Los Angeles Logjam in Marijuana Business Licensing and Lawsuits

While the California marijuana market has scored some major wins in recent years, most notably with recreational legalization in 2016, there have been a number of significant growing pains along the way. A couple of the more significant issues our Los Angeles marijuana business attorneys see facing clients is problems with legal permitting for pot shops in L.A. and litigation over intellectual property, such as trademarks and propriety business information. marijuana business license

Poised to be the largest marijuana market in the world, the way in which Los Angeles tackles these issues is likely to be closely watched and highly influential (for better or worse). But, unfortunately, many hundreds of marijuana entrepreneurs have been left cooling their heels as the city works through the regulatory rollout of its commercial cannabis oversight.

Marijuana Business Licensing Headaches

Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that’s going to pay off because the significant snag is licensing. City officials gave the green light to nearly 170 marijuana retailers. Meanwhile, among farmers, producers/ edibles manufacturers, distributors, quality control test labs and others, the number of combined permits the city has issued is: Zero. Zip. None. 

Data from the city’s Department of Cannabis Regulation revealed some 600 applications for business permits for round 2 of licensing, which was open for a window of just one month, closing in mid-September. That licensing included L.A. marijuana businesses qualifying under the city’s social equity program (intended to even the playing field among minorities and others disproportionately impacted by the decades-long failed War on Drugs). Of those 600, some …

L.A. Cannabis Attorney: The Meaning of Marijuana Measures and Midterms

At this point, almost all midterm election results are in (Florida, we’re looking at you…). One of the most noteworthy outcomes for our Los Angeles cannabis attorneys is that voters in three out of four states where marijuana was on the ballot chose to loosen restrictions. Voters in Utah and Missouri chose to allow sick people the right to access medical marijuana. Michigan, which already allowed medicinal marijuana, joined nine other states (though becoming the first in the Midwest) to fully legalize recreational cannabis. The only state that voted a firm “no” was North Dakota, wherein a recreational marijuana ballot measure was on the table. marijuana business attorney

Prior to this vote, 22 states in the U.S. allowed medicinal marijuana, following California’s 1996 lead to allow patients access to the drug for easing the symptoms of serious illnesses. Increasingly, the drug is being used as a safer, more effective alternative to the extremely addictive and deadly opioids traditionally prescribed for pain (far riskier than pot, despite having a lower scheduled designation under the U.S. Controlled Substances Act).

This rapidly evolving cannabis landscape makes it all the more critical for users, distributors, producers, farmers, ancillary companies, drivers and travelers to consult an experienced Los Angeles cannabis attorney when a legal question crops up. 

Still, it’s worth noting that while public support for legal marijuana has never been higher (72 percent of democrats and 52 percent of Republicans are in favor of legalization and two-thirds of states have some type of legal marijuana), many marijuana industry and policy experts …

Catching a Plane? Be Wary With Weed, California Marijuana Attorneys Advise

When it comes to air travel and marijuana, it’s unlikely the latter will be joining the “mile-high club” anytime soon. Although state-level marijuana laws have relaxed substantially in more than two dozen states, airline travelers traveling to and from other states and even countries (like Canada) where the drug is legal probably still can’t take legally their weed with them – with some key exceptions.california marijuana lawyer

As California marijuana lawyers can explain, the biggest problem has been the continued federal prohibition on the drug. Under the Controlled Substances Act defining cannabis as highly addictive and dangerous with no recognized medicinal purpose, those who possess, distribute and transport the drug have committed crimes – even if it was all perfectly legal under state law. This conflict has impacted everything from banking to commercial leasing to business partnerships.

Airline travel is just one more area in which the industry and its consumers need to be mindful. When in doubt, be exceedingly cautious. Check out the policies of airlines both at your departing location and destination city. 

Los Angeles International, which is the No. 5 busiest airport in the world, recently announced a policy change pertaining to pot in the airport. Customers over 21 and older can have their marijuana on site. Similar policies are in place at Sea-Tac and Portland International, both of which abide by state laws in Washington and Oregon. That said, most airlines still won’t allow it on-board, but Portland International even allows travelers to carry their stash on the plane on flights within …

California Cannabis Vending: Potential Legal Pitfalls

First came the movie vending machines. Then there were the cupcake machines. Now, increasingly cropping up in California since the legalization of recreational marijuana are the cannabis vending machines. (Actually, it might not be a bad idea to line up all three side-by-side…) In truth, these self-service machines may be quite convenient, but vendors need to make sure their equipment, products and processes are all thoroughly vetted by a Los Angeles marijuana business lawyer. marijuana business lawyer

Such high-tech marijuana options are proliferating. Given that federal law has not kept pace with many states in this regard, it is imperative that as advancing technology is applied to pot sales, retailers and other distributors be exceedingly cautious and work closely with a marijuana business lawyer to ensure both state and local ordinances are followed to the letter. Failure to do so can result in hefty fines, seizure of products, closure of a shop and possibly even criminal charges – particularly if marijuana ends up in the hands of minors.

Although the so-called “Cole Memo” issued under the Obama administration’s Justice Department allowed state-approved marijuana operations to avoid federal crackdowns (although this never equated to immunization for cannabis growers and distributors), Trump’s administration has been less forgiving under U.S. Attorney General Jeffrey Sessions. The direction the administration takes from here on marijuana may well depend on the outcome of the upcoming midterm elections. 

Marijuana vending machines aren’t brand new. In Washington, medical marijuana became available via vending just inside a Seattle dispensary in 2015. And while some customers raved …

California Cannabis Vending: Potential Legal Pitfalls

First came the movie vending machines. Then there were the cupcake machines. Now, increasingly cropping up in California since the legalization of recreational marijuana are the cannabis vending machines. (Actually, it might not be a bad idea to line up all three side-by-side…) In truth, these self-service machines may be quite convenient, but vendors need to make sure their equipment, products and processes are all thoroughly vetted by a Los Angeles marijuana business lawyer. marijuana business lawyer

Such high-tech marijuana options are proliferating. Given that federal law has not kept pace with many states in this regard, it is imperative that as advancing technology is applied to pot sales, retailers and other distributors be exceedingly cautious and work closely with a marijuana business lawyer to ensure both state and local ordinances are followed to the letter. Failure to do so can result in hefty fines, seizure of products, closure of a shop and possibly even criminal charges – particularly if marijuana ends up in the hands of minors.

Although the so-called “Cole Memo” issued under the Obama administration’s Justice Department allowed state-approved marijuana operations to avoid federal crackdowns (although this never equated to immunization for cannabis growers and distributors), Trump’s administration has been less forgiving under U.S. Attorney General Jeffrey Sessions. The direction the administration takes from here on marijuana may well depend on the outcome of the upcoming midterm elections. 

Marijuana vending machines aren’t brand new. In Washington, medical marijuana became available via vending just inside a Seattle dispensary in 2015. And while some customers raved …

Los Angeles Marijuana Defense Attorneys: Illegal Grows Still Cropping Up

Los Angeles marijuana defense attorneys need to stress that while marijuana is now legal for recreational cultivation, processing, distribution and use, that doesn’t mean these things are 100 percent lawful. Although it’s true penalties for certain crimes are more lax, offenses more likely to result in fines than prison time, the latter isn’t impossible.Los Angeles marijuana defense lawyers

Last month, authorities announced a 39-county marijuana grow sting, busting 250 unlawful cannabis cultivation sites, resulting in the arrest of more than 50 people and seizure of some 614,000 plants. State and local law enforcement said such action was necessary to halt the (apparently) still booming black market. These sites are arguably a threat to registered, licensed operators, who are required to pay hefty taxes and undergo stringent product testing to ensure safety.

Los Angeles marijuana defense attorneys recognize that legalization of marijuana in California has made the drug far more accessible, and the hope was always that black market sales would halt or at least dwindle. However, there have been an increasing number of grow house busts across the state in recent weeks.

California Law Enforcement Cracks Down on Illegal Cannabis

Among the marijuana cultivation raids in recent weeks:

  • In Santa Barbara County, authorities seized some 400,000 marijuana plants allegedly being grown illegally, spread among traditional crops. The county sheriff said it was the largest grow house bust in the county since the launch of the state’s new regulated market. Also in Santa Barbara County, five other allegedly illegal cultivation sites were discovered with a combined total of  14,000

California Cannabis Intellectual Property Licensing Just Got More Complicated

Most of our California cannabis business clients have some type of intellectual property, most often in the form of a brand name they are seeking to protect and capitalize on. However, as our Los Angeles marijuana intellectual property attorneys can explain, licensing can be complicated because, when it comes to marijuana, of course it is.Los Angeles intellectual property licensing agreement lawyer

Let’s start with the fact that recently, the California Bureau of Cannabis Control, California Department of Food and Agriculture and the California Department of Health just dropped a heap of proposed regulatory modifications on the industry. (Written comments must be in by Nov. 5 to be considered – which you should definitely do if you have a cannabis intellectual property licensing agreement or manufacturing deal you’d like to keep going because those could be directly affected.)

