See this post by Fox’s Kenneth A Rosenberg and Nicole D. Espin regarding recent developments in workers’ compensation law in New Jersey.

Two recent developments may lead to New Jersey employers being required to reimburse the cost of medical marijuana for workers’ compensation recipients. In a case of first impression, New Jersey’s Appellate Division, in Vincent Hager v. M&K Construction, affirmed a July 2018 order handed down by a workers’ compensation judge requiring an employer to reimburse the cost of medical marijuana used to treat pain resulting from a workplace injury. Following this decision, the New Jersey legislature introduced A1708, which would require all workers’ compensation carriers (in addition to private passenger automobile insurance carriers) to cover the costs of medical marijuana.

The Appellate Division’s decision is particularly important as an in-depth analysis of the interplay between New Jersey and federal laws addressing marijuana. Employers can view the decision as a guidepost for how future courts might evaluate marijuana as a reasonable and necessary treatment in workers’ compensation cases. However, the proposed legislation could change this evaluation, as workers’ compensation patients seeking reimbursement for medical marijuana would be required to first try an alternative treatment method.

Vincent Hager v. M&K Construction

The petitioner, Vincent Hager, a construction worker who was employed by M&K Construction, suffered a spinal injury in 2001 when a concrete delivery truck inadvertently dumped its load on him.  After 15 years of treatment, including multiple surgeries, Hager developed an addiction to opioids, which he had been prescribed for the chronic pain caused by his injuries.  Then, in April 2016, a doctor prescribed him medical marijuana.  At trial, Hager testified that the marijuana provided partial relief of his symptoms and allowed him to remain opioid free.  Based in large part on this testimony, the workers’ compensation judge granted Hager’s request to be reimbursed for his medical marijuana expenses. M&K Construction appealed the workers’ compensation judge’s order and made several arguments to overturn it.

The Controlled Substance Act (CSA) Does Not Preempt New Jersey’s Jake Honig Compassionate Use Medical Cannabis Act (the Compassionate Use Act)

First, the construction company argued that the CSA preempts the Compassionate Use Act and the workers’ compensation order.  In analyzing this argument, the court considered whether the CSA preempts the Compassionate Use Act in the context of a workers’ compensation judge ordering an employer to reimburse the cost of medical marijuana.  In doing so, the court noted that the CSA expressly states that it preempts state laws where there is a “positive conflict” between the CSA and the state law such that “the two cannot consistently stand together.”

The court recognized the tension between the CSA and the Compassionate Use Act, but nonetheless determined that the CSA did not preempt the workers’ compensation order because M&K Construction could lawfully comply with the CSA while still reimbursing Hager’s medical marijuana expenses.

The CSA classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug, and accordingly under federal law, marijuana is not recognized as having any accepted medical use. As a Schedule I drug, it is a felony to manufacture, distribute or possess marijuana. On the other hand, under New Jersey law, the Compassionate Use Act permits the use of medical marijuana to treat certain illnesses or conditions, so long as the patient is registered as a medical marijuana user with the state.

In accordance with the Compassionate Use Act, the workers’ compensation judge recognized that medical marijuana was a medical treatment for Hager’s injuries and ordered M&K Construction to reimburse its costs. This order, the court found, did not create a positive conflict with the CSA because it did not require M&K Construction to manufacture, distribute or possess marijuana. In other words, because “reimbursement” is not a violation of the CSA, M&K Construction could comply with the order without violating the CSA.

The court further found that the order did not require M&K Construction to aid and abet Hager in violating the CSA because, although it is a logical necessity that Hager has to possess marijuana to have a need for its reimbursement, M&K Construction would lack the specific intent required to establish liability for aiding and abetting.

There Is No Legitimate Risk of Federal Prosecution When an Employer Reimburses the Cost of Medical Marijuana

Second, M&K Construction argued that it should not be required to reimburse Hager’s medical marijuana costs because it would unfairly put it at risk of federal prosecution under the CSA.  The court found that there was no significant risk of federal prosecution to M&K Construction because, although a majority of states have enacted medical marijuana laws, there have been no federal prosecutions against employers or insurance carriers for the reimbursement of state-authorized medical marijuana treatment.

