Legal Marijuana Lounges On the Rise in CA

Long before anyone even thought about the possibility of legalizing marijuana for recreational use, or even medical marijuana in the U.S., cannabis has been legal in Amsterdam. This led many college students to travel to the city and visit the fabled coffee shops where they could not only purchase marijuana, but could sit at the bar and smoke a joint, or “spliff” like a civilized person without the fear of being harassed or arrested by the police.  For this reason, Amsterdam was for decades the world’s leading destination for marijuana tourism.

Caifornia marijuana lawyersWhen legalized recreational use marijuana came to Colorado, other western states, and now California as well, the concept of cannabis tourism became possible in the U.S.  The problem, however, is while it is legal to go to one of these states and purchase marijuana, assuming you are over the legal age of 21, laws prohibiting public consumption of marijuana made anything other  than the use of edibles very impractical. For anyone staying in a hotel, most are non-smoking entirely, and this also includes the use of marijuana products.

As our Los Angeles medical marijuana attorneys know, with very few places a tourist can legally smoke marijuana, it has resulted in a major setback in what could and should be a viable cannabis tourism industry. Those who come to area are still impressed by the large selection of quality products. But without the local equivalent to an Amsterdam coffee shop, the draw is not what it could be.

As discussed in a recent news …

CA Proposed Bill to Lower Marijuana Tax

When Canada legalized the recreational use of marijuana, the government set out to drive all black market cannabis sellers out of business.  They did this not through more rigid enforcement methods, but by making legal marijuana as cheap, if not cheaper, than buying it from a traditional dealer.  This was accomplished by setting the tax rate very low for legal sales of recreational marijuana.

marijuana businessOn the other hand, when California legalized marijuana, the ballot initiative was sold to many as a way for the state to generate billions of dollars in revenue.  While this is certainly true, and a laudable goal, it was accomplished by setting a tax of 15 percent, which is many times higher than the tax rate set in Canada. There is also a separate tax on the cultivation of cannabis set at nine percent, which results in a direct expenses passed on to distributors and consumers as discussed in a recent news article from Forbes. As our Orange County recreational marijuana business attorneys can explain, this amounts to a tax or nearly 30 percent on top of the normal retail sales price of pot, which makes many still likely to buy it from the black market.  As discussed in this article, many of those trying to follow the law, are faced with a difficult task of competing with the black market dealers and also the ever-expanding marijuana grey market.

It is the licensed business people who must keep detailed records, collect sales tax, pay income tax, make sure all …

Colorado Hopes to Bag Residency Requirements for Marijuana Businesses

Despite appalling and misguided federal efforts to hold back marijuana businesses, the industry continues to blaze trails with expanded marijuana laws and opportunities, clearing away for progress and reason to prevail.marijuana business

The latest example comes out of Colorado, where the state is looking to get rid of residency requirements for marijuana businesses. House Bill 18-1011 would allow non-Colorado residents and publicly traded companies own a stake in state-licensed businesses as well as make investments. Right now ownership for non-residents is limited to 15 people. A bi-partisan group of legislators is leading the charge on the bill, which they said will not only attract more investments in the state, but also allow local businesses to be publicly traded, according to The Cannabist.

Officials said Colorado law is causing the state to fall behind roughly a dozen other states that no longer have such limitations. Indeed, California already rid itself of residency restrictions with the creation of Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act in June 2017. The act combined the Adult Use of Marijuana Act and the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act in an effort to consolidate regulations and laws governing medical and recreational marijuana. Many regulations carried over from the two previous acts, but one notable change was the removal of a rule in AUMA to prohibit licenses from being issued to non-California residents until Dec. 31, 2019.

While residency restrictions can help protect small in-state businesses, our experienced Orange County marijuana business lawyers also know they can stifle investments and …

Court Snuffs Out Attempted Extortion of Medical Marijuana Dispensary

Attorneys at Cannabis Law Group are committed to helping marijuana dispensaries achieve medical marijuana dispensary compliance with state and local regulations. We are experienced in civil and criminal cannabis-related cases and fight hard for the rights of our clients. We support the continued expansion of marijuana legalization and hope to see a day soon when businesses are free to operate on a national scale.

Too often, we see hard-working cannabis business owners who may be niave or unclear about the state and local regulations and their obligations. In a recent case in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, a former Congressional aid was recently convicted of taking advantage of a dispensary owner.

Recently Michael Kimbrew, a former Congressional aide, was found guilty of attempted extortion and bribery. He was convicted of taking a $5,000 bribe, which he allegedly elicited from a pot shop that at the time was operating illegally, according to the Associated Press. Prosecutors allege he approached the Compton dispensary in 2015, when it was still illegal to operate such a business in the city. He then allegedly told the owners they would be shut down unless they could work out a deal with him. That deal reportedly included a $5,000 payment to Kimbrew, even though he did not have the connections to get them proper medical marijuana permits that he allegedly claimed he did.

Prosecutors said he went as far as bringing the owners to Compton City Hall, where the representative he worked for had an office. That representative …

Marijuana Businesses Weed Through Hundreds of Candidates at Cannabis Job Fair

Californians have known for decades the benefits of marijuana, especially as a treatment for certain medical ailments. Now the state is reaping themarijuana business benefits of added tax revenue from recreational marijuana businesses pouring into cities that have chosen to legalize marijuana under Proposition 64.

In addition to taxes flooding into communities, so too are jobs, and people are answering the call. Recently in Sacramento, the Cannabis Job Fair had people standing in lines out the door, waiting for up to two hours, according to KCRASacramento, prompting planners to already set their sites on a bigger event next time around.

With such a burgeoning industry, workers of all levels are needed for success. The marijuana industry offers opportunities for those with skills in cultivation, testing, distribution, horticulture, production, kitchen work, sales, management, and more. But they also need people savvy in the typical tent poles of any industry, including finances, accounting, analytical tracking, marketing, and social media. That’s on top of the farmers across the state investing their abilities and resources in the cannabis market. This creates a wealth of possibilities for a diverse cross-section of people across the socioeconomic spectrum.Our experienced marijuana business lawyers in Orange County know events like this are the perfect demonstration that marijuana goes far deeper than the ridiculous stereotypes about lazy people just wanting to get high and be reckless. While opponents keep trying to peddle these misconceptions, hard-working, dedicated, and skilled Californians are stepping up to grow this multi-billion-dollar industry. They understand the profound benefit …

Smaller Cannabis Business Operations Need More Support

Cannabis business owners want to be able to operate in full compliance with California law and function as a legitimatecannabis business business. They are open to paying taxes and following the rules. However, they are facing many barriers to achieving this end goal while operating a successful business – one of the biggest being the law itself.

This message was delivered loud and clear at a recent meeting in Ukiah, Calif., which included government officials and Northern California marijuana industry leaders in the first gathering of its kind, according to The Press Democrat.

The Sonoma County agriculture commissioner used this forum to address the seemingly endless patchwork mix of state and local regulations to which marijuana businesses must adhere and how detrimental they have been to established cultivators who want to operate legally under Proposition 64. Known as the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, Prop 64 went into effect earlier this year and allows adult-use marijuana legal in the state – but only for counties and cities whose leaders chose to adopt the law. Local governments have the right to continue to ban adult-use marijuana and to regulate it as they see fit.

Our experienced Riverside cannabis business attorneys know hyper-local regulations on top of the state regulations have become an onerous obstacle for smaller business owners. As such, the rules inherently favor larger corporations, which have the infrastructure and capital to adapt to the ever-growing list of guidelines and laws. Farmers at the meeting shared anecdotes of mega-operations nabbing licenses in bulk, …

Could Veterinarians Recommend Pot for Pets?

We all know the importance of keeping Sparky away from the pot brownies. But is it possible your pet could receive medical marijuana as a recommendedmedical marijuana treatment from their vet?

A vast majority of rational Americans agree that the use of marijuana as a treatment for medical purposes is a decision that should be made between and doctor and patient. Recent polls show more than 90 percent of respondents favor medical marijuana with a doctor’s recommendation. And California has long been a defender of patient rights by leading the nation in medical marijuana legalization with the Compassionate Use Act of 1996.

So why should the decision be any different when it comes to animals and veterinary professionals?

As it stands, California law does not extend to veterinarians the ability to recommend marijuana as a treatment for animals. But AB-2215, introduced by Assemblymember Ash Kalra (D-27), is looking to change that. The bill would put the power in the hands of the Veterinary Medical Board by calling on them to set the standards for state-licensed veterinarians to discuss marijuana treatment for animal patient clients, and it would also prevent veterinarians from being punished for having such discussions.

