federal level
Congress has not removed marijuana from Schedule 1 of the Control Substances Act. That being said, the Department of Justice issued a memo last week with “guidance” that suggests businesses in compliance with I-502 are not high on the list of enforcement priorities. If regulation works, the federal government has indicated that they will stay out of the way. As attorneys, there is a HUGE proviso here. This latest guidance is not binding on local U.S. attorneys and does not eliminate the risk of federal enforcement actions, including prosecution and civil forfeiture.
Corporations are not invisibility cloaks
While a corporate name may give no indication of who its stakeholders are, the Liquor Control Board will perform a full background check on every corporate director and officer and every financial contributor, as well as their spouses. If there is an issue in your history that will make that problematic (with the exception of simple marijuana possession), you should reconsider whether to start the process. Read more