Workers’ Compensation Is Not Treated the Same as a Private Insurer Under the Compassionate Use Act

Third, M&K Construction argued that it should be treated the same as a private insurance carrier under the Compassionate Use Act, which states, “[n]othing in this Act shall be construed to require a government medical assistance program or private health insurer to reimburse a person for costs associated with the medical use of cannabis.”  M&K Construction reasoned that as a workers’ compensation payor, it was analogous to a private health insurer and should be granted similar protections. The Appellate Division, however, found that because New Jersey’s Life and Health Insurance Code states that “[h]ealth insurance does not include workmen’s compensation coverages,” that the legislature understood workers’ compensation and health insurance as separate and distinct under the law.  Thus, the court reasoned, when the legislature used the term “private health insurer,” it did not intend for it to encompass workers’ compensation.

Marijuana is a Reasonable and Necessary Treatment for Chronic Pain

Finally, M&K Construction argued that, in Hager’s case, medical marijuana was not a reasonable and necessary treatment.  The Appellate Division rejected this argument and accepted the workers’ compensation judges’ finding, which was based on medical testimony presented by both sides, and found that medical marijuana was “necessary ‘to cure and relieve [Petitioner] of the effects of the injury and to restore the functions of the injured member or organ,’” the standard under the Workers’ Compensation Act. Particularly, the court found that marijuana was a reasonable and necessary treatment in comparison to opioids, the only alternative treatment option for Hager’s chronic pain.

A1708 Legislation

A1708 was introduced in the legislature on February 13, 2020.  If passed, the bill would require all workers’ compensation carriers to reimburse the costs of medical marijuana.  Consistent with the Compassionate Use Act, A1708 would not affect government medical assistance programs or private health insurance carriers.

This legislation would memorialize the Appellate Division’s holding that workers’ compensation carriers should not be treated the same as private health insurance carriers under the Compassionate Use Act.

Additionally, A1708 would require patients seeking medical marijuana reimbursement to suffer from a “debilitating medical condition” and to have attempted at least one other medication or treatment that was unsuccessful in treating such condition.  While this additional requirement is in line with the court’s reasoning in Hager, it goes one step further and places an added burden on individuals who are seeking medical marijuana reimbursement that other workers’ compensation patients do not face.

The bill does not address whether the reasonable and necessary standard will still apply to workers’ compensation carriers’ challenges to requests for reimbursement.

Implications

The Appellate Division’s decision and introduction of A1708 reflect New Jersey’s continuing public shift in favor of acceptance of the use of medical marijuana.  As we previously reported, the legislature amended the Compassionate Use Act in July 2019 to grant employees protection from adverse action from their use medical marijuana.

The decision does not mean that employers will be required to reimburse medically prescribed marijuana for work-related injuries or illnesses in every instance.  Indeed, the court focused on whether marijuana was a reasonably necessary treatment for Hager’s chronic pain, in light of the fact that the only alternative was opioid use.  Accordingly, in the future, employers may be able to challenge the reimbursement of medical marijuana when alternative treatments are available that are as effective as (or more effective than) marijuana and/or whose side effects are comparable to (or less serious than) the side effects associated with marijuana use.

Further, if A1708 becomes law, all workers’ compensation patients seeking reimbursement for medical marijuana use will also have to establish that they first tried another medical treatment and that the treatment was unsuccessful in aiding their debilitating medical condition.

A significant data breach involving software that is widely used by cannabis dispensaries spotlights the industry’s critical need to secure its customers’ personally identifiable information. THSuites, which makes point-of-sale and management software used by dispensaries across the country, recently experienced a vulnerability that exposed customers’ full names, dates of birth, phone numbers, emails, addresses, signatures, cannabis varieties and quantities purchased, amount of money spent and transaction dates. An estimated 85,000 files were exposed. As the industry continues to grow, cannabis companies must focus on data security and ensure that their information security processes are scaled and properly encrypted to avoid the damaging consequences stemming from leaks of consumer data. Linked here is a Fox Rothschild alert on this issue.

Although consumer appetite for CBD-containing products continues to grow, and the market for such products correspondingly expands, 2020 may be another year in which the regulatory roadmap remains unsettled. On one hand, legal hemp production is is expected to increase, as the USDA is in the process of reviewing hemp production plans submitted by various States and Tribes authorized under the 2018 Farm Bill. Furthermore, a majority of states now allow the use of CBD, and a new bipartisan bill, H.R. 5587, sponsored by Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN) has been introduced in the House of Representatives. The proposed legislation  (full text here) would amend Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act to recognize edible hemp-derived CBD products as a dietary supplement.  Such developments would loosen some restrictions on the marketing of CBD products and surely support the growth of hemp-derived CBD industry in 2020.

