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A major part of the work our legal team is involved with includes helping marijuana businesses establish themselvescannabis business while remaining in compliance with local and state regulations and laws. What happens, though, when a company is found to be in violation of one of those rules? Many businesses are beginning to find out as authorities ramp up efforts to wrangle illegal, unlicensed, and non-compliant marijuana operations in California. Recently more than 500 people were charged with misdemeanors in Los Angeles for their participation in illegal activity at 105 marijuana businesses in the city.

Those charged could face up to six months in jail and a $1,000 in fines for operating marijuana businesses without a license. The crackdown included not only dispensaries, but also extraction labs, cultivation sites, and delivery services, according to Los Angeles Times. Judges have been hearing cases associated with this series of investigations since May, and arraignments will carry into the end of October. So far, 21 have pleaded no contest or guilty and 11 have been dismissed. Other violations included not following security locations or not following rules regarding the business’s location, such as being too close to a school. With the proper future licensing and guidance, some of these businesses could still have a future, but major infractions like location will mean some will have to practically start over from scratch if they hope to continue in the industry.
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The issue of children and marijuana protections arose once again in the form of a proposed bill from Californiamedical marijuana Senator Jean Fuller (R-Bakersfield). The senator wanted to get on the books more concrete ramifications for dispensaries who sold marijuana to underage clients. The bill proposed a tiered system in which first offenders would receive a 15-day license suspension, second-time offenders within a three-year period would receive a 25-day suspension, and a third offense in three years would lead to a full license revocation. SB-1451, however, was vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown, who called the bill “not necessary,” according tot a report from High Times. Gov. Brown pointed to the Bureau of Cannabis Control and cited their power to suspend or revoke licenses based on these exact kinds of violations and said he would rather the bureau be able to use their own discretion in determining punishment.

In the numerous discussions surrounding the issue of cannabis laws in California and other states across the country, there has been an extraordinary amount of focus on children. Can they be recommended marijuana by a doctor? What is the punishment for selling to a minor? How can marijuana businesses advertise in a way that would not be seen by or not be appealing to children? How do we make the packaging child safe? How does cannabis affect developing brains and bodies? How far should a business be located from schools? The list goes on and on, and many of these issues can be addressed simply with the guidance of a skilled marijuana legal counsel. Continue reading

Recent research out of American University, Colorado State University, and Montana State University delved into a medical marijuanacorrelation between workplace fatalities and the legalization of medical marijuana, and the discoveries could be surprising to many. The data points compiled fly in the face of anti-marijuana rhetoric that has been peddled as “common sense” for decades and show, in fact, a sharp decline in fatal workplace accidents as access to medical marijuana increases. The research is set to be published in The International Journal of Drug Policy, and according to a report from Colorado Springs Independent, the connection the research demonstrated between continuous decreases in fatalities in the workplace and medical marijuana is compelling.

Researchers compiled data from 1992 to 2015, providing a set that included the several years leading up to the passage of the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, which legalized medical marijuana in California, making it the first state to do so. The study followed other states as well and found that deaths from workplace accidents would drop about 34 percent after medical marijuana had been legal in that state for five years. The connection was most notable in the age group of 25- to 44-year-olds, which demonstrated a 19.8 percent reduction. Continue reading

All eyes in the cannabis community will be on four states this November as ballot initiatives could add more states tomarijuana lawyer the growing list of places where either recreational or medical marijuana is legal. Two of the states — Utah and Missouri — currently have no marijuana protections and would be looking to add medical. The inclusion of these two would bring the number of states with some form of legal cannabis to 32. Meanwhile, Michigan and North Dakota are no strangers to marijuana legislation, each one already having medical marijuana permissions in place while looking to move forward into recreational cannabis in November.

According to The Motley Fool, early polling shows Michigan is expected to be a close call in their ballot initiative to legalize recreational marijuana. Proposition 1 would permit use and possession of marijuana for those 21 and older as well as sales and taxation on those sales. Under the measure, 12 plants would be allowed for personal growth in private residences. Like California and other states, though, cities and local governments would have the right to ban or regulate businesses in their jurisdictions. A 10 percent excise tax on retail sales would go toward education and be divided among local coffers. Continue reading

Californians have led the charge on marijuana legalization for decades, but even though both medical and marijuana lawrecreational cannabis are legal in the state, the fight is not yet over. What can you do to help further marijuana legalization? As it turns out, quite a lot.

The passage of Proposition 64 and its predecessor, The Compassionate Use Act of 1996, were both clear examples of how civic participation could change the narrative for marijuana in California and the rest of the country. Many thought after those laws were passed, their work would be done. After all, California now has some of the most robust marijuana legalization efforts in the whole country.

