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

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

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

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

Federal Employees Deserve to Use Marijuana, Too

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

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

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

Northern and Southern California Join Forces for Cannabis Businesses

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

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

Putting Stock in the Future of Cannabis Businesses

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

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

Simply being in the cannabis …

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

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

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

Medical Cannabis a Star Player in ‘Concussion Pill’

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

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

Legalization Changing the Way We Talk to Kids About Marijuana

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

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

Riverside City Council Vaporizes Hope of Marijuana Businesses

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

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

Marijuana Arrests Still Disproportionate Toward Minorities

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

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

DOJ Declares Canadian Border Battleground for Cannabis

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

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

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

Misinformation About Medical Marijuana Not Helping Anyone

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

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

This has bred a grassroots …

Marijuana and the Opioid Crisis: A Tale of Two Countries

In the fight for medical marijuana, there has been no more compelling of a battlegroundmedical marijuana than opioid addiction. Both U.S. and Canadian governments have dubbed the rapid increase in overdoses to be a crisis or epidemic. Meanwhile, cannabis has demonstrated itself to be the potential key to unlocking the addictive cycles, adding to the urgency in passing more effective medical marijuana laws. In New York, emergency rules have been put in place to allow medical marijuana as an opioid replacement. Yet in Ontario, where medical marijuana is permitted at the federal level for a variety of conditions, workers are still having opioids pushed on them.

New York state Department of Health recently added opioid dependency to the list of 12 other conditions that qualify patients for medical marijuana recommendations, according to Marijuana Moment. Chronic pain, one of the key issues opioids are used to treat, is already on the list, but specifically adding opioid substitution gives doctors the freedom to recommend cannabis to those with opioid addictions regardless of the reason they started taking them. Officials are hoping this strategy reduces the number of opioid deaths, noting that states with pro-medical marijuana laws on the books have seen a 30 percent drop in opioid prescriptions for Medicaid users.Statistics as of March 2018 from National Institute on Drug Abuse show more than 115 people die of opioid overdoses every day in the U.S. In Canada, numbers are also on the rise with an average of almost 8 deaths per day in 2016 and …

Indiana Judge Won’t Recognize Pot as Part of Higher Power

State law, federal law, and religious liberties have collided to form an unholy trinity in a casecannabis lawyers involving First Church of Cannabis. The church had put in a bid attempting to allow smoking of marijuana as a religious sacrament in Indiana. The group sued the state, attorney general, and then Gov. Mike Pence in 2015. But a judge out of Marion County Superior Court recently ruled against the church, according to RTV6.

Indiana currently has extremely limited medical marijuana provisions and relatively strict laws against recreational use. Attempts to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana were thwarted in 2013, and instead an amendment to IC 35-48-4-11 was added to HB 1006 to increase penalties of certain types of possession to felonies rather than misdemeanors. Some attempts to legalize medical marijuana also failed a few years ago, but last year the legislature was able to push through a bill allowing CBD oil specifically for seizures. Considering all of the people nationwide who have found relief from cannabis for a wide variety of ailments, this seems to be the absolute least they could do.First Church of Cannabis was attempting to appeal to the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which is intended to protect religious groups from government interference. The act stirred up controversy from people concerned the law could lead to discrimination against certain residents, particularly LGBTQ individuals, with business owners citing religion as a shield for their discrimination. It is clear, though, given the reaction to the First Church of Cannabis that the …

Adding a Little Green to the Red, White, and Blue

Sparklers weren’t the only things people were lighting up across the country this Fourth of marijuana lawyerJuly. Residents of states with adult-use marijuana laws were enjoying newfound freedoms to consume cannabis products. This was especially true here in California with this being the first Independence Day with legalized recreational marijuana.

The holiday came just a few short days after regulations went into place for packaging and sales of cannabis in California. The new rules mean that all products must meet certain standards of quality control, pass tests for safe pesticide content, and have packaging that clearly displays warnings and the makeup of the product, including THC levels. This spurred retailers to offer deep discounts on cannabis products last month that did not meet new standards, putting an influx of marijuana in the hands of Californians ahead of the July 1 deadline. This made for a very happy Independence Day for many users, indeed.Some people used the holiday famous for cookouts and picnics to try new cannabis-infused recipes. Others hosted soirees that allowed celebrants to indulge in cannabis products and enjoy the holiday, all while staying at one location, according to Palm Spring Desert Sun. One local inn, which has dubbed itself a “bud and breakfast,” hosted a Fourth of July event complete with swimming, catered snacks and meals, cannabis and crystal healers, vendors, dispensary representatives, and music, all with a safe place to crash at the end of the night.

This type of event was ideal for law enforcement, who were encouraging residents …

What Groups Still Oppose Marijuana? Follow the Money

At Cannabis Law Group, we discuss at length the groups who support marijuana marijuana criminal defenselegalization: from health organizations and doctors to veterans, cancer patients, and NFL players. Support crosses age groups, socio-economic status, race, and gender. A recent report from High Times, however, revealed some groups who do not support marijuana legalization, and it paints an interesting picture of those who have profited most off of the criminalization of this relatively benign drug.

Several of the groups on the list are, no surprise, involved in the arrest and incarceration of marijuana users. Law enforcement officials, for example, have received a great deal of funding over the years that was earmarked for the barbaric and misguided “War on Drugs.” Despite much more dangerous and lethal street drugs, marijuana users have always been a favorite target. It’s no wonder, considering the docile effect cannabis can often have on users, as opposed to the aggressive, violent, and hyperactive responses other drugs can induce. Marijuana has allowed police officers the ability to go after low-hanging fruit, pull in big numbers, and still get paid the same. Many police stations have also benefitted greatly from asset forfeiture programs, in which they line their budgets with money made off of auctioning seized property in marijuana raids. It’s not like there would even be a lack of work to be done. Without marijuana, officers will have to focus their time and resources on more risky areas, such as meth labs and opioid rings, which will be far more challenging.From there, …

Recreational Marijuana Use Legal in Vermont; Sales, Not So Much

Recreational marijuana is now officially legal in Vermont, but it looks quite a bit different recreational marijuanathan it does in California. According to Associated Press, the new law that recently went into effect did not include provisions for how to tax and regulate marijuana production. As our marijuana attorneys can explain, this means while residents can possess and consume cannabis, they cannot open up a business to sell recreational products.

Broken down into more precise terms, this is what adult-use legalization means for those in Vermont. Residents are allowed to have four immature cannabis plants and two mature plants in their homes, so while it’s true there are no stores to purchase from, marijuana can be grown at home. Plants must be in enclosures that are secure and obscured from public view. Renters, however, must have permission from their landlords before they are allowed to begin a grow. Those 21 years and older are allowed to possess up to one ounce of marijuana, but it cannot be consumed in public spaces.Aside from home grows and all their limitations, the only other options Vermont residents have is to procure marijuana by illicit means. This is not unlike the way medical marijuana started in Vermont. Medical marijuana was legalized in the state in 2004 with the passage of Senate Bill 76. This law offered protections to qualifying patients and their caregivers who possessed or cultivated marijuana. The move was more about making sure that people who needed cannabis for health reasons were not treated

Oklahoma Proves Facts are Winning in Fight for Medical Marijuana

medical marijuanaOklahoma recently became the 30th state to approve some form of medical marijuana, a significant step in proving cannabis support is a non-partisan issue and that old-school propaganda tricks aren’t working to scare an informed electorate anymore.

