Marijuana Product Liability Lawsuits May Pick Up in 2019

It’s not only pot smokers who line outside California’s cannabis dispensaries. Personal injury attorneys may be lurking nearby as well, watching for the opportunity to pounce on a possible product liability claim if an marijuana product makes someone sick or results in an injury. This is particularly true because many states allow punitive damages (up to three times one’s actual damages, intended to penalize the defendant for egregious wrongs rather than simply compensate the plaintiff) for injuries an intoxicated person causes to others. product;iability

Marijuana product liability attorneys in Los Angeles have concluded cannabis companies with perhaps the greatest vulnerability are those that produce edible products. Soda, gummies, truffles, cookies, truffles, brownies, potato chips, wines – the list is endless. But the waters of marijuana product liability lawsuits aren’t well-tested.

Such lawsuits will assert that marijuana products are defective, dangerous, mislabeled and/or the makers and distributors failed to issue adequate warnings about these risks.

In one such case, Kirk et al v. Nutritional Elements, Inc. et al., filed in the Denver County District Court, plaintiffs are the sons of a man who consumed a cannabis edible he purchased legally from a recreational marijuana dispensary in Colorado, soon became consumed with paranoia and shot and killed his wife. He blamed it on the edible, which he said he’d never done before and was not aware the product would affect him that way. The sons are asserting wrongful death against the manufacturer of the marijuana gummy as well as the store that sold it, alleging both …

Constitutionality of Cannabis: Federal Lawsuit Against DEA, DOJ Proceeds

A federal lawsuit against the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Department of Justice, challenging the constitutionality of the federal law designating marijuana a Schedule I controlled substance proceeded recently to the next level with oral arguments before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. As our Los Angeles marijuana patient attorneys can explain, the crux of the argument by plaintiffs of the claim, first filed in 2017, is that the designation ignores the merits of the drug for medicinal purposes. The appeal was heard last month by the three-judge panel. Los Angeles cannabis lawyer

Plaintiffs in the lawsuit include a 12-year-old epilepsy patient, an 8-year-old Leigh’s syndrome patient, an Iraq war veteran and sufferer of post-traumatic stress disorder, a former NFL player who heads a hemp company hawking sports performance products and a non-profit that helps minorities get ahead in the legal cannabis market. Defendants are acting-Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, the acting director of the DEA and the federal government.

The appeal, limited to presentations of just a few minutes per side, rests on a dispute of the assertion that the Controlled Substances Act violates the 5th Amendment, which guarantees the right of citizens to preserve life and health. 

Los Angeles cannabis lawyers know one of the strongest points plaintiffs have in their favor is the recent approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval last year of Epidiolex, a drug that contains CBD (cannabidiol). Although the lower federal court (U.S. District in New York ruled plaintiffs had yet to pursue all administrative …

Cannabis Companies’ Success in Combating RICO Lawsuits

As marijuana legalization continues throughout North America, there is still significant public and private interest resistance to its proliferation. One of the legal ground on which these cases have been tested throughout the country is a federal law known as the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act of 1970, also known as RICO. As our Los Angeles marijuana defense lawyers can explain, this was a law intended to battle organized crime and the mafia. However, it’s been used in several recent federal cases to intervene with legal marijuana businesses and users – one of the most recent in Petaluma, California, marking what is believed to be the first time this legal argument has been used against marijuana businesses in the state. marijuana RICO attorney

But in that case, as in many of the cannabis company RICO civil lawsuits pursued nationally, a federal judge has ruled against the plaintiffs.

According to The Argus Courier, a U.S. District Judge held that neighbors of a cannabis company and its lead grower can’t be sued under RICO anti-corruption laws because nuisances related to noise and bad smells don’t cause the same kind of tangible financial losses intended to be addressed under RICO.

Plaintiffs had alleged that the marijuana business had caused an odor many in the neighborhood had found to be “sickening,” and that this, combined with the loud noise coming from the property had resulted in diminished property values and life enjoyment. The federal judge in San Francisco didn’t rule that the complaints had no merit, but rather, in …

Los Angeles Marijuana Lawyers Highlight 2018: Cannabis’ Biggest Year Yet

Los Angeles marijuana attorneys have been fighting for the cannabis rights in California for two decades now. As one of the oldest-serving cannabis law firms in Los Angeles, the biggest city in the first and largest state ever to approve medical marijuana, it has not been without its many, many challenges – from a patchwork of local laws at the community level to the federal raids of dispensaries operating legally under state but not federal law to the disparities revealed when police officers were given broad discretion in deciding who to civilly cite versus who to arrest for petty possession crimes. Every battle saw this once-demonized plant inch closer to legitimacy, closer to legalization. We still aren’t there. We won’t be until the federal government removes marijuana from the federal list of Controlled Substances, does more than look the other way at state-approved marijuana sales and allows these companies to operate with the same protections as any other business, its customers treated like any other patron.California cannabis attorney

Looking back, 2018 has been a banner year for legalized marijuana across the country – including here in California, where it all started. One legislator and long-time marijuana advocate commented that “this was the year the movement crested,” meaning action that would overturn the federal ban is imminent now that two-thirds of all states have some form of legalized medicinal marijuana, 10 allow recreational marijuana and more are sure to follow.

