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. …
The road to marijuana legalization is paved with regulations, for better or worse. And it’s a bumpy road that marijuana delivery service businesses have had to learn to navigate.
Delivery businesses specializing in cannabis have a unique set of rules to follow. They must abide by the laws in the local jurisdiction in which their home base is located. But they also have to take into consideration laws that dictate transport. This has led to a particular set of challenges in Sacramento County, according to the Sacramento Bee.
While adult-use marijuana was legalized in the state Jan. 1, under Proposition 64, each local government was allowed to set its own terms. Under the law, deliveries can only be made between cities that allow it. This can be a real disadvantage to patients, some who have difficulty leaving their homes, and business owners. And product must be kept in the city where the business has a license.
In Sacramento County, as of now only the city of Sacramento has plans to receive deliveries. The city has not issued any permits yet, but eight delivery companies have registered while the permit program is being established. Meanwhile Sacramento’s pot czar says many businesses are operating without licenses, and he is on a mission to rein them in. A recent tally on a marijuana delivery website showed about 200 delivery businesses in the county.Our experienced marijuana delivery business service attorneys in Los Angeles know it’s difficult establishing a new company with numerous laws and regulations …
There are many questions that have been answered with the legalization of recreational marijuana in California.
- What? Proposition 64 was approved by voters and made legal adult-use marijuana.
- Who? Residents 21 years or older.
- When? As of Jan. 1, 2018.
- Where? Now, that’s a trickier matter.
Firstly, the state law did not automatically go into effect everywhere. From county to county, city to city, local governments have been making decisions about whether to maintain a ban on recreational cannabis or to legalize and set up regulations. Some of the big cities, like Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego have permitted recreational sales. Some areas, like Orange County, cultivation is allowed with restrictions, but manufacturing and retail are banned. Los Angeles took a different route, allowing retail but not cultivation or manufacturing. Other counties, like San Bernadino, don’t permit any recreational cannabis activity.
The confusion intensifies when you put a magnifying glass to one of those regions. Take Los Angeles for example, where the city is still ironing out where businesses are allowed to set up shop. Leaders have already agreed that marijuana retailers should not be within 700 feet of schools or public parks, also known as “sensitive use” locations. But the debate is still boiling as to what constitutes a “sensitive use” location, according to a report from KPCC, Southern California Public Radio.
Some council members have looked at areas where families and children congregate and have proposed adding extra restrictions to prevent marijuana businesses from opening nearby. While this in …
To discourage minors from using marijuana, officials have implemented many regulations. But in regards to medical marijuana and the children who benefit from it, there comes a question of who is really being protected.
Some children use cannabis oils, tinctures, capsules, creams, or liquids as treatment for medical issues with the recommendation and guidance of a physician. These treatments can offer relief to suffering that might otherwise prohibit the child from normal participation in school activities. However, the treatment itself has become a disruption: currently parents must remove children from school property before administering doctor recommended medical marijuana, according to a report from South San Francisco Patch.
Sen. Jerry Hill (D-Mateo) is hoping to put an end to this absurd practice with the introduction of SB-1127. The bill would allow governing bodies of school systems and charter schools to set their own policies, opening the door to allow medical marijuana use on school grounds for grades kindergarten through 12. It would still, of course, prohibit smoking or vaping, even if it is for medicinal purposes. The drug cannot be administered in a way that would be disruptive to the educational environment or that would expose other students. And storage of medical marijuana would not be permitted on school grounds.
The process would therefore still be a disruption for caregivers, who would need to come to the school to dole out the necessary dosage. Parents would still be required to manage and administer the drug without assistance from a school nurse or administrator. …
While many Californians are finally enjoying the freedom to use recreational marijuana, some are questioning how safe their private information is when they make a purchase. When Proposition 64 went into effect Jan. 1, adult-use marijuana became legal in the state, with local governments able to set up their own regulations or bans. But there are currently loopholes that threaten the privacy of customers.
Assembly Bill 2402 seeks to tighten those loopholes. Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Silicon Valley) introduced the bill, which would prevent cannabis retailers from selling customer information to third parties. It would also protect customer information from employers looking to investigate employee use, according to Capital Public Radio. It mirrors similar rules that are currently in place for medical marijuana users.