That all sounds great, but the bill is receiving criticism from the Veterinary Medical Board for not being broad enough, according to American Veterinarian. The board recently voted 4-2 not to support the bill, citing a primary concern over the word “discuss.” Board members felt this language was too soft, and still didn’t empower vets …

Coach Fouls Out After Rejecting Colorado Student Over State’s Marijuana Laws

Marijuana legalization has been a decades-long battle that is finally paying off, with states all over the country legalizing medical and/or recreational marijuana legalizationcannabis. But in addition to fighting for your rights on the legal front, our experienced lawyers know there is another fight that must be won: the battle of public perception.

Nowhere is that struggle better illustrated than in Texas, where a college baseball coach blew off an athlete interested in attending the school over the issue of marijuana. You might be wondering what the connection is. Did the student fail a drug test? Did he have a criminal record involving marijuana? Had he been penalized by his high school for coming to school under the influence?

All of these would be excellent guesses. But the answer to all three is “no.” According to an email to the athlete, which has since gone viral, it appears the coach deemed the student guilty by association of the entire state of Colorado, according to a report from The Washington Post.

The email claimed the school was not considering students from Colorado because in the past, recruits from the state had difficulty passing the drug test. “We have made a decision not to take a chance on student-athletes from your state. You can thank your liberal politicians,” the message went on to say.

This of course is a gross misrepresentation of the Colorado cannabis laws. Amendment 64 was adopted by the voters of Colorado, not liberal politicians, as part of a ballot initiative in 2012. …

Sacramento Tries to Get Marijuana Delivery Services Back on Track

The road to marijuana legalization is paved with regulations, for better or worse. And it’s a bumpy road that marijuana delivery service businesses have had to learn to navigate.marijuana delivery

Delivery businesses specializing in cannabis have a unique set of rules to follow. They must abide by the laws in the local jurisdiction in which their home base is located. But they also have to take into consideration laws that dictate transport. This has led to a particular set of challenges in Sacramento County, according to the Sacramento Bee.

While adult-use marijuana was legalized in the state Jan. 1, under Proposition 64, each local government was allowed to set its own terms. Under the law, deliveries can only be made between cities that allow it.  This can be a real disadvantage to patients, some who have difficulty leaving their homes, and business owners. And product must be kept in the city where the business has a license.

In Sacramento County, as of now only the city of Sacramento has plans to receive deliveries. The city has not issued any permits yet, but eight delivery companies have registered while the permit program is being established. Meanwhile Sacramento’s pot czar says many businesses are operating without licenses, and he is on a mission to rein them in. A recent tally on a marijuana delivery website showed about 200 delivery businesses in the county.Our experienced marijuana delivery business service attorneys in Los Angeles know it’s difficult establishing a new company with numerous laws and regulations …

Los Angeles Zones Where Cannabis Businesses Can Operate

There are many questions that have been answered with the legalization of recreational marijuana in California.cannabis business

  • What? Proposition 64 was approved by voters and made legal adult-use marijuana.
  • Who? Residents 21 years or older.
  • When? As of Jan. 1, 2018.
  • Where? Now, that’s a trickier matter.

Firstly, the state law did not automatically go into effect everywhere. From county to county, city to city, local governments have been making decisions about whether to maintain a ban on recreational cannabis or to legalize and set up regulations. Some of the big cities, like Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego have permitted recreational sales. Some areas, like Orange County, cultivation is allowed with restrictions, but manufacturing and retail are banned. Los Angeles took a different route, allowing retail but not cultivation or manufacturing. Other counties, like San Bernadino, don’t permit any recreational cannabis activity.

The confusion intensifies when you put a magnifying glass to one of those regions. Take Los Angeles for example, where the city is still ironing out where businesses are allowed to set up shop. Leaders have already agreed that marijuana retailers should not be within 700 feet of schools or public parks, also known as “sensitive use” locations. But the debate is still boiling as to what constitutes a “sensitive use” location, according to a report from KPCC, Southern California Public Radio.

Some council members have looked at areas where families and children congregate and have proposed adding extra restrictions to prevent marijuana businesses from opening nearby. While this in …

Students Who Need Medical Marijuana Deserve Easier Access

To discourage minors from using marijuana, officials have implemented many regulations. But in regards to medical marijuana and the medical marijuanachildren who benefit from it, there comes a question of who is really being protected.

Some children use cannabis oils, tinctures, capsules, creams, or liquids as treatment for medical issues with the recommendation and guidance of a physician. These treatments can offer relief to suffering that might otherwise prohibit the child from normal participation in school activities. However, the treatment itself has become a disruption: currently parents must remove children from school property before administering doctor recommended medical marijuana, according to a report from South San Francisco Patch.

Sen. Jerry Hill (D-Mateo) is hoping to put an end to this absurd practice with the introduction of SB-1127. The bill would allow governing bodies of school systems and charter schools to set their own policies, opening the door to allow medical marijuana use on school grounds for grades kindergarten through 12. It would still, of course, prohibit smoking or vaping, even if it is for medicinal purposes. The drug cannot be administered in a way that would be disruptive to the educational environment or that would expose other students. And storage of medical marijuana would not be permitted on school grounds.

The process would therefore still be a disruption for caregivers, who would need to come to the school to dole out the necessary dosage. Parents would still be required to manage and administer the drug without assistance from a school nurse or administrator. …

Privacy Protections Necessary for Recreational Marijuana Users in California

While many Californians are finally enjoying the freedom to use recreational marijuana, some are questioning how safe their private information is recreational marijuanawhen they make a purchase. When Proposition 64 went into effect Jan. 1, adult-use marijuana became legal in the state, with local governments able to set up their own regulations or bans.  But there are currently loopholes that threaten the privacy of customers.

Assembly Bill 2402 seeks to tighten those loopholes. Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Silicon Valley) introduced the bill, which would prevent cannabis retailers from selling customer information to third parties. It would also protect customer information from employers looking to investigate employee use, according to Capital Public Radio. It mirrors similar rules that are currently in place for medical marijuana users.

Because you must be 21 or older to purchase cannabis in California, dispensaries require a valid ID to prove your age. Though it is not mandatory, some dispensaries will keep a record of the information on file. Some use this information for marketing purposes. Many also keep such records in order to monitor how much someone is purchasing in a day, according to Politifact. This could be necessary if a business needed to prove they are in compliance with state law, which caps individual recreational marijuana sales to one ounce per day.For deliveries, personal information is kept on file as record that the person receiving the delivery is 21 or older. And dispensaries are required under licensing regulations to videotape each transaction.

This bill would tighten up …

It’s High Time California Protected Medical Marijuana Users in the Workplace

Even though medical marijuana has been legal in California for more than 20 years, patients might just now be getting protections in the workplace. Amedical marijuana bill that would prevent employers from discriminating against employees because they use cannabis for medical purposes was recently introduced by Assemblyman Rob Bonta (D-Oakland), according to The Cannifornian.

California was the first to legalize medical marijuana with the passing of the Compassionate Use Act of 1996. Yet it is trailing woefully behind in protecting workers. Currently 11 of the 29 states (plus Washington, D.C.) that have legalized medical cannabis already have laws in place to protect employees who have a physician’s recommendation to use marijuana to treat a condition.

Assembly Bill 2069, if passed, would establish long overdue employee protections by prohibiting employers from firing or not hiring “a qualified patient or person with an identification card” solely on the basis that they use marijuana for medical purposes or for testing positive for cannabis on a drug test.The state failed medical marijuana patients by not including employee protections in the original bill. They failed even further by not doing anything since then. This gap in the legislation has since left patients beholden to employers and political whims.

More than a decade after medical marijuana legalization, the California Supreme Court ruled against an Air Force veteran (and medical marijuana patient) who was fired, citing the lack of employee protections in state law. Legislators tried to overturn the ruling, but were vetoed by the governor, solidifying that …

Recreational Marijuana Gets Sanctuary in Berkeley

While excitement over marijuana legalization continues to rise at the state level, the incoming clouds of the federal government continue to threaten tomarijuana legalization rain on the parade. And while some hope to just wait out the storm, others are taking the matter into their own hands.

Berkeley City Council is putting its city and citizens first by becoming a sanctuary city for adult-use marijuana, according to CNN. The council passed a resolution recently that would prevent local agencies from using city funds to enforce federal marijuana laws. That means if federal agents try to come down on anyone in the city, they can do so within the boundaries of their own authority, but not with the assistance of the city or its employees. No financial assistance. No help from employees. No access to information.

The city is taking it a step further as well by actively fight against any steps by Drug Enforcement Administration to close down recreational marijuana businesses in the city.