After voters approved legalization of recreational marijuana in 2016, the legal market couldn’t simply swing open the …

One Year at California Recreational Marijuana: L.A. Cannabis Law Firm Looks Back

When California passed a measure permitting the sale of marijuana for recreation, there was a presumption that within short order, there would be cannabis farms cropping up all over the state, shops in almost every city and that adult consumers could score a stash with a stroll down the street or a quick dash across town. However, as our Los Angeles marijuana business owners have observed, the reality hasn’t quite measured up. In fact, while this is indeed the largest market in the U.S., it hasn’t performed at the same clip the state and business owners would have hoped.Los Angeles marijuana lawyer business

As recently reported by The Los Angeles Times, factors at play include retail operations bridled by a host of regulations, oppressive taxes and decisions made in most cities to prohibit the retail stores. Cannabis law firms have also noted some shops have been dragged to city hall over neighbor’s complaints their presence is a nuisance. Police in several districts have expressed concern about crimes related to both the industry and illicit trade, which hasn’t completely disappeared, given the markup prices on legal marijuana.

Los Angeles marijuana attorneys see a wide range of legal cannabis challenges for the incoming governor, Gavin Newsome, who takes office in January. These include initiatives like:

  • Inability of California marijuana shops to access banking services.
  • Crippling tax burdens on pot shop retailers.
  • Illicit marijuana cultivation and sales, mostly stemming from high cannabis costs due to government taxation and regulation.
  • Problematic issues with sales of marijuana to minors.
  • Stifled growth of

2019 to Bring Boom of Multi-State Cannabis Companies, Mergers and Acquisitions

Most of the marijuana businesses in California and across the country run by small, independent entities operating in a limited regional network within their own state. Los Angeles marijuana business attorneys have seen several indications we might see a major shift on this front in 2019. There are already four large multi-state marijuana businesses in operation, and as more national and international companies enter the fray, we’re likely to see a boom of large cannabis business growth – partially or primarily through mergers and acquisitions. Los Angeles marijuana business merger

Historically, cannabis business ventures have been small as federal law has hindered businesses from stretching across state lines. While the states control trade within their borders, the federal government has jurisdiction over interstate sales – and cannabis is still under federal law considered a Schedule I dangerous narcotic. But with the drug legalized in some form now by 33 states and available for recreational use in 10, legal in Canada and poised for legitimacy in Mexico, this is probably going to change (though it’s tough to say exactly when). State and local governments are embracing the tax revenue these companies rake in and they’re spending less on police resources to bust people for petty marijuana possession charges. A legal marijuana industry analyst with Forbes opined next year will see an explosion of cannabis mergers and acquisitions.

Still, expanding the tentacles of one’s marijuana business into other states is still very risky and could result in millions of dollars in losses if they overreach or fail to follow the stringent …

Growing Complexity of Cannabis Supply Chains Spurs Logistics and Distribution Competition

Strict state regulations on transport and distribution of marijuana in California has spawned a thriving new ancillary industry: Third-party logistics (3PLs). These are independent companies that don’t grow or produce cannabis or related products, but help ensure orders are accurately filled, delivery demands are met on time and products are properly preserved between destination points. Of course, third-party logistics firms have been around for ages, working within just about every national or international market sector, but as Los Angeles marijuana business attorneys can explain, they’re pretty new to this particular economic sector. In California, the state requires licensing for “distributors” and “transporters,” basically the “mandatory middle-men.” Los Angeles marijuana business lawyer

One recent report by logistics trade publication Supply Chain 24-7 detailed burgeoning efforts to build a strategy for state-level supply chains, but also for what some believe may sooner than later become a global supply chain. One logistics firm working on this has its sights on Canada, and with development help from its technology and finance partners is hoping to on-board major licensed marijuana producers, retail distribution centers and government regulators.

Most global third-party logistics for cannabis are likely to employ some type of blockchain, given mandates that product be tracked and accounted for from seed-to-sale. Blockchain is a type of digital ledger for sales transactions made on a cryptocurrency platform like bitcoin, which are meticulously recorded in chronological order and recorded for the public. Cyrptocurrency is likely to be the preferred method of payment for ancillary cannabis companies that have expanded to the point of needing a …

Report: California Banking for Bud Businesses is a Bust

Hopes of a public bank to serve California cannabis companies appear to have fizzled with an extensive marijuana banking report from the state Treasury Department explaining that as long as marijuana remains a Schedule I narcotic per U.S. Code, any publicly-funded banking intended for companies that sell it would put tax money at risk.Los Angeles cannabis banking attorney

When you’re working with a Los Angeles marijuana business lawyer to get your cannabis business plan, licensing, permits, insurance and quality compliance in order, inevitably, one issue that will arise is how you plan to manage your money. Cannabis companies can’t just open a business checking or savings account like any other because technically, selling marijuana is still against federal law, thus proceeds are “dirty money,” and any banker who works with these firms knowing what they do could be found guilty of money laundering. That would cost the financial firms their banking charters and effectively put them out of business.

Of course, it’s utterly ridiculous given that the plant is legal now in most states in some form or another. Los Angeles marijuana lawyers suspect U.S. law will eventually catch up to the science and times. For now, though, California pot shop owners slog through major logistical hurdles of operating almost exclusively in cash, leaving them vulnerable to robbery, thwarting growth and denying additional tax revenue to both the state and local governments. 