Because you must be 21 or older to purchase cannabis in California, dispensaries require a valid ID to prove your age. Though it is not mandatory, some dispensaries will keep a record of the information on file. Some use this information for marketing purposes. Many also keep such records in order to monitor how much someone is purchasing in a day, according to Politifact. This could be necessary if a business needed to prove they are in compliance with state law, which caps individual recreational marijuana sales to one ounce per day.For deliveries, personal information is kept on file as record that the person receiving the delivery is 21 or older. And dispensaries are required under licensing regulations to videotape each transaction.
This bill would tighten up …
Even though medical marijuana has been legal in California for more than 20 years, patients might just now be getting protections in the workplace. A bill that would prevent employers from discriminating against employees because they use cannabis for medical purposes was recently introduced by Assemblyman Rob Bonta (D-Oakland), according to The Cannifornian.
California was the first to legalize medical marijuana with the passing of the Compassionate Use Act of 1996. Yet it is trailing woefully behind in protecting workers. Currently 11 of the 29 states (plus Washington, D.C.) that have legalized medical cannabis already have laws in place to protect employees who have a physician’s recommendation to use marijuana to treat a condition.
Assembly Bill 2069, if passed, would establish long overdue employee protections by prohibiting employers from firing or not hiring “a qualified patient or person with an identification card” solely on the basis that they use marijuana for medical purposes or for testing positive for cannabis on a drug test.The state failed medical marijuana patients by not including employee protections in the original bill. They failed even further by not doing anything since then. This gap in the legislation has since left patients beholden to employers and political whims.
More than a decade after medical marijuana legalization, the California Supreme Court ruled against an Air Force veteran (and medical marijuana patient) who was fired, citing the lack of employee protections in state law. Legislators tried to overturn the ruling, but were vetoed by the governor, solidifying that …
While excitement over marijuana legalization continues to rise at the state level, the incoming clouds of the federal government continue to threaten to rain on the parade. And while some hope to just wait out the storm, others are taking the matter into their own hands.
Berkeley City Council is putting its city and citizens first by becoming a sanctuary city for adult-use marijuana, according to CNN. The council passed a resolution recently that would prevent local agencies from using city funds to enforce federal marijuana laws. That means if federal agents try to come down on anyone in the city, they can do so within the boundaries of their own authority, but not with the assistance of the city or its employees. No financial assistance. No help from employees. No access to information.
The city is taking it a step further as well by actively fight against any steps by Drug Enforcement Administration to close down recreational marijuana businesses in the city.
Our marijuana legalization attorneys in Orange County are proud to be in a state that has always led the way on cannabis protections. California was the first state to legalize medical marijuana under Compassionate Use Act of 1996. And through Prop 64, it joins a select group of states in blazing a trail for adult-use marijuana across the nation. But shortly after recreational marijuana was legalized in the state Jan. 1, Attorney General Jeff sessions reignited his anti-pot agenda and began rolling back protections, namely the Cole Memo, …
MARIJUANA POLITICS – The News Source For an Informed Citizenry Post by Marijuana Politics
Leading social networks like Facebook have drawn their fair share of criticism over the past couple of years, with allegations of interfering with presidential elections through to poisoning the minds of our youths. But the rampant power of large social media companies goes further than that.
If there’s one thing that anyone who owns a cannabis related social media page on Facebook or Instagram will tell you, it’s that you never know when you just might be banned or censored. Reports constantly surface of legal cannabis businesses having their pages banned overnight with no explanation. Many cannabis based business have had their page closed even more than once, sometimes several times in a single year.
One blockchain based startup believe that the future of social media for cannabis users lies in something completely different. After having the social media page of a popular online community 420Smokers closed on multiple occasions the team behind Smoke Network decided that something needed to be done.
They now claim to be building the world’s first decentralized social network for cannabis users. While this might sound like a mouthful, there are many benefits that the idea of using blockchain brings to the cannabis social media conundrum.