Specifically, the state’s proposed action would seemingly effectively ban all IP licensee agreements where the licensor (seller) isn’t licensed by the state. That could put a major crimp in existing deals involving:

  • Separate IP-holding companies established by licensed operators to hold and license intellectual property back to the owner;
  • Cannabis companies out-of-state looking to license their existing brand to manufacturers here, but don’t want to directly be involved in the manufacturing process in this state;
  • Third-parties who aren’t licensed by have created some sort of tech to make a certain brand or marijuana product and want to license the rights to that IP to a licensed California marijuana firm.

Why Are Cannabis Industry Intellectual Property Licensing Agreements so Common?

Intellect property licensing agreements …

Cannabis Attorneys: How Outlawing Marijuana Made it More Dangerous

Long-time California cannabis attorneys advocating for cultivation, production, sales and possession have long been fighting fear-mongering and stigma where the plant is concerned. Still, one of the oldest – and frankly more compelling –  arguments against legalizing the drug is that marijuana has innate chemical properties that induce a powerful psychosis. Of course, for most people, that effect wears off quickly. However, for certain persons with genetically predisposed conditions, there could be a higher risk of acute, long-term psychosis.California marijuana lawyers

Furthermore, frequent use of more potent pot strains heightens the danger for these individuals.

Sounds scary, right? Certainly, it’s something that businesses in the marijuana trade would want to be aware, as it creates the potential for a civil product liability lawsuit. With popular support of legal cannabis only swelling, it’s not clear a small percentage risk will make a huge dent in sales, but given the gravity of the alleged condition, it’s worth exploring. But before anyone gets too paranoid, marijuana attorneys in L.A. urge a bit closer look. What you don’t see at first glance is:

No. 1. It was marijuana prohibition that pushed the plant to contain higher concentrations of Tetrahydrocannabidinol (THC), the chemical that gets you high.

No. 2. The regulation of marijuana, which includes caps on potency and lowers the risk of criminal penalties for selling or possessing larger quantities means it should not (and does not need to be) so potent. Newer strains sold in dispensaries might be slightly “weaker” than what you’re used to on the street, but …

California Cannabis Delivery Business Attorneys Note Services in Cops’ Crosshairs

California cannabis delivery business attorneys encourage employers, employees and independent contractors of such services consult with a dedicated law firm to avoid criminal sanction. Yes, recreational marijuana is legal, but cultivation, sales and distribution are heavily regulated. Because the drug remains unlawful at the federal level, there is no guarantee of protection once you’re on state and local government’s bad side California marijuana delivery businesses in California and associates are increasingly finding themselves targets of regulatory crackdowns. San Diego in particular has been aggressive in its approach to unlicensed cannabis couriers, particularly those lacking approval from both local and state oversight authorities.California marijuana delivery service lawyer

Recently, city police arrested a 28-year-old cannabis delivery company employer and his employee on illegal drug charges after investigators allegedly discovered 50 pounds of high-concentration edibles and buds, plus $3,500 in cash. Business logs and other records were also seized as evidence in the criminal case. Police cited and released the employee while booking the owner (also charged with child endangerment for the fact two young children lived in the home out of which the allegedly illicit marijuana delivery firm operated).

Although marijuana grown, processed, dispensed or possessed for personal recreational use by adults isn’t unlawful in California as of the beginning of this year, companies involved still must be licensed. Cannabis delivery business attorneys in Los Angeles and throughout Southern California can advise entrepreneurs of the extensive rules and ordinances you can’t overlook if you’re hoping to launch a cannabis delivery service. Marijuana delivery services run out of personal vehicles, garages, …

Los Angeles Marijuana Lawyers: Shops are Legal, But Business Complicated

The Los Angeles marijuana lawyers at The Cannabis Law Firm have seen the cannabis community in this city and county through the legal travails of the last 20 years – from outright criminalization to quasi-legalization for medicinal use (amid constant fear of government raids) to now recreational legalization recognized by state law. Federal legalization of some form likely isn’t far off. But while Los Angeles is considered the largest and perhaps most important marijuana market in the world (several million consumers, tens of thousands of workers and billions of dollars annually generated just within these borders), navigating its regulatory guidelines is no easy feat.Los Angeles marijuana lawyers

Having an experienced Los Angeles marijuana attorney who understands not just the new law and local regulations but the complexity of this city’s history with the drug is imperative if you want to establish a successful business.

Technically, there are 169 licensed marijuana shops in the city of L.A. In reality, the L.A. City Controller estimates there are probably closer to 1,700 in operation. These operations may fly under the radar, but they’re taking a big risk. If there is one thing we’ve learned in our years of practicing California marijuana law, it’s that nothing is certain. However, your best hope is a cannabis law firm dedicated to helping you navigate the road map to success.

Los Angeles Marijuana Lawyers and the Regulatory Business Maze

Recently, online journalism outlet Curbed published an excellent, in-depth piece detailing the legal quicksand to which so many marijuana businesses in the city have fallen …

California Marijuana Lawyers Watch Local Elections for New Regulations

The statewide legalization of marijuana for adult recreational use as of January 1st thanks to Prop. 64 wasn’t the end of California’s cannabis conversation. Far from it. Long-time California marijuana lawyers, businesses and policymakers are paying close attention to this November election, particularly in several local conservative strongholds set to decide whether to commercial cannabis should be given the green light to set up shop in their communities. Because while the Control, regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act of 2016 gave the statewide blessing, it didn’t automatically open the floodgates. Local counties, cities and towns were given the option whether to allow the cannabis industry to operate inside their own borders.Los Angeles marijuana business lawyer

Many leaders saw the passage of Prop. 64 as a major hurdle clearance to legitimizing a promising, lucrative market. While most have let go of the long-debunked reefer madness hysteria of the past, the stigma still remains for some. As marijuana lawyers, we can’t wholly discount all of their concerns, though most have been met with reasonable regulatory response (though some argue certain restrictions go too far). One of the biggest compromises was to allow local control. California marijuana business lawyers and economic experts mostly concur that communities outright refusing cannabis industry access are likely to be at an economic disadvantage, though the extent isn’t yet clear.

Some examples of the dozens of cities set to weigh the future of local cannabis commerce via ballot measures Nov. 6 are rural areas like El Dorado County east of Sacramento and Hemet, a …

California Marijuana Business Lawyers See Cultivation Take Root on Central Coast

Situated right between the two biggest cannabis consumer hubs of Los Angeles and San Francisco, the Central Coast of California is poised to become potentially one of the core producers of the plant statewide (or nationally, though interstate sales are barred). This fertile region has long been ripe with vineyards, renowned for producing some of the country’s best wine. Orange County marijuana business lawyers understand that as cannabis cultivators have been cropping up in the spaces between, many farmers are beginning to see it not so much as competition but as a chance to reinvigorate the agricultural traditions that have lagged in recent decades. From Santa Barbara County to Monterey, more marijuana farmers have been licensed in the last year than anywhere else in the nation. Still, this promise is tempered by concerns that explosive unchecked growth could lead to serious problems.California marijuana business attorney

To be sure, the Emerald Triangle region of Northern California (comprised of Trinity, Mendocino and Humboldt Counties) grows the most marijuana by volume, hence the nod to greenery in its new moniker. However, if the pace of cannabis farming keeps up at the current clip, the Central Coast could soon surpass the northern neighbor region. And the region has a unique advantage over the Emerald Coast: No deep roots in the gray or black market.

Our Orange County marijuana business lawyers have been at the forefront of this industry, which has ballooned to an estimated $4 billion-a-year, and climbing. It’s been beneficial to the local tax base and also presents a new …

L.A. Marijuana Attorneys: AB 1793 Allows Cannabis Conviction Expunging

When California voters approved legalized marijuana for recreational purposes, one of the most important impacts of that was the fact that criminal prosecutions for many cannabis crimes would no longer be an issue. But that didn’t necessarily help the hundreds of thousands with the stain of a criminal offense on their record. Orange County marijuana lawyers understand Assembly Bill 1793 should help address this. However, the impact won’t necessarily be immediate, and those with criminal records due to marijuana may still want to seek the advice of attorney for purposes of expediency and fairness.Orange County marijuana lawyer

Approved by the majority in the California legislature and the governor on Sept. 30, the law (which creates creates Section 11361.9 to the California Health and Safety Code) is in direct response to the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act, and requires the Department of Justice by July 2019 to review state records and identify those prior convictions that may possibly be eligible for recall, dismissal of sentence, dismissal, sealing or redesignation under the new law. The state Justice Department will then be required to notify prosecutors of all cases in their jurisdiction that meet this requirement. Then prosecutors must, by July 2020, review all those cases to ascertain whether they wish to challenge the DOJ’s recommendation. If there is no challenge, the bill requires the department to modify the criminal history information in its database in accordance with the bill within 30 days (by July 31, 2020), and to update the post on its website. The …

