Illinois Recreational Marijuana Legislation and its Impact on Local Government

Eydie VanderboschOperations, Startup Tips & Resources


Illinois Governor J. B. Pritzker signed into law recreational marijuana legislation this Tuesday, after the Illinois legislature voted by large margin to approve the landmark 700-page Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (“the Act”).  A copy of the bill voted upon is located here but the Act has yet to be fully published online. The new law is expected to go … Read More

SEC Approves Regulation Best Interest for Broker-Dealers, Form CRS

Emily HayesBest Practices, Market Rules & Responsibilities, Operations


The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) adopted “Regulation Best Interest” (“Reg BI”) on June 5, 2019, requiring broker-dealers to act in the best interest of their retail customers when recommending securities or a particular investment strategy. Additionally, the SEC adopted a new Exchange Act Rule 17a-14, 17 CFR § 240.17a-14, that requires broker-dealers to prepare, file with the SEC, … Read More

Two Things that Stand out About Illinois’ Landmark New Legislation Legalizing Cannabis

Jesse HudsonOperations, Startup Tips & Resources


On Friday, May 31st the Illinois House approved a law legalizing recreational cannabis, or marijuana, in the state, making Illinois the 11th of the United States to do so. The law, referred to as the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (“CRTA” or the “Illinois law”) is on the desk of Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, who has championed legalization, to sign … Read More

NY Office of the Attorney General Alleges Bitfinex Engaged in $850 M Fraud

WebContentCase Studies, Cryptocurrency, Market Rules & Responsibilities


On April 25, 2019, the New York Office of the Attorney General (“OAG”) announced that it obtained a court order against the operators of Bitfinex demanding the online digital asset exchange turn over a plethora of important documents related to previous subpoenas the OAG issued to Bitfinex. The order’s accompanying petition alleges that Bitfinex “borrowed” funds from its affiliate, Tether, the … Read More


Gretchen HelfrichCryptocurrency


Blockchain technology, if you believe the hype, is going to revolutionize, well, everything.  In an effort to bring a little sobriety to the Blockchain party, Forbes last year identified ten industries in which Blockchain genuinely seemed likely to disrupt the status quo.  Banking, healthcare, and politics topped the list. Alas, Forbes failed to spot Blockchain’s actual highest and best use, … Read More

SEC’s FinHub Publishes Digital Asset Analysis Framework

Emily HayesMarket Rules & Responsibilities, Operations


On April 3, 2019, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC’s) Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology, a.k.a. the SEC FinHub, released its “Framework for ‘Investment Contract’ Analysis of Digital Assets,” (the “Framework”) providing further guidance on how the SEC will analyze whether a given digital asset is an investment contract and, therefore, a security under the federal securities laws. … Read More

NFA Institutes New Requirements for CPO Internal Controls Systems

Chelsea EllisBest Practices, Market Rules & Responsibilities, Operations


Effective April 1, 2019, every National Futures Association (“NFA”) member commodity pool operator (“CPO”) that handles customer funds must implement an internal controls system (“ICS”) that “is designed to deter fraudulent activity by employees, management, and third parties” to ensure that each Member CPO properly safeguards customer funds, provides accurate and timely financial reports, and fully complies with CFTC and … Read More

SCOTUS Decides Significant Copyright Cases, but Our Advice Remains the Same: Register Your Copyrights As Soon As Possible

Chelsea EllisStartup Tips & Resources


On March 4, 2019, the Supreme Court of the United States decided two cases that will impact the ability to practically enforce copyrights. In Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corp. v., LLC, SCOTUS held that under section 411(a) of the Copyright Act, a party can sue for copyright infringement only after official registration with the Copyright Office. This means that … Read More

FINRA Publishes Its 2019 Risk Monitoring and Examination Priorities Letter

Chelsea EllisMarket Rules & Responsibilities


On January 22, 2019, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) published its 2019 Risk Monitoring and Examination Priorities Letter (“2019 Priorities Letter”). FINRA annually publishes its Priorities Letter to highlight the areas on which it intends to focus for the upcoming year. While the majority of 2019’s focus areas are the same as last year’s (sales practice risks, senior investors, … Read More