While we try to hash out how to handle marijuana laws across the U.S., World Health Organization 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 …
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:
[email protected], the online MBA program from Syracuse University
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If you are a cannabis retailer in Los Angeles and you do not yet have all of the necessary licenses and regulations in 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 …
One of the biggest obstacles for any farming community is how to best control pests. Each plant attracts a different 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 …
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 …
A judge in Florida’s Leon County Circuit Court has struck down a ban on smoking medical marijuana in the state, 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 …
It’s time for California to take a serious look at taxes that state and local governments are imposing on cannabis business 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 …
Even though time and again we see stories of people whose health was positively affected by cannabis, we still constantly 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 …
In a big step toward the normalization of cannabis, the 2018 NorCal Cannabis Cup in Santa Rosa, Calif., has been 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 …
An ally in the fight for states rights to enact marijuana legislation has come from an unlikely place. A landmark 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 …
We want to be able to trust our leaders to make the best decisions for our society. It’s difficult, though, when they demonstrate 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 …
The fight for marijuana legalization is turning a corner in the U.S. Nowhere is the change more evident than in 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 is playing a big part in reclaiming the lives of California residents who were adversely affected by past cannabis 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 …
The continued expansion of legalized marijuana in states is leading to one surprising result: overproduction of cannabis. 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 Press. As 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 …
Marijuana laws in Ohio have experienced a bit of a failure to launch. In 2015 a legalization ballot measure was voted 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 …
Spice, K2, synthetic marijuana: whatever you call it, we know these alleged cannabis knockoffs have about as much 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 …
Despite legalization of recreational marijuana sales earlier this year, Fresno remains one of the communities wherein cannabis-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, …
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.
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 …
Online 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 …
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.
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 …
More concrete medical marijuana research is on the horizon thanks to grants awarded to two different universities by one foundation with the intent of advancing our understanding of cannabis treatments. University of Utah is planning a $740,000, two-year study on how marijuana affects the brain and why it affects some people differently. UC San Diego, meanwhile, received a cool $4.7 million to research the effects of cannabidiol (CBD) in the treatment of autism. The university said it is the largest private donation for medical cannabis research in U.S. history, according to KPBS.
Where the federal government has failed, The Ray and Tye Noorda Foundation is attempting to fill a need for more comprehensive medical cannabis research. The foundation says it donates sizable grants to projects it believes will help build a “world where all people enjoy equal opportunities to achieve health, purpose, and happiness.” Our medical marijuana attorneys certainly agree cannabis research fits the bill. Project subjects the foundation is funding also include chronic homelessness, economic advancement, housing and health initiatives, and re-entry into society after serving jail time, in addition to cannabis research. The study at the University of Utah will track the reaction of the psychoactive compound in cannabis (THC) with certain brain receptors in 40 adults, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. Finding the right balance of psychoactive and non-psychoactive compounds to produce the desired effect in the brain could be a major breakthrough for treating disorders such as PTSD and anxiety. UC San Diego’s research will stick to …
Mendocino County is the latest to sign an agreement with the California Cannabis Authority in an effort to help local governments with regulatory compliance and assist in creating a rich pool of data about the cannabis industry. Our attorneys know one of the most difficult things about establishing any new industry is lack of concrete data. There can be a lot of growing pains as authorities and economic leaders gather a foundation of facts that help in making critical decisions about public safety, regulations, and taxation. This is particularly true when dealing with a controlled substance, like marijuana. Even though marijuana has been legal for medical purposes in California since the passing of the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, the switch to recreational legalization in the state as of Jan. 1 was a real game changer. MAUCRSA, Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulations and Safety Act, was created to combine guidelines for medical marijuana with all the new stringent licensing rules for recreational cannabis, so all regulations lived under one umbrella.
The mission of the newly formed California Cannabis Authority is to “develop and manage a statewide data platform that will gather, collect, and analyze information from a myriad of data sources into one resource.” The more local governments that participate, the more compelling and significant the data will be for everyone who accesses it.
The group was created by the California State Association of Counties Finance Corp. The group started with San Luis Obispo, Humboldt, and Monterey Counties on board, with Mendocino …
The NFL, as with so many other professional and minor league sports teams, still ascribes to official federal line on marijuana, which is that as a Schedule I narcotic, it is highly addictive, dangerous and has no medicinal value. Of course, our cannabis lawyers in L.A. know that runs counter to the evidence and what dozens of states have thus far concluded. Given that NFL players are some of the most tenacious athletes – and take the hardest hits – they more than most might benefit from medicinal marijuana as an alternative to powerful and highly addictive opioid painkillers. But until the organization changes its stance, we’ll continue to have conflicts such as those seen with free agent Mike James.
James, a running back, injured his ankle during a football game in 2013. According to a CNN report, he was prescribed opioid painkillers. In short order (as so often happens) he became dependent on the pills. He became aware that an addiction was forming and wanted something safer to ease the pain.
After some research, he concluded marijuana was truly the best option – to ease the pain, end his addiction and maintain his physical prowess. James had some reservations about this decision, witnessing the way drug addiction in general harmed his family and his childhood communities. But, like a majority of Americans, he soon learned that cannabis does not belong in the same category as other street drugs at all, and decided to take the leap.
The NFL, unfortunately still takes a …
Flying with marijuana used to earn travelers a one-way ticket to jail (do not pass “Go,” and you’ll be paying a lot more than $200).
