In an unexpected announcement on December 14, 2016, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has released a new ruling on “Marihuana Extract” products and given them a new Administration Controlled Substances Code Number, effectively making them illegal under federal law (The DEA gave no explanation as to their archaic and unorthodox spelling of “marijuana”).

This ruling affects any and all extracts of marijuana plants, including cannabidiol extracts, known as “CBD” products on the market. It will devastate the CBD extract industry, which was valued at $65 million in 2015 according to one estimate, and potentially rob thousands of patients with conditions ranging from fibromyalgia, PTSD, chronic inflammation, AIDS and cancer the medicine they need to reduce painful symptoms and enhance their well-being.

Some in the legal field are already alleging that a unilateral ruling such as this one oversteps the authority of the DEA by circumventing congress, and they also voice concerns that the ruling may needlessly affect industrial hemp products, which contain only trace amounts of THC and are largely used in textiles and other materials manufacturing.

We want to assure our clients and any concerned readers that we are currently looking into the issue and will join other attorneys in litigation pushing back against such actions if we are able to deem that they run contrary to other federal laws, state laws and prior court rulings.

Why the DEA CBD Ruling Made CBD Illegal

One of the most concerning aspects of this new “Final Ruling” lies in the fact that it encompasses CBD extracts along with other products that may contain low or no quantities of THC, marijuana’s main psychoactive component.

The DEA issued the following response to such comments:

For practical purposes, all extracts that contain CBD will also contain at least small amounts of other cannabinoids. However, if it were possible to produce from the cannabis plant an extract that contained only CBD and no other cannabinoids, such an extract would fall within the new drug code 7350. In view of this comment, the regulatory text accompanying new drug code 7350 has been modified slightly to make clear that it includes cannabis extracts that contain only one cannabinoid.

In other words, the DEA asserts that all CBD extracts fall under this new drug code and ruling because they inevitably contain some amount of other cannabinoids. They even go so far as to state that if such were not the case, the new drug code still encompasses a hypothetically “pure” CBD product.

Contradictions and Ramifications with State Laws

Currently, 28 states have medical cannabis laws, and eight passed adult use laws during the most recent November election. Most if not all of these laws run contrary to federal policies that state that medical marijuana is a schedule I substance, meaning that in the federal government’s opinion it has no accepted medical use and can be addicting.

Since many state legislators and electors resoundingly disagree with this opinion — likely including the million-plus medical marijuana patients nationwide — marijuana attorneys representing patients and businesses will be closely examining the legal ramifications of the ruling and likely challenging it in the near future.

If you own a medical marijuana business or are a medical marijuana patient who wants to fight for your right to doctor-approved medicine, then you do not have to take the DEA’s unilateral ruling lying down. Call the offices of our Nevada medical marijuana lawyers using the phone number you see above or contact us online today to defend your rights and examine every legal avenue you have against the DEA’s recent actions.

 

Nevada law recognizes several types of business entities. Some of the most common are limited liability companies, corporations and partnerships. Each entity has certain advantages and disadvantages with regard to its formation, taxation and protections. Nevada also allows for the formation of nonprofit entities. Generally a nonprofit serves a charitable function, such as providing services to veterans or the elderly. Nonprofits offer many benefits for those who are engaging in such activities. The following is meant to provide a basic overview of the advantages and disadvantages to forming a nonprofit entity in Nevada. Read below and contact the attorneys at Connor & Connor to see how these differences could apply to your Nevada business.

Revenue

Nonprofits generate revenue, just like any other business (should). They sell goods or provide services, pay employees and have overhead and expenses like any other business. However, because nonprofits generally serve a charitable function they are afforded certain tax exemptions that other businesses do not enjoy. However, nonprofits are also subject to certain restrictions that other business are not subject to. One major difference is that a nonprofit may not remunerate any shareholders or investors. Nonprofit businesses must retain any extra revenue earned in order to further their individual causes. In this vein, any exorbitant salaries or bonuses paid to employees may cause the non-profit business to lose this status and could result in harsh legal penalties.

Causes

As mentioned above, a nonprofit business will typically perform a public service. A few examples of such services are in areas such as religion, education, abuse prevention, science, public safety, the arts or charity. When a nonprofit realizes that it has accrued more revenue than its expenditure budget calls for, instead of distributing the extra amongst shareholders or investors, the nonprofit will reinvest into itself or the community it serves. Nonprofits are given certain tax-exempt statuses, as their primary concern is serving the community. The state and federal levels reward such behavior in their tax codes, by not holding them to the same standard as other companies. It is also important to note that state and federal regulations can vary dramatically from state to state.

Regulations

Just like other types of businesses, there are also rules and regulations in place for a nonprofit business. The IRS strictly forbids campaigning for or against any political candidate or the endorsing of political candidates. This is to ensure that no political agenda is being funded in any way by federal grant money, regardless of how much the specific institution receives.