Our marijuana legalization attorneys in Orange County are proud to be in a state that has always led the way on cannabis protections. California was the first state to legalize medical marijuana under Compassionate Use Act of 1996. And through Prop 64, it joins a select group of states in blazing a trail for adult-use marijuana across the nation. But shortly after recreational marijuana was legalized in the state Jan. 1, Attorney General Jeff sessions reignited his anti-pot agenda and began rolling back protections, namely the Cole Memo, …

Blockchain Social Network Seeks to Make Online Marijuana Censorship a Thing of the Past

MARIJUANA POLITICS – The News Source For an Informed Citizenry Post by Marijuana Politics

Leading social networks like Facebook have drawn their fair share of criticism over the past couple of years, with allegations of interfering with presidential elections through to poisoning the minds of our youths. But the rampant power of large social media companies goes further than that.

If there’s one thing that anyone who owns a cannabis related social media page on Facebook or Instagram will tell you, it’s that you never know when you just might be banned or censored. Reports constantly surface of legal cannabis businesses having their pages banned overnight with no explanation. Many cannabis based business have had their page closed even more than once, sometimes several times in a single year.

One blockchain based startup believe that the future of social media for cannabis users lies in something completely different. After having the social media page of a popular online community 420Smokers closed on multiple occasions the team behind Smoke Network decided that something needed to be done.

They now claim to be building the world’s first decentralized social network for cannabis users. While this might sound like a mouthful, there are many benefits that the idea of using blockchain brings to the cannabis social media conundrum.

Large centralized companies who control social media may have their own anti-marijuana rhetoric. Worse than that, these large companies can easily be pressured by the federal government, who still views cannabis as a schedule 1 drug, to …

UCSF Says Marijuana Businesses Can Learn from Mistakes of Tobacco

While many politicians and other leaders continue to wring their hands, hemming and hawing ad nauseum over the best way to regulate the growing marijuana businessnumber of marijuana businesses, University of California San Francisco says the answer is right under our noses.

According to a study by the university published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, regulators need look no further than the tobacco industry for inspiration to create best practices for adult-use marijuana. By using what the tobacco industry has learned by trial and error over the years, the marijuana industry can avoid early mistakes and take a proactive approach.

Examples in the study include implementing clear labeling with conspicuous warning labels, avoiding marketing that appeals to minors, and restricting product potency.While our Riverside marijuana business lawyers know there is much to be learned from the tobacco industry, we also know cannabis does not have the same health risks as tobacco, no matter how many officials want to skew the facts. The World Health Organization released a study in 1995 claiming that even with increased use, marijuana would not have the same negative health effects of tobacco or even alcohol, each of which can cause deadly diseases with repeated use. No such findings have been connected to marijuana. And a 1999 study by the National Academy of Sciences showed only 9 percent of marijuana users developed a dependency on the drug versus a whopping 32 percent of tobacco users (even more than heroin users in the study).

Therefore, labeling and marketing akin …

Warning Letters Sent to Unlicensed Cannabis Businesses in California

Sales are booming for cannabis businesses after Prop 64 allowed recreational marijuana to become a legitimate industry in the eyes of the state. However, operations are still heavily regulated, and many new marijuana business owners find the task of abiding this onerous list of laws to be a difficult one. Without the help of a marijuana attorney to advise of potential problem points, businesses could easily find themselves under heavy sanctions – or worse, criminal prosecution.cannabis business

The California Bureau of Cannabis Control recently sent warning letters to several hundred businesses suspected of operating without state marijuana business license, according to Leafly. The letters outline criminal and civil action planned if the businesses refused to either close or become compliant with regulations. Bureau leaders said they are pursing all delivery services and retailers who may not be operating legally.

Some of these businesses slipped into questionable business practice after legalization passed, but as officials ironed out the details of statewide regulation and oversight. In some cases, business owners have been trying to fly under the radar to avoid being taxed (practically out of existence). In many cases, however, these business owners were simply unaware of their obligations or haven’t filed the proper paperwork or gone through all the correct channels. This is where having a marijuana business attorney can be invaluable to protecting your investment.Our Los Angeles cannabis business attorneys know that in cities like Los Angeles and San Diego have taken decisive action. LA Police Department has raided eight businesses without licenses, …

Medical Marijuana Advocates Take Aim at Goliath Department of Justice in Court

In the David versus Goliath of weed, five plaintiffs are taking on the federal government’s archaic stance on cannabis, claiming they have “suffered medical marijuanaharm, and … are continually threatened with additional harm” as a result of marijuana’s Schedule I classification under Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812.

Arguments recently began in U.S. District Court Southern District of New York for the lawsuit filed against Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Department of Justice, U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and its director Chuck Rosenberg, and, to top it off, the United States of America.

Plaintiffs include a military veteran who uses cannabis for post-traumatic stress disorder, a former pro football player with a business that sells hemp-based products, representatives for two young children, each of whom suffer from severe medical issues, and Cannabis Cultural Association, a non-profit organization meant to help minorities benefit from the cannabis industry, according to an article from Associated Press. The lawsuit also outlines that, while not a class action, it would benefit tens of millions of Americans who depend on marijuana’s medical properties.The military veteran, who also operates a program with a goal of ending veteran suicide, said one of the biggest challenges is not being able to travel across state lines with medical marijuana, even if you’re going to a state where it is also legal.

The lawsuit says the Controlled Substance Act has “wrongfully and unconstitutionally criminalized” cannabis. Our experienced Orange County medical marijuana lawyers know that at the heart of this matter is the blatant fact …

Seeking Relief for Those with Marijuana Criminal Records

Prop 64, or the Control, Regulate, and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act, does a lot more than the title might suggest. In addition to legalizing marijuanamarijuana criminal defense in California (and regulating and taxing), it offers a unique opportunity for the state to make reparations of sort to the people and communities who have suffered the most from the destructive “War on Drugs,” which turned out to be more of a slanderous attack on marijuana and an assault on minorities.

According to ACLU, most drug arrests between 2001-2010 were for marijuana, and a whopping 88% of those were for possession. Worse yet, black people were more than 3 times as likely to be arrested for marijuana-related crimes than white people despite having almost equal rates of use.

San Francisco and San Diego are leading the way in the state toward making amends for past marijuana-related crimes. The city’s district attorneys are proactively reviewing cases on the books and expunging misdemeanors that are no longer crimes, giving those who previously have been punished a clean slate. They also are checking for charges that can be reduced to lesser crimes.

But what about the rest of the state?Statewide, those with previous convictions can petition to have their cases reviewed and charges erased or reduced. Many, such as the district attorney’s offices in Sonoma and Mendocino counties, have cited lack of resources as the reason that they don’t review all cases, according to an article from The Press Democrat. 

While our …

Federal Budget Protects State Medical Marijuana Businesses, For Now

One of the beacons of hope for medical marijuana businesses during these uncertain times has been Rohrabacher-Blumenauer, an amendment thatmedical marijuana lawyers blocks the Justice Department’s ability to spend money on prosecuting medical marijuana operations that are compliant with their state’s relevant laws.

However, this amendment is not a permanent structure and is put in peril every time the government shuts down and Congress must pass a spending measure. Given the tumultuous nature of the current budget debates at the federal level, this has already happened multiple times this year. Each time Congress goes for a vote, the medical marijuana community must hold its breath and wait to see if the amendment will be included in the next budget parameters. That’s no way to treat respectable business owners.

So far it has survived each round, but with another vote coming up in March, we’re not in the clear just yet, according to Leafly.

For years Congress has been dancing a political tango that has put millions of Americans in the cross hairs. They want to reap the benefits of support from the majority of Americans who support marijuana legalization. But they don’t want to upset the shrinking population still embroiled in the bunk “War on Drugs.” Others just don’t seem to want to admit they might have been wrong all these years about the proven benefits of cannabis.

So instead of doing the right thing and removing marijuana from the list of Schedule I narcotics under Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812, …

Los Angeles Government Agencies Warned About Cannabis Usage

The more understanding of cannabis changes, the more enforcement of archaic laws stays the same.cannabis legalization

In Los Angeles and other areas in California, government employees are getting warning letters reminding them that they are not allowed to consume marijuana, even while off-duty, saying their employers strict no-drug policies have not changed, even as state laws have evolved into the 21st century, according to NBC Los Angeles.

The warnings were spurred by the passing of Proposition 64, which led to legalization of recreational marijuana in California as of Jan. 1. Los Angeles is one of the cities which has welcomed legalization efforts and cannabis businesses. Meanwhile, it is clear many will not be able to enjoy the same freedoms as their fellow residents.