On another front, the most recent budget request by the Trump Administration, combined with the increase in FDA warning letters in late 2019 alleging unlawful marketing of CBD products, indicates a turbulent regulatory path for manufacturers and sellers. The FDA previously expressed concerns that a lack of appropriate processing controls and practices in the industry pose a real risk to consumers. Yet, it has exhibited reasonable restraint in bringing enforcement or a litigation action against such companies, appearing to focus on those companies making the most serious types of medical claims about their CBD-containing products or using CBD as a food additive.

The Trump Administration budget request for 2020-2021 hints that such restraint may soon be tested. With the Administration appearing to earmark $5 Million to prioritize activities relating to the regulation of cannabis and cannabis derivatives, and simultaneously focusing on “tracking and tracing of food from farm to fork,”  the FDA will likely continue to ramp up its regulatory and enforcement efforts to review health and safety issues relating to the CBD containing products.

The Takeaway

We are witnessing a brewing conflict between Congress and the FDA about how to treat commercialization of the hemp-derived CBD products, with some uncertainty about what the future holds. While the regulatory frameworks governing this industry will not remain settled in 2020, what remains certain is that FDA will continue to initiate enforcement actions against companies that market their CBD products using unproven medical claims, and may target companies using CBD as an additive to food or drinks.

At Fox Rothschild and the In the Weeds blog, we will continue to follow these developments, and bring you the most up-to-date information on the “state of play” in the hemp and CBD industries. For further information about the FDA’s regulation of Cannabis and CBD-Containing Products, I encourage you to review this helpful page on the FDA’s website.


This post was co-authored by Shahnam Sharareh, PharmD, RAC, a Princeton, NJ-based Partner in Fox Rothschild’s Intellectual Property and Pharma & Biotech practices. Shahnam can be contacted at 609-844-3030 or ssharareh@foxrothschild.com

Joseph McNelis works in Fox Rothschild’s Blue Bell, PA office. He focuses his practice on labor and employment matters, and also tracks legal developments in the cannabis industry in Pennsylvania and nationwide. Joe can be contacted at 610-397-2332 or jmcnelis@foxrothschild.com.

Last week, the California Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) gave notice of proposed emergency regulations that will require retailers to display their Quick Response Code certificate outside their storefronts. Distributors and retail delivery drivers will also be required to carry the certificate while transporting cannabis. The certificate will be required to be in a format set forth in the proposed regulations, including that the certificate be able to be scanned on a smartphone from a distance of three feet.  

The regulations come in response to continued reports of injuries attributed to vaping products. According to studies cited in the BCC’s Finding of Emergency and Notice of Proposed Emergency Regulations, nearly all individuals with injuries who used vaping products containing THC purchased those products from unlicensed sources. The BCC concluded that the risk of harm is greater from THC vaping products purchased from unlicensed sources.

The proposed regulations are intended to educate consumers and enable them to ensure that they are purchasing from a licensed retailer. The BCC noted that illegal retailer businesses are often mistaken for legal businesses due to having a similar appearance or name. The BCC also noted that requiring the certificate to be carried by delivery drivers and distributors will enable employees, law enforcement and others to confirm that a business is licensed.

Throughout 2019, our Cannabis Law Group has helped guide and structure deals worth more than $2 billion, facilitated industry-shaping mergers and acquisitions and served as regulatory strategists to lawmakers in preparation for the far-reaching changes that come with legalizing medical and recreational cannabis.

Responding to the evolving needs of businesses in the legalized cannabis industry, the group publishes several valuable resources: two state-by-state surveys of marijuana laws – a National Survey on Marijuana Laws and Regulations and a National Survey on Marijuana in the Workplace and Drug Testing Laws; a Cannabis Industry State Tax Guide; and this blog, “In the Weeds,” that monitors developments in marijuana law and business.

As a testament to the services we provide our clients in this highly regulated industry, the firm’s Cannabis Law Group has been named a 2019 “Practice Group of the Year” by Law360. The prestigious list “honors the firms behind the litigation wins and major deals that resonated throughout the legal industry in the past year.”

To read more about this announcement, and Fox Rothschild’s Cannabis Law Practice Group, click here!

This blog typically focuses on legal issues and developments affecting stakeholders operating within the cannabis industry. However, the legal dichotomy surrounding cannabis (i.e. federal law defines”marijuana” as an illegal controlled substance, but more than 30 states have legalized medical marijuana and about a dozen jurisdictions have legalized marijuana for recreational or “adult use”) also presents challenges for other industries and business. Some of the most common and difficult of these challenges are those faced by businesses seeking to craft employment policies that comply with state and federal laws surrounding the workplace, employee drug testing, and employee marijuana use.