Since then, standards have relaxed considerably, particularly locally at the Los Angeles International Airport. However, it’s not necessarily the same at your destination spot, so it’s important to be informed about your rights and responsibilities.
Current policy for marijuana at LAX essentially follows California state law, according to a report from Los Angeles Times. If an adult passenger has less than an ounce on hand, airport police allow them through security. This is true even if the person is headed to a location where marijuana is illegal. Transportation Security Administration agents have bigger fish to fry, so they leave dealing with issues like nominal amounts of cannabis up to local airport law enforcement, who have mostly been passive.
Los Angeles Councilperson Mitch Englander would like to give more consideration to federal law by encouraging passengers to surrender their cannabis before going through security. He proposes adding an “amnesty box” at the airport, where marijuana can be deposited before a flight – no questions asked, no penalties.As our Los Angeles marijuana criminal defense defense lawyers can explain, Englander’s primary concern is marijuana’s classification as a Schedule I narcotic according to the Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812. A Schedule I classification means the federal government has determined cannabis has no medical benefit, is harmful and addictive. But 29 states and a growing mountain of evidence has …
The American people have known for years that times are changing when it comes to marijuana. Now, it seems some politicians at the federal level are starting to wise up and take this issue seriously as well. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) is introducing a bill to remove marijuana from the list of Schedule I narcotics as part of Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812. He said he also wants to leverage this issue as a way to bolster women and minority cannabis business owners.
Politicians have been slow to take a stance in favor of cannabis, even though most of us know it can be a life-changing, medically useful drug. Some have supported passive measures here and there trying to give states some freedom without themselves taking a stand. For example, the Rohrenbacher-Blumenauer Amendment, which has to be renewed annually by Congress into the spending bill, prevents the Department of Justice from using federal funds to seek action against medical marijuana activity that has been legalized in that state. Some have tried to inaccurately portray cannabis as a partisan liberal issue, but even democrats have been shy to give full support. However, as The Washington Post reported, Sen. Schumer has acknowledged that the American people have evolved on this issue and it’s time for a big change.
As our trusted Riverside cannabis business attorneys can explain, by removing the Schedule I status, the federal government would not be legalizing marijuana per say. That would require Congress to create …
Marijuana businesses have become a major competitor to beer and will continue to disrupt that industry for the foreseeable future.
An investment firm industry analyst, who specializes in beverages, tobacco, and adult-use marijuana, recently shared data with CNBC, and she established a clear correlation between increased use of marijuana and decreased use of alcohol. She said in states where recreational marijuana use is legal, binge drinking rates have dropped “significantly.” She identified both as “social lubricants.” In other words, both are used by adults in social situations to help unwind, de-stress, have a good time, and feel relaxed with new people or in new environments.
In terms of stocks, the numbers are clear, as well. Her firm primarily valuates the Canadian market, with Canada on track to legalize adult-use marijuana nationwide by the end of summer. Several Canadian medical marijuana companies are seeing shares grow by up to 240 percent in the past year in anticipation. She said estimates from her firm put the U.S. cannabis industry as being worth $75 billion by 2030, assuming marijuana is removed as a Schedule I narcotic from the Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812.Our experienced Orange County marijuana business lawyers know that, for quite some time, there have been numbers to support the story of the benefits of medical marijuana. Thousands upon thousands of patients have found relief from cancer treatment symptoms, anxiety, post-traumatic stress symptoms, migraines, and more. This evidence has been compelling to many, but momentum on legalization has been slow. …
Now that marijuana has become legalized in some form in 29 states as well as Washington, D.C., we are gathering more data than ever on its potential uses and benefits. With the stigma dissipating and access increased, people are more freely sharing their personal stories surrounding this life-changing plant. These anecdotes are important evidence in the fight to legalize marijuana nationwide.
A recent survey conducted by Sleep Cycle, an app designed to track your sleep cycle, has found that 14 percent of respondents used marijuana to help them sleep, according to Herb. The company surveyed about 1,000 of its application users on what methods they used to help them gets to sleep. Tea topped the list at 21 percent, melatonin came in second with 15 percent, and cannabis tied with milk and cookies at 14 percent.It should be noted that prescribed sleeping pills rested at the bottom of the list at 9 percent, an indication that people are eager for more natural remedies to their sleeping disorders, insomnia, or general sleep troubles. While tea certainly can do the trick, there is growing evidence marijuana can dig into more serious sleeping issues.
Some research has found the effects of cannabis on sleep to be two-fold. Cannabidiol (CBD) can have a soothing, therapeutic affect. Tetrahydrocannabidinol (THC) is reported to reduce REM sleep, thereby reducing the dream cycle. This is said to have significant benefits for those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder as many may relive past traumas during nightmares.
Our skilled medical marijuana attorneys …
Recreational marijuana became legal in California January 1st, meaning this is the first year cannabis has been available to all adults on the infamous marijuana holiday of 4/20. While it is perfectly legal to enjoy the festivities, our experienced attorneys also know that Proposition 64 is not a free pass on all pot-related activities. Before imbibing in a safe and responsible way, keep in mind the laws remaining on the books per the CA Health and Safety Code, Division 10, Ch. 6, Article 2 could still result in criminal charges or civil citations.