No one is arguing the merits of such a policy when it comes to consuming anything that might impair a worker while on the clock. But prohibiting marijuana use on one’s own time is as ridiculous as forbidding an employee from enjoying a glass of wine after a long day at work.Our trusted cannabis legalization attorneys in Los Angeles know that many places of employment will continue to hide behind federal classification of marijuana as a Schedule I drug under Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812. That is why it is so important to keep pushing to declassify this beneficial drug, which science has proven time and again has no business being on the same list with drugs such as heroin. However, as things are highly unlikely …

FocusVape Delivers The Best Of Both Dab and Flower with Tourist

MARIJUANA POLITICS – The News Source For an Informed Citizenry Post by Marijuana Politics

In our endless quest to stay up to date with the best products out there, we have decided to ‘focus’ on a handy dual purpose unit from Focusvape, The Tourist.

Immediately upon assembling the parts in the sturdy packaging we see that indeed the Tourist is small enough to travel with although not as small as other similar devices. What sets it apart though is the solidness and quick interchangeability of its core parts to transform it from a dabbing unit to a flower burning unit.

To switch from flower to dab is equally easy as changing the top burners and then the topical switch from Herb to Wax. The base is solid as well because you never want your unit to fall over, unless that was your purpose!

To test out the flower portion, we used some Oregon garden homegrown Girl Scout Cookies grinded in the best grinder we have tried to date – the Zues Bolt 2. The flower was heated up nice enough to really bring out the chocolate notes in the GSC herb.

Cleaning the unit was simple enough, albeit like just about all units produced today for vaping, the enclosed glass makes it just that much more difficult. For situations like this, we used 99% alcohol and some long included cleaners.

If you are looking for a good dual purpose unit for dabbing and flowers, The Tourist makes a sweet travel companion and …

Medical Marijuana Education Critical Under Current Administration

Recently, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded an Obama-era Department of Justice Directive that essentially urged federal prosecutors tomedical marijuana ignore marijuana crimes so along as alleged violators were in compliance with state laws. This step gave states the space to figure out how they wanted to handle recreational and/or medical cannabis laws without interference from the federal government.

Sessions, however, has made it clear he intends to revive marijuana prosecutions based on the drug’s current Schedule I controlled substance designation under the Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812. By rescinding the 2013 order, Sessions has given federal officials the freedom to pursue charges against anyone for these violations – even if they follow state and local laws to the letter. Our marijuana attorneys in L.A. encourage all cannabis business owners in California to seek prompt legal counsel to best protect themselves and their livelihood.

Some don’t see this as an immediate threat, citing the lack of resources to go after so many operations. They also point to a lack of support among citizens to pursue such charges, meaning juries will be more reticent to convict. Others are less optimistic.This is especially true in states with brand new marijuana laws, such as Maryland, which only recently launched a medical marijuana program. When Sessions spoke out a few weeks later, many doctors in the state panicked, according to a Washington Post report. The Maryland State Medical Society even said some doctors who had already registered to offer marijuana to patients withdrew after Sessions’s …

Trump Tramples Israeli Cannabis Exports

MARIJUANA POLITICS – The News Source For an Informed Citizenry Post by Don Fitch

In a troubling move, US President Donald Trump has nixed Israel’s medical cannabis export hopes.

Israel has long been a leader in medical cannabis research and now stands poised to serve a huge export market. Yet this market will remain unserved and global medical cannabis production discouraged, as Prime Minister Netanyahu has caved to pressure from Donald Trump to quash a lucrative and health-promoting trade. As reported by The Jewish Telegraph Agency,

The prime minister made it clear that he did not want Israel to be a pioneer in the export of medical marijuana in order not to anger the U.S. president, according to the report.

While commonly ignoring any American request to stop building settlements on Palestine land, in this case, the Israeli Prime Minister was quick to comply.

Netanyahu told the heads of the ministries he ordered the freeze after receiving a call about the issue of exporting marijuana from Trump, who is against its legalization.

Perhaps the most troubling aspect of this development is Trump’s apparent active opposition to medical cannabis. Of course, Attorney General Jeff Sessions nourishes a great hatred for all things marijuana and the others in Trump’s cabinet are extreme in opposition to cannabis, the President himself has said little about the plant. During his campaign, Trump expressed support for medical marijuana and for the rights of states to choose. His comments about the drug war have been extreme, even

Chula Vista Eyes Marijuana Legalization Ballot Initiative

With the rollout of Proposition 64 on Jan. 1, Californians are beginning to enjoy legal adult-use marijuana. Some cities, though, decided not to legalizemarijuana legalization recreational cannabis, either because residents or leaders voiced opposition or because they wanted to wait to see how it played out in other areas of the state.

Chula Vista is one such city that did not join legalization efforts right away, but is considering a ballot measure this year. This would put the final decision in the hands of the residents of the city.

According to an NBC Los Angeles report, the city is working with a private research firm to survey residents for their feedback and thoughts on whether to legalize and how best to regulate the industry.The survey asks residents about a proposed city tax of up to 15 percent on marijuana businesses’ gross receipts. It also proposes taxing up to $10 per square foot of cannabis operations designated for testing, manufacturing related products, and cultivation. The city estimates this tax structure would bring in about $6 million per year, which would be used for extra law enforcement to monitor cannabis industry activity, youth education and drug prevention programs, and substance abuse programs. Remaining funds would be used to help out Chula Vista overall.

This design is similar to that instituted at the state level. Businesses will be required to comply with both state and local laws and pay taxes to each. Some consider the state and local taxes to be burdensome to businesses and have voiced …

US Attorney Providing Price Support for Oregon Cannabis

MARIJUANA POLITICS – The News Source For an Informed Citizenry Post by Don Fitch

The state of Oregon has been producing high-quality cannabis for decades. The climate, especially in the southwest corner of the state, is nearly perfect for the plant’s needs and the state’s progressive cultural climate supported people experimenting with marijuana cultivation. Now, with full adult use legalization, prices have dropped substantially. The drop in price per pound has caused havoc for growers, but now Oregon’s US Attorney is poised to provide price support.

For many decades, Oregon has been a leader in cannabis interest, use, legislation, and cultivation. As an agricultural crop, cannabis has long reigned as the state’s leading earner. When most old growth forests disappeared, logging waned as a prosperous industry and was partially replaced by cannabis. Oregon was the first state to decriminalize possession of small amounts. Then, 20 years ago, the state’s voters legalized medical cannabis, creating retail markets and allowing legal home growing by those with a medical card. Finally, in 2014 Oregon voters chose to legalize all cannabis adult use and allowed for four plant cultivation and state-licensed adult use grows. The state does produce a lot of cannabis.

Enter Billy J. Williams, US Attorney for Oregon. Newly encouraged to prosecute pot by US Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Williams is about to do just that. Of all the 94 US Attorneys responding to Session’s ending the protective Cole Memo, the Oregon US Attorney seems the most hawkish. He invoked a widely publicized …

Two California Cities Erasing Misdemeanor Marijuana Convictions

Thousands of California misdemeanor marijuana convictions could be expunged soon in an effort by leaders in two cities to correct the damage to some communities by a decades-long, failed “War on Drugs.”

Some of the obvious pros for marijuana legalization  include economic opportunities, increased taxes flowing in to the state coffers and fewer jails and prison packed with non-violent drug offenders marijuana defense. California is already beginning to experience these perks since the passage last month of the Control, Regulate, and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act. The drug is still deemed a Schedule I narcotic under the federal Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812.

The issue of non-violent drug arrests and convictions has been a controversial one in recent years, with some politicians clinging to the illogical argument that a failure to crack down on low-level possession leads to widespread and dangerous use. This just isn’t true, but this flawed thinking and aggressive enforcement of arcane laws has dearly cost individuals, families and communities (particularly those that are majority minority).Now, San Francisco and San Diego are taking it a step farther by clearing marijuana possession criminal records for thousands of people, according to a New York Times report. The San Francisco district attorney’s office said it is expunging about 3,000 misdemeanor convictions that go back 40 years. In addition, 4,900 felony cases will be reviewed and considered for reduction to misdemeanors in San Francisco.

In San Diego, 4,700 cases are under review to either clear or reduce charges. According to …

Small Marijuana Farmers Take State Department to Court

Fledgling marijuana businesses in California face significant challenges following the Jan. 1 passage of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act marijuana legalization attorneys(known as Proposition 64) . That measure made recreational cannabis legal in the state, but subject to a laundry list of stringent regulations businesses must abide. In addition, many local governments have set their own rules, and this is all heaped on to existing barriers under the federal Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812.

Good marijuana business attorneys recognize that even once a client clears all those hurdles, small operations often have an even bigger mountain to climb: Competition from cannabis mega-corporations. This has spurred a number of marijuana lawsuits against the state for failure to keep these bigger firms in check with sufficient regulation.