Although there is clearly a need for some type of solution, the report’s findings align with conclusions reached by the state’s attorney general as well as …

California Cannabis Lawyers Fight to Ensure Promised Industry Equity

Los Angeles marijuana lawyers know the California Cannabis Equity Act of 2018 as an act of penance. It would never make up for the upended lives or communities torn asunder in a decades-long government failure that was the “War on Drugs.” It was an effort that cost untold billions, frequently sparked caustic tensions between police and the people and targeted mostly those in poor minority communities. But the programs meant to give a leg up to those unfairly affected appears to have hit many stalls and snags. Some wonder if that wasn’t intentional, given that the program has been controversial in some circles.Los Angeles marijuana lawyer

When California voters legalized recreational marijuana for adults in 2016, suddenly there were people getting rich doing the same thing that led to arrests, prosecution and harsh minimum mandatory prison term for tens of thousands. Even after their release from incarceration, the government’s civil seizure of  all assets even tenuously connected to drugs, plus the stigma of a permanent “felon” label blocked access to student loans (sometimes any loans),  job opportunities and housing options.  The racial disparity of the impact stunning. The ACLU reporting blacks were arrested at a rate of four-fold higher than whites, despite basically the same usage rates. It was way worse in some communities, like Oakland, where black residents accounted for 27 percent of the population but 77 percent of those arrested for marijuana.

The concept of “cannabis equity” is that those hit much harder by harsher marijuana laws should now be extended lower entry barriers into …

Why Small Marijuana Businesses Need a California Cannabis Attorney

The legalized marijuana market in California is booming with a rising number of investors (hoping for returns the next big thing), horticulturalists carving out regional and brand niches and more recreational pot shops and cannabis couriers than ever before. Still, many who have tried to launch a California small marijuana business – either from an exiting platform or from scratch – are finding themselves squeezed out.California marijuana small business lawyer

For the “mom-and-pot spot” owners either just starting out or wondering how their doors will stay open, it can be tempting to try trimming expenses and skimping on legal services. But even if expenses are tight, this isn’t a good idea. Cannabis law in California isn’t like writing up a simple contract or printing off a power of attorney form from a free site. It’s complex. It’s been changing fast. It varies from city-to-city. It’s got this complicated relationship with federal law. It’s really the type of legal insight you can only get from an attorney who not only practices California cannabis law, but has been doing it for decades.

California legal cannabis market isn’t just about capital. It’s about compliance. If you’re busy trying to cut through state bureaucracy or negotiate a commercial leases on your own, you are firstly  Our marijuana lawyers work with you to help you make sure you’re covered from a legal standpoint. We want to be sure your time, monetary investment and dream is protected.

Examples of the ways a lawyer can help keep you in the game and competitive:

  • Strict adherence

Pall Cast Over Hemp Win as FDA Dubs CBD Products Illegal

The U.S. president’s signature on the major farm bill earlier this month was a big win for legalized hemp. However, our Los Angeles marijuana product sales attorneys have just learned the passage of that measure won’t necessarily grant blanket protection for CBD oil, after the U.S. Food and drug administration issued warnings to a number of cannabis product makers making certain health claims about products produced with CBD, formally known as cannabidiol.  The hemp-derived extract is becoming increasingly popular in a range of products, including foods, lotions and medicines.Los Angeles CBD oil attorney

A week after the farm bill was passed, the FDA Commissioner issued a statement underscoring the department’s position on CBD oil and related products. The commissioner stated in plain terms that CBD oil is a drug ingredient, and thus is unlawful to put in food or health products absent any prior approval from the FDA, with the main concern being potential risk to patients when products haven’t been proven to be effective or safe.

Remember: CBD is the non-psychoactive compound found in hemp, which is a version of the cannabis plant that is very low in THC. It’s the THC infused naturally in marijuana that gives off the high. CBD is in a number of medications that are approved by the FDA for treatment of certain ailments. Epidiolex, a CBD-oil infused syrup used to treat seizures, is one, having just received its stamp of approval this past summer. 

Los Angeles marijuana product sales attorneys understand the FDA memo released after the farm bill approval did …

More California Cannabis Testing Regulations on the Horizon

California cannabis company compliance attorneys are warning current and potential clients that the newest round of regulations that is going to dramatically impact company coffers, causing laboratory testing fees to skyrocket by as much as 55 percent. This latest roll-out, Phase 3 of state regulations, effective Dec. 31st, is specifically going to impact those who are making concentrates and infused products, as well as those who work in cultivation. cannabis attorney

Among the regulations that will go into effect at that time:

  • All harvested marijuana and cannabis products are mandated to be tested for mold-generated toxins, mycotoxins and heavy metals.
  • Labels of products that claim terpene (a natural, essential oil that enhances the high and contains numerous medicinal properties) will be subject to terpenoid tests.
  • Cannabis products that are inhalable, solid, or semi-solid edibles will need to undergo water activity tests in order to ascertain the amount of water they contain.

These tests, state regulators say, are intended to impose more stringent standards on marijuana products to make them safer for public consumption.