The following is a list of a few major restrictions to keep in mind when enjoying the perks of recreational marijuana in California:
- Public consumption: It is still generally illegal to ingest, smoke, or vaporize weed in a public place. There are some exceptions for state-licensed facilities with permission from local governments. Further, any non-smoking area is also off limits for smoking or vaporizing marijuana. It is also forbidden within 1,000 feet of a day care or school occupied by children (unless you are inside a private residence that falls within that perimeter).
- Drugged driving: It should be a no-brainer that it is illegal to drive while under the influence of cannabis. As a recent article from The Sacramento Bee points out, taking one puff or consuming a small amount is not likely to cause impairment, much like a little alcohol is typically fine. However, it is more difficult to know where that line exists with marijuana. THC levels can vary
For more than a year, the country has faced uncertainty over the future of cannabis, thanks to the long-time and aggressive anti-marijuana stance of U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. That uncertainty remains, but there is some evidence we could be seeing some positive shifts on the horizon.
Well-known marijuana advocate Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colorado) recently had a conversation in which President Trump agreed to support Congressional protections of states with legalized cannabis, according to The Washington Post. This comes after Sen. Gardner had been taking advantage of the narrow party margin in the U.S. Senate to block nominees for the Justice Department. The senator agreed to start approving nominees in exchange for the president’s support.But before anyone starts busting out the party bongs in celebration, our trusted Orange County marijuana business lawyers must remind Californians that this is not the first time Trump has said he would hold back interference with states that had pro-marijuana laws on the books. In fact, it was something he touted during his campaign, something that made states hopeful that provisions put in place during the Obama administration would remain regardless of the outcome of the election. This is why it was so confounding that Trump would appoint someone to the position of attorney general who not only disapproved of marijuana, but who had extreme, very public views on the issue and made promises to use his power to drag the country back into total prohibition.
Since his time as attorney general, Jeff Sessions has used …
Both medical and recreational marijuana are now legal in California. And yet for about 40 percent of the state, it would be difficult to tell. Thanks to some data analysis compiled by The Sacramento Bee, we can clearly see how local regulations have shaped the pot landscape in the state as a whole and how it is affecting people who live in more remote areas of California.
The report defined some regions of California as being “pot deserts” – areas where residents have to travel 60 miles or more to access legal marijuana at a licensed dispensary. An additional 29 percent have to drive 30 to 60 miles to the closest location. This disparity in cannabis access stems from the clause in Proposition 64 that allows local governments to establish their own set of recreational marijuana regulations or to ban sales altogether. While a majority of residents in the state clearly favor adult-use marijuana based on the 2016 vote, there is seemingly a desire among many districts to leave the actual growing, producing, and selling of the drug to other cities … cities far away from their own.From our years of experience, our Riverside recreational marijuana attorneys can say with certainty that much of this sentiment is rooted in outdated, outmoded, propaganda-riddled perspectives on marijuana. There’s a paranoia that expanding marijuana legalization in their towns will invite sketchy characters and create a seedy underbelly in their idyllic neighborhoods. Alas, by pumping the brakes on progress, they could be inviting the very thing …
For many cannabis businesses, social media seems like the ideal place to advertise. Facebook provides many tools for advertisers that allow them to focus their audience in a way that would be extraordinarily beneficial for marijuana products and dispensaries. They would be able to narrow down the viewers to only include people in states where cannabis is legal. They would also be able to add age restrictions, ensuring as much as possible that minors would not be exposed to the ads. It’s really a win-win, except for one very annoying catch.
Marijuana businesses are prohibited from advertising on Google or Facebook.
A recent report from Washington Post examined the challenges marijuana businesses face advertising to their customers while pot remains illegal under federal Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812. The act outlines guidelines by which to classify certain drugs based on how dangerous a risk they pose, whether they have any medical benefits, and if they are addictive. Currently, marijuana is Schedule I, the most restricted classification on the list, despite no evidence it fits any of those qualifiers. That very same act (under Section 843) states “It shall be unlawful for any person to place in any newspaper, magazine, handbill, or other publications, any written advertisement knowing that it has the purpose of seeking or offering illegally to receive, buy, or distribute a Schedule I controlled substance.”
So how are there so many marijuana ads out there?
As our experienced Los Angeles cannabis business attorneys can explain, U.S. Code Title …
As a country, many support troops with parades and national days of honor. Yet when those same veterans seek help ease the mental and physical pain they endure as a result of fighting for our freedoms, their pleas often fall on deaf ears. That’s why many veterans find themselves standing up and fighting once again, this time in a battle for their own lives in the ongoing war over medical marijuana.
A group of veterans in Louisiana has been on the front lines pushing for legalization of medical cannabis in the state. According to the Leesville Daily Leader, they want to help veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder as well as chronic pain that developed as a result of their service time. Even though these veterans know medical marijuana to be a safe and effective form of treatment for these issues, using it would make them a criminal in the country they risked their life to defend due to the Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812, which classifies marijuana as a Schedule I narcotic with no medical benefits. The group hopes to at least change the law in Louisiana so the state can join 29 others in legalizing marijuana. Furthermore, they also recognize that legalization would be beneficial to all residents, so they are putting their efforts behind cannabis education. The group knows legalization has become particularly critical for veterans right now as the opioid crisis is coming to a fever pitch. As the damaging effects of opioids are becoming …
Marijuana has proven so replete with benefits with so few side effects, it is almost laughable how many misguided politicians and policymakers are still fighting against it. It is clear to our experienced cannabis attorneys that this conundrum is exactly why many good law-abiding citizens turn to dangerous knockoff substances that have weaseled their way into the market. They do not want to break the law or fail drug tests, but they want to enjoy the benefits of marijuana.
