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Bankruptcy Civil Procedure Litigation

With Federal Bankruptcy Courts Unavailable, Marijuana Businesses Turn to State Options

Federal bankruptcy courts have been unavailable to marijuana businesses due to the Schedule I status of marijuana. The United States Trustee’s policy is to move to dismiss or object in each case involving marijuana assets, because they cannot be administered under the Bankruptcy Code.


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At present, 25 states, including the District of Columbia, have legalized marijuana. While the number of states and territories with laws and policies allowing for the cultivation, sale, distribution and possession of marijuana for recreational or medicinal purposes has grown over the last decade, marijuana continues to be classified as a Schedule I controlled substance, in the same category as heroin and ecstasy, under the federal Controlled Substance Act (CSA). The growing disconnect between federal and state marijuana laws and policies creates legal risks for not only those engaged in the cultivation and sale of marijuana, but also for suppliers, landlords, investors and financial institutions directly or indirectly related to marijuana businesses.

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