Medical Marijuana And Gaming: To Divest Or Not To Divest?

NEVADA:  Even as more and more states pass laws permitting sales and use of medical and recreational marijuana, marijuana remains an illegal Schedule I drug under the federal Controlled Substances Act.

On May 6, 2014, Nevada State Gaming Control Board Member Terry Johnson issued a Notice to Licensees stating that “… the Board does not believe investment or any other involvement in a medical marijuana facility or establishment by a person who has received a gaming approval or has applied for a gaming approval is consistent with the effective regulation of gaming.” The Notice went on to illuminate the Board’s view that “any such investment or involvement by gaming licensees or applicants would tend to reflect discredit upon gaming in the State of Nevada.”

In its July 2014 hearing, the Board went further and made it clear that a person could not be in the gaming business if his spouse was in the medical marijuana business. In the Board’s view, there must be strict separation between the gaming and medical marijuana businesses.

 

Judge Denies Bankruptcy Protection To Denver Marijuana Business

COLORADO: Buzz kill? A U.S. bankruptcy judge has dismissed the case of a Denver marijuana business owner, saying that though his activities are legal under Colorado law, he is violating the federal Controlled Substances Act.

In dismissing the case filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Denver by Frank Anthony Arenas, Judge Howard Tallman said he realizes the “result is devastating for the debtor.”

The Arenas’ case is at least the second bankruptcy involving a marijuana business tossed out of bankruptcy court in Colorado. At least two others have been dismissed in California.

Tallman made a similar decision in a 2012 case involving Rent-Rite Super Kegs West Ltd, a company that operated a warehouse partially rented to a tenant engaged in cultivating marijuana.

Violations of federal law create significant impediments to the debtors’ ability to seek relief from their debts under federal bankruptcy laws in a federal bankruptcy court,” Tallman wrote in the Arenas’ decision last month.

Arenas, who couldn’t be reached for comment, has appealed the decision to the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.

Oklahoma SB 2116: The Legalization of Marijuana

OKLAHOMA:  Marijuana is legal in Colorado and Washington, could Oklahoma be next?

Not anytime soon, says one local state senator, and he doesn’t plan on hearing a new bill proposing the legalization of marijuana in his senate subcommittee. Senate Bill 2116 would tax and regulate marijuana in Oklahoma and let people have small amounts, up to an ounce, for personal use.

Senator Don Barrington, Lawton Republican, says a similar bill was introduced in last year’s legislative session and voted down, and that’s why he says he won’t hear the bill in his Senate Subcommittee on Public Safety. Barrington believes this is just another way to get marijuana legalized by changing the language of the previous bill. [Read more…]