“Synthetic cannabinoids” have been around for years, marketed as legal marijuana knockoffs, when their relation to marijuana stops at their cheeky branding and colorful packaging. Reports are rolling in from Michigan and Illinois of people using K2 or “Spice” and ending up in emergency rooms with uncontrollable bleeding, according to a report from Michigan’s WILX10. A representative from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services claimed in the Midwest, more than 100 have been hospitalized and two have died from this drug. Other forms of so-called artificial pot in the past have reportedly caused side effects such as hallucinations, seizures, heart-rate issues, and other serious medical problems. You might be wondering if these types of drugs have been around for years and are so dangerous, why do they continue to be on the market? Our knowledgeable L.A. marijuana criminal defense attorneys can explain that producers of these drugs are using a pretty typical tactic to evade the law. When a substance is made illegal, it is based on the exact formula that …
California marijuana supply shortages have been of mounting concern, stemming primarily from the introduction of legal cannabis Jan. 1st and the barrage of regulations that came with it. Marijuana businesses have varied reports on supply issues thus far, with some experiencing few supply chain problems, and others reporting major lapses. Many of these issues are typical growing pains associated with a budding new industry. These problems could become major snags this summer, though, when tourist season his, and we’re flooded with curious new customers.
In San Diego, for example, about 8 million tourists visit during the summer months, according to a recent report discussing the potential impending shortage from San Diego Union-Tribune. Lines are already out the door at stores in this city, so there is worry businesses may not be able to keep pace. The issue is not necessarily that overall supply can’t keep pace with demand, but more that businesses are grappling with supply bottlenecks due to erratic regulation across jurisdictions throughout California.As our trusted Orange County marijuana business lawyers can explain, cannabis growers have been registered as cultivators for dispensary collectives in California for years, in accordance with the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 and the medical market guidelines that followed. The addition of recreational marijuana has rocked the scene, however, with the ushering in of Prop 64 and the establishment of Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act, which sought to streamline regulations for both the medical and recreational markets. While this system is far more …
Los Angeles, Oakland, San Diego and San Francisco have been praised for being at the forefront of decriminalization and legalization of marijuana in California.
On the flip side, we have San Bernardino. The city recently passed a regulation (Ordinance No. 1464 Section 5.10) that prevents any cannabis business that has “conducted commercial cannabis activity in the City of San Bernardino in violation of local and state law” from obtaining one of the 17 licenses available in the city.
One savvy business owner isn’t taking this move lying down, though. She is suing the city after officials in December raided and shut down a facility she owned and leased out to cannabis growers. They confiscated 35,000 marijuana plants, according to a report from High Times. And though the owner of the facility was never charged, she still falls under the current restrictions and is not qualified for one of the licenses, currently being given to other establishments who have the same intention as her: to run a facility for growing marijuana.Our knowledgeable Riverside marijuana business attorneys know the actions of officials in San Bernardino are in stark contrast to other areas of the state, which are actively trying to get unlicensed operations in compliance with state and local laws. Smart leaders know the best way to curb illegal activity is to make the path to compliance as smooth as possible. Legal sale and taxation of recreational marijuana went into effect in California Jan. 1, 2018, thanks t0 Proposition 64 and its …
Public support for pot is on the rise. More states are looking to legalize marijuana or expand accessibility. In fact, cannabis is one of the few issues that politicians on both sides of the aisle can agree on these days, particularly medical marijuana. It’s a time when cannabis is poised to go mainstream and become an accepted medical resource, cultural norm, and economic powerhouse. Yet, since the current administration entered Washington, D.C. and Jeff Sessions was asked to helm the Justice Department, the industry has faced uncertainty and instability.
That’s why states that strongly support marijuana legalization, including California, have requested a meeting with Sessions with the goal reconcile the stark contrast between state law and federal law, according to the Associated Press. The state treasurer from California was joined by Pennsylvania, Oregon, and Illinois in crafting a letter to open dialogue with Sessions about what banks and marijuana businesses can expect from the federal government in terms of enforcement moving forward. As our skilled lawyers can explain, the federal government is holding firm to marijuana’s Schedule I classification as part of the Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812. To receive this classification, a substance must not demonstrate medical benefits, be considered unsafe, and have a high potential for abuse. To make these claims about cannabis is absurd, and frankly, Sessions is standing on the wrong side of history on this one.
Most people agree, as evidenced by polls and votes reflecting rising swell of public support for legalization and decriminalization. …
When President Trump signed a recent spending bill, he not only prevented the looming third federal government shutdown of the year, but also let the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment slide through, thus continuing protections of state-compliant medical marijuana operations. While seemingly small, this was a pretty significant victory for those who depend on medical marijuana, whether as a patient or cannabis business owner. Marijuana users have been somewhat nervous since the change in administration, particularly with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions openly making it his mission to eradicate all advancements in the marijuana industry.
First introduced as Rohrabacher-Farr in 2001, the amendment as we know it was not signed into law until December 2014. As our medical marijuana attorneys can explain, while it does not legalize medical marijuana federally, it essentially restricts officials from spending government funds to disrupt any medical marijuana-related actions or businesses that are in compliance with relevant state and local laws. The catch is, the amendment must be renewed every year to remain in effect. It is essentially a bandage Congress created to stop the war being waged between states and the federal government. More states now have legalized medical marijuana than not. Meanwhile the federal government is clinging to an outdated Schedule 1 classification of marijuana under Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812.