Cannabis company compliance attorneys in Los Angeles are extending legal services to any Southern California marijuana business whose owners want to be certain their product meets the rigorous new standards and that they haven’t missed any potential loopholes. The Cannabis Law Firm can also help your team gear up for upcoming testing requirements we know are on the horizon in 2019.

Increase in Testing Rigor Raises Concern Among Cannabis Farmers

Even though the heightened requirements aren’t news to anyone in the industry, many …

California Vineyards May Cash in on CBD-Infused Wine After 2018 Farm Bill Lifts Hemp Ban

California vineyards seeking to cash in on possible cannibdiol-infused (CBD) wines may benefit from provisions of the much-touted 2018 Farm Bill, which amended the federal Controlled Substances Act to remove restrictions on both hemp and hemp-derived CBD, which is unique from marijuana in its lack of THC, the psychoactive agent in cannabis. However, as experienced Orange County cannabis industry attorneys, we urge wineries to proceed with caution and legal consultation.Orange County hemp lawyer

Although the impact of removing restrictions on hemp and hemp-derived products is likely to be significant, technically federal agricultural subsidies don’t rope in growers of vegetables and fruits – including grapes. Plus, even as the federal ban on marijuana lifted, many states – including California – still have laws on the books making it unlawful to infuse hemp in alcohol or food products. The Farm Bill expressly allows states to govern their own regulation of hemp production, the same as it does with alcohol.

Congress did direct states to both license and track any hemp produced from seed-to-sale, but gives state lawmakers the authority to impose tighter hemp regulations if they so choose. However, state rules can’t be any less strict than federal guidelines and those regulations do need to get the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture’s approval stamp.

Orange County marijuana business attorneys know that is likely to create complications for California vineyards hoping to hop into the hemp game. The good news is the farm bill does expressly allow commerce of hemp and hemp products across state lines, but that doesn’t mean …

California Marijuana Arrests Down, But Pot Restrictions Still Pose Legal Woes for Consumers

To answer a question that still commonly crops up for our Los Angeles marijuana criminal defense attorneys: Yes, you can still get busted for cannabis-related offenses in the state of California.Los Angeles criminal defense marijuana

When California legalized cannabis for recreational purposes with Prop. 64, broadly opening the market for adult consumers earlier this year, it did not legalize all cultivation, production, sale and possession of the drug. Instead, marijuana legalization was inducted into a highly-regulated market. And while criminal arrests for cannabis possession are down, there is still a risk of running afoul of state regulations and criminal codes.

This summer, a crime report issued by the state revealed that while marijuana-related arrests in mid-2018 saw a significant drop this year compared to last (56 percent overall, with felony marijuana arrests down 74 percent), there is still a risk that Californians and visitors could face substantial jail or prison terms, hefty fines and criminal records. Still, the number facing those risks fell by 8,000 from 2016 to 2017.

Los Angeles marijuana criminal defense attorneys as well as those with the Drug Policy Alliance and other supporters who have long-backed marijuana legalization efforts, overall this is good news, as it means less taxpayer-funded law enforcement resources are being dedicated to non-violent drug-related offenses, and the focus now can rightly shift to more serious crimes. 

Still, the laws for cannabis cultivation, production and possession still leave the door wide open for adverse contact with local law enforcement agencies – and a potential criminal record. In October, the California Attorney …

More California Marijuana Products Passing Stringent Safety Tests

More California marijuana products are passing rigorous safety standards imposed by state law, though Orange County marijuana business attorneys know the the abrupt closure of a state-approved laboratory found to have fallen short in checking for pesticides has some Orange County cannabis companies scrambling to ensure they’re meeting state guidelines.california marijuana lawyer

Earlier this year marked the beginning of broad legalization of marijuana in California, but strict testing of pot products was mandated by state officials beginning July 1. Eight weeks into that testing and one-fifth of all marijuana products were failing those standards. By November, however, California’s Bureau of Cannabis Control reported the testing failure rate fell to roughly 14 percent. That still means approximately 24,000 marijuana items for sale never made it to store shelves.

Among those items reportedly having the highest failure rates were cannabis-infused:

  • Candies
  • Cookies
  • Tinctures (concentrated herbal extracts)

Those items on their own had a fail rate of about 26 percent over the summer, though this was still an improvement. Previously, the fail rate of these processed marijuana products had been about one-third. 

A spokesman for the state control bureau noted that although any regulation is going to have an adjustment period, the overall consensus is the California cannabis industry has made that adjustment rather quickly, considering all the rules that have gone into effect in a relatively short period of time. The lower fail rates are indicative of that, something the spokesman said was “encouraging.”