Report: Federal Marijuana Arrest Data Overstates Problem by 70 Percent

Since marijuana became lawful in California for medicinal purposes, small-scale possession has been largely decriminalized in most local communities. This is especially true now that marijuana has legalized recreational use of the drug as of this year with Prop. 64. However, cannabis possession remains unlawful as far as federal law is concerned and California’s new law doesn’t legalize every cannabis crime. As Orange County marijuana criminal defense attorneys know, reported arrests are still falling fast. The Orange County Register indicated that from 2016 to 2017, those in California facing jail or prison, serious fines and permanent criminal records dropped by nearly 8,000, according to information from the California Attorney General’s Office. However, a recent report printed by the Philadelphia Inquirer (republished by PoliceOne.com), marijuana arrests may be inflated in Federal Bureau of Investigation statistics. Orange County marijuana criminal defense attorneys

Let’s note firstly that Pennsylvania legalized medicinal marijuana in April 2016, and the drug is only available for those suffering from certain medical conditions. Unlike California, and numerous other states, it is not available for recreational sale, possession or use. Even with medicinal use being legal, the Philadelphia area has reported that marijuana arrests in the area have markedly increased in recent years. And yet, the spike being reported by the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program. The analysis reveals marijuana arrests as reflected in federal data may be inflated by as much as 70 percent.

Why the disparity? As our Orange County marijuana criminal defense attorneys understand it, it’s a result of local police agencies reporting every single situation …

California Marijuana Banking Attorneys: Navigating the Risks

California marijuana lawyers have long known that one of the greatest risks when it comes to managing marijuana money is the potential to be accused of laundering it, given that it’s still illegal under federal law. Even as an increasing number of states have made the drug lawful to varying degrees, many financial institutions remain frigid about such partnerships. Los Angeles marijuana banking lawyer

There are ways to smartly navigate your finances, and the experienced legal team at the Cannabis Law Group in Los Angeles can help you establish the right plan.

Recently in Oklahoma, a top banking regulator informed lawmakers there that banking with marijuana now is more riskier than it’s ever been, despite the fact that marijuana is now legal to some degree in 30 states and available for recreational use in nine of them. The problem remains the federal government’s classification of marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance – placing it in a category that stipulates extreme danger of addiction and no medicinal purpose.

Oklahoma media reported the banker told state lawmakers establishing marijuana policy that until Congress acts to initiate clear laws that either outright legalize it or empower the states to take on regulation themselves, financial institutions are going to be extremely wary of extending partnerships to those within the new medical marijuana industry there. 

Banking institutions recognize that the U.S. government’s current classifications imposes a wide range of restrictions on the drug, which include limitations on ways businesses regulated by the state can transfer money and avoid penalty under federal drug-trafficking statutes.…

AP: California Cannabis Safety Testing Rate Poor

Almost 1 in 5 California marijuana products have failed tests for purity and potency by the state’s Bureau of Cannabis Control since the agency began mandating checks at the beginning of July. The Associated Press reported that some cannabis farmers and distributors are blaming the failure rate not on product quality but rather on standards that are unrealistic and aren’t aimed to protect the public. Technical glitches haven’t helped.marijuana lawyer

Cannabis-infused cookies, tinctures and candies have been especially hit hard, with approximately one-third of its product removed from store shelves.

Other problems revealed (albeit on a smaller scale) by state-licensed testing firms are finding too-high levels of solvents, pesticides and bacteria, including salmonella and E. coli.

Within just eight weeks of testing, some 2,000 samples failed out of more than 11,000 Our L.A. marijuana product attorneys understand that in some of those instances, the product had to be destroyed, but a lot of the problems arose from issues with labeling, which are able to be fixed. Just for example, if a label on a container indicates a product has a potency level different than what’s on the label, the product can simply be relabeled and then move to market.

The state has argued that the stringent testing is accomplishing its intended purpose – identifying marijuana products like munchies, concentrates and buds that will be in some way not safe for smoking or eating.

These mandated state testing is new, and a spokesman for the bureau said some bumps along the way were anticipated and it …

Cannabis Oil for Cancer Spurs Air Force’s Firing of Vietnam Vet

The Navy Times is reporting a 77-year-old Vietnam War veteran who has spent the last 22 years in the U.S. Air Force was terminated from his position as the dean of academics within the Air Force Special Operations School after superiors learned he was using cannabis oil to treat prostate cancer.marijuana employment attorney

Mind you: This was non-psychoactive CBD oil, an extract that does not make you high.

As long-time Orange County marijuana lawyers, we have run into more than our fair share of employment-related issues. In fact, our clients trust us specifically because California cannabis employment law is a primary area of our legal focus. That means if you feel you have been wrongly terminated for a cannabis-related issue, we can advise you during a free initial consultation whether we feel you have a valid claim that deserves to be pursued. 

Cases against the U.S. government, of course, are going to be quite tricky because the federal government considers marijuana to be a Schedule I Controlled Substance, unlawful under any circumstances – even for someone with a lifetime service, suffering from cancer and three years shy of being an octogenarian.

He’d been dismissed from Hurlburt Field in Florida, where he had been serving as a dean for nearly the last decade. The reason cited for his termination was use of CBD as a Schedule I narcotic. He appealed that decision, but it was ultimately upheld by the Special Operations Training Group commander, who indicated the termination would be a permanent mark on his retired …

Facebook Lifts Marijuana Business Pages Ban

Facebook is ending its block on searches for marijuana and related products, according to MarketWatch. The change comes just ahead of Canada’s legalization of the drug. Searches related to the drug had been disallowed by the company for many months, according to the social media platform, because people had been using it to sell marijuana illegally online, which was a violation of its policies. cannabis attorney L.A.

This could be an important change as promotion of marijuana on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest can be a main means by which to reach key demographics.

One of the main focuses of our L.A. marijuana business lawyers is ensuring our clients are abiding state regulation on marijuana advertising. Running afoul of state marijuana ad rules can result in huge fines. These rules are spelled out in Business and Professions Code (BPC), Division 10, Chapter 15 (26150-26156), which are fairly stringent. 

Facebook Restrictions on Marijuana Page Searches

For many years, Facebook ads advertising marijuana and related products wasn’t allowed, even after legalization began sweeping the country and cannabis became a billion-dollar industry. Now, Facebook members globally will be able to find marijuana-related pages under the firm’s gray and blue verification symbols using search terms like “cannabis.”

A spokeswoman for Facebook told MarketWach that internal systems had tailored results so that any efforts to perpetuate illicit sales of the drug would be reduced, while marijuana company pages whose authenticity had been verified would be included in the search results.

This is a big move considering …

Marijuana Reclassification: Feds Seek Public Comment for WHO Report

Should the World Health Organization recommend governments reclassify marijuana from its current designation as a dangerous, addictive Schedule I controlled substance, incapable of providing any medicinal relief to anyone? In the US., seeing as 30 states plus Washington D.C. now have some legalized form of it, it certainly seems about time. t’s about time to have the public weigh in.marijuana policy

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a release soliciting public comment regarding the potential or actual abuse, medicinal uses, trafficking dangers and impact of scheduling changes on its availability for medical use of marijuana (as well as a number of other substances that are currently being reviewed internationally) for information to put in its won review to the WHO.

Why Rescheduling Marijuana Matters

L.A. marijuana attorneys recognize most of the legal challenges that the cannabis industry confronts – from banking to investment to insurance to property disputes – so much of it comes down to the fact that pot is illegal under U.S. federal law – plus international law, per global drug policy agreements. It is in the most restrictive category of scheduling, meaning even research is supposed to be severely restricted. Technically, countries signed on to the global drug treaties aren’t supposed to turn around and legalize the drugs on that list, but that didn’t stop Canada or Uruguay.

Comments gleaned from the public will be weighed by U.S. policy officials with the FDA in preparing comment to submit to the WHO, which intends to use this recommendation to decide whether …

Marijuana Reclassification: Feds Seek Public Comment for WHO Report

Should the World Health Organization recommend governments reclassify marijuana from its current designation as a dangerous, addictive Schedule I controlled substance, incapable of providing any medicinal relief to anyone? In the US., seeing as 30 states plus Washington D.C. now have some legalized form of it, it certainly seems about time. t’s about time to have the public weigh in.marijuana policy

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a release soliciting public comment regarding the potential or actual abuse, medicinal uses, trafficking dangers and impact of scheduling changes on its availability for medical use of marijuana (as well as a number of other substances that are currently being reviewed internationally) for information to put in its won review to the WHO.

Why Rescheduling Marijuana Matters

L.A. marijuana attorneys recognize most of the legal challenges that the cannabis industry confronts – from banking to investment to insurance to property disputes – so much of it comes down to the fact that pot is illegal under U.S. federal law – plus international law, per global drug policy agreements. It is in the most restrictive category of scheduling, meaning even research is supposed to be severely restricted. Technically, countries signed on to the global drug treaties aren’t supposed to turn around and legalize the drugs on that list, but that didn’t stop Canada or Uruguay.

