Cannabusiness Advisory

A Cannabis-Themed Wish List for 2018

December 20, 2017


This past year has been a memorable one for so many different reasons. For Burns, it saw the growth and expansion of our Cannabis Business Advisory Group, the launch and development of this blog, and the successful execution of our first-ever cannabis conference.

In winding down 2017, Scott Moskol and Mike Andreasen weigh in with their “wishes” for all things cannabis related in the coming year.

Scott Moskol

I’d like to see…

  • The end of the new development of private lawsuits being brought by neighbors of cannabis cultivation and/or dispensary facilities against such entities under the auspices of the RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Act. These complaints generally seek damages, in addition to injunctive relief, that, if granted, would curtail the power of the states to issue valid licenses. Accordingly, to those defendants that are still parties to such lawsuits, we wish for speedy dismissals.
  • Congress amend the Tax Code, such that 280E would no longer apply to a valid, state-licensed, compliant cannabis business. This way, marijuana businesses would not be subject to such an extra, and oftentimes onerous, taxation burden.
  • Whatever new spending bill that is ultimately passed contain a version of the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment (formerly, the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment), prohibiting federal monies from being used to prosecute valid, state-licensed, compliant medical marijuana operations. In an ideal world, all such Amendment protections would become permanent (so that they need not be passed as part of the annual budget process), and extend to ALL valid cannabis businesses, including those growing, processing, selling, or otherwise profiting from adult-use or recreational marijuana.
  • The final application and licensing process that’s being drafted by the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission be relatively streamlined for all applicants, whether those applicants are already licensed with respect to medical marijuana or are new entrants to the industry in the Commonwealth.
  • More traditional investment sources consider investing in the industry; for the most part, investors now tend to be family and friends of operators, high-net-worth individuals and family offices.

Michael Andreasen

I’d like to see…

  • Our recreational-cannabis clientele begin to open up shop. In Massachusetts, retail marijuana establishments are expected to begin operations in July, and we’re excited to help some of these business get organized so that they can can hit the ground running once the light turns green.
  • Burns host another cannabis-related conference and/or networking event. The first was an excellent opportunity to gain insight and perspective from some of the industry’s foremost participants, and with the anticipated flurry of activity that’s poised to take place over the coming months, it would be a great time to try to repeat the success of the first event.
  • Additional states approve proposals to legalize recreational marijuana. The momentum that the movement has gained in recent years, and even in recent months, is undeniable, and we have every reason to expect it to continue to build well into the future.

receive news & alerts

Yes! I’d like to receive updates with firm news and insights that are relevant to me!