• Marijuana DUI Defense and Drug Charges
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    and Patients Rights
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  • criminal defense: marijuana possession,
    sales & cultivation charges

Federal reclassification of marijuana could soon be on the horizon sooner than we think, thanks to a recent appellate ruling in a case that pits parents of sick children against the U.S. Department of Justice. cannabis lawyer

The case, Washington v. Barr (previously Washington v. Sessions), challenges marijuana’s status as on of the most dangerous narcotics listed in the U.S. Controlled Substance Act, on par with heroin and LSD.

Such challenges aren’t new, and it appeared initially as if this case might go the way of all the others. But what our cannabis lawyers noted as unique – and possibly groundbreaking – in the recent U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit’s ruling wasn’t only that justices denied the government’s motion to dismiss and allowed the case to proceed, but that the court:

Took the rare step of asserting it would retain jurisdiction of the case, holding it in abeyance, citing the dire medical needs of children involved;

Effectively put the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration on notice of the expectation that reclassification needs to happen soon – within a matter of months. Continue reading

The threat of marijuana monopolies seem like a tangible possibility in many markets across California, where costly regulation, a still-thriving black market and retail “slotting” practices that charge up to $50,000 a month for prime shelf space. Small cannabis companies are being squeezed for every penny, a growing number broke and out of the game.marijuana monopoly

Monopolies run contrary to basic free-market capitalism, and both federal and state laws exist to break them up.

In the California cannabis industry, the fear is that monopolies or near-monopolies will lead to reduced product quality, fewer mom-and-pop small businesses and more revenue funneled to large outside entities.

In some regions, just getting in the game in the first place without money or clout proves an efficient enough barrier. This is suspected by some in the city of Oceanside, an hour south of Los Angeles. Continue reading

Some may mock the notion itself, but California cannabis church lawyers know one congregation in Humboldt County isn’t laughing.marijuana lawyer

They’re suing.

In a lawsuit filed late last month, church leaders allege a multi-agency task force reportedly destroyed numerous cannabis plants – which the faithful consider sacred – during the execution of a search warrant. Continue reading

The legal cannabis is a high-stakes game, and many companies are clamoring for insurance. It’s a $9 billion industry (expected to hit $21 million by 2022) where regulation and standards remains spotty, rules are a mishmash depending on jurisdiction, companies deal largely in cash, the product itself alters chemical brain function and remains against federal law.cannabis insurance attorney

At The Cannabis Law Group,  our Los Angeles legal team has noted that while it is getting markedly easier for many marijuana business clients and related ancillary firms to obtain insurance coverage, it’s still a hugely under-served market, particularly given its vulnerability to litigation on several fronts.

Almost all businesses face some type of legal threat at some point or another, which is the whole point of why they buy insurance. But firms that deal in marijuana aren’t “just any other firm.” Continue reading

Anymore when we talk about criminal charges for cannabis companies, it has to do either with unlicensed dispensaries or unlawful sales. Since the 2013 Cole Memo de-funded prosecution of state-legal marijuana businesses and especially since Prop. 64 nixed pot prohibition in the state three years ago, it’s rare that federal authorities will pursue charges against cannabis companies or operators in connection with their work.cannabis lab attorney

Recently, though, two California cannabis company top executives were arrested, their company also charged, for allegedly dumping 1,500 pounds of toxic waste in violation of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations.

The indictment, filed last month in the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of California, notes a history of illegal dumping of waste material from the firm’s cannabis extraction lab. Specifically, drums of ethanol waste. Continue reading

California may soon be the the first-ever in the country to pass a hemp-derived CBD food, drug and cosmetic bill, not only legalizing the non-psychoactive cannabidiol oil for these applications, but taking effect immediately upon passage.cbd business attorney Los Angeles

Assembly Bill 228 was first introduced about six months ago, has since passed the state assembly and is nearly completed its rounds in the state senate – with bipartisan support and little resistance. Legislative watchers believe the bill is poised to pass, possibly as soon as next month.

The news is sure to please the growing number of restaurants and retailers already selling CBD products under such labels (primarily food and beverages) – in defiance of the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s stated stance, one backed by the California Department of Public Health in its Industrial Hemp CBD in Food Products FAQ memo released last year.

