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Federally, the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) governs the manufacture, importation, possession, and use of drugs. Cannabis is currently included on Schedule I of the CSA, which effectively prohibits profiting from its possession, cultivation, or distribution. However, this stands in direct conflict with certain state laws that expressly allow for the possession, cultivation or distribution of marijuana. California was the first state to legalize medical marijuana in 1996. Since then, medical marijuana has been legalized in 39 states and the District of Columbia. The recreational or adult-use of cannabis has been legalized in the District of Columbia and 21 states. The increased acceptance of marijuana across the United States will nevertheless lead to legal complications across the industry. The AAA 2019 Annual Report indicates that the largest claim by industry was in life sciences with a claim of $1 billion, whereas the cannabis sector represented the largest increases in caseload by industry at 225%.”

This post was originally published on the Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution website on March 4, 2023. The original post can be accessed via the Archived Link button above.