Large centralized companies who control social media may have their own anti-marijuana rhetoric. Worse than that, these large companies can easily be pressured by the federal government, who still views cannabis as a schedule 1 drug, to …
While many politicians and other leaders continue to wring their hands, hemming and hawing ad nauseum over the best way to regulate the growing number of marijuana businesses, University of California San Francisco says the answer is right under our noses.
According to a study by the university published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, regulators need look no further than the tobacco industry for inspiration to create best practices for adult-use marijuana. By using what the tobacco industry has learned by trial and error over the years, the marijuana industry can avoid early mistakes and take a proactive approach.
Examples in the study include implementing clear labeling with conspicuous warning labels, avoiding marketing that appeals to minors, and restricting product potency.While our Riverside marijuana business lawyers know there is much to be learned from the tobacco industry, we also know cannabis does not have the same health risks as tobacco, no matter how many officials want to skew the facts. The World Health Organization released a study in 1995 claiming that even with increased use, marijuana would not have the same negative health effects of tobacco or even alcohol, each of which can cause deadly diseases with repeated use. No such findings have been connected to marijuana. And a 1999 study by the National Academy of Sciences showed only 9 percent of marijuana users developed a dependency on the drug versus a whopping 32 percent of tobacco users (even more than heroin users in the study).
Therefore, labeling and marketing akin …
Sales are booming for cannabis businesses after Prop 64 allowed recreational marijuana to become a legitimate industry in the eyes of the state. However, operations are still heavily regulated, and many new marijuana business owners find the task of abiding this onerous list of laws to be a difficult one. Without the help of a marijuana attorney to advise of potential problem points, businesses could easily find themselves under heavy sanctions – or worse, criminal prosecution.
The California Bureau of Cannabis Control recently sent warning letters to several hundred businesses suspected of operating without state marijuana business license, according to Leafly. The letters outline criminal and civil action planned if the businesses refused to either close or become compliant with regulations. Bureau leaders said they are pursing all delivery services and retailers who may not be operating legally.
Some of these businesses slipped into questionable business practice after legalization passed, but as officials ironed out the details of statewide regulation and oversight. In some cases, business owners have been trying to fly under the radar to avoid being taxed (practically out of existence). In many cases, however, these business owners were simply unaware of their obligations or haven’t filed the proper paperwork or gone through all the correct channels. This is where having a marijuana business attorney can be invaluable to protecting your investment.Our Los Angeles cannabis business attorneys know that in cities like Los Angeles and San Diego have taken decisive action. LA Police Department has raided eight businesses without licenses, …
In the David versus Goliath of weed, five plaintiffs are taking on the federal government’s archaic stance on cannabis, claiming they have “suffered harm, and … are continually threatened with additional harm” as a result of marijuana’s Schedule I classification under Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812.
Arguments recently began in U.S. District Court Southern District of New York for the lawsuit filed against Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Department of Justice, U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and its director Chuck Rosenberg, and, to top it off, the United States of America.
Plaintiffs include a military veteran who uses cannabis for post-traumatic stress disorder, a former pro football player with a business that sells hemp-based products, representatives for two young children, each of whom suffer from severe medical issues, and Cannabis Cultural Association, a non-profit organization meant to help minorities benefit from the cannabis industry, according to an article from Associated Press. The lawsuit also outlines that, while not a class action, it would benefit tens of millions of Americans who depend on marijuana’s medical properties.The military veteran, who also operates a program with a goal of ending veteran suicide, said one of the biggest challenges is not being able to travel across state lines with medical marijuana, even if you’re going to a state where it is also legal.
The lawsuit says the Controlled Substance Act has “wrongfully and unconstitutionally criminalized” cannabis. Our experienced Orange County medical marijuana lawyers know that at the heart of this matter is the blatant fact …
Prop 64, or the Control, Regulate, and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act, does a lot more than the title might suggest. In addition to legalizing marijuana in California (and regulating and taxing), it offers a unique opportunity for the state to make reparations of sort to the people and communities who have suffered the most from the destructive “War on Drugs,” which turned out to be more of a slanderous attack on marijuana and an assault on minorities.
According to ACLU, most drug arrests between 2001-2010 were for marijuana, and a whopping 88% of those were for possession. Worse yet, black people were more than 3 times as likely to be arrested for marijuana-related crimes than white people despite having almost equal rates of use.