As a long-time Orange County marijuana law firm, The Cannabis Law Group urges …

California Marijuana Company Siphons Uber, Lyft Workers for Cannabis Deliveries

The gig economy that contracts ride-share drivers is known for being unpredictable, tedious and, as contract workers, exempt from key employment benefits like health insurance, workers’ compensation and retirement savings. Now, with marijuana delivery services in L.A. and throughout California legal, cannabis companies are starting to poach these workers from big-name ride-share companies like Uber, Lyft and DoorDash.Los Angeles marijuana delivery attorney

Los Angeles marijuana delivery attorneys know the pace is likely to pick up now that California’s Bureau of Cannabis Control this month moved to allow the delivery of marijuana products throughout the entire Golden State. This includes allowing delivery drivers access to those areas with local bans on marijuana sales, per NBC San Diego. Although the move is opposed by the California League of Cities as well as numerous law enforcement agencies. Los Angeles marijuana delivery attorneys know means some drivers may get some flack from local police. In fact, as our cannabis criminal defense law firm knows, the state regulator took action to make this right explicit after several law enforcement agencies in non-pot-friendly communities made it known they intended to detain and arrest licensed marijuana delivery drivers who were ferrying marijuana through their cities for commercial purposes. Despite this opposition, the directive from the state control agency will become law next month unless the state’s Office of Administrative Law intervenes. If that occurs, the matter could wind up in court.

State marijuana regulators, given broad control by voters to regulate virtually every aspect of legal cannabis sales, maintain that when California voters passed …

California Marijuana Attorneys Expect Hemp Farming to Grow Across U.S.

With Congress having reached an accord on the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, which includes a provision to lift the federal ban on cultivation of industrial hemp, the proliferation of hemp farming in California and across the country is expected to grow exponentially. California hemp farming attorneys know that up to this point, the U.S. has been the only industrialized nation wherein industrialized hemp isn’t already an established crop. The provisions of the act amend the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 to indicate industrial hemp plants containing no more than 0.3 percent THC won’t be classified any longer as a schedule I narcotic. The measure gives states, rather than the federal government, authority regulate commercial hemp production and sales. California hemp farmer attorney

It’s a measure that could potentially be a cash cow for California farmers, as well as those across the U.S.

Hemp is defined in California Health and Safety Code Section 11018.5 as the fiber or oilseed crop limited to types of the cannabis plant with no more than three-tenths of THC. It’s production is overseen by the California Industrial Hemp Program, with Division 24 of the California Food and Agricultural Code providing for the cultivation of industrial hemp by registered growers as well as established agricultural research sites. The reason this federal measure is so important is that up until that law goes into effect, hemp is still considered a Schedule I narcotic per the CSA, which California hemp farming attorneys know means unless specifically exempted there, any hemp-related activity is still technically …

Los Angeles Marijuana DUI Enforcement Funds Increased

Los Angeles marijuana DUI just got a little likelier, given local news reports the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office has bolstered funding for the prosecution of driving under the influence charges involving cannabis and other drugs. Because determining intoxication via marijuana can be subjective – even for trained police officers – it’s important to contact an experienced Los Angeles marijuana DUI lawyer as soon as possible to ensure your rights are preserved.marijuana dui defense Los Angeles

There is currently no accepted scientific test that “proves” impairment by THC, the blood, urine or breath tests do with alcohol. That’s because alcohol moves through the human body at a much more rapid rate than THC, which means if it is detected in the system in high concentrations, intoxication is almost positive. THC concentration doesn’t tell us the same because the chemical can remain in the body for weeks or even months after consumption, particularly if one is a regular consumer of marijuana.

With the help of a nearly $1 million grant form the California Office of Traffic Safety via the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the agency that seeks to curb drunk driving and slash the number of drug- and alcohol-related deaths and injuries across the U.S. This year’s grant is $100,000 more than the last. The funding is allocated for training and in some instances prosecuting cases of drug-impaired driving that results in death. Additionally, the grant will help train police agencies and boost the number of officers in Los Angeles County who are considered certified drug recognition …

California Cannabis Insurance: Risks and Regulations

Almost all California businesses know they’ll need to secure some type of insurance. Unfortunately, as our Los Angeles marijuana business attorneys know full well, companies that deal in cannabis face a host of major hurdles for this essential service. Although the California Insurance Commissioner has approved a handful of insurance carriers to offer insurance coverage to the cannabis industry this year, giving growers and distributors at least some options, there is a good argument to be made that cannabis companies need an insurer tailored to meet the unique needs of the industry – just like they require an attorney who specializes in marijuana law. Los Angeles marijuana lawyers

Although it has become easier this year for cannabis companies to find insurance coverage than ever before, Los Angeles marijuana business attorneys recognize the industry is still very under-served.

Most cannabis insurance primarily focuses on product liability coverage, as explained in a recent article by Insurance Journal. However, there are a number of other potential liabilities too for which cannabis companies likely could use insurance coverage. That’s an opportunity for insurance companies, but of course many are keenly aware of the risk, given federal laws pertaining to money laundering when doing business with any enterprise that derives income from illegal sale of cannabis. 

Insurers interested in entering the cannabis business market would do well to enter the various cannabis industry associations to get educated on the intricacies of the cannabis industry.

Cannabis Insurance Coverage Gaps

Cyber coverage for cannabis companies is one area that could use some additional coverage. …

California’s “Trimmigrants” Less Targeted for Prosecution, Still Grapple With Harassment, Wage Theft

Legalization of marijuana has brought a number of enterprises and employees from the shadows of the black market. One of those includes the work of so-called “bud trimmers.” Los Angeles marijuana employment attorneys know that because so many of these workers are from other places, flocking in heavy numbers during harvest seasons, they are sometimes referred to as “trimmigrants.” These workers were historically subject to an outsized risk of the same sort of abuses many migrant workers face – unfair wages or wage theft, discrimination and sexual harassment.Los Angeles marijuana employment attorney

An article published two years ago in “Broadly” was written by a woman who worked for years during harvest season on illegal marijuana farms in rural California. The isolation of the site made it all the more dangerous for young female workers – not only because they risked jail time and felony charges for unregulated, untaxed income, but because they are frequently (especially on the black market) targeted for sexual harassment. One investigation by the Center for Investigative Reporting’s Reveal found in 2016 that the number of sexual assaults suffered by female trimmers was far underestimated.

