PHONE: 720.213.5854

Jeff Smith, Legal & Regulatory Reporter

Jeff is an award-winning business journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers in Colorado, Maine, New Mexico and Alabama. He also has worked as a journalist overseas in Asia and West Africa. His stories have appeared in National Geographic online and The New York Times, among other publications.

Despite historic inroads, federal marijuana reform faces uphill climb before midterm elections

April 24, 2018 · Updated April 23, 2019

Political support for reforming federal cannabis laws appears to be snowballing: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, President Donald Trump and former House Speaker John Boehner all recently signaled varying levels of support. In short, a variety of pro-cannabis bills – from hemp legalization and tax reform to granting MJ businesses […]

Read More

License applications rolling in as Connecticut adds medical cannabis dispensaries

April 23, 2018 · Updated July 16, 2018

Businesses are rushing to capitalize on Connecticut’s mushrooming medical marijuana market. Regulators have received more than 70 marijuana dispensary applications after deciding to expand the tightly controlled market from nine outlets to as many as 19, according to The Hour newspaper. The new licenses will be issued in the coming months. Additional dispensaries are needed […]

Read More

Senate minority leader Schumer wants to let states regulate marijuana

April 19, 2018 · Updated July 16, 2018

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York is the latest to join the federal cannabis reform bandwagon, saying he plans to introduce legislation that will remove marijuana from the controlled substances list and allow states to decide how to regulate MJ. “Ultimately, it’s the right thing to do,” Schumer said in an interview Thursday […]

Read More

On eve of 4/20, cannabis-flavored beer a no-go for two Florida breweries

April 19, 2018 · Updated July 16, 2018

Federal tax authorities have ordered two South Florida breweries to stop selling craft beer infused with cannabis terpenes oil, putting a damper on their 4/20 party plans. The cease-and-desist letters were issued over the past week to Invasive Species Brewing in Fort Lauderdale and Devour Brewing in Boynton Beach, according to The federal Alcohol […]

Read More

Why the US needs federal marijuana reform: Q&A with Congressman Tom Garrett

April 18, 2018 · Updated October 8, 2021

U.S. Rep. Tom Garrett isn’t the most likely congressional member to embrace federal marijuana reform. The first-term Republican is from a state – Virginia – that has yet to legalize medical marijuana, although its laws provide protections for people who use cannabidiol oils for medical conditions. Why did Garrett introduce the “Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act […]

Read More

Colorado marijuana edibles company Wana Brands sued over alleged information theft

April 16, 2018 · Updated July 16, 2018

Wana Brands, a high-profile Colorado edibles maker, has been sued for allegedly stealing confidential business information from a marijuana company that says it was duped into believing it would be acquired. LP Capital, a Colorado extraction company that makes MJ-concentrated vape cartridges, claims in a lawsuit it suffered more than $5 million in damages from lost revenue […]

Read More

Maryland approves 7 more medical cannabis dispensaries

April 13, 2018 · Updated July 16, 2018

Maryland regulators approved seven additional medical marijuana dispensaries and one processor, their latest step to expand the state’s recently launched MMJ industry. The state now has almost 50 licensed dispensaries, The Sun reported. More than 40 are open, according to the newspaper, a sign that the state’s long-delayed MMJ program is gaining traction. Eventually, 102 MMJ […]

Read More

Maine lawmakers sign off on recreational cannabis bill

April 12, 2018 · Updated July 16, 2018

The Maine state House and Senate have approved legislation to allow legal adult-use marijuana sales in the state, likely by 2019 or 2020. According to the Portland Press-Herald, lawmakers apparently have enough support to override a potential veto by Republican Gov. Paul LePage, who torpedoed an earlier rec implementation bill last year. Legislation had been held […]

Read More

Ex-House Speaker Boehner – a former cannabis opponent – joins MJ firm’s board

April 11, 2018 · Updated November 4, 2019

Former U.S. House Speaker John Boehner joined the advisory board of Acreage Holdings, a New York company with marijuana cultivation, processing and dispensing operations in 11 states. Boehner, a Republican, has been a longtime opponent of marijuana reform. Industry insiders and analysts said his change of political heart has the potential to energize and influence national marijuana […]

Read More

Michigan medical marijuana market shrinks, uncertainty lingers under new system

April 10, 2018 · Updated May 20, 2019

Michigan medical marijuana regulators are trying to chop the state’s current industry in half, two months ahead of the transition to a new, tighter regulatory system. The market contraction is a boon to dispensaries that remain in business – they stand to see a boost in sales – but it has sparked legal challenges by […]

Read More