San Francisco and San Diego are leading the way in the state toward making amends for past marijuana-related crimes. The city’s district attorneys are proactively reviewing cases on the books and expunging misdemeanors that are no longer crimes, giving those who previously have been punished a clean slate. They also are checking for charges that can be reduced to lesser crimes.
But what about the rest of the state?Statewide, those with previous convictions can petition to have their cases reviewed and charges erased or reduced. Many, such as the district attorney’s offices in Sonoma and Mendocino counties, have cited lack of resources as the reason that they don’t review all cases, according to an article from The Press Democrat.
While our …
One of the beacons of hope for medical marijuana businesses during these uncertain times has been Rohrabacher-Blumenauer, an amendment that blocks the Justice Department’s ability to spend money on prosecuting medical marijuana operations that are compliant with their state’s relevant laws.
However, this amendment is not a permanent structure and is put in peril every time the government shuts down and Congress must pass a spending measure. Given the tumultuous nature of the current budget debates at the federal level, this has already happened multiple times this year. Each time Congress goes for a vote, the medical marijuana community must hold its breath and wait to see if the amendment will be included in the next budget parameters. That’s no way to treat respectable business owners.
So far it has survived each round, but with another vote coming up in March, we’re not in the clear just yet, according to Leafly.
For years Congress has been dancing a political tango that has put millions of Americans in the cross hairs. They want to reap the benefits of support from the majority of Americans who support marijuana legalization. But they don’t want to upset the shrinking population still embroiled in the bunk “War on Drugs.” Others just don’t seem to want to admit they might have been wrong all these years about the proven benefits of cannabis.
So instead of doing the right thing and removing marijuana from the list of Schedule I narcotics under Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812, …
The more understanding of cannabis changes, the more enforcement of archaic laws stays the same.
In Los Angeles and other areas in California, government employees are getting warning letters reminding them that they are not allowed to consume marijuana, even while off-duty, saying their employers strict no-drug policies have not changed, even as state laws have evolved into the 21st century, according to NBC Los Angeles.
The warnings were spurred by the passing of Proposition 64, which led to legalization of recreational marijuana in California as of Jan. 1. Los Angeles is one of the cities which has welcomed legalization efforts and cannabis businesses. Meanwhile, it is clear many will not be able to enjoy the same freedoms as their fellow residents.
No one is arguing the merits of such a policy when it comes to consuming anything that might impair a worker while on the clock. But prohibiting marijuana use on one’s own time is as ridiculous as forbidding an employee from enjoying a glass of wine after a long day at work.Our trusted cannabis legalization attorneys in Los Angeles know that many places of employment will continue to hide behind federal classification of marijuana as a Schedule I drug under Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812. That is why it is so important to keep pushing to declassify this beneficial drug, which science has proven time and again has no business being on the same list with drugs such as heroin. However, as things are highly unlikely …
MARIJUANA POLITICS – The News Source For an Informed Citizenry Post by Marijuana Politics
In our endless quest to stay up to date with the best products out there, we have decided to ‘focus’ on a handy dual purpose unit from Focusvape, The Tourist.
Immediately upon assembling the parts in the sturdy packaging we see that indeed the Tourist is small enough to travel with although not as small as other similar devices. What sets it apart though is the solidness and quick interchangeability of its core parts to transform it from a dabbing unit to a flower burning unit.
To switch from flower to dab is equally easy as changing the top burners and then the topical switch from Herb to Wax. The base is solid as well because you never want your unit to fall over, unless that was your purpose!
To test out the flower portion, we used some Oregon garden homegrown Girl Scout Cookies grinded in the best grinder we have tried to date – the Zues Bolt 2. The flower was heated up nice enough to really bring out the chocolate notes in the GSC herb.
Cleaning the unit was simple enough, albeit like just about all units produced today for vaping, the enclosed glass makes it just that much more difficult. For situations like this, we used 99% alcohol and some long included cleaners.