Ideally, legalizing the drug would have brought these sort of elements of the industry to light, making workers safer. Perhaps to some degree, that is true. However, as Los Angeles marijuana attorneys with practice areas both in the budding cannabis law as well as California employment law, we recognize these workers may still be vulnerable, especially if the operation is still illegal (as a fair number still are, …

California Cannabis Testing Lab Shut Down Amid Reports of Doctored Lab Results

Hundreds of batches of marijuana products may need to be recalled and retested after a California cannabis testing lab surrendered its license following a state inspection reportedly revealed falsification of product testing results over the last four months. Los Angeles marijuana business lawyers recognize this could have substantial impact on statewide supply and industry operations heading into the new year. That’s because come Jan. 1, 2019, a host of additional marijuana testing requirements go into effect, and cannabis oils, flowers and edibles are required to undergo more rigorous testing for certain toxins like heavy metals. This is bad news because bottlenecks at state-authorized testing labs were already beginning to form, slowing the process of getting these products from seed to sale.Los Angeles marijuana business lawyers

The lab in question, Sequoia Analytical Labs in Sacramento, was undergoing a routine inspection late last month when state investigators with the California Bureau of Cannabis Control noted that in testing for 66 pesticides required by law, tests for 22 of those were not correct, thanks to a “faulty instrument.” Furthermore, the bureau reported the lab director was aware the results were erroneous, and not only failed to intervene and take corrective action, but instead falsified lab results to indicate the products were safe when in fact they may not have been.

Safety Concerns for Faulty Testing Prompt Marijuana Business License Forfeiture

A message from the marijuana safety testing lab indicates the firm was “horrified” to learn about the potential safety breach, and in turn voluntarily surrendered their license while corrections were made.  …

Credit Union Offering Marijuana Businesses Checking and Savings Accounts

Banking for marijuana businesses has been fraught with legal perils. As Los Angeles marijuana business attorneys can explain, this stems primarily from the fact that no matter how many states allow marijuana, the Department of Justice continues to consider the drug unlawful according to federal law, which puts banks in the legal cross-hairs, thanks to money laundering statutes. That’s why despite being a multi-billion dollar industry, only 30 percent of cannabis businesses have access to banking.cannabis attorney blog

That may be changing, though the pace will truly depend on how aggressively the federal government pursues violators pursuant to federal law. The Anchorage Daily News reported a credit union plans to launch a pilot program intended to extend banking and checking services to marijuana-related businesses that otherwise operate largely in cash. As noted by the credit union’s CEO, the lack of financial services for cannabis companies has resulted in essentially a cash crisis for marijuana businesses as well as a safety issue for local communities, as these locations may be targeted for strong arm robberies.

Alaska, like California, allows marijuana cultivation, sale and possession for recreational purposes, and has done so since 2014. Yet as retailers have cropped up throughout the state, they face problems similar to those in this state, which is they must operate in cash and owners have even had their personal bank accounts abruptly closed. The credit union says it hopes to address this market need and also improve community safety by giving cannabis companies another option besides cash-only operation. Just in Alaska …

U.S. Tax Court to California Cannabis Business: You’re Still Drug Trafficking

Although California cannabis business attorneys know significant strides have been made with regard to legitimization of California’s marijuana industry, a ruling by the U.S. Tax Court underscored once again that until there are significant changes at the federal level, marijuana businesses are still illegal drug-smugglers under the eyes of the law. Orange County marijuana lawyer

In Harborside Health Center v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, what is admittedly one of the largest marijuana dispensaries in California – and possibly the U.S. – requested the usual tax deductions that any legitimate business owner might seek. It also sought to be treated just like any other corporation because it abides the law in California, as our California cannabis business lawyers know many such distributors in the state do, and federal prosecutors opted not to take any type of civil forfeiture action against the firm.

The IRS, however, sees it much differently. In the eyes of federal law, as long as the U.S. Controlled Substances Act remains in place (designating marijuana as a Schedule I narcotic), the IRS sees Harborside (and presumably others like it) nothing more than a large drug trafficking ring, not entitled to those deductions or even allowed to capitalize indirect costs into its inventory, and further subject to potentially millions of dollars in penalties for taking several contrary positions on tax returns from 2007 through 2012. 