State Question 788 passed with 57 percent approval despite almost half a million dollars spent on a campaign to shut down the proposal. Gov. Mary Fallin and Sen. James Lanford (R) joined several health and law enforcement organizations to voice opposition to the ballot initiative, according to a report from Forbes. Some voters claim the issue did not even appear on their ballot, causing speculation as to how far some would go to stop the measure. Even the fact that the issue was placed on a primary ballot rather than during a general election seemed to be tactically designed to set it up for failure since voters who show up at primaries tend to lean more conservative. The passage of the measure in spite of such obstacles, however, proves what cannabis advocates like our medical marijuana attorneys have been saying all along: marijuana is not a partisan issue.

Not only was the medical marijuana initiative passed, but it also stands apart from other states in that it gives more freedom to doctors. Some government officials in other states have decided they know better than medical doctors and have confined the permissible medical conditions by which health practitioners can recommend cannabis to a pre-determined list. The new Oklahoma law, however, keeps the power to decide squarely where …

Creative Solutions for California Marijuana Business Owners

When life hands you lemons, make lemonade … or in this case cannabis-infused water. Amarijuana business brewery in northern California called Lagunitas is doing just that with a line of sparkling waters it plans to sell in dispensaries. Drinks with cannabis are not common, but the brewery was able to achieve what other marijuana businesses have been afraid to tackle thanks to some creative thinking and close consideration of the law.

As our cannabis attorneys can explain, many in the beverage industry have been nervous to dabble in cannabis drinks out of concern for Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812. Because the law bans marijuana and lists it as a Schedule I narcotic, brewers worry that crossing the federal government could put their alcohol licenses at risk, even if they are abiding by state laws. That’s where ingenuity, creative problem solving and help from a knowledgeable legal team can help.Most California cannabis business owners will tell you it’s a delicate dance they must perform in order to run a business that is appealing to customers, profitable, and follows all ordinances and regulations. The most successful have worked state and local laws into their business plans right from the beginning, giving them a strong foundation to build on. Lagunitas, for example, was very conscious of any ways federal law could conflict with their licenses, so they decided to brew the water and hops flavoring at its own facility, then ship the water to another company to be infused with THC and CBD, according …

FDA Approval Could Change Everything for Medical Marijuana

A major victory in the fight for medical marijuana has finally arrived. Amedical marijuana marijuana-derived drug was recently approved by the FDA, making it the first of its kind. According to Washington Post, Epidiolex is a liquid anti-seizure drug which contains a purified cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive element in marijuana. CBD, as you likely know it as, only contains trace about of THC and does not create the “high” that so many marijuana naysayers point to as the defense for their outdated thinking.

CBD oil is commonly used for pain management, anxiety, addiction treatment, and now in a drug used for childhood epilepsy. Clinical trials of Epidiolex have shown better results without the severe side effects of epilepsy drugs already on the market. The drug has now been approved for patients 2 and older. Of course this is significant for families battling this debilitating disorder, but it also could be a groundbreaking moment for the rest of us as well.

As our Orange County marijuana lawyers can explain, cannabis is still classified as a Schedule I narcotic. According to Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812, a drug is considered Schedule I if it meets three criteria:

1) It has high potential for abuse.
2) It has no currently accepted medical use.
3) Even under medical supervision, it lacks accepted safety standards.

Millions of Americans have come to understand that these three statements couldn’t be further from the truth in regards to cannabis. That is precisely why FDA approval of a CBD derived drug

Senate Plants Seed for Hemp Legalization

U.S. Senate overwhelmingly voted to pass HR-2 Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, also known as the Farm Bill, which contains (among standardcannabis business food policy legislation) measures to legalize industrial hemp sales, cultivation, and processing, according to a report from Forbes. Hemp is a variety of cannabis popular for its lower concentrations of THC and higher levels of CBD, the non-psychoactive component of marijuana. This has made it ideal for creating a variety of products, from plastics to biofuel to animal feed to yarn.

The federal ban on marijuana has made no distinction between these strains of cannabis and THC-laden versions, which has caused Americans to seek out everyday products that happen to include hemp from other countries. Finally, a bipartisan group of politicians, led by Mitch McConnell (R-KY), is standing up for this common sense action.

The bill would open the door to hemp farming nationwide, not just states with legalized marijuana, and would allow those plants to be insured just like other crops. As the bill stands, it also would legalize other products, such as CBD oil, which is used for many medical purposes, including pain, anxiety, and seizures. It has been touted as a useful resource in weaning people off of opioids and acting as an effective pain relief substitute.

Champions of cannabis watch in wonder as a plant the federal government has gone out of its way to demonize and criminalize has continually been given special exceptions. Legislators have attached an amendment to Congressional spending bills preventing federal …

O, Cannabis: Canada Passes Adult-Use Marijuana

After months of anticipation, Canada has officially become the secondcannabis business country in the world to legalize adult-use cannabis after Senate recently passed the long-awaited bill. Uruguay was the first country to pass legalization measures, with sales starting last year. Canada’s size and global standing, however, give it a unique opportunity to set the tone for what legal marijuana could look like for the rest of the world. It will still be a couple months of preparations, though, before legal sales can begin, according to Los Angeles Times.

Uruguay has had a complicated relationship with legalization, primarily because the motivation was to regulate out-of-control crime syndicates related to the black market marijuana industry. An micro-managed infrastructure has made for a rocky start getting the legal economy off the ground, but officials are still confident their plans will help eventually neutralize illegal sales.Our Los Angeles cannabis business attorneys know California has played an important role in setting an example for other states and countries. The state is the fifth largest economy in the world, so there has been a great deal of interest in how cannabis legalization would play out. California had an advantage in being the first state to legalize medical marijuana in 1996 with the Compassionate Use Act, so there was already a decent foundation in place when the state moved forward with recreational legalization at the beginning of this year. Still there are issues that exist simply because federal law labels cannabis as a Schedule I narcotic, which means all …

Veteran Advocate Boone Cutler Joins Roger Stone & John Morgan At United States Cannabis Coalition