Comments gleaned from the public will be weighed by U.S. policy officials with the FDA in preparing comment to submit to the WHO, which intends to use this recommendation to decide whether …

California Cannabis Growers Grapple with Regulation

Times have been tough for California cannabis growers, particularly in the northern region of the state. A recent report from The Cannabis Business Times reveals that since the regulated recreational marijuana market opened at the start of 2018, the amount of lawful, quality sinsemilla (flowers absent the seeds) has plummeted. In some regions, it’s almost completely dry.marijuana grower attorney

It begs the question: How is it possible that the No. 1 marijuana producer in the world suddenly be out of cannabis flowers?

As our Orange County marijuana business lawyers can explain, there are a number of natural and policy forces at play – namely the way the cannabis is grown, the damage caused by rampant wildfires and the introduction of stringent rules and regulations – including quality and purity testing protocols.

It is imperative for cannabis cultivators – long-standing and newly-minted – to invest in assistance from an experienced marijuana lawyer. The Cannabis Law Group, Medical and Adult Use Marijuana Lawyers, recognize that the maze of bureaucratic requirements can seem onerous and impossible. A knowledgeable legal team on your side can help break it all down – your duties step-by-step – and ensure your operations doesn’t get dinged with hefty fines or paralyzing crop losses due to failure to meet state guidelines.

Cannabis Growers, New and Old, Face Regulatory Jungle

Following a six-month grace period, all marijuana flowers harvested for public consumption must meet the new rules and regulations, including stringent testing of plants, beginning July 1st. During the grace period, the state allowed dispensaries to …

Danger of ‘De Facto” Cannabis Legalization for California Neighbors

There is a huge push to legalize cannabis across the country, where 30 states plus Washington, D.C. have some form of lawful marijuana, nine allowing for recreational use. However, some politicians and advocacy groups still staunchly opposed fear they will suffer “de facto” legalization of marijuana in their states if all or most surrounding states have passed laws allowing it.marijuana lawyer blog

Of course, with the majority of states now allowing marijuana (California being the first with medical marijuana legalization in 1996), this is not an invalid concern – nor a new one. It’s true there is conflict when bordering states have different marijuana laws. Issues arise when people travel – for work or school or leisure – and what is perfectly legal in one state is criminalized in the next.

The biggest problem is that marijuana is forbidden under federal law, still considered a Schedule I narcotic, highly addictive and with no legitimate medicinal purpose. Of course, that’s laughable in reality, but U.S. drug policy hasn’t historically been closely aligned with medicine or science or smart public policy. And yet, it has lower schedule classifications for opioids and amphetamines, which are unequivocally more addictive and dangerous. 

Meanwhile, states that outlaw the drug completely or have extremely strict medicinal marijuana laws worry they’ll soon have no other choice but to follow suit. For marijuana advocates though, the question is, “Why wouldn’t you want laws that make the most sense for the people you serve?”

The legal marijuana market thrives in places like California, Colorado and Nevada, …

Cannabis in Your Car – California Vehicle Code

When recreational marijuana was legalized in California in January after the passage of Proposition 64, The Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act, a mountain of regulations was rolled out right along with it. This included provisions to state criminal and traffic code that L.A. marijuana criminal defense attorneys recognize anyone who uses the drug and drives.marijuana lawyer

If you’re going to purchase, use or possess legal marijuana in Los Angeles, it’s a good idea to get educated on the provisions of state law that specifically pertain to marijuana DUI and possession of marijuana in a vehicle. And if you run afoul of the law for any reason, your first phone call should be to a long-time Southern California criminal defense attorney committed to bolstering the rights of marijuana users, retailers and growers. 

California Vehicle Code 23222(b) VC Driving in Possession of Marijuana

California law now allows individuals to possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana or 8 grams of concentrated cannabis (also known as hashish) so long as they are over the age of 21. However, as our Los Angeles marijuana DUI defense attorneys can explain, there are some stringent rules for both possession of marijuana in a vehicle and driving under the influence of marijuana.

is the provision of state law that makes it illegal drive OR ride with marijuana that is either not in a container or in a container wherein the seal is broken. Violation of this provision can be penalized by a maximum fine of up to …

California Growers Seek Champagne of Cannabis Title

Would cannabis by any other name be quite as sweet? Well… yeah, if the folks at Mendocino Appellations Project  (MAP) are correct. California marijuana grower attorneys recognize that such branding could help otherwise struggling marijuana cultivation operations in the state seize their stake. California marijuana grower attorney

Think about champagne. Yes, it is an alcoholic drink. It’s also a grape-growing region in France. If you want to call a liquid beverage “champagne,” law requires that you must grow it in certain parts of France and only in accordance with very specific guidelines that cover everything from planting to pressing to packaging. That’s what allows sellers to charge top dollar for it.

So what does that mean for marijuana growers in California? Many were among the first in the U.S. to practice and perfect careful cultivation techniques when the drug first became legal for medicinal purposes. And unfortunately, while legalizing bud has been boom for consumers, it’s been a bust for growers. It has meant a near-crushing amount of oversight and safety testing. A virtual mountain of regulation, cannabis cultivators are finding that the laws meant to protect the consumer and the environment are being largely placed on their shoulders.

Our California marijuana cultivation attorneys know some of these firms have paid more than $120,000 in consults and fees. Although some can scrape by with money saved and the help of investors, it’s estimated some 10,000 marijuana growers in California may be poised to go up in smoke. By some educated guesses, fewer than 5 percent are going to …

Marijuana Business Lawsuits Allege Federal Racketeering

Although a federal judge last month dismissed a racketeering lawsuit last month against numerous marijuana businesses, the plaintiff still has grounds to refile on the basis of a private nuisance claim. This matter in Oregon is noteworthy for our Southern California marijuana business lawyers because it’s one of several that take aim at cannabis industries and companies that are sanctioned by the state using a federal law that was passed for the purpose of tanking organized crime (drug cartels in particular).marijuana business attorney L.A.

The Racketeer Influenced and Corruption Organizations Act, commonly referred to as “RICO,” is a U.S. federal law providing criminal penalties as well as a civil cause of action for acts performed as part of an ongoing criminal organization. It was formed to target the mob.

According to one recent report, these lawsuits are part of a wider strategy nationally to “upend legal weed.” In Oregon, some law firms actually focus exclusively on suing marijuana businesses for racketeering under the RICO statute, 18 U.S.C. Chapter 96. As reported by Willamette Week, a single attorney represented a woman who has sued more than 200 businesses, all that had ever been involved with her neighbor, a single marijuana processing plant that squeezes the THC oil from the flower for use in cannabis-infused candies. That lawsuit alleged that every dispensary and grower that had ever done business with the neighbor conspired to commit crimes that damaged the value of plaintiff’s home. That crime was growing a product deemed illegal by federal law, specifically the Controlled …

Marijuana Business Breakup Heads to Court

As the marijuana industry becomes more mainstream, our L.A. cannabis business lawyers are seeing many of these companies facing down similar legal challenges as other traditional companies. These include employment lawsuits, business partnership disputes, injury and premises liability litigation and more. However, many of these cases are even more complicated by the fact that the industry is so highly regulated at the state and local level, and of course the fact that their primary product is technically illegal under the federal Controlled Substances Act. business attorneys

Recently in Oregon, a marijuana business owner filed a lawsuit to ask his nephew and former business partner to halt harassment after the business relationship went downhill in the wake of major crop losses. According to Oregon Live, he is seeking $700,000 in damages. In a separate lawsuit filed by attorneys for the marijuana business itself, plaintiff alleges the nephew and one-time co-owner, of defamation and trademark infringement. The company alleges defendant’s inability to produce a marketable flower with any degree of consistency cost the company several million dollars, and is seeking $2.6 million in compensation.

Plaintiff alleges that the flowers grown under defendant partner’s care were total losses in terms of a shelf-worthy flower, and that this was the result of breach of contract on his part. The company owns and operates a production facility on more than 80 acres in Central Oregon, as well as a retail store in a downtown area. The company seeks to grow with retail locations in three other cities, including Portland, where it …

Budding Minority-Owned California Cannabis Businesses Get a Boost

A new California law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown eases the way for those impacted hardest by the failed “War on Drugs” to launch a budding marijuana business. Senate Bill 1294 aims to counteract the disproportionate impact of the misguided drug ware on minority communities, allowing local jurisdictions in California to apply for a grant from the state’s Bureau of Cannabis Control to aid entrepreneurs who are also minorities in a number of ways, including providing financial support via waiver of license fees, providing technical assistance and more (with $10 million allocated to provide this support). cannabis business

The new law, supporters said, will directly go to helping those who have been more profoundly impacted by the criminalization of marijuana.