Truth be told, these business owners are taking a big risk. What’s more, there’s no guarantee AB-228 would fully shield them either. State lawmakers have neither the power to alter federal agency policy nor to force the state DOH to defy federal regulatory authorities. Still, having a state law in place will serve as an additional legal safeguard. Continue reading

There was a time when “I need a cannabis lawyer” meant you were most likely looking for a criminal defense attorney. But the legal landscape of marijuana law has changed drastically – from the early days of becoming the first state to legalize the drug for medicinal purposes in 1996 to the incessant federal raids and civil forfeiture action to the uneasy truce of the Cole Memo to Prop 64’s legalization of marijuana for recreational sale and use in 2016.cannabis business lawyer

Through all of this, the Los Angeles marijuana lawyers at The Cannabis Law Group have been on the forefront of these evolving laws.

Today, “cannabis law” encompasses a broad array of legal services, including:

  • Marijuana business licensing/permitting
  • Civil litigation
  • Regulatory compliance (tracking and tracing, zoning disputes, etc.)
  • Business plans/corporate structure
  • Trademark/patent
  • Employment/labor law
  • Contracts
  • Product liability
  • Premises liability
  • Financial/tax law
  • Unfair competition

And yes, cannabis criminal defense lawyers are still needed too – not only so long as marijuana prohibition is in effect at the federal level but also to handle marijuana DUI cases.

We have been centrally focused on all-things-cannabis law in Los Angeles for the better part of two decades, cultivating a highly-skilled team of knowledgeable, dogged attorneys known for consistently-favorable client results. Continue reading

The California cannabis industry was one that was truly forged from the bottom-up. But now, it’s the little guys who are increasingly finding themselves on top – specifically, the top shelf. And bottom shelf. And off to the side. That’s not where they’d like to be, given what everyone knows of consumer buying habits – particularly when purchasing on impulse. Prime shelving these days, however, is coming at a premium at local pot stores. Retailers are reportedly charging a pretty penny for those eye-level or feature case spots. cannabis slotting lawyer

Los Angeles marijuana business attorneys recognize that not only does this practice (with some retailers reportedly charging anywhere from several hundred dollars to $50,000 monthly just for product placement) squeeze out the mom-and-pop pot ventures, it may be legally questionable.

In fairness: Everyone in the state’s marijuana market is squeezed pretty tight at the moment, between cumbersome regulation and a black market that threatens to crush the legal competition. That’s exactly how many industry insiders say this all started: Cannabis retailers pushed to the brink by back-alley black market suppliers undercutting legal sales. Continue reading

Police and prosecutors across the country are grappling with questions regarding the impact of federal hemp laws on criminal marijuana investigations. As one state attorney in Florida put it: Legal hemp is going to make state-level marijuana arrests a whole lot tougher.marijuana arrest

Los Angeles marijuana criminal defense lawyers understand it comes down to the way marijuana trafficking investigations are so often initiated around the country: The ever-objective nose test.

To be fair, cannabis does have its own distinct olfactory properties. As many defense attorneys will tell you in states where the drug is still either banned entirely or restricted to card-carrying medical users, a sizable percentage of marijuana arrests begin with a traffic stop, detection of that aroma and a warrantless vehicle search. (These searches often yield items unrelated, such as other narcotics, firearms, etc.)

Historically, it’s been difficult for marijuana defense lawyers to dispute an officer’s sense of smell, especially where marijuana was indeed later found.

But now, virtually all arrests stemming from that common scenario are going to be called into question, if a memo from one state attorney is correct. Continue reading

Despite the legality of marijuana in California, actual products may not be eligible for U.S. trademarks, thanks to the fact the plant is still barred under federal law. However, that doesn’t stop Los Angeles marijuana businesses and hemp entrepreneurs from submitting patent and trademark applications.Los Angeles cannabis patent lawyer

Los Angeles marijuana lawyers recognize trademark and patent applications to be an important component of legal marijuana businesses – necessary moves that can protect the product brand, increase the company’s value and shield you from legal action pursued by other firms.

As reported in the most recent edition of Marijuana Business Magazine, some companies report their value has been boosted by tens of millions of dollars as a result of obtaining patent and trademark protections, not just here in the U.S. but in other countries as well.

Trademarks and patents serve two distinct purposes. Trademarks insulate your company branding while patents help shield any unique product development. Continue reading