Specifically, some farmers are taking aim at the fact the law does not fully restrict acreage permitted per grower for marijuana.

In one example, California Growers Association, a nonprofit, mutual benefit corporation, has filed a lawsuit in Sacramento County Superior Court against the state’s agriculture department, challenging the lack of such a stipulation.

The farmers argue that without such a limit, they are positioned to lose their standing to large agribusinesses, which have resources to convert massive expanses of land, according to San Francisco Chronicle. This conflicts with provisions built into Proposition 64 to protect owners of small- and medium-sized marijuana cultivation operations.

California Growers Association v. California Department of Food and Agriculture states that Proposition 64 prohibits licenses for large-scale operations in the first five …

California Estimates Big Tax Boost from Cannabis

Adult-use cannabis became legal in California Jan. 1 with Proposition 64 going into effect. Many cities and counties however have decided to maintain a ban on marijuana, and others did not have local regulations in place in time for the official roll out of the law.marijuana business attorneys

But even after just a few weeks, the state government is already reaping big cash benefits reefer. Gov. Jerry Brown estimates $643 million in marijuana excise taxes in the first year, according to a Los Angeles Times report. Earlier projections estimated tax revenue could eventually hit $1 billion. Brown cautioned we don’t fully know every market issue that is at play, so local governments should be careful before enacting any sweeping measures.

Even as such, the lower estimates more than cover the $52 million California budgeted for 2017-2018 to establish and run the marijuana licensing system. The $643 million also does not include local sales taxes or state license fees. It costs businesses $1,000 for a license to sell cannabis. The fees are set to cover all costs associated with permits, including background checks, and resources necessary for processing and issuing.Marijuana taxes are earmarked to fund job programs designed to curb environmental effects of illegal growers, youth prevention and treatment resources, help for communities most affected by the war on drugs, programs to prevent driving under the influence, and grants for job placement, substance-use disorder treatment, and mental health initiatives, among other causes. Each year, $15 million is also supposed to go to studies on the impact …

Representatives from California Aim to Declassify Marijuana at Federal Level

While Attorney General Jeff Sessions is doing all he can to hold states to federal law regarding marijuana, some representatives are pushing to Los Angeles marijuana legalizationeliminate federal grasp over cannabis altogether and begin the healing process of the destruction caused by the war on drugs.

The Marijuana Justice Act of 2017 was originally introduced in the Senate by Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) in August, where it stalled. Two representatives from California — Barbara Lee (D-CA 13th District) and Ro Khanna (D-CA 17th District) — are now trying to get a companion bill before the House of Representatives. The objective of these bills is to remove marijuana as a Schedule I narcotic in the Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812.

This move comes on the heels of Sessions rescinding a directive, known as the Cole Memo, issued in 2013 by the Department of Justice during the Obama administration, which indicated that federal prosecutors should not pursue charges in relation to illegal marijuana activity so long as those in question were abiding by state laws.

Our Los Angeles marijuana legalization lawyers know that declassifying marijuana is a long overdue step, one that is necessary for states to truly be able to freely monitor cannabis operations as they best see fit. While the Cole Memo acted as a bandage for a while, it never was a long-term solution. It simply protected states from punishment, but still labeled their burgeoning marijuana economies as illegal. Therefore, citizens and businesses still had to find workarounds for a litany of issues, …

Vermont Governor Signs Recreational Marijuana into Law

Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently rescinded an Obama-era Department of Justice memo, which directed federal prosecutors to lay off cannabis Orange County recreational marijuana charges in states where activity is legal. This has effectively opened the doors for officials to pursue legal action against operations per the federal Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812, even though they are abiding state laws.

That isn’t stopping states, though, from pressing forward with marijuana legalization.

Vermont is the latest state to make recreational marijuana legal for adult use, joining California, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Alaska, and Washington, D.C. But what makes Vermont unique is that this is the first recreational marijuana law passed through legislation rather than a ballot initiative, according to a report from Huffington Post. This was necessary, however, because the state does have a system for voting on such measures.Also different, Vermont’s law does not speak to sales, other than re-enforcing that sales are illegal to those under the age of 21, or setting up a regulated market.

Gov. Phil Scott (R) signed House Bill 511 into law, which eliminates punishment for possession of up to one ounce of marijuana, two mature cannabis plants, and up to four immature plants. The governor cited his belief that adults should be free to do what they want on private property, so long as it does not endanger the health or safety of others.

Scott vetoed a similar bill last year, ordering a committee be formed to research cannabis markets and how they might affect …

Recreational Cannabis Sales Begin in L.A.

Three weeks after recreational cannabis sales officially became legal in California, select Los Angeles businesses were allowed to open their doors for Los Angeles recreational cannabis businesscommercial sales. While the Adult Use of Marijuana Act made recreational sales legal in the state Jan. 1, it is still up to city and county governments to decide for themselves whether they will issue a ban or set up their own guidelines and regulations. Implementation of guidelines takes time, and some cities, Los Angeles included, were not able to get them in place before the rollout at the beginning of the year.

Los Angeles City Council approved commercial marijuana sales early in December, and by mid-January about two dozen businesses in the city had been granted temporary permits. Three of those businesses had state approval secured and were able to open for business that week, according to an NBC News report. More regulations will have to be met down the road to achieve legal status permanently, the Los Angeles Department of Cannabis Regulation told NBC.While this was happy news for the city, the delay was frustrating to some dispensaries, who wanted to follow proper legal channels but felt they were being punished while hundreds of unlicensed operations profited from recreational sales. Not only are these businesses operating without regulation, but they also are not paying taxes, those who have followed procedure complained. Officials in L.A. said they intend to tackle black market sales and shut down unlicensed operations.

That is why it is so crucial for serious owners to speak …

Northern California County Rolls Back Marijuana Legalization

As of January 1, California rolled out Proposition 64, The Adult Use of Marijuana Act, making recreational marijuana legal in the state. However, themarijuana legalization attorneys new law did not automatically make cannabis legal everywhere in California. It is still up to local governments to regulate, restrict, and ban as they see fit or to open the floor to residential votes. Therefore, many Californians have been disappointed to discover their local laws are prohibitive to using, growing, or distributing marijuana.

Even more disappointing, though, is when the law changes in a region that initially legalized marijuana, especially for citizens who have already made significant investments in the cannabis industry.

This is the case in Calaveras County in Northern California, where the board of supervisors voted 3-2 to ban commercial marijuana. The board included four newly elected members who campaigned last year on promises of banning marijuana, according to an article from Associated Press. The decision will have broad-sweeping effects on some 200 cannabis farms that will now have only three months to shut down operations. The growers in Calaveras with permits have already announced an intent to sue the county. Aside from the substantial time and resources used to set up a growing operation, the farms had to each pay a permit cost of $5,000. On top of that, the county has collected a staggering amount of tax revenue from the farms since 2016, totaling more than $7 million to date.

This tax revenue was initially what prompted the county to open the doors …

California Leaders Pushing Back on Washington, D.C. in Battle Over Marijuana Businesses

In 2013, Deputy Attorney General James Cole issued what was known as The Cole Memo, a directive during the Obama administration that toldmarijuana business lawyers federal officials to back off of prosecuting those selling, distributing, growing, or using marijuana, so long as the offenders were following state laws. The memo was issued to reconcile the federal Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812, which classifies marijuana as a Schedule I narcotic, with the wave of state laws that allow cannabis sales and use, either medically or recreationally. The move gave hope to the growing number of Americans in favor of full cannabis legalization nationwide.

However, the U.S. recently took a big step backward when current Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the directive, re-opening the door for federal prosecutors to allocate resources at their discretion for cracking down on marijuana operations.

Leaders in states that have legalized marijuana have no intention of going down without a fight, though. With many more making moves to legalize cannabis in state legislatures or on ballots this year, they might have even more allies by their side.In California, leaders are proposing methods to protect the state’s thriving cannabis economy, which has only grown stronger since the Adult Use of Marijuana Act went into effect January 1, 2018. These tactics include writing letters, potential new laws, and federal lawsuits, according to a report from Orange County Register.

Rep. Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana) has called for Congress to refuse to confirm any future appointments to the Justice Department until the …

Sessions Rolls Back Directive Protecting State Marijuana Laws

It’s no news that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has strong feelings about the cannabis industry. Since his Marijuana Lawyersappointment almost a year ago, he has promised to uphold federal cannabis law, which classifies marijuana as a Schedule I narcotic under Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812. This path is in stark contrast with the narrative in the rest of the country: 30 states as well as Washington, D.C., have some form of marijuana legalization on the books. Eight of those states (including California) and the District of Columbia allow recreational marijuana sales and use, with more planning ballot initiatives and legislative votes in 2018.