For many in the state, however, it might barely feel like it’s legal at all. As our skilled attorneys can explain, that is because of parameters built into state law that allow local jurisdictions to enforce their own regulations or bans. Cities are not allowed to ban personal use or small personal grows in residents’ own homes, but everything else is pretty much fair game. Many cities have no sales and no cultivation … they won’t even allow testing labs or processing facilities within city lines. In fact, 40 percent of Californians have to drive at least 60 miles to find a legal dispensary. This simply is not a reflection of the will of the people. Continue reading

Riverside County is empowering cultivators by teaming up with the state to provide training on pesticides, includingmarijuana cultivation proper use and regulations. The mid-September training is being provided by Riverside County’s Agricultural Commissioner’s Office and California Department of Pesticide Regulation, according to a release from the commissioner’s office. Commercial cultivation is banned in many parts of Riverside County, including the unincorporated areas, but the event is still open to anyone who wants to register.

Pesticides have become a hot-button issue in the marijuana industry, especially over the past few months. As of July 1, the transition period in which licensing authorities did not enforce certain regulatory provisions was no longer in effect. As our experienced attorneys can explain, mandatory laboratory testing was among those regulations that would be enforced. This has meant any cultivators not in compliance with pesticide use are now flagged during testing and their product is not able to make it to market. Even before July 1, pesticides were regularly in the news, with some unlicensed cultivators using toxic pesticides that have been killing off wildlife. Such behavior has had devastating effects on local ecosystems and given responsible cultivators a bad name. Continue reading

The importance of residency has become a complicated ongoing issue for marijuana business owners in the state ofcannabis regulation Washington, where requirements for marijuana businesses are strict, yet muddled. What started as a residency restriction meant to control big outside mega corporations from putting local businesses at a disadvantage has led to corporations researching ways to exploit residency loopholes and limiting who longtime residents can bring on as partners. Now, due to unclear definition of what qualifies a person for residency, some are concerned how to prove their status.

You see, according to RCW 69.50.331(1)(b), one must be a resident of the state for six months to apply for a marijuana business license. Not only that, all members of the business, no matter how small the stake, must meet the same residency requirement. Further, a “partnership, employee cooperative, association, nonprofit corporation, or corporation” must be formed in Washington according to state laws and meet the above outlined residency requirements in order to be issued a license. Lastly, licensees must comply with residency requirements throughout the duration of the license. Without a firm definition on what constitutes residency, though, some businesses have been in the lurch. Continue reading

A clarification to state regulation regarding marijuana delivery services is offering hope to thousands of abandonedmarijuana business California cannabis users while stirring up the same old fear-based tropes from the anti-marijuana camp. The California Bureau of Cannabis Control is reviewing a set of proposed regulations that would allow licensed marijuana businesses to deliver cannabis products to any California private address, according to a report from Associated Press. The new regulation would cover even cities and local jurisdictions where sales have been banned.

According to the proposed amendment, CA Code of Regulations, Title 16, Div. 42, Ch. 3, Sec. 5146 (d), “A delivery employee may deliver to any jurisdiction within the State of California.” This is a slightly more clear direction than previous verbiage which stated that deliveries could be made using any public roads, which could be (and was) interpreted to mean that drivers could pass through, but not necessarily stop and make a delivery in a jurisdiction in which a sales ban was in place. Continue reading

It seems parents and schools are finally giving more thought to children and the ailments that can be treated withmedical marijuana medical marijuana. Delaware News Journal reported an increasing number of parents are turning to cannabis for their children with especially serious or rare conditions. It’s no wonder then that California lawmakers recently passed a bill to allow medical marijuana on school premises.

SB-1127 was introduced by Calif. Sen. Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo) and has passed both houses of the state legislature. Ultimately, the bill would leave it up to school districts and boards of education to decide whether or not to allow medical marijuana on school grounds. While it’s noble to allow school district to have some autonomy, this decision could lead to much confusion and unnecessary distress. Prop 64 allowed cities in California to maintain a ban on sales and cultivation at their own discretion, and it has led to a great deal of Californians not being able to full participate in the cannabis economies they voted to legalize. Similarly, the most vulnerable students and their parents could very well be pigeon-holed by rigid district officials and judgmental peers who can’t understand the complex decisions a parent must make to ensure their child has the best care possible. After all, cannabis generally isn’t recommended by physicians for children except in severe cases.
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A recent bill out of the California state house would make marijuana compassionate-care programs exempt from themedical cannabis substantial state taxes on the medical cannabis that they supply to patients in need. SB 829 corrects a hole in Proposition 64, which saddled these not-for-profit organizations with taxes. The Compassionate Use Act of 1996 made medical marijuana legal in California, which spurred the birth of compassionate-care programs for patients with serious health issues and financial restraints. According to NORML, these organizations have been able to donate product and function tax-free up until this year when recreational marijuana became legal.

What did recreational legalization have to do with medical marijuana patients and associated care programs? As our marijuana attorneys can explain, after voters approved Proposition 64, government representatives and officials began ironing out how the recreational program would work. It was determined a set of guidelines was needed that could pull together the medical marijuana industry (which had been active for 20 years) with the new recreational cannabis law. That is when MAUCRSA (Medicinal And Adult-Use Cannabis Regulatory Safety Act) was born. What was intended to streamline rules and make things easier for business owners, customers, and law enforcement officials ended up strapping medical marijuana institutions with a significant number of regulations they previously did not have to follow. Continue reading