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Andrew Cooper

Will Germany’s Legalizing Marijuana Push The DEA

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Yet another major country has legalized marijuana – hopefully the DEA is paying attention.  Here are some expert’s take on where it stands.

Another major country made the commitment, but will Germany’s legalizing marijuana push the DEA to act? Germany joined Malta and Luxembourg in Europe. Officials shared  legalization would undermine criminal trade in the drug, guard against harmful impurities, and free police to pursue more serious crimes.  In doing so, they have ignored the UN ban and joins other countries including Canada, Uruguay, and South Africa.

RELATED: Americans Are Choosing Marijuana Over Alcohol

In the United States, the cannabis is still awaiting on decision from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) regarding rescheduling.  After a very slow start to his commitment, President Biden is moving now on his campaign promise and give younger voters another reason to support him.  But according to Pew Research Center, an overwhelming 88% of U.S. adults say either that marijuana should be legal for medical and recreational use by adults (59%) or that it should be legal for medical use only (30%). Only one-in-ten (10%) say marijuana use should not be legal. It is a popular decision and is widely used in blue and red states and in legal and illicit states. Key experts have weighed in on whether Germany’s move will push for the DEA to act soon.

“We do not see Germany’s progress having much impact on the DEA.  Our thesis is we are witnessing a coordinated democratic effort to advance cannabis reform ahead of the election to mobilize and sway younger voters. We continue to believe it is unlikely that the head of the DEA (a Biden appointee) will go against the HHS recommendation in an election year. So, we remain optimistic that we’ll land on Schedule III, but do not see Germany as a major driver of US reform.” says Jesse Redmond, Managing Partner, Water Tower Research.

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Andrew Cooper, partner at Falcon Rappaport & Berkman LLP, one of the top cannabis law firms believes “Consequently, if anything, the fact that Germany legalized adult-use cannabis despite all the hurdles (including not only the Single Convention, but the Schengen Convention of 1985, the EU Framework Decision 2004/757/JHA of 2004, and the Narcotic Drug Act (BtMG), when the U.S. only really needs to address (and likely ignore) the Single Convention, may provide some impetus to the DEA to follow suit”.

RELATED: Maine Is Getting It Right About Legal Weed While California And Others Struggle

Tom Zuber, Managing Partner of Zuber Lawler whose west coast firm has a robust cannabis division states “It’s exciting to see Germany making history by legalizing cannabis at the recreational level as the largest economy in the European Union. I hope that Germany’s leadership on this front will inspire other countries throughout the world to do the same, including the United States.

Time will tell if will Germany’s legalizing marijuana push the DEA to act.



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Andrew Cooper

Germany Deflates GOP’s Anti Marijuana Efforts

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The GOP’s argument against marijuana took a body blow from Germany

Running against the grain of public sentiment, some members of the GOP are fighting against cannabis rescheduling and trying to be clever.  The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is still having internal discussions about whether to reschedule cannabis from a schedule I to schedule III-controlled substance with some in the GOP wishing to stop the process.  But along comes Germany and they are deflating their efforts.

Germany has the biggest economy in the EU and are a leader in the United Nations and NATO.  A practical country, they just legalized marijuana. Officials shared legalization would undermine criminal trade in the drug, guard against harmful impurities, and free police to pursue more serious crimes alongside providing medical benefits.

RELATED: California or New York, Which Has The Biggest Marijuana Mess

Republican Senators Jim Risch (R-), Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Pete Ricketts (R-NB) are unhappy with the the administration’s plan to reschedule marijuana. To stop or slow the process, these senators question if it violate US treaty obligations. Data shows 89% of citizens believe it should be legal in some form, so they are definitely swimming against the flow of public opinion. Additionally, science, data and the healthcare community have proven it has clear medical benefits.

Pete Ricketts (R-NB)

The United Nations’s (UN) drug control body reaffirmed legalizing marijuana for non-medical or non-scientific purposes a violation of international treaties.  But enforcement is non-existent.  While Uruguay was technical the first, Canada was the first to fully implement it and the UN has done nothing.  Since then Georgia, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, South Africa and Thailand have made the move without any issues.