As far as lobbying goes, there are provisions for that. The IRS does allow for some lobbying, but “too much lobbying activity risks loss of tax-exempt status.” While this is a gray area, it does dispel the notion that a nonprofit business is not allowed to lobby at all. However, this is still a limited area for nonprofits, considering many major corporations in the United States spend billions of dollars every year while nonprofits are allowed only a small amount.

Connor & Connor, Business Law Attorneys

At Connor & Connor, we have a brilliant team of legal minds who specialize in Nevada business law. If you are interested in Nevada business laws and would like to know more about how a nonprofit business differs from other businesses, contact us today. We are here for all of your legal needs in the state of Nevada.

 

You Got Served! What to do after you receive notice that you have been sued.

By. Derek J. Connor

What Does it Mean to be “Served”

Getting “served”, at least in a legal context, means receiving formal notice that a lawsuit has been filed against you or your business. Typically, formal service of process entails the individual or business being personally served with a copy of a summons and complaint notifying them the lawsuit. If personal service cannot be completed for some reason other forms of service are permitted such as, service by mail or publication in a local newspaper. Getting served with notice that you or your business is getting sued can be stressful, but knowing what to do next is crucial to protecting your rights moving forward.

What to Do After Being Served

When you are served, the first step is to read the documents very carefully so you can understand what type of case is pending against you and where you are being sued. If you have questions regarding the documents, you should consult with an attorney as soon as possible. Different courts and jurisdictions have different rules regarding the time and manner that you are allowed to file your formal response to a lawsuit. Most jurisdictions allow between 20 and 30 days to respond. If you fail to respond in time, you could face serious legal consequences, including having a judgment entered against you.

Depending on the type of lawsuit, you may need to notify your relevant insurance company. For example, if the lawsuit involves a car accident you should notify your car insurance company immediately. Failure to promptly notify your insurance company could have serious consequences, as many insurance policies require the policyholder to notify the insurer of notice of a claim within a certain time period. Many insurance policies will only provide coverage or defense of a claim if they are notified within 30 days of the insured receiving actual notice of a claim. If you have insurance liability coverage for the type of lawsuit filed against you or your business, your insurer should hire an attorney who will file an answer on your behalf. If you are unsure about coverage, you should consult with an attorney.

What If I Don’t Have Insurance Coverage?

Unfortunately many claims are not covered by insurance. For example, many businesses simply do not have insurance coverage for breach of contract claims. If you do not have insurance coverage for a particular claim, you will probably want to hire an attorney to review the complaint and file an answer on your behalf. Having a competent attorney review your complaint can be critical to preserving your legal rights. Failure to timely answer a complaint, or to raise any potential counterclaims against the plaintiff could cost you your opportunity to assert such counterclaims. A skilled litigator may even be able to have the case dismissed for a variety of reasons such as lack of jurisdiction or expiration of the statue of limitations.

The attorneys at Connor & Connor PLLC are experienced litigators who are ready to defend you or your company against lawsuits in Nevada. Our attorneys are licensed to practice in Nevada state and federal courts. If you have been served with notice of a lawsuit, please contact us as soon as possible for a consultation.

 

Although marijuana remains illegal under federal law, some states, such as Colorado, Oregon, Alaska and Nevada have legalized marijuana for both medical and recreational use. Other states such as Arizona, have legalized marijuana only for medical purposes. The patchwork of laws may leave people with questions regarding when and where they can purchase marijuana. The following is meant to provide you with a basic overview of the differing marijuana laws in the United States, if you have any specific questions regarding the marijuana laws in your state, or a state where you may be traveling, we suggest consulting with an attorney before you take any action that could affect your legal rights.

How Do You Buy Marijuana in States Where it’s Legal?

States that allow for the recreational use of marijuana typically do not require anything other than a photo identification card to purchase marijuana. States that have only legalized medical marijuana typically require marijuana patients to acquire approval from a physician and a state issued patient identification card prior to buying marijuana. Most states require the patient to be a resident of that state and most states do not have reciprocity with other states. Thus, a patient from Colorado typically cannot buy marijuana from a medical dispensary in a state like Arizona. Nevada does have full reciprocity with nonresident patient cardholders. Therefore, a patient cardholder from a state like Colorado can legally purchase from a dispensary in Nevada.

In states where marijuana is legal, patients and recreational users are generally required to purchase their marijuana from a state-licensed dispensary, while some states still allow for home cultivation. Most dispensaries carry a wide variety of strains and other products containing marijuana such as, edibles, oils, or tinctures. Most dispensaries require proper identification and limit patients or recreational users to the amounts that they are legally allowed to possess under that jurisdiction’s laws. For example, in Nevada a medical patient may not purchase or possess greater than two and one half ounces of marijuana at a time.

Each state has taken its own approach to marijuana legalization. Patients and users are strongly advised to familiarize themselves with local marijuana laws before attempting to use or possess marijuana.

Connor & Connor

Our law firm is dedicated to helping those with questions about medicinal or recreational usage in the state of Nevada. If you have questions regarding marijuana laws, contact the Connor & Connor law firm today.