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

New York – The United States Cannabis Coalition is proud to announce the appointment of retired US Army Sergeant Boone Cutler to the USCC Advisory Board. A noted author, radio talk show host and veteran’s advocate, Cutler is an important activist for cannabis PTSD treatment. Cutler joins Board Member and former US Army Infantryman Tyler Nixon on the USCC’s Committee on Veterans Access.
“Cannabis literally saved my life’ says Cutler ‘the VA’s combat cocktail was killing me. I was a zombie and my symptoms were getting worse, not better. When I learned that Israel and other developed countries successfully use cannabis to treat issues like mine; it became my mission to fight for my Warfighter family to get the same life-saving cannabis that helped me. Together with the USCC, we will win the fight for real PTSD treatment”.
Cutler’s influence has helped several institutions, including his partnership with the venerable American Legion, to adopt a pro-medical marijuana stance.
Cutler suffered traumatic brain injury during Iraqi Freedom combat operations which later developed into Parkinson’s disease. Cutler spent years shuffling in and out of the VA hospital system, where he was given, as he calls it, ‘the combat cocktail’; 27 different mainly opiate and psych-based medications. Recognizing that the overload of pills was ruining his life, Cutler switched to medical cannabis and finally found relief from his symptoms.
“The demonization of cannabis has become a political movement that’s partnered big-money Pharma …

Florida Sidesteps Medicinal Marijuana Progression

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

By Annie Loupy

If you are a medical marijuana patient in Florida, you are familiar with the long and complicated history of cannabis legalization. The law is vague and restrictive causing backups, delays and inconvenient challenges.

In 2016, Florida voters flooded the polls to allow legal medicinal use of marijuana. With one step in the right direction, the government shot back with regulations like making the act of smoking cannabis illegal and only offering medicinal marijuana relief to patients with “debilitating conditions.” Thankfully, due to John Morgan’s successful advocacy, smoking herb is now legal. This marks one more victory for one of the largest potential markets in America, though patients are far from liberation of government restriction.

Recently, the topic of debate raised by 77-year-old patient Joe Redner diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer advocates for the right to grow his own marijuana. According to his doctor’s recommendation, Redner needs immediate access to a generous amount of his herbal prescription which would be more convenient if accessed from his backyard. Redner, a strip club owner, can afford his own weed but he knows many patients that are unable to fork over the unbelievably high prices of $9.27 per gram.

The Verdict
On the 11th of April,, judge Gievers ruled in Redner’s favor. And for a few weeks, Redner had the right to grow his own weed until the Health Department fired back with an appeal, putting Redner’s recent right on …

Buy Your Seeds Online

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

The benefits related to marijuana are quite well established by now and the fact that medical marijuana successfully treats various conditions and illnesses is not a torrid topic of contestation anymore. Using the whole marijuana plant, in an unprocessed state has a number of usages. Though it is still not legal across all states in the USA or approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the chemicals present in marijuana known as cannabinoids are known to be present in two pills that have been approved by the FDA.

The ‘THC’ level that determines the potency of a particular strain of cannabis to get you ‘high’ is actually tetrahydrocannabinol- to which the chemical cannabinoids are related to. The ‘THC’ element is responsible for increasing appetite, reducing feelings of nausea, decreasing pain, inflammation or problems relating to muscle control.

In a context where transactions in marijuana are largely illegal, it can sometimes become difficult to acquire what you’re looking for and ensure that it is of superior quality. This is why buying seeds online becomes a great plan because it ensures that what you’re partaking is pure and safe. Here is an option where you can choose the kind of strain that you want to smoke and order its seeds online, so that you can grow it yourself in a completely controlled environment. Not only do you get to get to ensure that it is grown as it should be, …

Marijuana Support at an All-Time High

We are currently experiencing the final gasps of the anti-marijuana agenda in the U.S., evidenced by more and more medical marijuanaAmericans not only support cannabis in theory, but also in practice. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs recently published a report showing that daily use of marijuana among adults is on the rise since 2007, while teen use is actually dropping.

Findings showed daily use increased among all age groups between 18 to 64, with an insignificant lead in the data among 18 to 34-year-olds. Non-daily use increased across all adult categories as well, but especially among 26- to 34-year-olds. The most likely cause is the wave of states that have legalized marijuana in some form. California is one of nine states (with a guest appearance by Washington, D.C.) that has total legalization for adult use. The number jumps to 29 when counting states with medical marijuana laws. The specifics vary by state, but the fact of the matter is Americans are discovering the health and recreational benefits of marijuana and incorporating it into their daily lives. The study was put together by researchers from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in New York. Results were compiled based on more than 700,000 respondents ages 12 and older to the 2002-2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

The increase of use mirrors the increase of support for marijuana legalization across the country. A Quinnipiac University poll released in April showed nationwide support of recreational marijuana legalization at 63 percent, the highest yet in …

Advertising Los Angeles Marijuana Business

There is no question marijuana, including medical marijuana and marijuana for recreational use is big business in the greater Los Angeles area.  Like any business, advertising is often needed to bring in new patients or customers, but many are concerned about where and how marijuana businesses choose to advertise.

l.a. marijuana lawyerAccording to a recent news article from the Los Angeles Times, this massive growth in the legalized marijuana industry has led to equally massive ad campaigns some of which feature full-sized billboards being placed around our area.  One of the major concerns is that legalized marijuana will lead to an increase in illegal marijuana use among minors, especially in the case of teenagers. 

While data in other markets where marijuana has been legal for quite some time shows these fears are largely exaggerated, and mainly the product of those who are, and always will be, against the legalization of marijuana for recreational use, there is no question we all want to curb any real problem of teens illegally obtaining marijuana for recreational use. This had led to the enactment of a new ordinance in the City of Los Angeles is designed to reduce the exposure of minors to these ads for marijuana industry products and services.

Specifically, the new ordinance, effective July 2018, will prohibit the placement of any billboard advertising marijuana and marijuana-related services withing 700 feet of many places where it is likely children will be present. These restrictions include the following:

  • Schools
  • Parks (Public)
  • Playgrounds
  • Libraries
  • Daycare Facilities
  • Youth Activity Centers

California Hotels Try to Attract Cannabis Tourism

While there may come a day when marijuana is legal for recreational use all across the nation, that day is nowhere in sight yet.  President Donald J. Trump has said he would be willing to remove marijuana from Schedule One of the United States Controlled Substances Act of 1970 (USCSA), but that is far from something certain to happen in light of his Attorney General’s feelings about marijuana, and marijuana users.  It would be certainly be a good thing for the nation if marijuana were legal for adults everywhere, but for now, those few states which have legalized marijuana for recreational purposes are finding themselves at a distinct advantage when it comes to what is now being called marijuana tourism, and those in the recreational marijuana business in Los Angeles are hoping to cash in on this.

recreational marijuanaThere was a time when people had to travel to Amsterdam for legal marijuana, and now they can go to Canada as our neighbors to the north have legalized marijuana nationwide, but according to a recent news article from the Los Angeles Times, local hotels are trying out new strategies to make their properties more marijuana friendly and hopefully make a big impact in this growing market.  