Up until now, those states have been able to manage their marijuana laws as they saw fit without meddling from the federal government thanks to a directive put in place at the Department of Justice during Barack Obama’s presidency that discouraged enforcement.

However, Sessions recently rescinded that directive, opening the door for prosecutors to go after states that have established legal cannabis. It’s unclear at this point whether prosecutors will actively start enforcement. Sessions described the move as simply him doing his job and enforcing the law. He also said he would leave it up to U.S. attorneys to determine what issues should be their top priority based on their resources. But the U.S. attorney in Colorado has already stated he intends to align practices with Sessions’ latest guidance.

President Trump seems to have flipped on this issue, stating last year that he would leave the issue up …

More States Look to Legalize Marijuana in 2018

While California has been on the forefront of cannabis legalization, making medical marijuana legal more than 20Caifornia marijuana lawyers years ago with the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, and more recently with recreational cannabis being legalized through the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, other states have not been as lucky.

Many hope to change that this coming year, with at least 12 states on deck to consider some form of cannabis legalization in 2018.

This is huge news, not only for those particular states, but also for California and other states that already have legalization in place. The more states rally behind legalization, the stronger we stand against outdated federal laws, which still classify cannabis as a Schedule I narcotic under the Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812. According to a recent report from Newsweek, more than 60% of Americans now support full legalization.Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been adamant about his opposition of state legalization, but our California marijuana legalization lawyers in Riverside know that a united voice from the states sends a strong and clear message that we as a country are ready to move forward.

The following states will potentially make moves toward legalization this year, according to the Newsweek report:

  •  Vermont: After the state legislature approved recreational marijuana legalization earlier in 2017, the governor said he first wanted to create studies on the effects legalization has had on public health issues. In December, the governor said he was comfortable moving forward. If things go as expected, this

Recreational Marijuana in California Expected to Impact Medical Market

California has in many ways led efforts to legalize marijuana around the country. The state was the first to allow medical marijuana with marijuana legalizationProposition 215, i.e. the Compassionate Use Act of 1996. And while the state is a little behind others, such as Colorado, to join the recreational marijuana movement, it will set an example for the rest of the country with Los Angeles expected to skyrocket to the top of the list of the largest commercial markets in the country.

Los Angeles is among cities in California who have approved recreational marijuana activity after the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (or Proposition 64) went into effect Jan. 1, though the city is still finalizing regulations and collecting applications.

This is a fantastic step toward removing the long-held stigmas surrounding cannabis, paving the way toward normalization of marijuana both as a significantly beneficial medical resource, and also as a safe, non-lethal recreational device. Now that both are legal in California, though, be prepared to see a shift in the market.

While many in the state have been seeking more intensive medical marijuana treatment, such as for cancer or PTSD or epilepsy, others have known for a long time that marijuana was a safe alternative to other casual vices, according to an article from the Associated Press. These residents have taken advantage of the numerous pop-up doctor’s offices promising cheap medical marijuana recommendations with few to no questions about the reported ailments of the patients who walk in.

Our Los Angeles marijuana legalization

Licensed Cannabis Business Drivers Arrested, Van Confiscated

It is an extremely exciting time now in California for cannabis businesses. While medical marijuana has been legal in the state for nearlymarijuana businesses two decades, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, which went into effect Jan. 1, 2018, is ushering in a new era with the legalization of recreational cannabis in California.

But our legal team knows it also can be a very scary and confusing time. Some officials are seeking to make the transition as easy as possible to encourage cannabis businesses to become public and legal. While others seem to be looking for reasons to crack down on businesses and exploit clashing laws.

Such is the case in northern California’s Mendocino County, where in late December two delivery workers were arrested, and their van and its contents, roughly a ton of marijuana, was confiscated.It is clear from this case that the employees, and the company they worked for, had made every effort to be in compliance with relevant marijuana laws. In fact there is even disagreement among officials if the company was in violation of any local or state ordinances. Still, the two were cited for unlawful possession of marijuana for sale and unlawful transportation.

There is a real concern the marijuana in the van, which accounts for an entire year’s crop for a local family farm, could be destroyed, ruining the livelihood for many involved as well as harming those counting on the delivery of the product.

Our Los Angeles cannabis business attorneys are appalled by this action and …

Despite Statewide Marijuana Legalization, Californians Must Follow Local Laws

With the state of California transitioning to legal recreational cannabis, it is a very exciting time for marijuana restrained-1188171-639x480-300x225business entrepreneurs.

Many in California have been in the marijuana industry for years on the medical side of things. California was the first state to legalize medical marijuana with the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, also known as Proposition 215.

Still, with the passing of Proposition 64, allowing adult use of recreational marijuana Jan. 1, and its steady rollout in areas of California, many new businesses have been eager to join the marketplace. Sometimes too eager.In Ventura County, two men were recently arrested on allegations of running an illegal marijuana dispensary. Marijuana was allegedly being peddled out of a smoke shop in Port Hueneme owned by one of the suspects. Police claim a nearby post-traumatic stress counseling facility was being used for storage.

According to city police, eight pounds of marijuana and $2,000 were confiscated from the premises.

In an ironic twist of fate, just 10 days after the arrests, the Port Hueneme City Council passed an ordinance that would make it legal to operate medical and recreational marijuana dispensaries in the city.

Cities in California have the right to determine whether they will participate in statewide legalization efforts, with some like Port Hueneme joining later than others. This has caused confusion and a restlessness among some marijuana business owners who are sometimes willing to take great risks to join in the burgeoning marketplace, regardless of local laws.

The ordinance in Port Hueneme …

Border Patrol Won’t Recognize Marijuana Legalization

While many residents of California have been celebrating recreational marijuana legalization after the Adult Use of Marijuana Act went into effect marijuana legalizationJan. 1, 2018, some might be caught off guard if they are stopped even with a small amount of cannabis at Border Patrol checkpoints in the state.

Representatives from the Border Patrol recently told the Associated Press that nothing has changed as far as their job is concerned. They intend to continue to uphold federal law at the eight California checkpoint locations, just as they have since medical marijuana was legalized in the state. The federal Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812 still classifies marijuana as a Schedule I narcotic, on par with heroin.

Many states have fought this classification, citing the health benefits the drug provides and the fact that marijuana is not lethal. This has led to a wave of medical and recreational legalization in many states, but U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been very vocal about his opposition to those efforts.

Therefore, those in charge of monitoring checkpoints will be adhering to federal directives for the foreseeable future. The Border Patrol has checkpoints within 100 miles of the Mexican border, created with the intention of curbing illegal immigration and drug smuggling.

However, roughly 40% of marijuana seizures at these checkpoints come from U.S. citizens carrying less than an ounce, according to data from 2013-2016. This means they would be in adherence to current California law and are still being punished.

Because Border Patrol officials can question drivers without …

Colorado Authorities Shut Down 26 Cannabis Businesses

Marijuana has become legal in many states across the country, for both medical and recreational use. California is the latest states to pave the way for recreationalcannabis businesses cannabis businesses through the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, which went into effect Jan. 1, 2018.

But just because a state has legalized cannabis does not mean there is a marijuana free-for-all with no rules or consequences.

For example, Colorado voters passed Amendment 64 in 2012, allowing for personal recreational use of marijuana for adults over 21. Sales began in the state in 2014. But recently 26 legal cannabis businesses were shut down by authorities in Denver.

All of the operations were either store fronts or growing facilities operating under the Sweet Leaf name. While the operations were licensed and legal, they had been under investigation for the past year on suspicion the businesses were exceeding individual sales limits set by the state. Colorado regulations restrict possession to one ounce or less of marijuana per adult.

Police said they were monitoring eight of the 26 sites for the past year. The investigation culminated in a raid of the targeted locations and suspension of all related operations in the state under the same name. The company owns one location in Oregon which was not affected by the raid.

Authorities arrested 12 people in connection with the case. During the ordered shut down, the businesses will not be allowed to sell or produce any cannabis products. In the meantime, the investigation is ongoing and the city scheduled public hearings …

Marijuana Official Tells California Residents What to Expect in 2018

The Cannabis Law Group is prepared for the onslaught of challenges that face the residents and cannabis businessquestion-3-1146620-639x830-231x300 owners of California with the implementation of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act at the start of this new year, legalizing recreational marijuana.

Commercial sales were legalized in California as of Jan. 1, but the exact date of implementation varies from region to region based on local laws and ordinances. Some areas have even decided to maintain a ban on recreational use, such as Kern County, while others have not yet decided the fate of their particular city or region yet.