With its newly published  “National Survey on Marijuana in the Workplace and Drug Testing Laws,” attorneys from Fox Rothschild’s Labor & Employment and Cannabis Law practices have created a state-by-state guide to help businesses navigate these complex and sometimes thorny issues. This survey was prepared and will be maintained by attorneys Dori K. Stibolt  and Joseph A. McNelis III.

Fox’s “Marijuana in the Workplace” national survey is a quick reference resource to the relevant laws and regulations governing how workplaces should respond to the growing trend of legalizing marijuana for medical and recreational use in jurisdictions throughout the United States. In particular, the survey provides links to laws and regulations governing medical marijuana, recreational marijuana, and occupational drug testing laws in each state where marijuana has been legalized, as well as summaries of important court rulings interpreting these rules.

Understanding that the state of cannabis law is by no means static, the survey will be regularly updated as new laws are passed and opinions are handed down across the county.

Click here to check out the Survey:

Click here to learn more about the Survey.


Dori K. Stibolt is a Partner in Fox Rothschild’s West Palm Beach, FL office. Dori is a skilled litigator whose practice centers on labor and employment claims, trust and estate matters and business disputes. She frequently defends and counsels management, companies and employers in labor and employment litigation matters pertaining to discrimination, harassment, retaliation, leave/restraint, whistle-blower claims, wage and overtime claims and ADA access suits (including online access); and cannabis issues. Dori can be contacted at 561-804-4417 or dstibolt@foxrothschild.com

Joseph McNelis focuses his practice on employment and litigation matters. He regularly counsels clients on maintaining compliance with state and federal employment laws, and handles litigation matters in the Pennsylvania state courts and in federal courts throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and the Midwest. Joe frequently writes and speaks about developments in the cannabis sector, and tracks legal issues in this highly regulated industry in Pennsylvania and nationwide. Joe can be contacted at 610-397-2332 or jmcnelis@foxrothschild.com.

Franchising is an emerging issue for operators in the cannabis industry, both for companies that voluntary adopt the franchise model to expand their business, and for those who may find they have become an “accidental franchise.”

Light bulb symbol composed of cannabis, illustrating concept of cannabis-related patents

Fox Rothschild attorneys Eleanor Vaida Gerhards and Matthew R. Kittay have authored a primer that explores both ends of this spectrum, outlining the benefits of the franchise model for cannabis operators as well as strategies to avoid falling into the accidental or inadvertent franchise trap. To learn more, check out Cannabis Franchising: Opportunities and Legal Perils.


Eleanor Vaida Gerhards is a partner in Fox Rothschild’s Corporate department and Co-Chair of the Franchising & Distribution Practice Group.  Eleanor is a Certified Franchise Executive, a designation received from the Institute of Certified Franchise Executives, who works with startup and established franchise clients in structuring franchise programs, drafting franchise documents and counseling clients on regulatory compliance matters. She also handles matters related to master franchising, multi-unit licensing and area-development business arrangements. Eleanor also represents franchisors and franchisees in connection with the acquisitions and sales of franchise businesses. Eleanor can be reached at egerhards@foxrothschild.com or 215.918.3642.

Matthew R. Kittay is National Co-Chair of Fox Rothschild’s Mergers & Acquisitions Practice Group and Chair of the Firm’s New York Corporate team. Matthew has deep experience in structuring mergers and acquisitions and securing private equity and venture capital for a wide range of companies, particularly in the technology, software, cannabis, manufacturing and health care sectors. He is ranked by Chambers USA as a leading corporate attorney for his transactional work with clients in the cannabis sector, and in 2019, Matt was named by The National Law Journal as a Trailblazer in Cannabis Law. Matt can be reached at mkittay@foxrothschild.com or  212.878.7978.

 

 

As has been reported here and all over, the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill has led to a massive boom in the sale and marketing of products containing Cannabidiol (CBD). Indeed, everywhere from your local grocery store to hip, big-city smoothie shop now carry an array of products infused with CBD.