The Senators move has some support in the house, but Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has made it clear he wants progress on cannabis legalization.  Germany’s move severely undercuts the GOPs efforts.

Andrew Cooper, partner at Falcon Rappaport & Berkman LLP, one of the top cannabis law firms believes “Consequently, if anything, the fact that Germany legalized adult-use cannabis despite all the hurdles (including not only the Single Convention, but the Schengen Convention of 1985, the EU Framework Decision 2004/757/JHA of 2004, and the Narcotic Drug Act (BtMG), when the U.S. only really needs to address (and likely ignore) the Single Convention, may provide some impetus to the DEA to follow suit”.

RELATED: Americans Want It, Some Politicians Prefer a Nanny State

Tom Zuber, Managing Partner of Zuber Lawler whose west coast firm has a robust cannabis division states “It’s exciting to see Germany making history by legalizing cannabis at the recreational level as the largest economy in the European Union. I hope that Germany’s leadership on this front will inspire other countries throughout the world to do the same, including the United States.



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Andrew Cooper

Legal Marijuana Handed A Nothing Burger From NY State

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Following the chaos of the recreational weed rollout, the government is trying to figure out next steps. But it seems legal marijuana has been handed a nothing burger from NY state with their last rollout for potential cannabis retailers.. With an estimated $3.5 billion in sales at stake along with tax revenue for the state’s every growing budget, the fumble is costly for a significant number of players.  And it has been a huge loss for the marijuana industry as a whole.

What was quickly seen as an opportunity was pounced on in the city with the most billionaires globally along with endless big and small entrepreneurs, and hustlers. Seeing a huge amount of cash on the table, players acted in a quickly in a way bureaucrats will never understand.

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Embracing a Wild West approach, officials decriminalizated and fumbled licensed legalization of sales.  Despite promises and initial outlines where existing medical marijuana dispensaries could switch to recreational and a fair, for government quick liscnese process, the state tossed it all in one stroke. In a vision of equity, officials decided to reserve the first retail licenses for felons and other “justice-involved” individuals.  Lawsuits started, the desired licensees struggled to raise capital and over 1,600 unlicensed retail stores opened in NYC. For the small time players, they have set sidewalk card tables parks, selling roll-ups and handmade marijuana edibles, in full view of the police.

The updated systems was rolled out, but has left people confused, dispirited, and disappointed. The Office of Cannabis Management rolled out the previous Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensaries (CAURD) program with high hopes.  Now, regulators voted to allow the state’s medical marijuana operators to apply for adult-use retail licenses.  Multistate operators who have patiently acquired a majority of the state’s 10 registered organization.

RELATED: California or New York, Which Has The Biggest Marijuana Mess

“It was more like an orgy of minimalism. While they are getting ready to open the application window on October 4th (notably, originally it wasn’t intended to be a 60-day window, but rolling applications) for most license types (sans on-site consumption and delivery), they refused to address the CAURD program.  Other than to suggest that it remains “a priority”, they have offered only some subtle hints in the guidance to the regulations. These include establishing a priority for retail applications which include secured real estate, which will be given priority after the initial 30-days of the 60-day application window have passed (although they do not define what that means).  And noting that existing licensees may apply for an additional license so long as they comply with the rules of a two-tier system.  The positive news is that these statements can be interpreted as an invitation to current CAURD licensees, many of whom will also meet other Social and Economic Equity (SEE) criteria entitling them to an additional priority.” shares Andrew Cooper, partner at Falcon Rappaport & Berkman LLP, one of the top cannabis law firms.

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Unfortunately, there are multiple losers in the state’s unique approach.  One is consumer and medical marijuana patients, including veterans.  The unlicensed dispensaries are making a mint and overcharging customers due to high demand. Small investors and companies, including those who could be a player in the CAURD, will not have the financial to compete with multi-state and large players. And taxpayers will lose out for years to come as revue it lost to unlicensed dispensaries.

The good news, consumers will continue to find products easily over the next few years.  There is even a thriving unlicensed dispensary a few blocks from City Hall.

RELATED: Can Cannabis Help Seasonal Depression

While New York is awash with billionaires, fashion, food and smarts, common sense seems to be lack for making a good government plan.



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