Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Student presentation exploring marijuana records and broader record clearing realities

351dc15d54632a749235Students in my Marijuana Law, Policy & Reform seminar are continuing to "take over" my class through presentations on the research topics of their choice.   As I have mentioned,  students first provide in this space background on their topic and links to some readings or relevant materials.  This coming week's presentation is focused on record clearing, and here is how the student describes the topic and provided readings:
As we inch closer and closer to full marijuana legalization, we should all be asking an important question: what happens to the people with criminal records for doing the very things that will soon be legally a-ok?
 
In recent years, record clearing has gained a lot of steam, and not just in the marijuana space. This is probably in large part because we know that a clear criminal record makes someone a more attractive job applicant, tenant, and more. Prior drug convictions may also prevent someone from accessing public housing and other benefits. 
 
As a primer to understanding the complex world of record clearing, I am delighted to invite Hannah Miller into our class. Ms. Miller is the Program Manager for Opportunity Port, a new initiative started by Columbus City Council last year that streamlines the record clearing process for individuals in central Ohio. Opportunity Port is not specific to clearing marijuana-related records. But, in Ohio, the record sealing process generally applies the same way to most types of non-violent offenses, whether they involved marijuana or not. 
 
I look forward to hosting Ms. Miller, as she will be able to provide a local twist on the story of record clearing for our class.
Background reading:
 
A study of recent state efforts to expunge or seal marijuana records: "Marijuana Legalization and Expungement in Early 2021"
 
A Vox article surveying importance of record sealing in the marijuana space: He was Arrested for Marijuana 17 years ago. Now It’s Legal. So Why Is He Still Guilty of a Crime?" 
A local news story about Opportunity Port: "New Columbus Tool Sealing Criminal Convictions"
 
Link to Opportunity Port's website (please explore before class): Opportunity Port 
 

March 29, 2022 in Assembled readings on specific topics, Criminal justice developments and reforms | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Student presentation to explore labor laws and labor rights in the marijuana industry

The second student presentation this week in my Marijuana Law, Policy & Reform seminar is focused on labor issues in the marijuana industry.  Here is how the student describes the topic and provided readings:

On Thursday, February 3, 2022, cannabis workers employed at the Herbology dispensary in Newark voted 8-2 to become the first unionized dispensary in Ohio.  The Sunnyside dispensary in Cincinnati followed soon after, voting to unionize on February 9, 2022.  Not only is there new interest in unionization in the Ohio cannabis industry, but recreational marijuana legalization is gaining momentum and the national cannabis market is growing rapidly.  The legal cannabis industry currently supports 428,059 workers nationally, and it is predicted that a mature cannabis market would support 1.5 million to 1.75 million workers.

The right for workers to unionize is protected by the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”).  However, the NLRA does not protect agricultural workers.  In addition, it is unclear whether the National Labor Relations Board will consistently exert jurisdiction over retail workers in a federally prohibited recreational marijuana industry.

To cover this gray area, six states have laws that encourage or require licensed cannabis businesses to adopt labor peace agreements (“LPA’s”) with their employees, and Ohio is considering implementing a similar requirement. However, the effectiveness of LPA’s is contested, as they may impose too many restrictions upon business owners while not providing the full scope of protection that employees would enjoy under the NLRA.  The validity of these LPA’s has not yet been contested in court, but in the interim, they may provide some level of union protection for otherwise unprotected workers.  This paper will evaluate the policy concerns surrounding the use of LPA’s in the cannabis industry, as well as what widespread unionization could mean for a quickly growing sector of the economy.

Background Reading:

Economic Policy Institute, "The Cannabis Industry Could be a Model of Good Jobs — if Policymakers Strengthen Works’ Right to Unionize"

UFCW, "NEW REPORT: Cannabis Workers Unionizing Leads to Higher Quality Jobs and Increases Standards in Fast-Growing Industry"

MJBizDaily, "Marijuana Union Organizing Surging Amid Pandemic, Uptick in Labor Peace Requirements"

Leafly, "Jobs Report 2022"

March 22, 2022 in Assembled readings on specific topics, Business laws and regulatory issues, Employment and labor law issues | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Student presentation exploring "Expansion of Medical Marijuana in Ohio and its Impact on the Opioid Crisis"

Medical-marijuana-in-fight-against-opiodsAfter a Spring Break break, students in my Marijuana Law, Policy & Reform seminar are back to taking over my class through presentations on the research topics of their choice.  As I have mentioned, before their presentations, students are expected to provide in this space some background on their topic and links to some readings or relevant.  The first of this coming week's presentation is title "Solving A Drug Epidemic with More Drugs: A Discussion on the Expansion of Medical Marijuana in Ohio and its Impact on the Opioid Crisis."  Here is how the student describes the topic and provided readings:

Summary:

Ohio’s current Medical Marijuana Control Program has identified 25 qualifying conditions for the recommendation of medical marijuana.  Ohio Senate Bill 261 proposes to expand that list of qualifying conditions to include “opioid use disorder.”

