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Hilary Bricken Named Top California Cannabis Lawyer by the Daily Journal

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Harris Bricken is proud to announce that the Daily Journal named our own Hilary Bricken, as one of the “Top California Cannabis Lawyers of 2022.

Hilary is one of the premier cannabis business and regulatory attorneys in the United States. She is licensed to practice law in California, Washington, and Florida. As chair of Harris Bricken’s Regulated Substances practice group, she helps cannabis companies of all sizes with their cannabis-related business and regulatory needs.

This year, Hilary was also named by Chambers as one of only two “Band 1” California lawyers when it comes to cannabis corporate and transactional law. Chambers described her as very prominent and at the cutting edge of cannabis. She also has been chosen for the fourth year in a row as a “top-rated business and corporate attorney” by Thompson Reuters Super Lawyers and as one of the top 50 female attorneys in Southern California.

Some other awards that Hilary has received in the past include:

2017, the American Bar Association (ABA) named Hilary one of the top 40 young lawyers nationwide The Puget Sound Business Journal named her as one of only seven dealmakers of the year. She was by far the youngest and

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Harris | Bricken

Interstate Cannabis Agreements in California

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I get asked a lot of questions about what California cannabis licensees can and cannot do under the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (“MAUCRSA”). California is actually business friendly once operations get going with a license– despite its many issues with the cannabis industry. For example, vertical integration is allowed. There’s no license cap, and you can apply for a license year-round. We allow for cannabis delivery apps. And California permits consumption lounges in line with local law.

So what’s next? Well, at this point California is also going to try to allow for interstate cannabis agreements, similar to what Oregon did back in 2019 under its Senate Bill 582. In California, the proposal up for discussion is SB 1326.

Interstate cannabis agreements

According to AB 1326:

MAUCRSA specifies that its provisions shall not be construed to authorize or permit a licensee to transport or distribute, or cause to be transported or distributed, cannabis or cannabis products outside the state, unless authorized by federal law. This bill would make an exception to the above-described prohibition and would authorize the Governor to enter into an agreement with another state or states authorizing medicinal or adult-use commercial cannabis

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Deceptive Matter and Canna Brands

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Deceptive matter is yet another pitfall faced by canna brands as they take steps to protect their intellectual property. According to the U.S. Trademark Act (commonly known as the Lanham Act), such matter may not be registered as a trademark (15 U.S.C. § 1052(a)). While to some extent this is a commonsense rule that seeks to protect the public, in practice its application can be surprisingly expansive. Cannabis brands should avoid using trademarks that could in any way be considered deceptive matter.

When determining if a trademark consists of deceptive matter, USPTO applies a three-part test:

(1) Is the term misdescriptive of the character, quality, function, composition or use of the goods?

(2) If so, are prospective purchasers likely to believe that the misdescription actually describes the goods?

(3) If so, is the misdescription likely to affect a significant portion of the relevant consumers’ decision to purchase?

In some cases, it’s not hard to conclude that USPTO will likely consider a trademark to consist of deceptive matter. Taking a hypothetical example, imagine a vodka called CannaVodka, which does not in fact contain cannabis. The term “Canna”, as used in this imaginary trademark, is clearly misdescriptive of the composition of the

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New York CAURD Locations: The Update

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We recently got on our soap box about the importance of hiring a New York cannabis attorney. The catalyst for that post was the question of whether applicants for New York’s Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary (CAURD) license can select their own real estate. We have an answer: no.

A brief refresher of the drama. Section 116.7(b)(6) of the CAURD regulations made it a condition of licensure that the licensee “[accept] a dispensary location identified by the fund or office[.]” The Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) published supplemental licensing materials that contained conflicting guidance.

The OCM’s CAURD FAQ contained the following question and answer:

31. Can I choose where my CAURD licensed retail dispensary will be located?

Applicants who are selected will be assigned a retail dispensary location in one of the fourteen (14) geographic regions of NYS. When applying you will be asked to indicate which region(s) of the State you would prefer to be assigned a license in. You will be able to rank your top five (5) preferred regions. You will not be able to choose the specific street address or neighborhood for this dispensary. Provisional licensees will be able to share their preferences among the available locations

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