The California Cannabis Equity Act was sponsored by the Drug Policy Alliance, noting that cities that have local marijuana equity programs (Los Angeles, Oakland, San Francisco and Sacramento) will have access to the grant funds. Some opponents of this law argued prior to passage that giving marijuana growers a license and access to grants despite a prior marijuana conviction, something even some proponents of legal marijuana argue harms legitimate businesses because some would-be cannabis business owners got their prior convictions growing marijuana unlawfully on land that wasn’t designated for it, thereby harming the environment.

But supporters, like Sen. Steven Bradford (the man who wrote it) paints this as the first “social equity cannabis law” in the U.S. Funding from the grants may also go toward business loans, capital improvements and regulatory compliance assistance. Some of these …

New L.A. Bud Businesses Can’t Ignore Legal Snares

A marijuana business expo is now in its fifth year in L.A., with NBC-4 defining it as an event for cannabis growers, entrepreneurs, investors, doctors and users to gather, network and collaborate. As California is poised to become one of the biggest marijuana markets on earth, thanks to its recent legalization of adult recreational use of the drug. The expo is held until the end of the month, with booths making available a variety of businesses, services and products. Some keynote speakers have been identified as industry experts and trailblazers. marijuana lawyer

But as the market grows, our L.A. marijuana business attorneys cannot stress enough how important it is that whatever you niche, you need an attorney to help you navigate through the complex process of state law and local regulation. Failure to do so can end up costing you a substantial sum in the long run.

Although it seems everyone is finding a niche in the cannabis market, there are some main umbrellas under which most of these operations fall:

  • Cultivation
  • Infused products
  • Retail sales

Grow operations tend to be heavily regulated, require large upfront investment and horticultural background. Infused products are produced for recreational users or medical marijuana patients who may prefer edible forms of marijuana, and safety of these products is paramount. Retail service stores are often the priciest and toughest to launch, but can be among the most lucrative.

With any of these, you need to be aware of the existing regulatory environment and potential uncertainties, given the fact that marijuana is …

Cannabis Lawyer: Marijuana Favored Over Booze by Youth Market

The favored recreational indulgence appears to be shifting – from alcohol to marijuana. This is noteworthy because the shift is likely ultimately to be the nail in the coffin for federal marijuana prohibition. The fervent support of the younger generation for the plant – in addition to a growing number of baby boomers relying on its medicinal properties – could mean that day will happen sooner than later.cannabis lawyer

As our marijuana lawyers in Los Angeles see it, cannabis prohibition is a pit from which the federal government will need to dig itself out.

Now, a new survey released from The Tylt (the largest and fastest-growing social polling and opinion platform among the youngest adult cohort), indicates it is likely to be increasingly difficult to hold off on the move for too much longer. Specifically, roughly 85 percent back legalized marijuana, and no longer buy into the lie that total prohibition is necessary to keep America’s youth safe. Most said the “War on Drugs” is a failed one and the “War Against Weed” is one that needs a complete overhaul. 

Another survey last year found millennials are causing beer sales in the U.S. to tank. Younger users get how dangerous alcohol is, while 9 in 10 said they believed marijuana to be safer. In fact, they don’t believe cannabis to be harmful at all. Almost 90 percent said marijuana has therapeutic benefits likely to be beneficial for public health. Millennials also have no problem with athletes using marijuana as an alternative to prescription pain medications …

Wild Wild West of Marijuana Businesses Coming to an End

A major part of the work our legal team is involved with includes helping marijuana businesses establish themselvescannabis business while remaining in compliance with local and state regulations and laws. What happens, though, when a company is found to be in violation of one of those rules? Many businesses are beginning to find out as authorities ramp up efforts to wrangle illegal, unlicensed, and non-compliant marijuana operations in California. Recently more than 500 people were charged with misdemeanors in Los Angeles for their participation in illegal activity at 105 marijuana businesses in the city.

Those charged could face up to six months in jail and a $1,000 in fines for operating marijuana businesses without a license. The crackdown included not only dispensaries, but also extraction labs, cultivation sites, and delivery services, according to Los Angeles Times. Judges have been hearing cases associated with this series of investigations since May, and arraignments will carry into the end of October. So far, 21 have pleaded no contest or guilty and 11 have been dismissed. Other violations included not following security locations or not following rules regarding the business’s location, such as being too close to a school. With the proper future licensing and guidance, some of these businesses could still have a future, but major infractions like location will mean some will have to practically start over from scratch if they hope to continue in the industry.
Many have argued excess regulation, monstrously high taxes, and difficulty acquiring licensing have driven marijuana business owners to operate …

“Think About the Children” Goes Both Ways When It Comes to Marijuana

The issue of children and marijuana protections arose once again in the form of a proposed bill from Californiamedical marijuana Senator Jean Fuller (R-Bakersfield). The senator wanted to get on the books more concrete ramifications for dispensaries who sold marijuana to underage clients. The bill proposed a tiered system in which first offenders would receive a 15-day license suspension, second-time offenders within a three-year period would receive a 25-day suspension, and a third offense in three years would lead to a full license revocation. SB-1451, however, was vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown, who called the bill “not necessary,” according tot a report from High Times. Gov. Brown pointed to the Bureau of Cannabis Control and cited their power to suspend or revoke licenses based on these exact kinds of violations and said he would rather the bureau be able to use their own discretion in determining punishment.

In the numerous discussions surrounding the issue of cannabis laws in California and other states across the country, there has been an extraordinary amount of focus on children. Can they be recommended marijuana by a doctor? What is the punishment for selling to a minor? How can marijuana businesses advertise in a way that would not be seen by or not be appealing to children? How do we make the packaging child safe? How does cannabis affect developing brains and bodies? How far should a business be located from schools? The list goes on and on, and many of these issues can be addressed simply with …

Workplace Deaths Go Down with Access to Medical Marijuana … By a Lot

Recent research out of American University, Colorado State University, and Montana State University delved into a medical marijuanacorrelation between workplace fatalities and the legalization of medical marijuana, and the discoveries could be surprising to many. The data points compiled fly in the face of anti-marijuana rhetoric that has been peddled as “common sense” for decades and show, in fact, a sharp decline in fatal workplace accidents as access to medical marijuana increases. The research is set to be published in The International Journal of Drug Policy, and according to a report from Colorado Springs Independent, the connection the research demonstrated between continuous decreases in fatalities in the workplace and medical marijuana is compelling.

Researchers compiled data from 1992 to 2015, providing a set that included the several years leading up to the passage of the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, which legalized medical marijuana in California, making it the first state to do so. The study followed other states as well and found that deaths from workplace accidents would drop about 34 percent after medical marijuana had been legal in that state for five years. The connection was most notable in the age group of 25- to 44-year-olds, which demonstrated a 19.8 percent reduction.
It was unclear what researchers would uncover going into the study given that there had never been an opportunity to collect this kind of data before. Additionally, it would seem reasonable that introducing a drug into society that had the potential for impairment could lead to an increase …

State Lawmakers: Medical Marijuana Should Get a Pass in Schools

It seems parents and schools are finally giving more thought to children and the ailments that can be treated withmedical marijuana medical marijuana. Delaware News Journal reported an increasing number of parents are turning to cannabis for their children with especially serious or rare conditions. It’s no wonder then that California lawmakers recently passed a bill to allow medical marijuana on school premises.

SB-1127 was introduced by Calif. Sen. Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo) and has passed both houses of the state legislature. Ultimately, the bill would leave it up to school districts and boards of education to decide whether or not to allow medical marijuana on school grounds. While it’s noble to allow school district to have some autonomy, this decision could lead to much confusion and unnecessary distress. Prop 64 allowed cities in California to maintain a ban on sales and cultivation at their own discretion, and it has led to a great deal of Californians not being able to full participate in the cannabis economies they voted to legalize. Similarly, the most vulnerable students and their parents could very well be pigeon-holed by rigid district officials and judgmental peers who can’t understand the complex decisions a parent must make to ensure their child has the best care possible. After all, cannabis generally isn’t recommended by physicians for children except in severe cases.
Parents would still be required to administer the medication as needed, and it cannot be smoked or vaped, nor can it be stored at the school. The new bill, if signed

Free Weed Comes With a Hefty Price Tag

A recent bill out of the California state house would make marijuana compassionate-care programs exempt from themedical cannabis substantial state taxes on the medical cannabis that they supply to patients in need. SB 829 corrects a hole in Proposition 64, which saddled these not-for-profit organizations with taxes. The Compassionate Use Act of 1996 made medical marijuana legal in California, which spurred the birth of compassionate-care programs for patients with serious health issues and financial restraints. According to NORML, these organizations have been able to donate product and function tax-free up until this year when recreational marijuana became legal.