If you are looking for a good dual purpose unit for dabbing and flowers, The Tourist makes a sweet travel companion and …
Recently, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded an Obama-era Department of Justice Directive that essentially urged federal prosecutors to ignore marijuana crimes so along as alleged violators were in compliance with state laws. This step gave states the space to figure out how they wanted to handle recreational and/or medical cannabis laws without interference from the federal government.
Sessions, however, has made it clear he intends to revive marijuana prosecutions based on the drug’s current Schedule I controlled substance designation under the Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812. By rescinding the 2013 order, Sessions has given federal officials the freedom to pursue charges against anyone for these violations – even if they follow state and local laws to the letter. Our marijuana attorneys in L.A. encourage all cannabis business owners in California to seek prompt legal counsel to best protect themselves and their livelihood.
Some don’t see this as an immediate threat, citing the lack of resources to go after so many operations. They also point to a lack of support among citizens to pursue such charges, meaning juries will be more reticent to convict. Others are less optimistic.This is especially true in states with brand new marijuana laws, such as Maryland, which only recently launched a medical marijuana program. When Sessions spoke out a few weeks later, many doctors in the state panicked, according to a Washington Post report. The Maryland State Medical Society even said some doctors who had already registered to offer marijuana to patients withdrew after Sessions’s …
MARIJUANA POLITICS – The News Source For an Informed Citizenry Post by Don Fitch
In a troubling move, US President Donald Trump has nixed Israel’s medical cannabis export hopes.
Israel has long been a leader in medical cannabis research and now stands poised to serve a huge export market. Yet this market will remain unserved and global medical cannabis production discouraged, as Prime Minister Netanyahu has caved to pressure from Donald Trump to quash a lucrative and health-promoting trade. As reported by The Jewish Telegraph Agency,
The prime minister made it clear that he did not want Israel to be a pioneer in the export of medical marijuana in order not to anger the U.S. president, according to the report.
While commonly ignoring any American request to stop building settlements on Palestine land, in this case, the Israeli Prime Minister was quick to comply.
Netanyahu told the heads of the ministries he ordered the freeze after receiving a call about the issue of exporting marijuana from Trump, who is against its legalization.
Perhaps the most troubling aspect of this development is Trump’s apparent active opposition to medical cannabis. Of course, Attorney General Jeff Sessions nourishes a great hatred for all things marijuana and the others in Trump’s cabinet are extreme in opposition to cannabis, the President himself has said little about the plant. During his campaign, Trump expressed support for medical marijuana and for the rights of states to choose. His comments about the drug war have been extreme, even …
With the rollout of Proposition 64 on Jan. 1, Californians are beginning to enjoy legal adult-use marijuana. Some cities, though, decided not to legalize recreational cannabis, either because residents or leaders voiced opposition or because they wanted to wait to see how it played out in other areas of the state.
Chula Vista is one such city that did not join legalization efforts right away, but is considering a ballot measure this year. This would put the final decision in the hands of the residents of the city.
According to an NBC Los Angeles report, the city is working with a private research firm to survey residents for their feedback and thoughts on whether to legalize and how best to regulate the industry.The survey asks residents about a proposed city tax of up to 15 percent on marijuana businesses’ gross receipts. It also proposes taxing up to $10 per square foot of cannabis operations designated for testing, manufacturing related products, and cultivation. The city estimates this tax structure would bring in about $6 million per year, which would be used for extra law enforcement to monitor cannabis industry activity, youth education and drug prevention programs, and substance abuse programs. Remaining funds would be used to help out Chula Vista overall.
This design is similar to that instituted at the state level. Businesses will be required to comply with both state and local laws and pay taxes to each. Some consider the state and local taxes to be burdensome to businesses and have voiced …
MARIJUANA POLITICS – The News Source For an Informed Citizenry Post by Don Fitch
The state of Oregon has been producing high-quality cannabis for decades. The climate, especially in the southwest corner of the state, is nearly perfect for the plant’s needs and the state’s progressive cultural climate supported people experimenting with marijuana cultivation. Now, with full adult use legalization, prices have dropped substantially. The drop in price per pound has caused havoc for growers, but now Oregon’s US Attorney is poised to provide price support.