Officials such as Lori Ajax, chief of the Bureau of Cannabis Control, explain that this complicates the rollout process, making it unclear to citizens as to what to expect throughout the state in the months ahead.According to a report from the Associated Press, Ajax said business owners need to secure local permits as well as state licenses before opening their doors. This has caused delays in some areas, including Los Angeles.

This can also cause ripples throughout the supply chain across the state. Retailers must coordinate with distributors, manufacturers, testers, and growers. If some links in the chain aren’t in compliance or don’t have licensing, it can affect businesses throughout the state. For example, if retailers are all set up, but they don’t have ready access to product, there is no business.

Beyond the basics of licensing are the many regulations required for a business to operate above board. It’s probable state officials …

Trump Doubles Down on Enforcing Federal Marijuana Law

MARIJUANA POLITICS – The News Source For an Informed Citizenry Post by Don Fitch

The first shoe to fall was the announcement that, as predicted here, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has ripped up the Cole Memo protecting state legal marijuana operations. The second shoe fell when asked about this radical change, White House Spokesperson Sarah Sanders asserted, “We have to enforce federal law.”

The readiness by the White House spokesperson for the question and her quick answer are ominous. There was no mention of state’s rights or medical benefits, just the stark statement:

President Trump “strongly believes” in enforcing federal law.

Such a quick and powerful endorsement of Jeff Session’s actions seem to indicate support by the president, a big negative for those who believed Trump’s support for medical cannabis and state’s rights during the campaign. The AG’s green light to his 94 federal prosectors and their 5,000 assistant prosectors threatens the lives, livelihoods, and freedoms of millions of Americans citizens.

Oregon Congressperson Earl Blumenauher spoke on the Attorney General’s dissolving the protections that have helped innovative and prosperous cannabis business florish in legal states:

Mr. Sessions is out of touch. I think he is trapped in time.

Such negative sentiments were the rule following Session’s announcment. Democrats, Republicans, Senators, Representives, Governors, right-wing interest groups, and state Attorney Generals were quick to deplore Session’s unwanted actions.

The only exceptions to the negative reaction came from some police groups and anti-marijuana organizations such as SAM. Ominously, some (though not all) US Attorneys to whom …

States Too Slow to Implement Medical Marijuana Laws Face Litigation

As medical marijuana legalization is becoming law of the land in states across the country, many states are California Medical Marijuana Lawyersstruggling with best practices and how to implement the laws quickly and correctly. It often falls to state departments, local legislatures, and other agencies to sort out licensing and sales practices.

Though this process can be difficult for the government agencies in charge of such oversights, it is the citizens of the state who suffer the most when provisions are dragged out unnecessarily.

This has led to lawsuits filed by those who allege they have experienced direct pain or damages due to the way states are implementing new laws.Recently, a lawsuit was filed  in Florida’s  Second Judicial Circuit Court against the Florida Department of Health for failing to comply with Amendment 2 of the state’s constitution allowing for the sale and use of medical marijuana.

The amendment appeared on the ballot and received a majority vote in November 2016, and the state legislature signed into law provisions for implementation. According to Florida Senate Bill SB8A, the state Department of Health was mandated to issue 10 new Medical Marijuana Treatment Center (MMTC) licenses by Oct. 3, 2017, but had not at the time of the filing. MMTCs are the only places allowed to process, grow, and sell medical marijuana in the state.

The plaintiffs are a Florida nursery planning to provide medical marijuana and an epilepsy patient who is seeking relief from seizures.

The family who owns the nursery said they were inspired to convert …

Marijuana Dispensary Owners Challenge IRS in U.S. Tax Court

The owners of a marijuana dispensary in Colorado are challenging a provision of U.S. Tax Code that the Internal Revenue Service has interpreted to mean state-legal marijuana businesses should not be allowed to take deductions or claim credits.

marijuana tax lawyer

The couple asserts in a brief filed in U.S. Tax Court that the IRS’ determination of their taxes owed for 2010 through 2012 were unjust, and that they were unfairly taxed compared to other business owners. A marijuana attorney representing the pair characterized the specific section of the code as “absurd.”

Section 280E, deals with expenditures in connection with illegal sale of drugs. As noted in a 2015 internal memo within the IRS, although a marijuana business is illegal under federal law, it remains obligated to pay federal income tax because Section 61(a) doesn’t differentiate between income derived from legal sources and those derived from illegal sources (See the 1961 case of James v. U.S.). 

The couple alleges Section 280E, enacted back in 1982, was not based on accounting principles, but rather on the idea that public policy was not to allow regulation of marijuana operations and that drug dealers are inherently bad for society. However in 2017, we live in a world where voters in 29 states and D.C. have opted to allow access to medicinal cannabis and several more – including California – have approved measures to allow for recreational cannabis use.

The tax court brief notes that plaintiffs classified their business as a S Corp, which under the tax code requires …

The Good and Bad of California’s New Cannabis Regulations

Cultivation and sales of marijuana to recreational users will soon be legal in California, and ahead of that schedule, the Bureau of Cannabis Control (previously the Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation) has issued a regulatory framework that covers everything from concentration of edibles to zoning rules. Excitement in palpable as legal sales are expected to grow by 26 percent over the next five years (thanks in large part to Proposition 64), which would mean the establishment of a $22 billion industry.marijuana lawyer

Although there are many regulations that are fairly standard, such as outlines for growing and testing, the crop-size limitations are the two that have raised the most ire.

Many are concerned about the scope of these regulations and what they will mean for cannabis businesses – particularly smaller ones. It was largely expected that crop size limits would occur to some degree, but the final regulation only limits medium-sized growers’ licenses. That could potentially open the door for smaller and larger marijuana grow farms, but because large companies have deep pockets, the concern is that smaller businesses (which will have a tougher time landing loans) will be pushed out too. Business Insider refers to this as a potential oligopoly. Mass production by these larger players could drive down marijuana prices in the short-term, but eventually, absent sharp competition, these prices would rise. Speculation is that the state will even more heavily tax the product by as much as 45 percent, a cost that will ultimately be passed onto consumers.

On the flip side, …

Marijuana Impaired Driving Studied by Colorado Universities Using iPods

Researchers in Colorado are exploring the ways in which “dabbing” – a form of rapid consumption of cannabis concentrates by vaporizing – can impair one’s ability to drive, and they’re doing it with iPods. marijuana lawyer

A group of researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder are teaming up with a researcher from Colorado State University to explore this highly potent method of using marijuana. CSU notes this study is a “first-of-its-kind,” and the hope is to eventually prevent instances of driving under the influence that endangers lives.

Our L.A. marijuana defense attorneys recognize that our state, like Colorado, has a vested interest in enforcing anti-impairment laws for motorists. After all, we know marijuana has the ability to impair one’s driving abilities and we know impaired drivers have slower reaction times and lowered inhibitions that can endanger passengers and other motorists. However, the problem specifically when it comes to marijuana impairment behind the wheel is that the determination is subjective. 

California Vehicle Code 23152(f) holds that it is unlawful for anyone who is “under the influence” of any drug (including marijuana) to drive a vehicle. Unlike other jurisdictions, California does not set a per se limit on how much marijuana one can have in their blood before being deemed above the legal limitation. Proposition 64, which legalized marijuana even for recreational use, did not alter this statute, which can result in a maximum 6 months in county jail, among other penalties, for a first-time offense.

There are a number of marijuana DUI defenses our attorneys …

DOJ: Marijuana Businesses Will Not Receive Bankruptcy Aid

Marijuana business owners have many reasons to carefully manage their assets. Now, a recently-published article by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Executive Office for U.S. Trustees gives another: Marijuana businesses cannot expect help with liquidation or restructuring in the event of bankruptcy. The executive office for trustees is the watchdog agency over bankruptcy proceedings. marijuana business lawyer

Like so many complex legal issues for cannabis business owners, this comes down to the conflict between state and federal law. Although California voters approved the legalization of recreational marijuana with Proposition 64 last year (and medical marijuana more than 20 years prior), it is still an illegal Schedule I substance under 21 U.S.C. Section 811, the Controlled Substances Act.

Per the recent article Justice Department officials published in the ABI Journal, the bankruptcy system cannot be used by cannabis businesses because:

  • Bankruptcy cannot be used as an instrument in the ongoing commission of a crime, and thus reorganization plans that allow or require the continuation of illegal activity can’t be confirmed;
  • Bankruptcy trustees and other fiduciaries of estates cannot be made to administer asserts if the act of doing so would necessitate violation of federal criminal law.

