News & Events

News & Events

7.1.2016

Court Declines to Prevent Merger of Washington Medical and Recreational Marijuana Markets

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David Spellman authored an article titled “Court Declines to Prevent Merger of Washington Medical and Recreational Marijuana Markets.”  In the article, Spellman discussed the decision not to prevent the merger, the history of the two merged industries and other takeaways.

Over the last year, the Washington state marijuana industry has anticipated the transition from an unregulated medical marijuana market to an integrated, medical-recreational market on July 1, 2016, under the Cannabis Patient Protection Act.

A month before the roll-out date, a medical doctor and marijuana patient sued the governor and others to block the merger.  On June 30, the federal court refused to stop the merger.  The doctor and terminally-ill patient argued that the new rules will chill their medical communications in violation of the First Amendment.  But the court validly rejected their request for an injunction on jurisdictional grounds.  They had no private claim under the Controlled Substances Act, First Amendment and Supremacy Clause.  The doctor and patient also failed to establish injury supporting a pretrial injunction.