For many decades, Oregon has been a leader in cannabis interest, use, legislation, and cultivation. As an agricultural crop, cannabis has long reigned as the state’s leading earner. When most old growth forests disappeared, logging waned as a prosperous industry and was partially replaced by cannabis. Oregon was the first state to decriminalize possession of small amounts. Then, 20 years ago, the state’s voters legalized medical cannabis, creating retail markets and allowing legal home growing by those with a medical card. Finally, in 2014 Oregon voters chose to legalize all cannabis adult use and allowed for four plant cultivation and state-licensed adult use grows. The state does produce a lot of cannabis.
Enter Billy J. Williams, US Attorney for Oregon. Newly encouraged to prosecute pot by US Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Williams is about to do just that. Of all the 94 US Attorneys responding to Session’s ending the protective Cole Memo, the Oregon US Attorney seems the most hawkish. He invoked a widely publicized …
Thousands of California misdemeanor marijuana convictions could be expunged soon in an effort by leaders in two cities to correct the damage to some communities by a decades-long, failed “War on Drugs.”
Some of the obvious pros for marijuana legalization include economic opportunities, increased taxes flowing in to the state coffers and fewer jails and prison packed with non-violent drug offenders . California is already beginning to experience these perks since the passage last month of the Control, Regulate, and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act. The drug is still deemed a Schedule I narcotic under the federal Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812.
The issue of non-violent drug arrests and convictions has been a controversial one in recent years, with some politicians clinging to the illogical argument that a failure to crack down on low-level possession leads to widespread and dangerous use. This just isn’t true, but this flawed thinking and aggressive enforcement of arcane laws has dearly cost individuals, families and communities (particularly those that are majority minority).Now, San Francisco and San Diego are taking it a step farther by clearing marijuana possession criminal records for thousands of people, according to a New York Times report. The San Francisco district attorney’s office said it is expunging about 3,000 misdemeanor convictions that go back 40 years. In addition, 4,900 felony cases will be reviewed and considered for reduction to misdemeanors in San Francisco.
In San Diego, 4,700 cases are under review to either clear or reduce charges. According to …
Fledgling marijuana businesses in California face significant challenges following the Jan. 1 passage of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (known as Proposition 64) . That measure made recreational cannabis legal in the state, but subject to a laundry list of stringent regulations businesses must abide. In addition, many local governments have set their own rules, and this is all heaped on to existing barriers under the federal Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812.
Good marijuana business attorneys recognize that even once a client clears all those hurdles, small operations often have an even bigger mountain to climb: Competition from cannabis mega-corporations. This has spurred a number of marijuana lawsuits against the state for failure to keep these bigger firms in check with sufficient regulation.
Specifically, some farmers are taking aim at the fact the law does not fully restrict acreage permitted per grower for marijuana.
In one example, California Growers Association, a nonprofit, mutual benefit corporation, has filed a lawsuit in Sacramento County Superior Court against the state’s agriculture department, challenging the lack of such a stipulation.
The farmers argue that without such a limit, they are positioned to lose their standing to large agribusinesses, which have resources to convert massive expanses of land, according to San Francisco Chronicle. This conflicts with provisions built into Proposition 64 to protect owners of small- and medium-sized marijuana cultivation operations.
California Growers Association v. California Department of Food and Agriculture states that Proposition 64 prohibits licenses for large-scale operations in the first five …
Adult-use cannabis became legal in California Jan. 1 with Proposition 64 going into effect. Many cities and counties however have decided to maintain a ban on marijuana, and others did not have local regulations in place in time for the official roll out of the law.
But even after just a few weeks, the state government is already reaping big cash benefits reefer. Gov. Jerry Brown estimates $643 million in marijuana excise taxes in the first year, according to a Los Angeles Times report. Earlier projections estimated tax revenue could eventually hit $1 billion. Brown cautioned we don’t fully know every market issue that is at play, so local governments should be careful before enacting any sweeping measures.