The U.S. Tax Court, unfortunately, found that unless and until federal lawmakers decide to legalize marijuana at the federal government level, such licensed California marijuana dispensaries are going to be treated …

California Cannabis Lawyers Explain Why “Free Samples” Could Cost Your Pot Business

Many retailers extend promotional offers to drum up new business or garner awareness of a new product. However, just as with almost every other aspect of operation and sales, California cannabis companies must be especially careful about how they market and promote their product. Otherwise, as our California cannabis lawyers can explain, distributors may find their green business deep in the red – and themselves in handcuffs. marijuana lawyer

Recently, The Olympian reported recently that a pot shop owner in a Washington state suburb drew the attention and ire of state regulators for allegedly passing out free samples in violation of the state’s recreational marijuana laws. An undercover investigation was launched after officials received an anonymous tip about an alleged illegal marijuana club on site. Social media advertisements indicated free samples to the product were provided upstairs. Undercover officers began investigating the pot shop, and were offered free samples by an employee, who told them they could try it in another section of the building that wasn’t licensed. The officers reported that when they got to this portion of the building, they saw several individuals smoking marijuana.

The problem is marijuana retailers cannot, as Los Angeles cannabis business lawyers can explain, offer a ‘try it before you buy it” sort of deal for marijuana customers. This is largely owing to the fact marijuana business licensees in California, just as in Washington, are required to keep track of their product from seed to sale. By diverting products to be distributed as free samples, they are in violation …

California Marijuana Investor Accused of Plot to Kidnap, Murder Cannabis Business Partner

Los Angeles marijuana attorneys know the cannabis industry has worked diligently since Proposition 64 was passed to shed its past image of lawlessness. An alleged plot in San Diego isn’t helping, though the case has helped bring to light certain marijuana businsess regulatory loopholes that state lawmakers are now working to address. Los Angeles marijuana lawyers

Local news media is reporting a prominent property owner and marijuana owner, along with two associates, is accused of cooking up a plan to kidnap and murder a business partner while in Mexico. He has been arrested on charges of criminal conspiracy, leaving the Southern California cannabis community stunned. Many trade industry groups have refused to discuss this case, and while our Los Angeles marijuana attorneys will point out that the accused is innocent until proven guilty, it is important to point out that even if proven, this conduct is not reflective on the rest of the cannabis business community – despite the way in which staunch prohibitionists in many communities will undoubtedly attempt to twist it.

The truth of the matter is concerns regarding public safety that were raised time and again by die-hard cannabis prohibitionists haven’t been realized. The truth of the matter is in San Diego, where these individuals reportedly worked, has not reported any noticeable uptick in violence among operators of the city’s lawful marijuana dispensaries. Of those violent incidents that have been reported, almost all involved illegal, unregulated cannabis dispensaries. Legalization and regulation is a form of protection not only for owners and operators of the business …

California Cannabis Tourists: Buy it Here, Keep it Here

A couple from Minnesota was recently convicted on federal possession with intent to distribute charges after they were accused of hauling more than 1,000 pounds of California cannabis in their RV and were on their way home when they were stopped in Montana. They face between 5 and 40 years in prison for the charges, plus a $5 million fine and up to four years of supervised release. It’s not clear exactly how officers were tipped off to the pair, though Los Angeles marijuana business lawyers understand Montana authorities were notified via the Minnesota drug task force before they were stopped leaving a casino. Defendant reportedly told authorities he was paid $20,000.Los Angeles marijuana lawyer

Transport of marijuana across state lines has always been a federal crime, and the fact the drug can now be obtained legally by adults in states like California has not changed that. Even traveling from a state like Washington to California – where the drug is legal for recreational purposes in both states – is technically a crime in the eyes of federal law. It may even be considered trafficking, and you could face five years in prison for possession with intent to distribute as little as 50 grams.

Practically speaking, if you transport cannabis across state lines from one state to another where both have legalized cannabis for recreation, you may not incur any serious penalty. But if this is something you are thinking about or planning, take no action before first speaking with a Los Angeles marijuana attorney because technically, …

Los Angeles Marijuana Lawyer: Shipping Cannabis From California is Risky

Although cannabis has been legal in California for recreational use since the start of this year, Los Angeles marijuana lawyers know there continues to be much confusion as to what is allowable and what isn’t in the course of conducting business. One legal woe cropping up of late involves marijuana shipping and transport. Shipping out-of-state (or sometimes even in-state) is fraught with legal pitfalls. If you are not careful, you and/ or your associates could wind up facing serious criminal charges, not to mention hefty fines.Los Angeles marijuana business lawyer

Because the federal government considers marijuana to be a dangerous narcotic, it is a federal felony offense to transport it interstate. Because of the Supremacy Clause in the U.S. Constitution, the federal government can prosecute you for federal crimes, even if your actions are legal under state law. In-state transfers can be done lawfully, but it depends on the circumstances.

California’s Bureau of Cannabis Control lays the groundwork for the state’s digital track-and-trace system and is responsible for licensing every vehicle used to transport marijuana across the state.

Cannabis Delivery by Road Transport

Generally speaking, individuals over 21 transporting less than 1 ounce for non-commercial purposes in-state shouldn’t have an issue with law enforcement. However, businesses are going to be held to more stringent standards. Los Angeles cannabis industry lawyers know this marks a substantial change for many businesses, which for many years following the 1996 Compassionate Use Act were sort of operating in the wild west when it came to marijuana transportation because there weren’t any regulations …

New California Cannabis Shop Hopefuls Face Barriers to Entry

This year was the first in which Californians could freely grow, sell, buy and use marijuana purely for purposes of recreation without the constant threat of criminal law enforcement intervention. However, almost nowhere in the Golden State can new marijuana business owners say it’s been an easy road.Los Angeles dispensary lawyer

Prop. 64, which opened the doors to recreational marijuana, imparted a significant amount of power and discretion to local jurisdictions to decide the type and volume of marijuana businesses that would be allowable. Some communities, like San Jose and San Francisco, embraced commercial cannabis at the outset. Meanwhile, others like Fontana have tried to outlaw the shops entirely. Those with the harshest restrictions have in some cases (Fontana, for instance) been successfully challenged.