Ohio declared a public health emergency in 2010 due to the rising opioid overdose deaths and currently ranks as one of the top states with a high opioid death rate.  At the root of the opioid epidemic is the proliferation of over-prescription methods to treat chronic pain with opioid pain killers.  The question emerges — if medical marijuana may be recommended to treat chronic pain and opioid use disorder, could medical marijuana provide a solution to the opioid crisis?

Other states have gone before Ohio to add “opioid use disorder” as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana. There may be hope medical marijuana can serve as a form of treatment for those struggling with opioid addiction and an alternative for managing the disease and pain.  From a policy perspective, the idea seems hopeful, but further research is needed to ensure any potential relationship between medical marijuana and the opioid crisis.

The goal is to work through some of the research available on this relationship and develop a comprehensive discussion on the potential benefits and risks of using medical marijuana in the realm of opioids.

Background Reading:

News Article: "Legal marijuana either eases opioid crisis or makes it worse. The evidence is split."

Law Review Article: "From Opioids to Marijuana: Out of the Tunnel and into the Fog"

Study: "Medical cannabis laws and opioid analgesic overdose mortality in the United States, 1999-2010"

Study: "Association between medical cannabis laws and opioid overdose mortality has reversed over time"

Study: "Association between fatal opioid overdose and state medical cannabis laws in US national survey data, 2000-2011

March 19, 2022 in Assembled readings on specific topics, Medical Marijuana Commentary and Debate | Permalink | Comments (14)

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Register now for "Ohio Cannabis Reform in Focus"

Download (13)The quoted portion of the title of this post is the title of this exciting event taking place next month, on April 7, 2022 from noon-2:30 pm as a  hybrid even in person in Saxbe Auditorium in Drinko Hall at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law and also on Zoom.  Folks can and should Learn More and Register at this link.  Here are the basics about the event:

The year 2022 might see significant cannabis reforms in the state of Ohio, both to the existing medical marijuana regime as well as the proposed legalization of adult-use marijuana. Please join the Drug Enforcement and Policy Center for two expert panels that will put focus on these two possible routes to reform and the implications they may have for patients and Ohioans alike.

Medical Marijuana Reform panelnoon-1:10 p.m. EDT

After three years of operation, the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program continues to grow and yet continues to be plagued by high levels of patient dissatisfaction due to access limits and high costs. The recent approval of dozens of new dispensary licenses comes as major reform bills have been introduced in the Ohio General Assembly with the aim of improving the Ohio MMCP's functionality for both patients and the cannabis industry. Please join our panel of experts as we discuss on-going and proposed reforms, why they are needed and how they could impact the various stakeholders.

Panelists:Ohio Senator Steven HuffmanAndrew Makoski, Administrative Attorney, Ohio Department of CommerceAdditional panelist TBA

Adult-Use Marijuana Reform panel1:20-2:30 p.m. EDT

The fall of 2021 was eventful when it comes to Ohio marijuana reform proposals. Two major bills were introduced in the Ohio General Assembly, and a voter-initiated statute campaign collected enough signatures to be sent to the General Assembly for considerations. Yet, despite polling suggesting public support for these kinds of reforms, the Ohio political leadership appears unlikely to advance adult-use legalization in 2022. Please join us for a panel of experts and policy advocates as they discuss the future of marijuana legalization in Ohio as a matter of politics and policy, including the arguments for and against reform and the possible consequences of action or inaction on the part of Ohio General Assembly.

Panelists:Ohio Representative Ron FergusonThomas Haren, Partner, Frantz WardJodi Salvo, Director of Substance Use Prevention Services, OhioGuidestone

March 16, 2022 in Campaigns, elections and public officials concerning reforms, Medical Marijuana Commentary and Debate, Medical Marijuana State Laws and Reforms, Recreational Marijuana Commentary and Debate, Recreational Marijuana State Laws and Reforms, Who decides | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, March 11, 2022

Thrilled to be speaking at SXSW panel on "Post Pot Legalization: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly"

Thumbnail_CJR Post Pot LegalizationI have the great honor and pleasure of being in Austin for about 24 hours to serve as a presenter on this panel at SXSW, titled "Post Pot Legalization: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly." The panel is part of a series of great panels presented by Stand Together Trust tomorrow, and here is the description of my panel:

Marijuana reform has been a long-time coming policy priority in the eyes of the nation.  It is an issue that has united a number of unlikely allies and deepened divides.  There’s no question that marijuana is on track to become fully legalized – the question becomes what happens next?

This group of experts, influencers, policymakers and academics will offer insights into upcoming trends including the good, the bad and inevitable of how a post-legalized America will move forward.

I am so looking forward to the discussion during this panel, and I have been told that records will be available sometime after the event.