Even as such, the lower estimates more than cover the $52 million California budgeted for 2017-2018 to establish and run the marijuana licensing system. The $643 million also does not include local sales taxes or state license fees. It costs businesses $1,000 for a license to sell cannabis. The fees are set to cover all costs associated with permits, including background checks, and resources necessary for processing and issuing.Marijuana taxes are earmarked to fund job programs designed to curb environmental effects of illegal growers, youth prevention and treatment resources, help for communities most affected by the war on drugs, programs to prevent driving under the influence, and grants for job placement, substance-use disorder treatment, and mental health initiatives, among other causes. Each year, $15 million is also supposed to go to studies on the impact …
While Attorney General Jeff Sessions is doing all he can to hold states to federal law regarding marijuana, some representatives are pushing to eliminate federal grasp over cannabis altogether and begin the healing process of the destruction caused by the war on drugs.
The Marijuana Justice Act of 2017 was originally introduced in the Senate by Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) in August, where it stalled. Two representatives from California — Barbara Lee (D-CA 13th District) and Ro Khanna (D-CA 17th District) — are now trying to get a companion bill before the House of Representatives. The objective of these bills is to remove marijuana as a Schedule I narcotic in the Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812.
This move comes on the heels of Sessions rescinding a directive, known as the Cole Memo, issued in 2013 by the Department of Justice during the Obama administration, which indicated that federal prosecutors should not pursue charges in relation to illegal marijuana activity so long as those in question were abiding by state laws.
Our Los Angeles marijuana legalization lawyers know that declassifying marijuana is a long overdue step, one that is necessary for states to truly be able to freely monitor cannabis operations as they best see fit. While the Cole Memo acted as a bandage for a while, it never was a long-term solution. It simply protected states from punishment, but still labeled their burgeoning marijuana economies as illegal. Therefore, citizens and businesses still had to find workarounds for a litany of issues, …
Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently rescinded an Obama-era Department of Justice memo, which directed federal prosecutors to lay off cannabis charges in states where activity is legal. This has effectively opened the doors for officials to pursue legal action against operations per the federal Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812, even though they are abiding state laws.
That isn’t stopping states, though, from pressing forward with marijuana legalization.
Vermont is the latest state to make recreational marijuana legal for adult use, joining California, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Alaska, and Washington, D.C. But what makes Vermont unique is that this is the first recreational marijuana law passed through legislation rather than a ballot initiative, according to a report from Huffington Post. This was necessary, however, because the state does have a system for voting on such measures.Also different, Vermont’s law does not speak to sales, other than re-enforcing that sales are illegal to those under the age of 21, or setting up a regulated market.
Gov. Phil Scott (R) signed House Bill 511 into law, which eliminates punishment for possession of up to one ounce of marijuana, two mature cannabis plants, and up to four immature plants. The governor cited his belief that adults should be free to do what they want on private property, so long as it does not endanger the health or safety of others.
Scott vetoed a similar bill last year, ordering a committee be formed to research cannabis markets and how they might affect …
Three weeks after recreational cannabis sales officially became legal in California, select Los Angeles businesses were allowed to open their doors for commercial sales. While the Adult Use of Marijuana Act made recreational sales legal in the state Jan. 1, it is still up to city and county governments to decide for themselves whether they will issue a ban or set up their own guidelines and regulations. Implementation of guidelines takes time, and some cities, Los Angeles included, were not able to get them in place before the rollout at the beginning of the year.
Los Angeles City Council approved commercial marijuana sales early in December, and by mid-January about two dozen businesses in the city had been granted temporary permits. Three of those businesses had state approval secured and were able to open for business that week, according to an NBC News report. More regulations will have to be met down the road to achieve legal status permanently, the Los Angeles Department of Cannabis Regulation told NBC.While this was happy news for the city, the delay was frustrating to some dispensaries, who wanted to follow proper legal channels but felt they were being punished while hundreds of unlicensed operations profited from recreational sales. Not only are these businesses operating without regulation, but they also are not paying taxes, those who have followed procedure complained. Officials in L.A. said they intend to tackle black market sales and shut down unlicensed operations.
That is why it is so crucial for serious owners to speak …
As of January 1, California rolled out Proposition 64, The Adult Use of Marijuana Act, making recreational marijuana legal in the state. However, the new law did not automatically make cannabis legal everywhere in California. It is still up to local governments to regulate, restrict, and ban as they see fit or to open the floor to residential votes. Therefore, many Californians have been disappointed to discover their local laws are prohibitive to using, growing, or distributing marijuana.