Although the 2018 Farm Bill did remove the federal prohibition on the manufacture and sale of hemp–and by extension, hemp-derived CBD–the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) quickly stepped in to make clear that the Agency had jurisdiction to regulate certain CBD-containing products under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act).  The FDA has not yet issued formal Regulations explaining what types of products may run afoul of the FD&C Act. However, over the past year, the FDA has made clear through its statements and enforcement actions that it has two priorities in this arena: (1) companies claiming that its CBD products can prevent, diagnose, treat, or cure serious diseases such as cancer; and (2) companies using CBD as an additive to food or drink.

Cannabis leaf in warning sign

In further clarifying its position against CBD marketed products as a dietary supplement or as a food additive, the FDA announced on November 25 that it has issued warning letters to 15 companies alleging illegal sale of products containing CBD in violation of the FD&C Act. (Click here for the FDA’s formal announcement of the warning letters). Despite some prior indications that FDA continues to explore pathways for lawful marketing of the CBD containing products, and that the Agency is open to engage with the State and local regulatory partners to further clarify the requirements under the FD&C Act, the message coming from the FDA was loud and clear.

Based on the current scientific information supporting the safety of CBD in food, the FDA cannot conclude that CBD is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) among qualified experts for its use in human or animal food.  The common theme among the issued warning letters was that the manufacture of such products employed an overall marketing strategies that inferred that the product can be used to prevent or treat a disease, as drugs, in violation of FD&C Act.

Among commonly problematic phrases in the issued warning letters are the following:

  • “CBD relieves pain and inflammation”
  • “studies show that CBD prevents human experimental psychosis and is effective in open case reports and clinical trials in patients with schizophrenia, with a remarkable safety profile.”
  • “Not only does the research show that CBD benefits including being effective in fighting breast cancer cells, data also suggest that it can be used to inhibit the invasion of lung and colon cancer, plus it possesses anti-tumor properties in gliomas and has been used to treat leukemia.”
  • “CBD lowers incidence of diabetes”
  • “several pre-clinical reports showing anti-tumor effects of CBD…have found reduced [cancer] [sic] cell viability, increased cancer cell death, decreased tumor growth, and inhibition of metastasis.”
  • “CBD for opioid addiction”
  • “A potential new treatment for opioid addiction has been found in a new review of previous research of cannabidiol (CBD).”
  • “10 little known uses for CBD” include “PTSD”, “Fibromyalgia”, “Schizophrenia”, “Diabetes”, etc…
  •  CBD  “Inhibits cancer cell growth”
  • “There is extensive scientific and clinical research, including research by the US government, which exposes CBD’s potential as a treatment for a wide range of conditions, including…  “ADD and ADHD, ” “Alcoholism,” “Antibiotic-resistant Infections,” “Autism,”…
  • “CBD Oil infused balm is a powerful topical cream designed for sore muscles, or areas where pain is felt.”
  • “CBD Pain Relief Roll-on GEL”
  • “CBD can help with many skin conditions. CBD has anti-inflammatory properties that can help with acne, psoriasis, and eczema.”

Unless approved by the FDA, use of any such phrases in any medium; website, social media, packaging, to market the CBD products for treatment of diseases or for other therapeutic uses for humans and/or animals will be viewed as a violation of section 201(g)(1) of the FD&C Act, 21 U.S.C. 321(g)(1).  Therefore, companies selling CBD-containing products must review their marketing and advertising materials in conjunction with warning letters issued by the FDA, and continue to monitor further enforcement efforts by the Agency.

For more information about the FDA’s regulation of Cannabis and CBD-Containing Products, I encourage you to review this helpful page on the FDA’s website.


This post was co-authored by Shahnam Sharareh, PharmD, RAC, a Princeton, NJ-based Partner in Fox Rothschild’s Intellectual Property and Pharma & Biotech practices. Shahnam can be contacted at 609-844-3030 or ssharareh@foxrothschild.com

Joseph McNelis works in Fox Rothschild’s Blue Bell, PA office. He focuses his practice on labor and employment matters, and also tracks legal developments in the cannabis industry in Pennsylvania and nationwide. Joe can be contacted at 610-397-2332 or jmcnelis@foxrothschild.com.

The Illinois House of Representatives recently passed amendments to Senate Bill 1557, which made some material changes to Illinois’ Adult-Use Cannabis Laws. The bill is now on its way to the governor for his signature and will not be effective until then. However, it is crucial to get ahead of these material changes so you can plan accordingly.

Below are some key changes to Senate Bill 1557 from the recently approved House Floor Amendments No. 1 and 2.

