Last week marked the tipping point for marijuana legalization in the US. Recreational use is now legal in California, as well as Maine, Nevada, and Massachusetts. Medical use was also approved in historically resistant states including North Dakota, Montana, Arkansas, and Florida. The national cannabis industry as now tripled in size, primarily attributed to California's recent legalization, which could exceed the size of its famed wine businesses, with the market projected to grow to $22 billion in four years, from $7 billion this year in 2016. However, conflicts with federal law still exist, including the ability to protect marijuana branding.
California AB 691 was recently signed into law, which sets forth default rules governing the disposition and probate of digital assets to a surviving fiduciary or beneficiary. In enacting this legislation, California joins 19 other states, including Florida, in adopting of the Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act. The term digital assets include a person's social media accounts, websites, domains, email accounts, blogs, as well as other accounts and digital content related thereto. This law will go in effect January 1, 2017, and establishes a three step hierarchical test for determining who may access a decedent's digital assets.
SB 1241, recently signed into law, and to go in effect January 1, 2017, will limit the ability of employers to choose a favorable law and forum when contracting with California employees. Specifically, the provision to be codified as California Labor Code Section 925, prohibits an employer from requiring California employees to agree to any provision which would require the employee to adjudicate outside of California for a claim arising in California; or deprive the employee of substantive protection of California state law as to a controversy arising in California. An exception does exist for those employees who are represented by counsel in negotiating the terms of an agreement. Moreover, pre-existing agreements (pre-January 1, 2017) will be unaffected.