#californiacannabis – “New legislation in California gives off-duty cannabis users the right to fight discrimination in the workplace and prohibits California employers from firing workers or refusing to hire applicants solely due to a positive cannabis test. You can read more about the new law in our Insight here. However, federal contractors should note that the new legislation does not preempt state or federal laws requiring employees to be tested for controlled substances or directing employers to maintain a drug-free workplace, such as those required for receiving federal funds, licensing, or federal contracts….
As we know, federal law preempts state law, but where there are no conflicts, the state law will govern. For example, some federal laws require testing for cannabis use, including Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations for pilots, truck drivers, and other safety‐sensitive transportation employees. To the extent the testing is required by the terms of a federal contract, the new California legislation would be in conflict, and those specific provisions of the state law would be unenforceable.”
#cannabisindustry – “As leaders in this industry, we need to encourage states and local governments to establish regulations and consult real experts who have been in the trenches throughout the years. We should avoid an industry dominated by those who don’t understand how the industry itself works. The cannabis industry, with the interplay between federal, state and local laws, is not like any other business. It is extremely difficult to survive, let alone thrive.”
#cannabislaw – Trademarks – “When the USPTO examines a use-based trademark application, the examining attorneys will scrutinize the identification and specimens of use to see if they indicate that the identified goods or services are illegal under federal law. If the specimens of use indicate that the goods or services involve cannabis related activities, then registration will be refused.
Similarly, if the USPTO examines an Intent-to-Use trademark application, the examining attorneys will scrutinize the identification to see whether it indicates that the identified goods or services are illegal under federal law. If there is any question about whether the goods or services involve cannabis related activities, the examining attorneys will make inquiries to the applicant. If the examining attorneys determine that the identified goods or services violate the CSA or the FDCA, then registration will be refused – even if use of the mark was only intended. See In re JJ206, LLC, dba JuJu Joints, 120 USPQ2d 1568 (TTAB 2016).
This has led to some creativity.
In attempts to avoid such refusals, some applicants that are seeking to register trademarks related to cannabis related goods or services have submitted identifications in Intent-to-Use applications with qualifying language, such as, “…all goods compliant with federal law” or “…all the foregoing not including any goods noncompliant with U.S. federal law.” This creative strategy is designed to avoid any need to disclose specimens of use to the examining attorneys, and to rely on an intention to only use the trademark in connection with legal goods or services. Insofar as specimens in Intent-to-Use applications need not be submitted for several years after a notice of allowance, these applicants are hoping that bills like the MORE Act or SAFE Banking Act will become law, thereby making the existing cannabis-related refusals to register obsolete.”
#hempindustry – “El Dorado County leaders are making another attempt to incorporate legal cultivation of hemp through a pilot program meant to test the feasibility of the crop in the county.
The program, discussed during the Board of Supervisors’ Sept. 13 meeting, would consist of at most five hemp producers for the 2023 and 2024 growing seasons with a series of contingencies.
Those include a 200-foot setback in residential areas, adequate signage at the perimeter of grow sites, following California’s policies on THC testing and notifying schools located within 300 feet of a farm.”