Municipality Taxes

  • Cities and counties can begin collecting cannabis taxes on July 2020 rather than September 2020. (55 ILCS 5/5-1006.8)

Banking

  • The Secretary of the Department of Finance and Professional Regulations cannot take any actions against savings banks or holding companies that provide financial services or loans to cannabis-related businesses or individuals solely because they offer those services to the cannabis industry. (205 ILCS 205/9002)

Consumption Areas

  • Limited cannabis consumption areas to tobacco retailers and cannabis dispensaries (with municipal authorization). Bars and restaurants are no longer allowed to provide cannabis consumption areas. (410 ILCS 82/35)

Licensed Activities

  • Allows Early Approval Adult Use Cultivation License holders to process and transport cannabis-infused products. (410 ILCS 705/1-10)
  • Allows Early Approval Adult Use Dispensing License holder to sell cannabis-infused products. (410 ILCS 705/1-10)
  • A licensed dispensing organization must contract with a licensed private security contractor to provide on-site security at all hours of operation. (410 ILCS/15-70)
  • Medical cannabis cultivation centers, dispensary organization, and their officers and agents cannot make political contributions. (10 ILCS 5/9-45)

License Applications

  • Principal Officers are not required to submit to a fingerprint and background check when applying for an Early Approval Adult Use Dispensing Organization License at a secondary site. (410 ILCS 705/15-20)
  • After receiving a Conditional Adult Use Dispensing Organization License, the organization must be able to show it continues to meet all requirements for holding such license; rather than just proof it meets the financial requirements. (410 ILCS 705/15-25)
  • An individual or entity cannot hold more than 10 adult-use dispensing license. This includes all types of adult-use dispensing licenses. (410 ILCS 705/15-36)
  • Lowered the required score to receive a transporting organization license from 85% to 75%. (410 ILCS 705/40-15)
  • An applicant’s tax records, in addition to one of the previously required documents, can now establish proof of an individual’s primary residence. (410 ILCS 705/1-10)
  • Proof of residency to show Illinois ownership can now be established with either 5 years of tax records or two of the following: 1) a signed lease with the applicant’s name; 2) property deed that include the applicant’s name; 3) school records; 4) a voter registration card; 5) an Illinois driver’s license, an Illinois ID card, or an Illinois Person with a Disability ID card; 6) a paycheck stub; 7) utility bill; or 8) any other proof of residency or other information necessary to establish residence. (410 ILCS 705/15-30)
  • If an applicant cannot locate a secondary site in the initial approved region within 360 days, because of local bans, the geographic restrictions may be waived and a new region may be recommended. (410 ILCS 705/15-20)
  • Social Equity Incubation commitments must be for a minimum of 1 year. (410 ILCS 705/15-15)

Expungements and Criminal Activities

  • All existing notations on individuals driving records regarding that person’s registration as a qualified person or caregiver will be removed. (410 ILCS 130/60)
  • Individuals can receive DUIs for operating a watercraft or snowmobile while operating under the influence of cannabis. (410 ILCS 705/10-35)
  • A person can no longer be considered an unlawful user or addicted to narcotics solely as a result of possession or use of cannabis or cannabis paraphernalia in accordance with the Illinois Cannabis Laws. (410 ILCS 705/1-7)
  • The definition of a Minor Cannabis Offenses was changed to include violations of the Cannabis Control Act concerning no more than 30 grams of cannabis or cannabis products. Those offenses shall automatically be expunged if committed prior to June 25, 2019 and if the conviction was not associated with an arrest for a violent crime. (20 ILCS 2630/5.2)

Anti-Revolving Door Policies

  • No officer or member, or spouse or immediate family member may hold an ownership interest in a licensed cannabis business establishment while in office or within a period of 2 years immediately after leaving office. This does not include owning a passive interest in a publicly trading company. (5 ILCS 430/5-45)
  • No State employee who works for any State agency that regulates cannabis license holders and who participated personally and substantially in the award of licenses cannot hold an ownership interest in any cannabis license during State employment or within a period of 2 years immediately after termination of State employment. (5 ILCS 430/5-45)
  • No officer of the executive branch or State employee of the executive branch with regulatory or licensing authority shall within a period of 1 year immediately after termination of State employment, accept employment or receive compensation from a person or entity if that State employee participated personally or substantially in regulating or licensing of such individual or entity. (5 ILCS 430/5-45)
  • No State employee who personally or substantially participated in the award of State contracts or State contract change orders in excess of $25,000 cannot accept employment or receive compensation from an individual or entity who received such contract within 2 years immediately after termination of State employment. (5 ILCS 430/5-45)