One hotel in Coachella Valley has started an ad campaign where they are telling prospective guests they are welcome to some marijuana at the pool.  They are also allowing guests to use vaporizers in their rooms, though they cannot smoke due to existing laws.  As our Los …

Issues Related to Illicit Marijuana Trade in Legalized California

For many decades before recreational marijuana was legalized in California, people were buying marijuana illegally. This included literally buying it on the street in open air drug markets as they are called by the Los Angeles Police Department, and they were also buying on what is often dubbed the marijuana gray market. Now that marijuana is legal for adults to purchase it for recreational purposes, it would seem people would no longer have to buy it illegally.

marijuana tax lawyerThe problem is that people are able to get high quality cannabis products on the gray market, and will not be charged with possession of marijuana under state law for having it, and if they want to purchase it legally, they may be forced to pay much higher prices.  This is not to say there is no risk to those selling marijuana illegally as they can be arrested and charged with various criminal offenses, but there is not much risk to the consumers. 

When Canada legalized marijuana for recreational use recently, the government said it would only place minimal taxes on cannabis products in an attempt to drive illegal sellers of marijuana out of business since it consumers could get higher quality products from legal vendors and comparable prices.

However, as our Riverside cannabis attorneys can explain, California officials did not choose to go this route as they saw it is a revenue generating industry with respect to taxes, so it may actually be cheaper to buy cannabis on the street than it is to go a …

Long Beach Finally Passes Recreational Marijuana Business Policies

Long Beach will soon be the next city in Los Angeles County to embrace recreational marijuana business planmarijuana after its city council voted overwhelmingly to regulate industry operations. The council passed a series of amendments that will set guidelines for cultivators, testing labs, distributors, and dispensaries in the city, according to an article from Press-Telegram. The 7-1 vote reflected a strong support from council, with the support of the mayor as well as the residents who voted for Proposition 64 in November 2016.

City staffers estimate the move could bring in about $750,000 in taxes from recreational sales next year and a whopping $4.5 million from medical marijuana taxes. City officials also hope to stimulate the economy with a clause that requires collective-bargaining agreements with United Food and Commercial Workers 324, the union that represents cannabis workers, raising the bar on the quality of jobs provided by local establishments. Long Beach also joins other California cities in creating social equity programs, designed to lift up communities most harmed in the past by reckless marijuana law enforcement policies. Those who qualify will have certain fees waived, have their applications fast-tracked for review, get access to special workshops, and qualify for tax deferrals. Restrictions for the program include meeting certain income requirements. More specifically, a person would need to have less than $250,000 net worth and fall below 80 percent of the local median income. They also would have to have an arrest, conviction, or citation spurred by a marijuana-related offense before recreational marijuana was passed in …

Pennsylvania Must Ditch Harsh Marijuana DUI Law

Pennsylvania’s marijuana DUI law could be about to see some much needed reform. State medical marijuanaRep. Sheryl Delozier (R-Cumberland) is working on a bill that would exempt medical marijuana patients from an overbearing law that prevents them from ever being allowed to drive, according to The Inquirer. The move comes as Pennsylvania Department of Health is in the process of implementing the state’s medical marijuana program.

PA Code Title 75, Sec. 3802, as it currently stands, states: “An individual may not drive, operate or be in actual physical control of the movement of a vehicle … (if) there is in the individual’s blood any amount of a Schedule I controlled substance.” Just as under the federal Controlled Substances Act, Pennsylvania also has cannabis listed under their own Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act as a Schedule I narcotic, right alongside heroin, peyote, mescaline and the like.To call the current law far-reaching is a wild understatement. Unlike many other substances, marijuana can stay in a person’s blood for up to 15 days, which means anyone who consumes cannabis in any quantity would be barred from driving in Pennsylvania for about two weeks. Of course it’s absurd to believe that because the drug is simply in one’s blood that they remain high for the entire duration. It has been documented that the effects of cannabis will last roughly a few hours, depending on the quantity consumed, how it was ingested, and the tolerance level of the person. Edibles, for example, might still …

Criminal Charges Dropped for Prominent Marijuana Dispensary Owner

Cannabis legalization isn’t enough to protect someone from being arrested on marijuana criminal charges. Being onemarijuana criminal defense of the trailblazing marijuana business owners in the state isn’t even necessarily enough. Just ask the woman who opened Ventura County’s first legal medical marijuana dispensary. She has spent the last year and a half facing down charges for perjury, possessing and transporting marijuana, and maintaining a place to sell the drug. These charges, however, were recently dropped, freeing her to focus on her business at last.

The woman is also president of a collective in Ojai, Calif. The property of the collective and her own home in Ventura were raided in November 2016, just before Proposition 64 passed on the ballot. She lost many personal possessions in addition to property of the collective. At the time, the collective was operating under the guidelines of Compassionate Use Act of 1996, which regulated use and sales of medical marijuana in the state, but investigators said she was in violation of those rules, according to a Ventura County Star article.As our Los Angeles marijuana criminal defense attorneys can explain, collectives are allowed to grow limited amounts of marijuana and share among members of the group, including deliveries to those members. They could not share outside the group, and they should only charge as much as necessary to cover the costs of growing marijuana, but not enough to turn a profit. Any suspicion of violating these rules could draw the attention of officials, as in the case at hand. …

Hashing Out Cannabis Supply Issues

California could learn a thing or two from those who paved the way for cannabis legalization. For example, Uruguay cannabis lawyerwas the first country to fully legalize marijuana, and the South American country has learned much as a result of trial-by-error. Cannabis was legalized there five years ago, but it wasn’t until last year that legal sales began. Since then, Uruguay has experienced a number of supply problems. Residents report having to travel long distances to licensed pharmacies, and sometimes once they arrive, the supply is dry.

According to a report from High Times, the issues are two-fold. First an excess in government oversight is creating supply chain issues. Only registered pharmacies can sell cannabis, and there have only been 14 licenses issued out of the 1,200 pharmacies in Uruguay. The government is also in charge of cultivation of marijuana, but only two cultivators have received licenses. Much like in California, when too many restrictions come between buyers and their marijuana, many consumers will choose black market options, even though there are legal options.

Second, the head of the Uruguay National Drug Council said there is an issue of farming capacity. Farming cannabis on such a large scale was not common, and there certainly was not a guidebook available. This led to a learning curve for cultivators to catch up on technology and processing on a mass scale. The two cultivators have just recently reached the allowed capacity of 4 metric tons per year.Meanwhile, demand for cannabis reaches an estimated 25 tons of …

Inventory Situation Could Get Sticky for Marijuana Businesses

Time is almost up for marijuana business owners to achieve full compliance of testing and packaging regulations. Forcannabis business six months, businesses have enjoyed a grace period that allowed them to sell marijuana products that were not in total compliance so long as they included a label indicating any safety standards the product did not meet. As of July 1, owners must clear their shelves of all product that does not meet regulations, resulting in an influx of cannabis sales in the month of June and could lead to an impending shortage, according to the Orange County Register.