President Trump previously signed this same amendment into an appropriations act in May 2017. But that time, he did so with an ominous disclaimer attached, according t0 Marijuana Moment. He intentionally called out the section …
Marijuana users in Main will no longer have to choose between marijuana and their jobs. Thanks to the implementation of IB 2015, c.5, “Question 1 – An Act to Legalize Marijuana” in February, employers can no longer drug test applicants for marijuana or fire workers for using cannabis on their own time.
This part of the new law has taken effect despite the fact that other portions are still lagging, namely the regulations necessary to begin sale of cannabis and cannabis products.
Voters in Maine approved recreational use, sale and taxation of marijuana back in November 2016. Initially, the law was supposed to go live in January 2017, but it soon became clear that wasn’t nearly enough time to get all the necessary regulations in place and build the foundation of a pot economy. So they moved the deadline to launch legalization out to February 2018, putting Maine on a similar timeline to California’s roll-out of Proposition 64, which also was voted on in 2016, and began implementation Jan. 1. Unlike California, though, Maine has yet to finalize rules for legal sales yet. To be fair, California had a lot more experience since our state legislators had been working with medical marijuana operations since 1996, while Maine only legalized medical marijuana a few years ago. But Maine state senators also did not extend the moratorium on the deadline to make sales legal, according to a report from The Press Herald.
This has left Maine residents in a weird limbo where the law is …
Here in California, we have more than 20 years of anecdotal evidence of the ways medical marijuana can be used to treat a variety of ailments. Thanks to the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, patients have been reaping the benefits of cannabis for everything from glaucoma to anxiety and chronic pain. Unfortunately, the research that would help independently establish these things has largely been stifled in the U.S., owing largely to the federal policy that classifies marijuana as a Schedule I narcotic. Meanwhile, as reported by U.S. News & World Report, Israel has become a leader in marijuana research – and one of the latest findings of Israeli researchers underscores the medicinal properties of marijuana for cancer patients.
Published in the European Journal of Internal Medicine, the study analyzes the effects of cannabis on symptoms related to cancer and cancer treatments. These include nausea, vomiting, headaches, weakness, pain, and more. According to the study, 1,046 out of 1,742 reported success in overcoming these symptoms after six months. This total did not include participants who passed away, switched cannabis providers, or did not respond to questionnaires. The study looked mostly at patients who were at an advanced stage of cancer and on average 60-years-old. These factors meant a quarter of patients died before the study was over, but even many of those patients reported having the pain of their condition eased by cannabis.
“Success” was determined by those who ranked their symptoms as having moderate or significant improvement and who did not …
The County of Riverside remains a patchwork laws, with each city holding very different opinions on how to best move forward with regulating (or banning) marijuana businesses, growing operations, home cultivation, testing, sales, manufacturing and distribution. That same divide is reflected in the Riverside County Board of Supervisors in how to handle regulations in unincorporated parts of the county. But it looks like after a recent vote, the board will be moving forward on its own with those regulations, while also forgoing a tax ballot initiative in November, according to an article from The Press-Enterprise.
As our marijuana attorneys can explain, even though Proposition 64 passed in November 2016, and adult-use sales were permitted beginning Jan. 1, 2018, it did not mean an automatic free-for-all everywhere in California. The Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act was voted into place by state legislators in June 2017 to streamline the existing Compassionate Use Act of 1996 with the incoming recreational marijuana laws. MAUCRSA Section 18-26032(a)(2) outlines that the actions of marijuana businesses “are not unlawful under state law” so long as they are “permitted pursuant to local authorization, license, or permit issued by the local jurisdiction, if any.”Though this system allows local governments to retain control and make what they believe to be the best choices for their jurisdiction, it’s also leading to a lot of confusion among residents and business owners. Not to mention it leaves the door open for the continued propagation of myths and stereotypes about the marijuana industry …
If you are a marijuana cultivator in California, you might be reluctant to buy insurance on your business. But our experienced cannabis business attorneys know there are many good reasons to invest in insurance.
A recent article from Santa Barbara Independent reveals a big payout one cannabis farmer in Carpinteria received due to losses caused by the Thomas Fire in December, the largest wildfire in the state in recent history. The farm got more than $1 million dollars from their insurance company after thousands of marijuana plants on property were destroyed. This equated to about market value for the plants. While the farm’s crops did not burn in the fire, white ash blew into the greenhouses and tainted the plants. The plants tested positive for lead, arsenic, asbestos, and magnesium. This type of damage was covered under the policy’s clause covering changes in atmospheric conditions.
Meanwhile, most of the other cannabis farms in Northern California were not so fortunate. Many opted out of insurance policies to keep costs low. This money-saving tactic is typical among farmers of all kinds, who often skip this expense to keep profit margins higher. But this is a big gamble, particularly in an area so prone to fires. Our Riverside cannabis business attorneys know that some owners avoid insurance policies in order to keep a low profile. This is rooted in years of living in fear of government crack downs and the failed “War on Drugs,” which is charade used to control and oppress certain communities. A huge weight …
In the midst of tax season, the paradox of tax-paying marijuana business owners being treated like criminals takes center stage. The San Francisco Chronicle recently described the scene as marijuana retailers brought bags of cash to tax administration offices. Some retailers reported bringing in up to $80,000 at a time.
