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Will AI Replace Your Cannabis Lawyer? (I Asked ChatGPT)

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ChatGPT is all the rage. The GPT stands for “Generative Pre-trained Transformer”.  Translation: this is a next level, nearly omnipotent chatbot that’s incredibly articulate and conversant. Per Wikipedia:

“while the core function of a chatbot is to mimic a human conversationalist, ChatGPT is versatile, including the ability to write and debug computer programs; to compose music, teleplays, fairy tales, and student essays; to answer test questions (sometimes, depending on the test, at a level above the average human test-taker); to write poetry and song lyrics; to emulate a Linux system; to simulate an entire chat room; to play games like tic-tac-toe; and to simulate an ATM”.

Of course, this has some lawyers wondering if ChatGPT will somehow replace essential human services in the legal industry. For example, will ChatGPT be able to write a cogent, well-researched legal brief? Sounds like the answer is no, but I’m still curious. So, I decided to explore ChatGPT and cannabis. Needless to say, I’m not really all that worried that ChatGPT is going to replace cannabis lawyers. I do think it’s an okay resource for very general information, but the legal fate of your cannabis business probably shouldn’t hinge on a more sophisticated, responsive form

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Harris | Bricken

Hong Kong Cannabis: Bad News for CBD

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Hong Kong and the negative developments taking place there have been the subject of many posts in our sister China Law Blog. But now it is our turn to report on the Fragrant Harbor. Unfortunately the news is also bad on the cannabis front, just like on the political and economic ones.

From February 1 onward, CBD (cannabidiol) will be regarded as a “dangerous drug” in Hong Kong, subject the provisions of the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance (DDO). This means that any activities involving CBD will be unlawful.

According to the Hong Kong Government, “under the DDO, trafficking (including importing and exporting) and illicit manufacturing of CBD is liable to a maximum penalty of a fine of $5 million [USD 638,000] and life imprisonment.” Yes, you read that right. Bringing CBD products into Hong Kong could get you locked up at Shek Pik Prison for good.

To put this in perspective, Hong Kong does not have capital punishment (for now). This means that a CBD “trafficker” could potentially receive the same sentence as that of a heroin trafficker, and indeed that of someone like Henry Chau.

Meanwhile, “possession and consumption of CBD in contravention of the DDO will be subject to

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Social and Economic Equity Applicants

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As we previously broadly summarized on December 27, 2022 (here), in late December 2022, the Office of Cannabis Management (“OCM”) released its first proposed adult-use cannabis rules and regulation for New York (the “Proposed Regulations”). The official document is 282 pages, so we won’t cover every detail. But we will highlight the big-ticket items, significant issues that all applicants should be aware of, and the license application process as a whole.  This post will go into detail the Social and Economic Equity sections and commentary provided for in the Proposed Regulations.  Keep in mind, the Proposed Regulations are still pending as OCM receives the final public comments to the Proposed Regulations.

For anyone considering applying for an adult-use license, we reiterate our recommendation of hiring an experienced, local cannabis attorney. At a minimum, understanding the overall framework of the licenses and the licensing process is a precursor to an in-depth consultation on a license application.

One of the more notable topics covered in depth by the Proposed Regulations is the establishment of a social and economic equity applicant, and licensee. If you remember, the Marijuana Regulation and Tax Act (“MRTA”) established a goal to award 50% of all adult-use cannabis licenses to

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FDA Says “No” to CBD Foods and Dietary Supplements

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Since the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, the hemp CBD industry has been eagerly awaiting FDA CBD regulations. In that time, FDA convened a working group to study how the agency would regulate CBD foods and dietary supplements. As of January 26, 2023, the FDA concluded that it will NOT regulate CBD foods or dietary supplements.

FDA and the States on CBD since the Farm Bill

Before jumping into the post, it bears noting that the FDA has taken the position, literally since the day the 2018 Farm Bill was passed, that CBD foods and dietary supplements violate the Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act. Nevertheless, it has issued only periodic warning letters and taken minimal actions against the CBD industry beyond these letters. The agency has also tended to focus more on egregious misconduct.

In the face of the FDA’s limited responses, states have filled the void with their own regulations, though we always knew the FDA was considering CBD food and dietary supplement regulations.

Now, the FDA is declining to move forward with regulations but has indicated that it would work with Congress if it passes separate CBD legislation. This is because the FDA concluded that its existing

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