For the most part, communities agree the drug should be legal, but just practically speaking, it takes time to supplant an unregulated market. Questions have still arisen regarding how the wealth should be distributed, who gets a chance to participate and how tight should restrictions be. A dedicated California marijuana dispensary attorney can advocate on behalf of all types of cannabis corporations, whether a brick-and-mortar store, a delivery service, farmers or ancillary business. 

In some cases, some municipal marijuana markets have paved the way a small number of well-capitalized cannabis firms to dominate, while others have seen the proliferation of smaller, mom-and-pop-type pot shops. An analysis by the California Cannabis Growers, the state’s biggest marijuana trade organization, insists the success of the regulatory schema will hinge primarily on how many businesses are …

More California Marijuana Dispensaries May Be Cropping Up in Sacramento

Amid the booming Southern California cannabis industry, the City of Sacramento is weighing whether to lift the existing cap on the number of marijuana dispensaries licensed to operate in the city, the primary goal being to offer more opportunities to minorities. Since 2014, the number of pot dispensaries permitted by the city has been capped at 30. When recreational marijuana was legalized in California almost a year ago, the city maintained that cap, allowing only those dispensaries that already existed authorization to continue selling. No new licenses were distributed. Of those dispensary owners, not a single one is black. This is problematic and has been vocally opposed by the California Urban Partnership. City officials say they don’t track dispensary owner race. California marijuana dispensary attorneys

Still, it is considered an issue worth addressing, particularly considering people of color are more likely to have been victimized by the failed War on Drugs and have prior drug-related convictions. The city did form a program, CORE, that will waive permit fees for new dispensaries, but because of the cap, no new dispensaries can even be opened once the program officially launches.

Talk of raising the number of dispensaries allowed in the city arose for this reason, though the mayor conversely suggested preference could be given to minorities should one of the existing dispensaries happen to close. However, that’s fairly unlikely, given how lucrative California marijuana dispensaries are and will almost certainly continue to be. 

Even if the council did decide to raise the number of marijuana dispensaries allowed, it will probably …

Fontana Marijuana Lawyers Hail Axed Home-Grown Pot Rules

When California voters approved Proposition 64, it included a provision that give wide discretion to individual communities regarding how much of a berth they wanted to give cannabis companies and customers. In San Bernardino County, Fontana marijuana lawyers soon understood that in this community, authorities were eager to take a hard line stance – particularly on home grow operations. Fontana marijuana lawyer blog

Now, Fontana’s de facto ban on home cannabis grow operations has been nixed in a San Bernardino Superior Court ruling, finding the city’s rule’s to be “excessive,” paving the way for individuals to grow and possess amounts of the drug that are more in line with state provisions, which are far more lax.

This is likely to prompt other municipalities to look carefully at their own policies if they are tighter than provisions of state law. 

Fontana Marijuana Lawyers Outline Stringent City Ordinance

The city ordinance in Fontana was strict, effectively amounting to a de facto ban on individuals growing even small amounts of the drug in their homes for personal use.

The ordinance mandated that all residents who wanted to grow marijuana in the city had to first register with the city. It also required they undergo a criminal background check (blocking any who owed fees to the city), open their home to city officials to undergo an inspection and then on top of that pay a substantial fee to do so. Furthermore, it excluded a number of individuals, such as those with prior convictions, from obtaining a permit. Furthermore, the ordinance made it …

Los Angeles Marijuana Lawyers: Why Illegal Pot Shops are Proliferating

For as long as the people of California have sought marijuana, the black market has existed. Even when the state legalized medicinal use in 1996 and then paved the way for lawful recreational use with a ballot measure last year, Los Angeles marijuana lawyers know the reality is illicit pot shops and sales have always outpaced the legal market. The hope was we’d see a shift, a significant tapering off of demand for illegal marijuana now that with recreational pot now available. But as of right now, they have retained a larger hold than facilities operating according to the stringent regulatory guidelines set forth by state and local officials.Los Angeles marijuana lawyers

Los Angeles marijuana lawyers had seen many long-time operators on the California cannabis scene try to work their way into the newly-forged legal market to finally be legitimate, only to end up continuing to work the riskier – bit more lucrative – illicit market. This includes unlawful medical marijuana collectives, cannabis delivery services and cultivation farms that haven’t been properly vetted according to stringent state law.

Some of these individuals are focused on pursuing “OT” money, generated from “out-of-towners.” Of course, such sales are especially risky because, as our Los Angeles marijuana lawyers know, rules can vary from city to city and certainly from state-to-state and country-to country. Black market sales are playing with fire given the uncertainty of how federal authorities are going to handle future sales. Despite the Jan. 1st legalization of recreational use and sales in the Golden State, cannabis is considered …

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 …