Even more disappointing, though, is when the law changes in a region that initially legalized marijuana, especially for citizens who have already made significant investments in the cannabis industry.
This is the case in Calaveras County in Northern California, where the board of supervisors voted 3-2 to ban commercial marijuana. The board included four newly elected members who campaigned last year on promises of banning marijuana, according to an article from Associated Press. The decision will have broad-sweeping effects on some 200 cannabis farms that will now have only three months to shut down operations. The growers in Calaveras with permits have already announced an intent to sue the county. Aside from the substantial time and resources used to set up a growing operation, the farms had to each pay a permit cost of $5,000. On top of that, the county has collected a staggering amount of tax revenue from the farms since 2016, totaling more than $7 million to date.
This tax revenue was initially what prompted the county to open the doors …
In 2013, Deputy Attorney General James Cole issued what was known as The Cole Memo, a directive during the Obama administration that told federal officials to back off of prosecuting those selling, distributing, growing, or using marijuana, so long as the offenders were following state laws. The memo was issued to reconcile the federal Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812, which classifies marijuana as a Schedule I narcotic, with the wave of state laws that allow cannabis sales and use, either medically or recreationally. The move gave hope to the growing number of Americans in favor of full cannabis legalization nationwide.
However, the U.S. recently took a big step backward when current Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the directive, re-opening the door for federal prosecutors to allocate resources at their discretion for cracking down on marijuana operations.
Leaders in states that have legalized marijuana have no intention of going down without a fight, though. With many more making moves to legalize cannabis in state legislatures or on ballots this year, they might have even more allies by their side.In California, leaders are proposing methods to protect the state’s thriving cannabis economy, which has only grown stronger since the Adult Use of Marijuana Act went into effect January 1, 2018. These tactics include writing letters, potential new laws, and federal lawsuits, according to a report from Orange County Register.
Rep. Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana) has called for Congress to refuse to confirm any future appointments to the Justice Department until the …
It’s no news that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has strong feelings about the cannabis industry. Since his appointment almost a year ago, he has promised to uphold federal cannabis law, which classifies marijuana as a Schedule I narcotic under Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812. This path is in stark contrast with the narrative in the rest of the country: 30 states as well as Washington, D.C., have some form of marijuana legalization on the books. Eight of those states (including California) and the District of Columbia allow recreational marijuana sales and use, with more planning ballot initiatives and legislative votes in 2018.
Up until now, those states have been able to manage their marijuana laws as they saw fit without meddling from the federal government thanks to a directive put in place at the Department of Justice during Barack Obama’s presidency that discouraged enforcement.
However, Sessions recently rescinded that directive, opening the door for prosecutors to go after states that have established legal cannabis. It’s unclear at this point whether prosecutors will actively start enforcement. Sessions described the move as simply him doing his job and enforcing the law. He also said he would leave it up to U.S. attorneys to determine what issues should be their top priority based on their resources. But the U.S. attorney in Colorado has already stated he intends to align practices with Sessions’ latest guidance.
President Trump seems to have flipped on this issue, stating last year that he would leave the issue up …
While California has been on the forefront of cannabis legalization, making medical marijuana legal more than 20 years ago with the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, and more recently with recreational cannabis being legalized through the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, other states have not been as lucky.
Many hope to change that this coming year, with at least 12 states on deck to consider some form of cannabis legalization in 2018.
This is huge news, not only for those particular states, but also for California and other states that already have legalization in place. The more states rally behind legalization, the stronger we stand against outdated federal laws, which still classify cannabis as a Schedule I narcotic under the Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812. According to a recent report from Newsweek, more than 60% of Americans now support full legalization.Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been adamant about his opposition of state legalization, but our California marijuana legalization lawyers in Riverside know that a united voice from the states sends a strong and clear message that we as a country are ready to move forward.
The following states will potentially make moves toward legalization this year, according to the Newsweek report:
- Vermont: After the state legislature approved recreational marijuana legalization earlier in 2017, the governor said he first wanted to create studies on the effects legalization has had on public health issues. In December, the governor said he was comfortable moving forward. If things go as expected, this