What did recreational legalization have to do with medical marijuana patients and associated care programs? As our marijuana attorneys can explain, after voters approved Proposition 64, government representatives and officials began ironing out how the recreational program would work. It was determined a set of guidelines was needed that could pull together the medical marijuana industry (which had been active for 20 years) with the new recreational cannabis law. That is when MAUCRSA (Medicinal And Adult-Use Cannabis Regulatory Safety Act) was born. What was intended to streamline rules and make things easier for business owners, customers, and law enforcement officials ended up strapping medical marijuana institutions with a significant number of regulations they previously did not have to follow.Among those regulations was a stipulation that cannabis businesses must pay taxes on all marijuana products, which were already collecting a new level of taxes along each step of the supply chain. This rule applied even …

Report: California Recreational Marijuana Stores Lacking

Economics 101 teaches us about supply and demand, but you don’t need a business degree to see that the supply ofmarijuana business lawyers recreational marijuana retailers is way lower than the demand in California. For every 100,000 residents, there is less than one store available that sells adult-use product, according to recent data released by Marijuana Business Daily. Furthermore, most of those stores are crammed into a few select areas, due to the fact that Prop 64 allows local governments to opt out of allowing sales or cultivation, though they are not allowed to ban personal use. To be more precise, there are 482 cities in California, and to date, only 70 of those cities allow retailers to sell recreational marijuana.

Comparatively speaking, this puts California not only behind its own estimates for store fronts and sales figures, but also behind its peers. It’s been nine months since recreational marijuana sales began in the state. At the nine-month mark in Colorado, the state had awarded 242 licenses. Considering the state has a smaller population than California, this put the total at 4.3 stores per 100,000 residents. Now, Colorado has 10 times the amount of stores per capita, while Oregon currently has 15 times more recreational marijuana stores per person.There also is a disparity in shops readily available to each person, an imbalance created by areas like Bakersfield and Fresno. Each is a densely packed city that has banned cannabis sales. The combined 900,000 residents have to travel more than an hour to get access …

Does Your Cannabis Business Have the Right Security?

When starting a cannabis business, there are obvious considerations, such as product, employees, and location. Anmarijuana business equally important, but less discussed, element is security. Considering some security measures are actually built into the regulations for marijuana businesses, this is certainly not something to be taken lightly. Cannabis Business Times recently broke down security recommendations and requirements for marijuana cultivators, and our experienced legal team can expand on these tips and explain the rules other types of businesses must also understand.

It may seem basic, but one of the most important steps the report outlined was assessing risk. You don’t want to be reactive to your security needs, only putting measures in place after a problem presents itself. It’s important to be proactive, and identify all the risk areas, particularly any touchpoints where product could be removed from your facility without your knowledge.

Video surveillance is one of the top methods of security in any type of marijuana business, but there are many aspects that must be taken into consideration before choosing the system that’s right for you. Is the video quality high resolution enough? CA Code of Regulations Div. 42, Ch. 1, Sec. 5044 states that minimum camera resolution must be 1280 x 720 pixels. The ability to identify any person recorded must be clear and certain. Your system cannot be in-house only; it must be accessible through the Internet. State guidelines also very specifically outline camera location protocol. The fixed and permanently mounted cameras need to have a view of 20 feet around …

Candidate Targeted by Bank for Support of Marijuana

It is common knowledge among our marijuana business attorneys and our clients that banks are highly restricted inmarijuana business how they can interact with the cannabis industry. Wells Fargo, however, recently took those restrictions too far when the bank closed the account of a candidate in Florida who made cannabis legalization a tenant of her campaign platform. According to New York Times, Nikki Fried is running for Florida agricultural commissioner and said expansion of the state’s current program is her highest priority.

The candidate runs her campaign finances through Wells Fargo, who questioned her support of marijuana and whether or not she also was planning to take donations from marijuana businesses to fund her campaign. When her campaign workers confirmed she would take such donations, Wells Fargo made an unprecedented move in shutting down her account. Our skilled Los Angeles marijuana business attorneys know it is true under Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812 that the consumption and sales of marijuana in any form or for any purpose is still prohibited in the eyes of the federal government. Therefore, running a marijuana business would still, on paper, be considered illicit drug trafficking. Congress has intervened with the Rohrebacher-Blumenauer Amendment, which has freed cannabis businesses to function under the supervision of individual state laws without the interference of the U.S. Department of Justice, Banks, meanwhile, still largely have their hands tied, unable to allow those businesses to knowingly house money being used to commit a federal crime due to their own federal regulations …

Regional Cannabis Producers Seek Protection for Brands

To assist California cannabis growers establish their regions as brands, the California Department of Food and cannabis businessAgriculture is working on a system of regulations for naming craft cannabis strains. According to a report from Ganjapreneur, this is similar to the way the system of naming works for wines, in which a wine must actually be from the Napa region in order to carry that moniker on its label. CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing, the arm of CDFA that controls marijuana growers, is planning workshops in September to gather feedback and provide more information to cultivators.

The area known as the Emerald Triangle in Northern California has earned its name due to its high rate of cannabis cultivation. In fact, it’s the largest marijuana-producing area in the country. Growers in the region would like to capitalize on their world-renowned status to help give their product recognition and increase its desirability. They pride themselves on creating interesting, high-quality strains and growing in top-notch environments, and they want to make sure that random grow operations from some other region can’t use their regional names on their own labels.
As anyone in business knows, sometimes a remarkable product isn’t enough. When a market is saturated with a great deal of product that all appears to be the same, at least on the surface, branding becomes essential to help certain products stand out. Cannabis businesses are no different. This is especially true when you consider the average cannabis consumer is accustomed to just accepting whatever was available to them. In …

What Marijuana Businesses Need to Know About Recalls

Two recent cannabis product recalls have some marijuana businesses concerned about such scenarios becoming amarijuana business widespread issue, particularly with more stringent testing regulations recently becoming mandatory. According to a report from Marijuana Business Daily, though, several testing labs have said there is little to be concerned about, especially as these regulations continue to balance out and become more integrated.

The testing labs noted first of all that the two instances of recalls, both in late July, were self-imposed by the companies who manufacture the product. Thousands of marijuana products have passed lab tests and have moved along to retailer shelves. The data from these tests is double checked by the Bureau of Cannabis Control to help ensure product that should have failed the tests does not make it into stores. For the most part, companies have been able to keep up with the new regulations, and the recalls were reportedly a precautionary move by those particular businesses. As understanding of all regulations continues to grow stronger, incidents of product testing failures will continue to decline.As our Riverside marijuana business lawyers can explain, new regulations came into play July 1 of this year which enforced more strict rules about childproof packaging, labeling of THC and CBD levels, and testing for pesticides. For the first half of the year, businesses were operating under a grace period allowed by Proposition 64 in which products simply had to disclose that they had not been tested or that levels were unknown. As it stands, the system requires

The Numbers Are In: Marijuana Businesses Still Winning in Colorado

More than four years after recreational marijuana became legal in Colorado, the state is continuing to post bigmarijuana business numbers as a result of the blossoming cannabis economy. According to The Denver Post, Denver’s dispensaries recorded $587 million in sales in 2017, a record high, with sales continuing to rise into 2018. This was an increase of 16 percent over 2016. Sales throughout the state totaled $150.8 billion during the same time period, a 15 percent increase over 2016.

When broken down by recreational and medical marijuana, both the city of Denver and Colorado as a whole actually saw a decrease in medical cannabis sales, but the increase in recreational sales made up for the losses and then some. In Denver, medical sales dropped from $212 million to $206.4 million, while recreational retail sales spiked from $291.5 million to $377.5 million. Statewide, medical sales were $445 million in 2016 and $416.5 million in 2017, while recreational sales jumped from $861.6 million to $1.09 billion. When examined by location, while sales in Denver continue to climb, other regions in the state are starting to take a bigger percentage of the overall pie, which good news for those who live outside the big city.It is of no surprise to our experienced L.A. marijuana business attorneys that medical sales would lose ground to retail sales over time. Some people were using the medical marketplace for years to supplement their interest in marijuana for recreational purposes. Others find the process of obtaining a medical marijuana card and …

$32,500 for Medical Cannabis? Are You High?

The company that produced the first ever cannabis-derived medicine to be approved for use by the U.S. Food & Drug medical cannabisAdministration has revealed to investors the cost of the drug: $32,500 per year. This is reportedly on the low-end of original estimates between $30,000 and $60,000. Epidiolex, made with CBD and used to treat rare forms of childhood epilepsy, is said to be priced competitively with other epilepsy drugs on the market. This, however, is not other epilepsy drugs.

One of the reasons, among many, that marijuana has become so popular for medicinal use is that it is relatively inexpensive compared to other treatments, even without the help of insurance companies to cover the costs. Some markup by pharmaceutical companies is to be expected to cover testing, research, and ensure consistency and purity of the product. The disparity between cost and price in this instance seems specifically designed to prey on desperate families already prepared to pay top dollar to help their children. In fact, the price was set with the consultation of insurance companies, according to a Business Insider report.