When Proposition 64 went into effect Jan. 1, it brought with it new sets of rules in regards to recreational marijuana sales. Because marijuana products were already in production long before then, having served the medical marijuana market for almost 20 years, California imposed a grace period in which production and labeling regulations could catch up. This led to retailers bulking up on less expensive products that were not in total compliance at the end of 2017 to keep their stores well stocked in the first half of the year. Now they will need to clear their shelves of any remnants of that stock. Meanwhile, owners will be clamoring to replace that inventory with new products that meet regulations. 

As our Los Angeles cannabis business attorneys can explain, the new rules entail several aspects of marijuana production. First of all, products must go through a licensed lab to be tested. These labs will test for …

STATES to Feds: Marijuana is None of Your Business

A bipartisan blend of politicians has come together to support a bill that could finally offer some marijuana businessconcrete relief from the oppressive federal law that continues to bind the hands of marijuana businesses despite state legalization. The STATES Act, Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States, is a more formal way of declaring that state laws regarding cannabis usurp the federal government’s Schedule I classification under Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812.

According to a report from Leafly, the bill allows representatives who refuse to step into the 21st Century to support marijuana businesses without taking a stance on marijuana at all. It turns the matter purely into a states’ rights issue, which has become the great unifier in the cannabis debate. It also removes industrial hemp from the definition of “marijuana,” freeing many industries that create products unrelated to the psychoactive properties of cannabis.The bill would help marijuana businesses owners clear a key hurdle they face daily in running a proper business: lack of banking options. As our L.A. marijuana business lawyers can explain, banks are under federal jurisdiction, and therefore must be in compliance with federal rules. By housing funds for cannabis businesses, they would knowingly be engaging in criminal activity in the eyes of the federal government, regardless of the laws within the state. The STATES bill would establish a federal law that would act as a buffer, declaring that following state guidelines in regards to marijuana would not be considered trafficking, thus freeing the banks. …

Cannabis Drivers Burnt By Confiscation of Property

Nine drivers in Northern California are speaking out against what they say are shady practices by marijuana criminal defensepolice departments who allegedly are targeting businesses while transporting cannabis and seizing their delivery and cash. North Coast Journal conducted an investigation of these cases and found a pattern of confiscations over the past three years without any charges ever being filed against the drivers. Each of the incidents allegedly occurred during traffic stops with local police officers, and some said they were not even in the jurisdiction of that department when the stops were made.

It is not unusual that officers would share duties with other departments near major highways, like Highway 101, to patrol those long stretches of road. It’s not even unusual that they would be intercepting illegal drug transports, as the department in question was part of joint efforts to go after cocaine, meth, opioids, ecstasy, and methamphetamines. Also on the list of targeted drugs, though, was marijuana, and drivers alleged officers showed no interest in whether or not drivers were in compliance with state and local laws. One driver described a briefcase full of all necessary paperwork he carried on his route in case he was pulled over, but it allegedly did not protect him, and the contents of his vehicle were confiscated.This is one of the many ways the gray area between state marijuana legalization and the federal ban really hurts residents. Police can still monitor cannabis activity under the premise that they are searching for illegal behavior at the state …

Marijuana Rolling Onto International Stage

While we try to hash out how to handle marijuana laws across the U.S., World Health Organizationmedical marijuana is bringing their findings to the global stage. WHO was tasked by secretary general of United Nations to deliver a recommendation on the level of international control necessary for cannabis, according to a Mother Jones report. It is of no surprise to our cannabis law firm that the first report from WHO described marijuana as a “relatively safe drug.”

An international team of marijuana experts contributed to the report, which was presented to the Expert Committee on Drug Dependence. The report analyzed both THC and CBD and found evidence it has medical benefits, particularly in relieving symptoms of cancer treatments, pain relief, and anxiety. It also concluded that driving under the influence of cannabis is risky, but not as risky as alcohol. Marijuana use also can also be risky for pregnant women and children.Americans have been all abuzz about cannabis for many years now, with California first to legalize medical marijuana in 1996 when voters passed Proposition 215. Yet it is still illegal at the federal level thanks to its classification under the Controlled Substances Act. Not only is marijuana considered a Schedule I narcotic in the U.S., but it also was identified as a Schedule I narcotic under the treaty of the United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, also known as the ’61 Convention. WHO’s findings could potentially change all that. Rescheduling cannabis internationally wouldn’t change any laws, but it would …

New York Marijuana Tax Revenue Potential

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

As states mull over the logistics of legalizing recreational marijuana, New York Marijuana tax revenue potential might be seen in the context of using Colorado as a case study of how to roll it out and reap the financial rewards. While Colorado started recreational sales in January 2014, it took a few years for them to iron out how the law and its corresponding tax generation are applied. It also took time for businesses to set up shop and start achieving some sort of stable revenue.

Colorado now has 8.9 dispensaries and is grossing $16.6 million in sales per 100,000 people, generating $247 million in taxes and fees last year.

If states like New York can emu

late Colorado’s rate of marijuana sales, they could see substantially higher revenue due to the state’s larger population:

New York Marijuana Tax Revenue Potential Colorado

[email protected], the online MBA program from Syracuse University

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Unlicensed Marijuana Firms in L.A. Face Wrath of City Police, Prosecutors

If you are a cannabis retailer in Los Angeles and you do not yet have all of the necessary licenses and regulations inmarijuana criminal defense place, it’s time to get your house in order with the help of a trusted legal team. The city attorney and Los Angeles Police Department have made clear their commitment to ending the unlicensed marijuana marketplace in the city and have already filed 36 criminal cases, according to High Times. Punishments could include fines up to $1,000 and even jail time. Other shops are receiving cease-and-desist letters, and officials hope this round of charges will show others that they mean business.

These raids did not come without warning. Earlier in the year, officials from California Bureau of Cannabis Control sent warning letters to several hundred businesses they knew to be operating without licenses and promised civil and criminal action should they continue operating illegally. This is all good news for licensed cannabis business owners who have had to face stiff competition from a vast unregulated network. Applying for licenses and remaining in compliance both cost time and money, so those businesses that cut corners have a distinct advantage over those playing by the rules. Cities and states had high hopes for revenue that would be generated after Proposition 64 went into effect and recreational marijuana became legal in the state. Excise taxes collected have not met quarterly estimates, however, with $34 million being collected in the first three months, shy of what is necessary for the state to meet it’s …

Fighting Pests on Cannabis Farms the Legal Way

One of the biggest obstacles for any farming community is how to best control pests. Each plant attracts a differentcannabis business set of insects and animals and requires special care to deter wildlife from harming crops. Farmers must also take into consideration how pest-control methods could harm natural surroundings and affect the people who will consume the product. Cannabis farms are no different, though they lack the years of shared wisdom other farmers have gathered. In fact, cannabis farmers have to be even more thoughtful in some ways about what they use because their end product isn’t easily washable like an apple. Although it wouldn’t seem a cannabis attorney would be your first consult on this front, it’s worthwhile to review it with your counsel so you are sure you’re abiding local and state environmental regulations.