But what other choice did they have? California has opened the door for legal recreational sales with the implementation of Proposition 64 this year, which is bringing a new wave of money-making opportunities for cannabis entrepreneurs. And where there is money-making, there are also taxes. These businesses want to pay their taxes, but without the option of processing transactions and savings in a bank like a normal business, cannabis companies end up paying taxes with cash out of bags.
As our marijuana attorneys can explain, at the heart of this issue is Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812. According to the federal government, marijuana is classified as a Schedule I narcotic under this act. A Schedule I classification means that a drug “has high potential for abuse” and has no accepted medical use in the United States. And even under medical supervision, it would not be considered safe to consume. Obviously, nothing could be further from the truth when it comes to marijuana. For more than 20 years, cannabis has been offering relief to patients in California for everything from cancer to arthritis to anxiety thanks to the Compassionate use Act of 1996.Regardless, this classification prevents banks from doing business …
MARIJUANA POLITICS – The News Source For an Informed Citizenry Post by Don Fitch
It is 2018 and the Secretary of Health and Human Services is saying,
“There really is no such thing as medical marijuana.”
Alex Azar, the new Secretary (previously held by Tom Price who resigned in disgrace for improper spending) formerly served as a pharmaceutical exec and a pharma lobbyist. He joins a cabinet with, to a person, an abiding hatred of marijuana.
Bizarrely, Azar made his comments slighting medical cannabis when speaking about the government’s response to the opioid crisis.
We are devoting hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars of research at our National Institutes of Health as part of the historic $13 billion opioid and serious mental illness program that the President and Congress are funding.
Over $750 million just in 2019 alone is going to be dedicated towards the National Institutes of Health working in public-private partnership to try and develop the next generation of pain therapies that are not opioids.
But that next generation of pain therapies will not be cannabis, elaborated the health secretary.
There is no FDA-approved use of marijuana, a botanical plant. I just want to be very clear about that.
As Azar well knows, the FDA is not set up to deal with a healing plant such as marijuana. The problem is not in the drug’s effectiveness nor safety; the problem is the FDA’s lack of desire and ability to study cannabis, which research around the planet …
There’s no finer example of the ongoing struggle between politicians and the people over the issue of marijuana legalization than the current events taking place in Nebraska. Despite efforts on two different fronts to get medical marijuana on the 2018 ballot, all efforts have been halted, at least for the time being.
A recent survey of Nebraska residents showed that 77 percent of respondents would vote yes on a ballot initiative to legalize medical marijuana in the state, according to an Omaha World-Herald report. The survey was conducted as part of research one state senator was conducting to support a resolution to make way for voters to decide on medical marijuana legalization. The resolution was dropped, though, when the senator determined she did not have enough support from her fellow legislators, despite the overwhelming support from voters.
Meanwhile the Marijuana Policy Project (which offered support for Proposition 64 when it was on the ballot in California) has been trying to organize a petition drive to get an initiative on the ballot as well. However, the group determined there was not enough time to rally for 2018 and are instead focusing their efforts on a big 2020 push.This is a massive disappointment for the good people of Nebraska who clearly want access to medical marijuana. Not only will they have to wait more than two years to vote, but assuming the initiative passes, it will take time to get the proper licensing systems and regulations in place to establish a medical marijuana infrastructure. That …
It’s been more than 20 years since California legalized medical marijuana with the Compassionate Use Act of 1996. Much of the country is just now catching up to what California and our trusted attorneys have known for a long time: That marijuana is a safe and effective treatment for many illnesses and ailments. So safe, in fact, that laws are expanding to open up marijuana for recreational consumption as well, with California implementing Proposition 64 Jan. 1. We are now one of 29 states that has some form of cannabis legalization.
But we also know the more things change, the more they stay the same.
High Times recently delved into the issue of medical schools and teaching about medical marijuana to students. One medical journal study last year showed that 90 percent of med students don’t learn anything about marijuana in medical school. Less than 10 percent of medical schools have any sort of medical marijuana curriculum. And roughly 25 percent of graduates wouldn’t even feel prepared to talk about cannabis as an option with a patient.
The findings are discouraging, but not surprising considering the stigma marijuana still holds on the federal level. As our Orange County medical marijuana attorneys can explain, it is difficult to conduct medical research studies involving cannabis when it is still labeled as a Schedule I narcotic under Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812. Thus, fewer schools are teaching how to use it as a treatment and the vicious cycle continues.
So who has been …
For many years now, attorneys with the Cannabis Law Group in California have been working with medical marijuana operations obtain compliance with the law. More recently, we’ve been on the forefront of helping recreational marijuana businesses align their operations with the regulatory parameters set forth in Proposition 64 Jan. 1, as well as those guidelines established by local governments.
However, the level of success a business owner can achieve requires help from all levels, including government officials setting regulations and tax rates. Many owners face a broad range of challenges when transitioning from medical to recreational sales or opening a business for the first time under the new adult-use standards.
Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) and Tom Lackey (R-Palmdale) want to ease some of those pains. They have introduced Assemblybill 3157, which would reduce the state marijuana excise tax to 11 percent for three years. The tax currently sits at 15 percent. The bill states: “The cumulative tax rate imposed by existing law is substantial and undermines the legal regulatory system if high taxes cause prices to far exceed that what is found on the black market.”
According to Leafly, Lackey said he hopes this bill will give relief to legal cannabis businesses, who currently have a lot of competition from black market sellers. Legislators also hope this will help make it easier for businesses to transition into legal sales and get on their feet.