Certainly this is not outside the realm of reason in the pharmaceutical industry. Marking up the price of medicine is business as usual. It is dubious, however, that pharmaceutical companies have been lobbying so strongly against marijuana legalization until they figured out how to personally benefit. The final cost of the drug after insurance will be far less, with estimates of less than $200 a month for patients. Many do not have the …

When Will Marijuana Be Legal Nationwide? It Could Be Sooner Than You Think

In late June, the Food & Drug Administration for the first time approved a cannabis-derived drug, and it could marijuana lawchange the landscape of marijuana in the United States, possibly within the next month. Epidiolex contains an active ingredient of CBD found in marijuana, and was approved to treat severe forms of epilepsy in children. 

According to a report from The Philadelphia Inquirer, the CEO of the company responsible for Epidiolex said before the drug can be prescribed, it must be reclassified to be lower than it’s current Schedule I status, Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812. He said he expects this to happen within 90 days of the FDA approval. This means marijuana could very well be reclassified by late September. It doesn’t mean that there will be a total free-for-all on cannabis use, but a lower scheduling will mean that the federal government will finally acknowledge the plant has medicinal benefits, and medical marijuana programs across the country can be released from the grips of the federal ban. 

As our trusted Orange County marijuana attorneys can explain, there are several reasons it has taken federal leaders so long to release their grip on cannabis prohibition. First of all, anti-marijuana propaganda has been deeply ingrained in the American psyche for decades through drug prevention programs and public service campaigns. The campaigns themselves have their own nefarious roots, as marijuana has a history of being used as a tool to target minority groups and political activists. Law enforcement agencies have legitimized their …

Marijuana Businesses Feeling Heat from California Wildfires

Wildfires raging in California are devastating lives and promise to have major effects on marijuana businesses marijuana businessthroughout the state. Many are saying the rampant fires are some of the worst in the state’s history, and are particularly devastating considering it was just last year that 1.3 million acres were annihilated by fires. An article from Rolling Stone is reporting so far there are 16 major fires tearing mostly through Northern California, with more than 14,000 firefighters battling the blazes. Northern California, of course, is a region replete with cannabis farms, making these fires particularly devastating to the state’s recreational marijuana industry, still in its first year.

Two of the blazes, which combined are dubbed the Mendocino Complex Fire, are at the heart of cannabis country. The Mendocino Complex Fire has already been declared the largest in California’s history. The previous record was set just last year, and at that time it was estimated 30 to 40 percent of the cannabis growers in the state were affected by the wildfires. It is unknown how a second round of fires will impact the industry, but it certainly is not positive. Within the last few weeks, More than 283,000 acres have been destroyed, including at least five greenhouses and countless outdoor crops. To the northwest the Carr Fire has taken out more than 173,000 acres, including several buildings belonging to one of the leading growers in the state.The fires come on the heels of stringent regulations under Proposition 64 going into effect July 1. The new …

Taking the High Road: Drivers Paid to Participate in Marijuana DUI Study

University of California-San Diego is conducting a study out of its Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research to bettercannabis DUI understand how marijuana use impairs driving. The study is the largest of its kind and seeks to gather some hard data on levels of cannabis and impacts on common driving scenarios, according to High Times. Participants will be paid for a full-day driving assessment in which they will smoke a joint before completing a variety of simulated driving scenarios. The joints are rolled on site, and each has a varying level of THC concentrations carefully monitored by the researchers.

The study has two aims: to gather data on how different cannabis concentrations affect different drivers and to examine how long the high from THC will continue to affect the driver to the point of impairment, if at all. These answers are so crucial in the on-going efforts to legalize marijuana nationwide. A huge roadblock for many politicians, even the ones who do not fall for weak anti-marijuana propaganda, is the uncertainty about how to regulate marijuana usage on the roads. Methods that commonly are used to test for marijuana can detect it in a person’s system for up to two weeks. Clearly a person would not be too impaired to drive for 14 days after consuming marijuana. Therefore, law enforcement officers must rely on field sobriety tests to determine cannabis-related impairment. Their current tests, however, are largely geared toward alcohol or drugs that create a deep level of impairment. The effects of cannabis are often …

Country of Georgia Makes Marijuana Use Legal; Is U.S. Next?

The country of Georgia has made it legal to consume marijuana, though it is still illegal to cultivate or sell. Georgia is marijuana lawyersnow officially the first former-Soviet Union nation to lift such a ban, according to a report from Newsweek. The change came down from a decision from the country’s constitutional court, which determined punishment for consuming marijuana is only applicable if a third party is at risk. By revoking the right of officials to punish individuals for consumption of marijuana, the court in essence made it legal.

The court did not appear to take a stance one way or another as to whether marijuana was dangerous or not. At the heart of the ruling, in fact, is the idea that it is not up to the law to punish people who are not hurting others. If the only person potentially experiencing harm by the use of cannabis is the user, then the government has no business interfering. The court deemed this to be a restriction of individual freedom. While this ruling still implies that there is harm that one could do to oneself by using marijuana, it does get to the heart of one of the many arguments in favor of legalization: Shouldn’t people be able to make personal decisions so long as they are not harming others?

This is the same thought process behind why we allow people to make bad food choices, even though heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the U.S. …

Federal Employees Deserve to Use Marijuana, Too

A new bill was introduced in the House of Representatives in hopes of easing up burdens on federal employees whomarijuana lawyers work in states where marijuana has been legalized by allowing them to benefit from their state’s laws without fear of losing their job. HR-6589, the Fairness in Federal Drug Testing Under States Laws Act, would protect the employment of anyone working for or applying to work for a local office serving the federal government who is caught using cannabis so long as the person is abiding by proper state laws, according to a report from Washington Times.

The bill was introduced by Reps. Charlie Crist (D-Florida) and Drew Ferguson (R-Georgia) once again proving cannabis is an issue that truly brings people together across the aisle.

In many ways, one would not know that marijuana is prohibited by federal law in the United States. In 30 states and Washington, D.C., cannabis has been legalized for medical use, with about a third of those permitting recreational use. While more than half of the states in the U.S. have legalized some form of marijuana, many Americans still have to make careful decisions about whether or not to consume for the sake of their careers. Even where cannabis is legal, employers are perfectly within their rights to drug test and to hold employees accountable for marijuana found in their systems. This includes employees who have a recommendation from their doctor. It becomes even more complicated when the employer serves the federal government. Federal employers must

Northern and Southern California Join Forces for Cannabis Businesses

Two monoliths of cannabis advocacy have joined forces in California, aiming to protect what many estimate to be thecannabis lawyers world’s largest marijuana market. California Growers Association, based in Northern California, is merging with Southern California Coalition out of Los Angeles to leverage their combined strength when voicing needs of the cannabis industry to political representatives, according to Los Angeles Business Journal. A headquarters location for the far-flung group has not yet been selected.

Anyone who is familiar with the cannabis industry knows there are major cultural differences across the board — from the numerous farmers working the fertile lands of the “Emerald Triangle” in Northern California to posh dispensaries in L.A, and all of the laboratory testers, drivers, and processors in between. Each faction of the industry has different priorities, which has often kept the groups and their interests separate. Many in the state, however, are learning that more can be accomplished when we work together. The new CalGrowers-SoCal Coalition Collaboration is now 1,600 members strong, making the group a force to be reckoned with.There is a lot on the line, of course, for this group, composed of roughly 1,000 growers and about 600 manufacturers, lab workers, delivery drivers, distributors, retailers, and other marijuana industry workers. They are tasked with protecting an industry estimated to be worth $3.7 billion by the end of 2018 and $5.1 billion in 2019, with forecasts only growing from there. One hiccup anywhere along the chain can have vast ripple effects across all areas, making it essential …

Putting Stock in the Future of Cannabis Businesses

A new first for cannabis businesses recently took place, with the first initial public offeringcannabis business on a U.S. stock exchange by a marijuana producer. Ontario, Canada-based cannabis conglomerate Tilray went public on New York NASDAQ recently. The stock price spiked 30 percent in one day proving what we have been saying all along: cannabis is very, very good for business. According to a report from Quartz, investors rated the value of Tilray at time at $2.65 billion.

Tilray grows and processes cannabis to meet pharmaceutical standards. The company has really taken off in the wake of Canada voting to make marijuana legal nationwide, but the company’s products can be found in 10 countries, including a production facility in Portugal. Though located in Ontario, the company has its roots in a private equity firm in Seattle that has been investing in brands connected to the marijuana industry in hopes of positioning businesses to be on the forefront as prohibition is lifted worldwide. Canada is the second country to make adult use legal (Uruguay being the first). The U.S. has 30 states that have legalized at least medical marijuana, though they are still somewhat bound by the federal Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812. Many countries have partial allowances, such as the infamous cannabis cafes in the Netherlands. Despite the best efforts of backward thinking anti-marijuana propagandists, the writing is on the wall for cannabis legalization to continue to grow, and companies like Tilray are primed and ready.