The California Department of Pesticide Regulation, has been tasked by California’s Medicinal Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act to provide guidelines for pesticide use in cannabis farming. The department said there is not a pesticide product federally registered for use specifically for cannabis farmers. However, there are plenty of pesticides that can legally be used on cannabis so long as they meet certain criteria. According to the department, the state permits certain pesticides for use on cannabis crops that are “exempt from residue tolerance requirements and the product is either exempt from registration requirements or registered for a use that is broad enough to include use on cannabis.” Examples of substances exempt from registration would be food-grade essential …

Dabbing Shatter and Resin With Saber

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

Dabbing has taken off in the last year in states where it is legal and is available at most dispensaries. We wanted to see what all the hype was about so we tested some Live Resin, THC crystal powder, shatter and whatever else we could find to see for ourselves.
Most dabbing materials seem to be either processed with Butane (BHO) or C02, which is considered ‘cleaner.’ My local Budtenders were not very helpful in directing me to any CO2 concentrates as most were just selling the BHO.
Basically to ‘dab’ you are vaporizing concentrated marijuana on a ‘nail’ that heats up the processed weed.
Many a Budtender have gotten quite creative by combining these concentrates similarly, as is done with some of those primo mixed joints laced with hash oil and crystals.
It was interesting how the high differs when experimenting combining the different hash like, crystallized or shatters materials.
We used a Saber Vape Pen and I was pleasantly surprised that the heating element delivered such a nice smooth inhale for such a small, portable unit, about the size of a sharpie. A full review can be seen here.  With 3 levels of heat, I was able to arrive at the smoothest and least wasteful hits based on what I was testing.
Some are stronger than others, some more cerebral and some more of a body high. The wild world of cannabis concentrates is alive and …

Judge Calls Florida Medical Marijuana Smoking Ban Unconstitutional

A judge in Florida’s Leon County Circuit Court has struck down a ban on smoking medical marijuana in the state,medical marijuana calling it unconstitutional. People United for Medical Marijuana Inc. v. Florida Department of Health challenged a smoking restriction lawmakers added to regulations for medical marijuana. Plaintiffs cited medical cases in which smoking cannabis was beneficial to the patient, including a woman who smoked marijuana as part of her treatment for ALS. She testified her doctors never objected to her smoking and were impressed by the ways she showed improvement after smoking.

In November 2016, voters passed Florida Medical Marijuana Legalization Initiative (or Amendment 2) with the required super-majority it needed to amend the state constitution. The ballot initiative called for the legalization of medical marijuana “for individuals with specific debilitating diseases or comparable debilitating conditions as determined by a licensed state physician.” Power to set regulations went to the Legislature, which compiled a list of eligible diagnoses the following year that would be qualified for medical marijuana recommendations. Lawmakers also added verbiage to SB-8A about how cannabis could be administered, which specifically banned smoking.

Plaintiffs pointed to Article X of the Florida State Constitution, which only addresses smoking in reference to where cannabis can be consumed, according to a report from The Associated Press.  Section 29 (c)(6) states: “Nothing in this section shall require any accommodation of any on‐site medical use of marijuana in any correctional institution or detention facility or place of education or employment, or of smoking medical marijuana in …

The Taxman Cometh: California Cannabis Businesses Unlikely to See Relief

It’s time for California to take a serious look at taxes that state and local governments are imposing on cannabis cannabis business lawyersbusiness owners. Some legislators agree, but others think the higher taxes should stand, at least for a while longer. For now, the current tax rate will remain, as an assembly bill addressing cannabis taxation failed to advance out of committee, according to an Associated Press report.

AB-3157 seeks to amend The Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act, which currently sets the excise tax rate at 15 percent of the average market price. The new proposal would drop the excise tax rate to 11 percent and suspend the cultivation tax, with each expiring June 21, 2021. Right now, when excise and cultivation taxes are combined with sales tax, county, and city taxes the total tax rate can be almost 50 percent. Some fear this high of a tax rate is driving people to purchase marijuana on the black market, instead. There is some compelling evidence to back that claim.Our Los Angeles cannabis business lawyers understand one of the enticing promises of recreational marijuana legalization was the boon of taxes in government coffers. Extra money could be used to bolster infrastructure, city and state programs, and assist with cannabis education and drug abuse prevention programs. However, paying up to 50 percent in taxes is an astronomical hurdle for many businesses, particularly new ones trying to get off the ground. That could explain why tax revenue related to cannabis was much lower …

Seizures Couldn’t End Football Dreams, But CBD Oil Might

Even though time and again we see stories of people whose health was positively affected by cannabis, we still medical marijuanaconstantly find those who insist on fighting this useful treatment and punishing those who need it. The latest story comes out of Georgia, where a high school football player has been told the medical treatment that controls his seizures will prevent him from pursuing his dreams, according to a CNN report.

The senior committed to Auburn University in Alabama next school year, but was later informed that he would not be allowed to play football while continuing to use CBD oil. Because the decision came down from NCAA, it also means he wouldn’t be able to play for any other NCAA school. NCAA guidelines state that players cannot have any tetrhydrocannabidinol, better known as THC, in their systems. This is the component of cannabis known for creating a high sensation. Because it remains in the system long after the high is gone, it’s difficult to test whether a person is was under the influence an hour ago or three days ago.CBD oil, however, has less than .3 percent THC. Its primary ingredient is cannabidiol, the component in cannabis that does not cause a high, and has been used to treat many ailments. That less than .3 percent THC, however, can still show up on an NCAA drug test and disqualify players, regardless of the fact that the amount is so trace the player would not feel high, even right after taking it. Advocates are …

Expect More Recreational Marijuana Events in Our Future

In a big step toward the normalization of cannabis, the 2018 NorCal Cannabis Cup in Santa Rosa, Calif., has beenmarijuana business granted a recreational marijuana license. In the past, the event was only a gathering of people who appreciated cannabis, with booths, activities, food, music, and marijuana-related products, but not the real deal. Now marijuana businesses and consumers alike can enjoy the thing they all have in common, allowing the community to share cannabis goods and knowledge on a new scale.

This is only the second event in the U.S. that allowed the sales and consumption of cannabis, according to a report from High Times, host of the event. The Central Valley Cannabis Cup in Sacramento in early May was the first event to receive such a license and was also hosted by High Times. While the first event was groundbreaking, in some ways it is the second event that is a sign of times to come. Attendees and marijuana businesses at the Central Valley Cannabis Cup proved that an event of this kind can be run safely and responsibly, making it possible for more events in the future. These gatherings can also have a major impact on local economies, bringing in tourists and vendors to the area. This is, of course, in addition to the publicity and money-making opportunities available to businesses inside the event.Though recreational marijuana is now legal in California, public consumption of marijuana is still banned. Under Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act Sec. 102, local …

Could Supreme Court Gambling Ruling Bolster Marijuana Rights? You Bet!