The bill also suspends the cannabis cultivation tax, easing added expenses that occur along the marijuana production chain.
Every state that allows the use of medical marijuana has their own regulatory scheme and requirements pertaining to how patients are able to access this much-needed medicine. For example, anyone who needs medical marijuana in California must go to a doctor and get a recommendation letter. Once they have a recommendation letter, they can register as a patient with a medical marijuana dispensary and are then are eligible to obtain medical cannabis. Because every state has different regulations, the concept of medical marijuana reciprocity becomes important. This is when a registered patient in one state goes to another state and needs to get their medicine there.
This may seem like a novel concept, but it should not be anywhere near as controversial as it has become. If a patient is taking a drug manufactured by a big pharmaceutical company and runs out of it while on vacation, they can simply go to a pharmacy location in their current jurisdiction and ask to have their prescription transferred there. This can be done permanently, or on a one-time basis, no questions asked. Typically, this is not how things work for medical marijuana patients because many states allow only residents to obtain medical marijuana from a dispensary located there. This creates obvious problems. One way to address this is by allowing medical marijuana reciprocity whereby a patient registered in one state, can travel to another state and use their home-state registration to obtain medical cannabis products.
As our Los Angeles medical marijuana defense attorneys can explain, while …
Long before anyone even thought about the possibility of legalizing marijuana for recreational use, or even medical marijuana in the U.S., cannabis has been legal in Amsterdam. This led many college students to travel to the city and visit the fabled coffee shops where they could not only purchase marijuana, but could sit at the bar and smoke a joint, or “spliff” like a civilized person without the fear of being harassed or arrested by the police. For this reason, Amsterdam was for decades the world’s leading destination for marijuana tourism.
When legalized recreational use marijuana came to Colorado, other western states, and now California as well, the concept of cannabis tourism became possible in the U.S. The problem, however, is while it is legal to go to one of these states and purchase marijuana, assuming you are over the legal age of 21, laws prohibiting public consumption of marijuana made anything other than the use of edibles very impractical. For anyone staying in a hotel, most are non-smoking entirely, and this also includes the use of marijuana products.
As our Los Angeles medical marijuana attorneys know, with very few places a tourist can legally smoke marijuana, it has resulted in a major setback in what could and should be a viable cannabis tourism industry. Those who come to area are still impressed by the large selection of quality products. But without the local equivalent to an Amsterdam coffee shop, the draw is not what it could be.
As discussed in a recent news …
When Canada legalized the recreational use of marijuana, the government set out to drive all black market cannabis sellers out of business. They did this not through more rigid enforcement methods, but by making legal marijuana as cheap, if not cheaper, than buying it from a traditional dealer. This was accomplished by setting the tax rate very low for legal sales of recreational marijuana.
On the other hand, when California legalized marijuana, the ballot initiative was sold to many as a way for the state to generate billions of dollars in revenue. While this is certainly true, and a laudable goal, it was accomplished by setting a tax of 15 percent, which is many times higher than the tax rate set in Canada. There is also a separate tax on the cultivation of cannabis set at nine percent, which results in a direct expenses passed on to distributors and consumers as discussed in a recent news article from Forbes. As our Orange County recreational marijuana business attorneys can explain, this amounts to a tax or nearly 30 percent on top of the normal retail sales price of pot, which makes many still likely to buy it from the black market. As discussed in this article, many of those trying to follow the law, are faced with a difficult task of competing with the black market dealers and also the ever-expanding marijuana grey market.
It is the licensed business people who must keep detailed records, collect sales tax, pay income tax, make sure all …
Despite appalling and misguided federal efforts to hold back marijuana businesses, the industry continues to blaze trails with expanded marijuana laws and opportunities, clearing away for progress and reason to prevail.
The latest example comes out of Colorado, where the state is looking to get rid of residency requirements for marijuana businesses. House Bill 18-1011 would allow non-Colorado residents and publicly traded companies own a stake in state-licensed businesses as well as make investments. Right now ownership for non-residents is limited to 15 people. A bi-partisan group of legislators is leading the charge on the bill, which they said will not only attract more investments in the state, but also allow local businesses to be publicly traded, according to The Cannabist.
Officials said Colorado law is causing the state to fall behind roughly a dozen other states that no longer have such limitations. Indeed, California already rid itself of residency restrictions with the creation of Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act in June 2017. The act combined the Adult Use of Marijuana Act and the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act in an effort to consolidate regulations and laws governing medical and recreational marijuana. Many regulations carried over from the two previous acts, but one notable change was the removal of a rule in AUMA to prohibit licenses from being issued to non-California residents until Dec. 31, 2019.
While residency restrictions can help protect small in-state businesses, our experienced Orange County marijuana business lawyers also know they can stifle investments and …
Attorneys at Cannabis Law Group are committed to helping marijuana dispensaries achieve compliance with state and local regulations. We are experienced in civil and criminal cannabis-related cases and fight hard for the rights of our clients. We support the continued expansion of marijuana legalization and hope to see a day soon when businesses are free to operate on a national scale.
Too often, we see hard-working cannabis business owners who may be niave or unclear about the state and local regulations and their obligations. In a recent case in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, a former Congressional aid was recently convicted of taking advantage of a dispensary owner.