This is most unfortunate because bankruptcy is a vehicle through which businesses can be salvaged and emerge more financially sound. Many businesses face insurmountable financial problems, and the cannabis industry is more unstable than most. Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows a company to liquidate the business and discharge debts, while a Chapter 11 bankruptcy helps a business temporarily suspend certain obligations while …

California Now Accepting Recreational Marijuana Business License Applications

Last week, the state of California started accepting applications from marijuana businesses and start-ups seeking to operate within the state’s legalized marijuana industry in 2018. This is a major milestone from this burgeoning market, and it’s being furthered by a new online system that will allow retailers, distributors and product testing services to obtain the licensing necessary to engage in business under newly unveiled state regulations.marijuana business lawyer

Sales of recreational marijuana in California will begin Jan. 2nd. Although our state was the first to approve of medical marijuana with Proposition 215 in 1996, we have lagged when it comes to implementing recreational marijuana sales. Still, as the largest state to enact such a law, many other states following suit will be watching carefully. The state’s Bureau of Cannabis Control (the Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation prior to the passage of Proposition 64) announced that with applications beginning to be submitted, we’re one step closer to the issuance of the first commercial cannabis business approvals.

The launch of the online system appeared to be going well, with officials saying visitors were mostly just exploring the site as opposed to actually sending in full applications. Some got started on an application, submitting certain bits of information, and then saved it to finish later. Temporary licenses, which are effective for four months, won’t be effective until the beginning of the year, and businesses must first obtain a local permit before they can successfully apply for a state-issued license. These temporary licenses cost $1,000 per application fee. A …

L.A. Slated to Become the Largest U.S. City With Legalized Recreational Marijuana

With the approval of regulations for recreational marijuana, the L.A. City Council has paved the way for the city to become the biggest city in the U.S. to allow legal marijuana growth, sales and use.l.a. marijuana lawyer

The council’s decision followed many months of political wrangling and bitter disputes. But now, the city has clear rules that will kick off the beginning of commercial cannabis sales.

Although new cannabis businesses in Los Angeles could be open as early as January 1st, there is some skepticism about whether the floodgates will truly be open by then, given the fact that the new year is only a few weeks away and the holidays tend to be an extremely busy time, with lots of government office closures that could slow the process. There is plenty of motivation, however, given the fact that there are throngs of eager buyers in this city of 4 million people.

Marijuana has been legal in California for the last 20 years, but recreational marijuana was only approved by voters last year. While the state has its own regulations, individual cities are also scrambling to decide what additional rules and restrictions they want to impose, if any. 

In Los Angeles, the new rules passed in a 12-0 vote. The regulations that were approved are complex and extensive and, governing where and how marijuana can be grown and sold. Among the new regulations:

  • Retail marijuana businesses in L.A. will only be allowed to operating in specially-zoned industrial and commercial regions of the city.
  • Cannabis companies won’t

Marijuana Sales are Reducing Alcohol Sales

Many comparisons have been made to recreational marijuana and alcohol, particularly in how advocates have recommended regulation. Although there are similarities, we know that recreational alcohol use, dependence and abuse has caused far more issues than marijuana, and evidence suggests that trend may continue, even as marijuana legalization spreads. In fact, new research indicates that legalizing marijuana may have the added benefit of reducing the impact of alcohol-related societal woes.

During alcohol prohibition, there were some major arrests made, but organized crime benefited more than anyone else from what history shows. Alcohol is a potentially dangerous and addictive drug. However, because it is generally considered socially acceptable, anyone over 21 can purchase as much alcohol as they want. This is not the case for marijuana under the laws in what is constantly becoming a smaller minority of states and the federal law.

cannabis business lawyersWhile many people drink socially, many others drink to cope with the stress of daily life, various mental health conditions, including anxiety and depression, and other forms of trauma.  Even though most studies show that dependence on alcohol only makes those medical conditions worse, alcohol is often used as a form of self-medication even when it results in abuse.  Alcohol also is well-known to cause liver poisoning, organ failure, and now it is suspected of causing cancer, according to a recent study that was popularized via a Netflix documentary on the same subject.

Marijuana does not have these issues, and according to a recent news article from the Washington Post, legalized …

Marijuana as a Replacement to Opioids

There is no question that we are in the midst of a major opioid abuse epidemic in the U.S.  While it has gotten a lot of attention in the media lately, the solutions proposed by those in power have generally been limited to cracking down on the smuggling of illegal narcotics across U.S. border, spending small amounts of money on public health programs to fight addiction, and threatening to rollback efforts to lessen prison sentences for those arrested for non-violent drug offenses.

Many have been advocating for medical marijuana as a possible alternative to prescription painkillers that are very addictive and prone to abuse, but these efforts have so far only resulted in a lot of push back.

marijuana attorneyThe reason these conventional efforts are not making an impact is because most who abuse prescription opioids started out with a work-related injury or some type of trauma such as from a serious car accident, and then were prescribed narcotic painkillers. At some point, the insurance companies wanted to avoid paying for more of the drugs, or the doctors became concerned the patient was becoming addicted, and the prescriptions were simply cut off.  This led to typical drug seeking behavior and the problem just gets worse where some find themselves addicted to illicit street drugs.  Even though these drugs are clearly more addictive than medical cannabis, and a whole lot more dangerous, the U.S. Attorney General has just said he is looking at how to crack down on marijuana even in states where it is legal.…

Addressing Claims That Marijuana Induces Vomiting Sickness

There have been many reasons claimed that marijuana was highly dangerous and addictive by those who want to keep it illegal under federal law no matter how many states choose to legalize medical or recreational cannabis.  There are as of the time of this article, 29 states that have legalized either medical marijuana or recreational use of marijuana as well as the District of Columbia.

business cannabisOne of the reasons they argue it is dangerous is because it has been labeled a so-called gateway drug.  The many times disproven theory is that if someone uses marijuana, even though many do not see it as harmful, that a person is far more likely to try “harder” drugs such as cocaine and heroin.  In other words, marijuana is a gateway to the dangers of all sorts of illicit drug use. If we take this argument another step, some with claim these marijuana users are not only addicted to marijuana at this point, and have moved no to cocaine and heroin, but they are also engaging in all sorts of street crime to fund their pricey habit. 

As our Los Angeles medical marijuana attorneys can explain, though this theory sounds laughable to many, it is the basis for much of the opposition to the legalization of medical marijuana and the recreational use of marijuana. In addition to the gateway theory, many also argue that marijuana itself has all kinds of negative health consequences. Even though there is hardly any evidence to support any of these claims, they will …

Honolulu Police Aim to Get Guns Out of The Hands of Medical Marijuana Patients

Even in states where medical marijuana is legal under the relevant state law, it is still illegal under federal law.  This conflict of law manifests in many ways, most recently in a directive in Hawaii, where medical marijuana users in Honolulu are being asked to voluntarily surrender any firearms they may own. Officials have given them 30 days to comply with this voluntary directive.  While this may sound strange, according to a recent article from Task & Purposes, that is what the police are doing now that the state’s first medical marijuana dispensary opened a few months prior to this new plan.

marijuana defenseAccording to the local police department, a state statute essentially says that a fugitive shall not own a firearm, and neither can any person who is prohibited from owing or possessing a firearm under a relevant federal statute. The felon in possession portion of the statute is present is in the criminal code of most if not every state’s criminal code, so this is not a new argument, but those using medical marijuana are not convicted felons for the reason of using medical cannabis.  They may be convicted felons for other reasons, and if that is the case, there is no question they are not allowed to own or possess a firearm.

As our Orange County medical cannabis attorneys can explain, the second part of the statute is where it gets a bit murkier.

While this is their state law, the law in California goes somewhat further and says that a …

Medical Marijuana Expands to More States

Medical marijuana has been legal in California since 1996 as our state was the first to legalize.  Since that time, more than half of the states and the District of Columbia have legalized either medical marijuana, recreational marijuana use, or both. California, while not leading the legal recreational use movement, has recently legalized it for anyone over the age of 21 as of 2018.

cannabis defense attorneysAccording to a recent news article from the Washington Post, medical marijuana has finally arrived in dispensaries throughout the state of Maryland, and more are opening each month.  This is not to say marijuana has just been legalized for medical use in the state, but it is finally in dispensaries. The law was passed years ago, but there were so many delays and legal battles, many patients desperately in need of medical cannabis were wondering if this day would ever come. 

As our Los Angeles medical cannabis attorneys can explain, this is not a new phenomenon.  In some states, there were medical marijuana laws passed either by the legislature or direct voter action as is what happened in California, and then it took around a decade for some of these states to get the dispensaries open and filled with medical marijuana products.

One of the reasons for this is because marijuana is still illegal under the U.S. Controlled Substances Act (USCSA).  It is classified at the highest schedule, because in the 1970s, poorly informed Congress members stated that cannabis is highly addictive, very dangerous, and has a high probability …