An ally in the fight for states rights to enact marijuana legislation has come from an unlikely place. A landmarkmarijuana rights Supreme Court decision is primed to have a major effect on marijuana rights throughout the country, but the content of the case is not cannabis: It’s sports gambling. The recent decision in Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association opposed a federal law that prohibited states from legalizing gambling on sports. At the heart of the lawsuit is a states’ rights issue, one that will set a precedent far beyond betting on games.

The case began with Congress passing the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in 1992, which made it illegal for states to allow sports gambling if they did not already have laws permitting the activity on the books, according to an article from The Hill. Years later, in 2011, New Jersey voters passed a ballot initiative to amend the state constitution and put in place sports gambling permissions and regulations, which sparked the lawsuit with NCAA and sports leagues. It was determined this was in violation of PASPA, so New Jersey legislators instead repealed the laws they had in place forbidding sports bets in casinos, hoping to create one legal avenue. Federal courts stuck down this action as well, which forced a Supreme Court decision on the matter. The Supreme Court, however, sided with New Jersey, stating that PAPSA violated anti-commandeering doctrine.How does this relate back to marijuana? As our Los Angeles marijuana rights lawyers can explain, it all connects …

DEA Chief Woefully Unaware of Medical Marijuana Facts

We want to be able to trust our leaders to make the best decisions for our society. It’s difficult, though, when they medical marijuanademonstrate time and time again that they are not working with all of the facts, particularly when it comes to marijuana. Take Robert Patterson, chief of the Drug Enforcement Agency. He recently gave testimony during a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee on the opioid abuse crisis. The topic of medical marijuana came up frequently, yet Patterson was embarrassingly unprepared to discuss cannabis and its ability to help free people from opioid addictions. In fact, he didn’t seem to have much of a grasp on information about marijuana in general, according to a report Dispensaries.com.

The committee is rightfully concerned about opioids. According to the committee chairman during the hearing, almost a third of drug overdoses in the United States in 2016 were from synthetic opioids, at more than 20,000 deaths. He went on to say that in 2018 more than 2 million people will suffer from opioid addiction, whether obtained by prescription or illicit means. Studies and anecdotal evidence are growing that show cannabis is an effective replacement for opioid prescriptions and, therefore, ultimately could prevent overdoses. However, Patterson claimed to be unaware of these studies, a rather shocking statement for the top drug enforcement official in the country.Two important studies were released in March from JAMA Internal Medicine that showed opioid prescription rates were significantly lower in areas where adult-use marijuana was legalized by the state. Additional …

Marijuana Opponents Learn to Embrace Joint Efforts

The fight for marijuana legalization is turning a corner in the U.S. Nowhere is the change more evident than inmarijuana business Michigan, where recently an anti-marijuana action committee has flipped its stance in an attempt to try to gain control of state regulations, according to a Detroit Free Press report. The group, The Committee to Keep Pot Out of Neighborhoods and Schools, has been fighting a ballot proposal to legalize recreational marijuana in the state. However, as it is becoming more clear the initiative has growing support, the group is trying a different tactic: encouraging state legislators to fully legalize marijuana by passing an adult-use bill.

As our attorneys can explain, those opposing recreational cannabis in the state see the writing on the wall. They know if they allow the issue to appear on the November ballot, it has a strong chance of passing. However if group members can convince the Legislature to take up the initiative and amend it with strict regulations akin to the current medical marijuana guidelines, they are hoping to get a law on the books that is more restrictive than what voters might pass. One of the key differences would be how licenses are issued. Medical marijuana establishments currently obtain licenses through a board put in place by the governor, as well as House and Senate leaders. The ballot initiative would instead put licensing in the hands of the Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Department. In previous years, in order to pass a marijuana ballot initiative, advocates often had to jump …

Technology Helping to Clear Past Marijuana Arrest Records

Technology is playing a big part in reclaiming the lives of California residents who were adversely affected by past marijuana arrestcannabis convictions. In San Francisco, for example, Code for America is assisting the District Attorney’s office in identifying people eligible to have their marijuana arrest records cleared, according to a report by Fast Company. The organization created an algorithm that could scan old case files for qualifying criteria. The system then takes it a step further by filling out the necessary paperwork, as well.

This is a huge victory for communities hit hardest by the politically motivated and often misguided “War on Drugs.” Minority communities and neighborhoods have historically been targeted the hardest when it came to convicting for marijuana use, while similar crimes in predominantly white communities were largely ignored. This has left a trail of destruction for predominantly black areas, with families broken apart by loved ones serving jail time and futures being damaged. It is more difficult for those with convictions on their records to find good work and obtain housing, meaning that even once people have fulfilled their punishment, they can be haunted by their records years later.Now that both medical and recreational cannabis are legal in California, it is wildly unfair that anyone should have their reputation continue to be maligned for activity that people can now engage in legally and openly in the eyes of the state. Legislators agreed, which is why Proposition 64 built into it initiatives to allow those with certain types of misdemeanor cannabis …

Too Many Weed Farms? No Such Thing with Hemp and CBD Oil

The continued expansion of legalized marijuana in states is leading to one surprising result: overproduction of cannabis businesscannabis. Oregon in particular is reporting an excess in cannabis production, which is driving down the price of marijuana at dispensaries across the state, according to Associated PressAs a result, growers are exploring more options, including hemp (a low-THC strain of cannabis used in industrial goods) and CBD oil (made from the non-psychoactive compound in marijuana, cannabidiol).

It’s hard not to recognize the irony in this latest advancement: while hemp is a benign, useful resource that makes excellent, durable fabric, paper products, and oils, it was marijuana that helped usher it back into the spotlight. Marijuana has now been legalized in 29 states and Washington, D.C., at least for medical use with a handful also allowing recreational. This is in defiance of federal regulations prohibiting the sale or use of marijuana. California was the first to allow medical use with the Compassionate Use Act of 1996. It wasn’t until 2014, however, that the Agricultural Act, Sec. 7606 allowed agricultural departments and higher learning institutions to start cultivating hemp for research. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) recently spoke in favor of a bill that would give power over hemp regulation to the states.

Because hemp has more CBD  and less THC than other strains of cannabis, it is ideal for producing CBD oil. This is also convenient since the Agricultural Act has made it possible to more easily produce this beneficial oil, used commonly for …

Ohio Marijuana Legalization Struggling But Still Alive

Marijuana laws in Ohio have experienced a bit of a failure to launch. In 2015 a legalization ballot measure was votedmarijuana regulations down, largely due to a scare campaign that positioned the 10 pre-designated cultivators as a monopoly.  In 2016, HB-523 was signed into law by Gov. John Kasich that set up a process for medical marijuana in the state. Since then, however, the initial phase has been a lumbering one. Advocates remain optimistic, though, pushing now for a state constitutional amendment to legalize recreational marijuana.