Simply being in the cannabis …

Veterans, Medical Marijuana, and the VA: What You Need to Know

A survey from the Department of Veterans Affairs recently indicated about a millionmedical marijuana veterans are using medical marijuana. This is in spite of the fact that the department does not allow its doctors to recommend marijuana. The department cites Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812 as the reason for this policy, stating they are bound by the federal ban on cannabis being part of a federal agency. The department even shies away from studying the benefits of cannabis, instead focusing their research almost entirely on its problems, according to an article from New York Times.

For veterans who rely on medical treatment through the VA, this can mean they never receive access to medical marijuana. Many veterans have reported cannabis to be an effective treatment for chronic pain and post-traumatic stress disorder – two common issues among those who have fought in wars. It could also mean that veterans will still seek a way to obtain medical marijuana, either by visiting a physician certified to recommend cannabis other than their VA doctor, by purchasing recreational marijuana if they live in a state where it’s legal, or by illicit means. None of these methods are ideal, and this certainly is not the way we should be treating those who have served our country. There are, however, a few things that would be helpful for veterans to know about medical marijuana and the VA.The VA has a list of guidelines to help veterans understand their patient rights and how medical marijuana and VA …

Medical Cannabis a Star Player in ‘Concussion Pill’

New medical research is revealing significant findings in the treatment of concussions thatmedical marijuana involves cannabis. A joint project by the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine,  Toronto’s Scythian Biosciences  Corp., and The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis has led to the development of a “concussion pill,” which combines CBD and an NMDA amino acid anesthetic, according to UPI. Pre-clinical studies on rodents are showing improved cognitive function after traumatic brain injury, more so than either component of the pills does on its own. Trials also showed no adverse effects caused by either component individually nor in combination.

Traumatic brain injuries have made headlines in recent years as more attention has been brought to the dangers of aggressive contact sports, such as football, and the long-term damage caused by concussions. Meanwhile, football players have become some of the strongest advocates for medical marijuana. Cannabis, particularly CBD, has proven to be effective at treating chronic pain caused by sport-related injuries, and does not have the addictive properties of opioids, which are typically prescribed for such injuries. Other players suffer from conditions unrelated to sports, but using medical marijuana has made it possible for them to enjoy activities with fewer limitations. For example, medical marijuana is proving to be a breakthrough treatment for severe seizures, paving the way for people with epilepsy to perform at a competitive level like never before. All of these factors make athletes ideal for receiving the benefits of medical marijuana treatments. Yet continued backward thinking about the drug is holding …

Legalization Changing the Way We Talk to Kids About Marijuana

Now that adults are starting to gain a better understanding of cannabis and itsmarijuana attorneys benefits, many parents and teachers are facing their next challenge: How do I talk to kids about marijuana? California has been tasked with establishing new education programs to effectively prevent children from consuming cannabis, while making them aware of the choices they will have to make as an adult in a post-legalization world. As such, we are seeing the classic “Just Say No” campaigns shift to a new message: “Delay.” According to an article from Brit + Co, the new strategies focus on lifelong health and good decision making.

Marijuana legalization has had major effects on the lives of adults across the country, with 30 states and the District of Columbia allowing for medical marijuana, and about a third of those states permitting recreational use. Many of the results of this legalization have been expected, including relief for debilitating medical conditions, such as chronic pain, epilepsy, and PTSD. Cannabis also has become an alternative to alcohol in social situations, without the same negative long-term health effects as alcohol. Also expected has been the boost for government coffers with an influx of marijuana tax revenue. The way legalization would come to effect the way we educate children was a bit unexpected. It makes a lot of sense, though, considering the way marijuana functions in our lives is entirely different than it was even 10 years ago.As our Riverside marijuana attorneys can explain, the “War on Drugs” shaped the way …

Riverside City Council Vaporizes Hope of Marijuana Businesses

Riverside City Council has made its temporary moratorium on marijuana businesses officialmarijuana business with a recent 4-3 vote that put a nail in the coffin for residents hoping to one day be able to legally purchase cannabis in their city. According to The Press-Enterprise, council’s decision effectively bans dispensaries, commercial cultivation, and any outdoor grow sites. Medical marijuana dispensaries were already banned by the city in 2007, and an intensive law enforcement strategy has kept illegal dispensaries at bay. Cannabis testing will, however, be permitted.

The tight vote is illustrative of how divided the city is over the issue. Riverside County was one that supported Proposition 64 by about 42,000 votes. Yet the county has banned cultivation, manufacturing, and retail, with individual cities also enforcing their own similar bans. When residents vote one way and their representatives vote in the opposite manner, it truly flies in the face of the will of the people. Try as they might, the city and county governments do not have the power to ban everything, though, no matter how many scare tactics they use to justify their agenda.
Our Riverside marijuana business attorneys are familiar with all local, state, and federal laws regarding cannabis. As such, we can explain that Riverside is only permitted to ban certain marijuana activities under state law. Prop 64 stills allows adults 21 years and older to cultivate up to six plants indoors in a locked area of a private residence. They can process, possess, transport, or even give away limited quantities of …

Marijuana Arrests Still Disproportionate Toward Minorities

One of the benefits of expanding marijuana legalization across the country is that it has afforded an opportunity to correct themarijuana criminal defense disparity in marijuana arrests along race and socio-economic lines. These disparities have negatively impacted black people, Hispanics, and other oppressed groups. The efforts, however, are not producing immediately successful results. A report from New Frontier Data is showing that even now black and Hispanic suspects are arrested at nine times the rate of suspects who are white, despite the fact that data shows the three subgroups sell cannabis at similar rates.

According to the data, from 1997 to 2016, marijuana arrests made up more than 40 percent of drug-related arrests, totaling 15.7 million. Arrests overall from cannabis-related offenses have declined slightly in recent years, down from their height in 2007. This is likely reflective of states expanding marijuana legalization, though the numbers are not significantly lower than the overall average since 1997. For example, arrests for possession hit a low in 2015 of 575,000, but went up again in 2016 to 588,000, neither of which is much lower than 599,000 way back in 1998. Considering 30 states now allow provisions for medical marijuana and nine, plus Washington, D.C., have recreational laws on the books, these numbers should be improving more drastically over the 20-year-old stats. The data sets delved more deeply into what these arrests meant specifically for black and Hispanic people. A look at New York City is revealing that even the best intentions cannot overcome racial profiling and decades of anti-marijuana …

DOJ Declares Canadian Border Battleground for Cannabis

The hysteria regarding marijuana laws and the heightened attention to border security have cannabis business lawyerscombined to reach a new fever pitch, with border patrol reportedly enforcing wildly audacious rules and ruining lives in the process. U.S. border guards have allegedly started turning away Canadian citizens entering the U.S. if it is revealed that they work in the cannabis industry, regardless of whether or not they are in compliance with Canada’s laws or even if their business deals directly with the drug or not, according to The Vancouver Star. Involvement in the cannabis industry means you are profiting from illicit drug trading, in the eyes of U.S. border patrol, an offense that can get you banned from entering the U.S. for life. Once you’re on the list, you never fall off, and admittance into the country would require the help of an immigration attorney and special temporary waivers. Even admitting to ever using cannabis has reportedly led to Canadians being turned away at the border.

Americans, too, are facing problems at the border. Some are crossing into Canada to take advantage of their legalized medical marijuana and will soon be flocking there to experience federally legalized recreational marijuana, beginning Oct. 17. If they attempt to bring any marijuana with them back into the U.S., however, they could be facing charges for possession or drug smuggling along with fines and/or jail time.

As our cannabis criminal defense attorneys in Los Angeles can explain, many are confused by the way the current marijuana laws work. If they …

Misinformation About Medical Marijuana Not Helping Anyone

Extremism breeds extremism, a concept seen pretty clearly in the marijuana industry. In amedical marijuana country where, despite mounting evidence, the federal government is stubbornly standing by marijuana’s classification as a Schedule I narcotic, it’s discouraging to see facts seemingly ignored. It’s no wonder, then, people would take the opposite extreme stance to combat. A report from Los Angeles Times delves into the phenomenon of pro-marijuana hyperbole in the face of anti-cannabis hysteria.

Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812, deems that marijuana has no medical benefits, is addictive, and would be harmful to use even under a doctor’s supervision. Thirty states and Washington, D.C., disagree with this assessment and have passed medical marijuana laws as such. Those states laws, however, can only go so far to usurp the authority of the federal government. As such, certified doctors in those states can only dole out medical cannabis recommendations, rather than a full-fledged prescription. They can suggest certain forms of consumption for the ailments of the particular patient, such a lotions or edibles, but the patient is on their own for the most part once they reach the dispensary. Dispensary owners, for their part, have done a tremendous job learning about the different products they carry. They gather information from their shoppers about which products have had the most effective results for what disorders and diseases and they try to share this anecdotal knowledge with other patients. This strategy is hardly the exact science many patients with really dire diagnoses need.

This has bred a grassroots …