Recently Michael Kimbrew, a former Congressional aide, was found guilty of attempted extortion and bribery. He was convicted of taking a $5,000 bribe, which he allegedly elicited from a pot shop that at the time was operating illegally, according to the Associated Press. Prosecutors allege he approached the Compton dispensary in 2015, when it was still illegal to operate such a business in the city. He then allegedly told the owners they would be shut down unless they could work out a deal with him. That deal reportedly included a $5,000 payment to Kimbrew, even though he did not have the connections to get them proper medical marijuana permits that he allegedly claimed he did.
Prosecutors said he went as far as bringing the owners to Compton City Hall, where the representative he worked for had an office. That representative …
Californians have known for decades the benefits of marijuana, especially as a treatment for certain medical ailments. Now the state is reaping the benefits of added tax revenue from recreational marijuana businesses pouring into cities that have chosen to legalize marijuana under Proposition 64.
In addition to taxes flooding into communities, so too are jobs, and people are answering the call. Recently in Sacramento, the Cannabis Job Fair had people standing in lines out the door, waiting for up to two hours, according to KCRASacramento, prompting planners to already set their sites on a bigger event next time around.
With such a burgeoning industry, workers of all levels are needed for success. The marijuana industry offers opportunities for those with skills in cultivation, testing, distribution, horticulture, production, kitchen work, sales, management, and more. But they also need people savvy in the typical tent poles of any industry, including finances, accounting, analytical tracking, marketing, and social media. That’s on top of the farmers across the state investing their abilities and resources in the cannabis market. This creates a wealth of possibilities for a diverse cross-section of people across the socioeconomic spectrum.Our experienced marijuana business lawyers in Orange County know events like this are the perfect demonstration that marijuana goes far deeper than the ridiculous stereotypes about lazy people just wanting to get high and be reckless. While opponents keep trying to peddle these misconceptions, hard-working, dedicated, and skilled Californians are stepping up to grow this multi-billion-dollar industry. They understand the profound benefit …
Cannabis business owners want to be able to operate in full compliance with California law and function as a legitimate business. They are open to paying taxes and following the rules. However, they are facing many barriers to achieving this end goal while operating a successful business – one of the biggest being the law itself.
This message was delivered loud and clear at a recent meeting in Ukiah, Calif., which included government officials and Northern California marijuana industry leaders in the first gathering of its kind, according to The Press Democrat.
The Sonoma County agriculture commissioner used this forum to address the seemingly endless patchwork mix of state and local regulations to which marijuana businesses must adhere and how detrimental they have been to established cultivators who want to operate legally under Proposition 64. Known as the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, Prop 64 went into effect earlier this year and allows adult-use marijuana legal in the state – but only for counties and cities whose leaders chose to adopt the law. Local governments have the right to continue to ban adult-use marijuana and to regulate it as they see fit.
Our experienced Riverside cannabis business attorneys know hyper-local regulations on top of the state regulations have become an onerous obstacle for smaller business owners. As such, the rules inherently favor larger corporations, which have the infrastructure and capital to adapt to the ever-growing list of guidelines and laws. Farmers at the meeting shared anecdotes of mega-operations nabbing licenses in bulk, …
We all know the importance of keeping Sparky away from the pot brownies. But is it possible your pet could receive medical marijuana as a recommended treatment from their vet?
A vast majority of rational Americans agree that the use of marijuana as a treatment for medical purposes is a decision that should be made between and doctor and patient. Recent polls show more than 90 percent of respondents favor medical marijuana with a doctor’s recommendation. And California has long been a defender of patient rights by leading the nation in medical marijuana legalization with the Compassionate Use Act of 1996.
So why should the decision be any different when it comes to animals and veterinary professionals?
As it stands, California law does not extend to veterinarians the ability to recommend marijuana as a treatment for animals. But AB-2215, introduced by Assemblymember Ash Kalra (D-27), is looking to change that. The bill would put the power in the hands of the Veterinary Medical Board by calling on them to set the standards for state-licensed veterinarians to discuss marijuana treatment for animal patient clients, and it would also prevent veterinarians from being punished for having such discussions.
That all sounds great, but the bill is receiving criticism from the Veterinary Medical Board for not being broad enough, according to American Veterinarian. The board recently voted 4-2 not to support the bill, citing a primary concern over the word “discuss.” Board members felt this language was too soft, and still didn’t empower vets …
Marijuana legalization has been a decades-long battle that is finally paying off, with states all over the country legalizing medical and/or recreational cannabis. But in addition to fighting for your rights on the legal front, our experienced lawyers know there is another fight that must be won: the battle of public perception.
Nowhere is that struggle better illustrated than in Texas, where a college baseball coach blew off an athlete interested in attending the school over the issue of marijuana. You might be wondering what the connection is. Did the student fail a drug test? Did he have a criminal record involving marijuana? Had he been penalized by his high school for coming to school under the influence?
All of these would be excellent guesses. But the answer to all three is “no.” According to an email to the athlete, which has since gone viral, it appears the coach deemed the student guilty by association of the entire state of Colorado, according to a report from The Washington Post.
The email claimed the school was not considering students from Colorado because in the past, recruits from the state had difficulty passing the drug test. “We have made a decision not to take a chance on student-athletes from your state. You can thank your liberal politicians,” the message went on to say.
This of course is a gross misrepresentation of the Colorado cannabis laws. Amendment 64 was adopted by the voters of Colorado, not liberal politicians, as part of a ballot initiative in 2012. …