On the medical front, Ohio’s program is under scrutiny in court, as a judge in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas is determining whether or not to delay licensing for cultivators, and potentially the launch of the program. According to Cleveland.com, one grower applied for a license and sued the Ohio Department of Commerce after it was denied, claiming there was no appeals process as promised. Reported errors in the scoring of applicants and complaints about officials not following their own rules in the selection process have led to other lawsuits. With only 12 initial promised licenses for large-scale cultivators, the spots are highly coveted.The state is already behind its goal of having the program fully functional by Sept. 8, 2018. Officials are still moving forward, however, with the state medical board selecting the first 36 medical practitioners who will be certified to recommend cannabis to patients. Those who are chosen must complete a free two-hour course on approved medical conditions, how to treat them with …

Illinois Putting Stop to So-Called Synthetic Cannabis

Spice, K2, synthetic marijuana: whatever you call it, we know these alleged cannabis knockoffs have about as muchcannabis business in common with the natural drug as a circle to a square. Lawmakers have long been chasing down these dangerous substances, to no avail. But the Illinois State Senate is taking steps to close loopholes that manufacturers have been manipulating once and for all, according to Chicago Tribune.

SB-2341 would expand the list of Schedule I controlled substances to include all synthetic cannabinoids not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This is a departure from current methods to control the substance, which has largely involved outlawing by formula. As our cannabis business attorneys can attest, this has so far been a fruitless system of control because each time a formula or chemical is outlawed, manufacturers alter it enough that it qualifies as a new substance. Just like that, a new synthetic cannabinoid is back on the market, but not necessarily any safer. The new law, if passed, would put the onus of proof on the manufacturer that a synthetic cannabinoid is safe rather than government officials proving the substances to be dangerous after they have already hit the market. This change is long overdue. Just recently in Illinois alone, a formula mixed with rat poison has made the rounds leading to four deaths and more than 150 hospitalizations from coughing up blood or having blood in urine or in the nose. This doesn’t account for all the harm the synthetics have done over …

Fresno Law Enforcement Doesn’t Kid Around With Marijuana

Despite legalization of recreational marijuana sales earlier this year, Fresno remains one of the communities wherein marijuana businesscannabis-related activity is still banned: No recreational sales, no medical sales, no commercial growing, no testing, no distribution, no manufacturing. Residents can grow indoors for personal use or if they are a caretaker, but that’s it.

Still, officials know of more than 70 unlicensed sales operations in the city. Law enforcement agencies are stretched thin, however, so they have to prioritize their time and resources.

They recently focused their efforts on one specific dispensary, according to High Times, which was reported to be selling high-potency cannabis candy wrapped in packaging that was appealing to children. Agents seized 150 pounds of the candy and more than $200,000 after a two-month investigation of the dispensary. Six dispensary operators were given misdemeanor marijuana citations.

When it comes to sales of marijuana, which is still considered an illegal Schedule I narcotic under the federal Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812, it wouldn’t seem like packaging would be the top priority for law enforcement. However, keeping cannabis out of the hands of children has been a prevalent and important theme for everyone in the legalization process. No one on either side of the issue wants to see cannabis in the hands of children. Relevant restrictions have included keeping cannabis retailers a certain distance from parks, schools, and places where children regularly frequent, as well as making sure tax money is allocated for education and prevention programs geared at students. Further, …

Napa Easing Up on Marijuana Business Restrictions

Some local governments have appeared hell-bent on banning or strangling the budding cannabis industry. It’s encouraging in this light to see some leaders embracing the change and making strides to make this a more cannabis-friendly community.marijuana business

The Napa Planning Commission recently endorsed reducing the distance a cannabis business can set up shop to 600 feet from a school or place where children congregate, and even recommended easing up on that rule in instances where a natural barrier would prevent direct access, such as a waterway, according to Napa Valley Register.

For many people, change can be a very scary thing. Often, though, such fears are rooted in lack of education and the feeling of losing control. Once we see new ideas in action, we sometimes wonder why it took us so long to change in the first place, and realize we wouldn’t want things to go back. We see the effects of this sentiment throughout California. Since the passing of Proposition 64, there has been a great deal of caution on the part of cities to slow down change as much as possible. Prop 64 and the follow-up Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act very thoughtfully laid out guidelines that would allow marijuana businesses to begin sales of recreational cannabis, and, in the case of MAUCRSA, brought medical marijuana sales under the same umbrella of rules. These guidelines painstakingly established regulations that would encourage cannabis businesses to operate legally while easing fears of residents.Still, many municipalities were not appeased …

YouTube Snuffs Out Cannabis Channels

cannabis businessOnline media giant YouTube has enacted a host of more stringent enforcement guidelines, seemingly at random, restricting and even shutting down many channels its representatives claim violate its policies. Gun-related channels in particular have come under scrutiny. A bit more perplexing, however, is the site’s more aggressive stance against cannabis-related videos recently, sending warnings, flagging content, and shutting down entire channels, particularly those that seek to educate and advocate. Even after complying with warnings, channel owners said they were suspended. Many of the channels had been around for years, some almost since the beginning of YouTube, according to a Leafly article.

In the early days of legalization, before marijuana reached the popularity it is enjoying today, the Internet was the best place for cannabis advocates, business owners, and medical practitioners to learn and to share information. YouTube has always played a big part in that. The highly visual platform was an ideal way to show growing methods and techniques to people on the other side of the country. Today, a bounty of resources exists, but these ground floor YouTube channels still have a wealth of experience to offer.Some say the decision could be related to ad revenue. Given that advertisements randomly appear before videos, advertisers sometimes protest when their ads appear in conjunction with content that does not align with their brand, as happened with some of the more alarming gun videos. However, given that medical cannabis and/or recreational marijuana are legal in 29 states and the District of Columbia (with several states …

Senator Pushes to Expand Marijuana Home Deliveries in California

Despite the passage of Proposition 64 that made recreational marijuana legal in California, there are still many residents of this state who do not have easy access to cannabis. State Sen. Ricardo Lara hopes to change that with Senate Bill 1302, which would give licensed cannabis businesses permission to deliver anywhere in the state.marijuana lawyer

While legalized possession and use of recreational marijuana throughout the state, it left a great deal of power to the local governments to dictate regulations and sales. As our marijuana business attorneys can explain, this meant even though citizens were allowed to carry and use cannabis, cities and counties had the right to ban various aspects of commercial cannabis activity, including sales.

While 57 percent of voters approved Prop. 64, local laws have made it so 75 percent of consumers cannot easily access marijuana, according to an article from SFGate. While it is important for local governments to maintain control over their jurisdictions, this disparity does not reflect the will of the people. A vast majority of Californians understand the benefits of cannabis. Many have seen its positive effects through medical use, which has been legal in California since 1996 through the Compassionate Use Act. Others have come to learn that it can be an alternative to alcohol in social situations, without many of the long-term health effects of drinking, particularly when it is consumed in ways other than smoking, such as edibles and vaping. This positive perception of the drug has led to big advancements in …