March 11, 2022 in Recreational Marijuana Commentary and Debate, Recreational Marijuana State Laws and Reforms, Who decides | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 7, 2022

Reviewing the need for, and barriers to, additional medical marijuana research

Students in my Marijuana Law, Policy & Reform seminar are continuing to "take over" my class through presentations on the research topics of their choice, and are continuing to provide in this space some background on their topic and links to some readings or relevant materials. The second of our presentations taking place this week will focus on medical marijuana research, and here is how my student has described his topic along with background readings:

Medical Marijuana and the federal government have a long, complicated history.  By complicated, I mean not complicated at all.  Marijuana has been illegal at the federal level ever since the Controlled Substances Act was signed into law.  Medical marijuana research in the U.S. has so far been limited, although two FDA approved, marijuana-derived drugs have been on the market since the 1980’s.  The overwhelming consensus is that the research space is not nearly as large as it could be, given the large user base, and that potential therapeutic effects of marijuana are largely unknown.

Even though its medicinal use goes back millennia.  Even today, many users self-report more managed symptoms from a variety of diseases and ailments; nausea and vomiting, chronic pain, and spasticity.  Researchers in the United States would like to further study some of these self-reported medicinal benefits of marijuana, but they claim that the federal government makes marijuana research too hard to be worth the effort.

This paper and my accompanying presentation begin by discussing the brightest research areas for medical marijuana consumption, and why those are not enough.  Then I will explore why marijuana has not received as much attention as the scientific community would like to give it.  Finally, I will discuss potential legislative fixes.

Sources and Background Reading

N.I.D.A., What is the scope of cannabis (marijuana) use in the United States? (2022).

Nat’l Academies of Sciences, Eng’g, and Med., Health and Med. Div., The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research (2017)

U. of Mississippi, Marijuana Research (2022)

21 U.S.C. § 811

Michael H. Andreae et al., An Ethical Exploration of Barriers to Research on Controlled Drugs, 16 Am. J. Bioeth. 36 (2016).

Caleb Hellerman, Scientists Say the Government’s Only Pot Farm Has Moldy Samples – and no Federal Testing Standards (2017)

March 7, 2022 in Assembled readings on specific topics, Medical Marijuana Commentary and Debate, Medical Marijuana Data and Research | Permalink | Comments (1)

Friday, March 4, 2022

Student presentation exploring "marijuana advertising and professional sports"

CBD-Policies-for-Professional-Sports-Leagues-Current-NBA-NFL-MLB-NHL-MLS-and-WNBA-RulesAs long-time readers know, students in my Marijuana Law, Policy & Reform seminar "take over" the second half of my class through presentations on the research topics of their choice. Before their presentations, students are expected to provide in this space some background on their topic and links to some readings or relevant materials. The first of our presentations taking place this week will focus on professional sports and advertising, and here is how my student has described her topic along with background readings she has provided for her classmates (and the rest of us):

For decades, the NFL and other leagues amongst the Big Four professional sport leagues have embraced alcohol, specifically beer, in league and team sponsorships and advertisements. The NFL even has Bud Light as its “Official Beer of the NFL.” Before that, it was tobacco companies who provided the professional sport leagues with millions of dollars in advertising revenue. While tobacco faded out of the sport scene, alcohol emerged and has since held a strong presence despite policymakers’ concerns about promoting and connecting a harmful substance to athletic achievement, on a national stage reaching children.

The professional sport leagues have shied away from letting players use marijuana for any purpose despite its legality in state marketplaces. This has long been a fight for the leagues’ athletes, who want and should be able to have access to cannabis for pain management. But it then comes as no surprise that the leagues have also prevented cannabis advertising from infiltrating the leagues, their teams, and players.

It is with this background, as well as prior research in players’ use of cannabis (stay tuned for its posting to the DEPC Student Paper Series), that I turned to explore another potential connection between marijuana and professional sports — this time through advertising.

This paper and presentation starts out by discussing the long history of alcohol and tobacco advertising in professional sports. It then turns to current federal and state restrictions on marijuana advertising, looking to the legal limitations that leagues must abide by. To make it easier to digest, this section makes connections to existing alcohol and tobacco advertising laws. Subsequently, this paper looks to the current league policies for marijuana advertising, highlighting the NFL’s approach. Finally, this paper looks to the future of marijuana advertising, it’s implications on the sport industry, and makes recommendations for cannabis advertising in professional sports.

For the most part, there are still a lot of unanswered questions that sport industry professionals will have to deal with. While the law provides some guidelines and can help predict league behavior, there are a lot of opportunities available for both leagues, teams, and athletes in this space. Those options are explored in this paper and presentation.

Background Resources:

Tobacco and Alcohol

Cannabis Advertising

Cannabis and Sport Leagues

March 4, 2022 in Assembled readings on specific topics, Business laws and regulatory issues, Sports | Permalink | Comments (0)