PLDO Law Blog

MA Cannabis Control Commission Opens Application Process for Recreational Marijuana Licenses

On April 2, 2018, the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission began taking applications for adult use or recreational use marijuana licenses. The first eligible to apply are considered "Priority Certifications" and are those businesses that are already registered marijuana dispensaries (RMD) or Economic Empowerment Applicants, which provides eligibility to apply for a marijuana establishment license on April 17. All other license types will start the application process on May 1 or June 1, depending on the category, according to the Commission's website.

SEXUAL IDENTITY LAW CONTINUES TO EVOLVE

Federal law and precedent involving workplace discrimination based on sexual identity stands in stark contrast to current state laws in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and most "blue" states. However, that could change. Several federal courts have recently recognized that Title VII - the federal anti-discrimination statute - provides protection to individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation. In Zarada v. Altitude Express, Inc., (cite February 28, 2018) the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recognized that Title VII applies to discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

WEDDINGS ARE (STILL) NOT AN "AGRICULTURAL OPERATION"

The Rhode Island Supreme Court recently had the opportunity to review a 2014 amendment to the Right to Farm Act (the "RFA") in The Gerald P. Zarrella Trust et al. v. Town of Exeter et al., SU #2016-301-A. In that matter, the plaintiff sought a declaration that RFA, as amended, permitted them to host commercial events, including weddings for a fee, on their farmland. Specifically, the plaintiff had previously been enjoined from holding such activities, but argued that a 2014 amendment to the RFA superseded the injunction.

INSURING ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE: A QUICK PRIMER

What do you do when your largest customer goes bankrupt? Panic? Probably. But, once the immediate panic subsides, some smart business owners call their insurance company and put in a claim under their "accounts receivable insurance" policy. Accounts receivable and other similar trade debt make up a significant portion of any small business's assets, and business owners are often unaware that they can be insured. These policies may cover about 90% or more of the lost revenue due to a customer's bankruptcy or other covered events.

Deadline for Comments to RI DOH For Proposed Cannabis Testing Laboratories is Jan. 18, 2018

The Rhode Island Department of Health (DOH) intends to stand up cannabis testing facilities, according to the agency's notice on Licensing Analytical Laboratories for Sampling and Testing Medical Marijuana. The public has until the close of business on January 18, 2018 to submit comments on the new proposal, which will also add a new licensing fee of $5,000 per laboratory once the proposed rule becomes law. Comments should be submitted to Paula Pullano at the DOH at 3 Capitol Hill in Providence or by email at [email protected]

TOP 10 IRS TAX CODE CHANGES YOU CAN EXPECT WITH THE HISTORIC TAX REFORM BILL

To heighten an already exciting time of year, yesterday both Houses of Congress passed a substantial re-write of major portions of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. All that awaits now is the formality of President Trump's signature, which as of this writing has not occurred. However, once the President signs the landmark legislation, Americans can expect changes to the Internal Revenue Code. Only time will tell if the controversial1 and historic tax reform bill will result in a gift to the United States in the form of tax simplification, job creation and a strengthened economy or as some fear, a lump of coal for middle class and low wage earners. With homage to David Letterman, what follows is a summary of 10 of the most significant provisions taxpayers should pay attention to under this new law.

RI Marijuana Cultivators License Application Process Will Not Reopen in 2018

Late last week, the Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation (DBR) announced that the agency will not reopen the licensed cultivator application process in 2018. In the notice, the DBR stated that under its authority it "may modify the licensed cultivator application period each year based on patient and program need. Having considered patient and program need, the Department has determined not to reopen the licensed cultivator application period during the months of January, February and March, 2018."

WORKPLACE SEXUAL HARASSMENT: A PARADIGM SHIFT?

With the seemingly daily news reports of sexual harassment scandals, business owners and investors are starting to realize an inconvenient fact: leaving the problem of workplace sexual harassment to the human resources department or middle-managers may no longer be adequate. Instead, owners and investors are beginning to recognize that they should - and must - use their enormous leverage over companies to demand accountability from the top down.

Family Business Disputes...Like An Awkward Thanksgiving?

Family gatherings at Thanksgiving often bring a mix of emotions: happiness at being re-united with loved ones who may live far away, but also sometimes stress over strained family relationships caused by a myriad of reasons.

Stay Ahead of the Constant Innovations in Cybercrime

Most business owners have been exposed to cybercrime during the past ten years and the rate of attack by these criminals increases daily. Cybercrime includes phishing and spamming, and those performing the criminal act are referred to as "hackers." Cybercrime is sometimes referred to as "computer crime." Although cybercrime is a relatively new phenomenon, many of the same offenses that can be committed with a computer or smart phone, including theft, were formerly committed in person prior to the computer age.

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