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cannabis lawyerA California-developed online tool, called ‘Clear My Record,’ which helps people with eligible convictions clear their criminal records, is set to change the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans previously convicted of marijuana related crimes.

In 2016 when Californian voters legalized marijuana, state officials hoped to reverse decades of marijuana convictions. Especially convictions making it difficult for people to secure substantial employment. And particularly because those affected most disproportionately by marijuana criminal convictions hail from low-income minority groups.

Now, thanks to a new technology, California prosecutors can quickly overturn or lessen approximately 220,000 old marijuana convictions.
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marijuana bankingIn the nation’s first ever vote on a stand-alone marijuana bill, the House of Representatives voted to allow federally insured banks to serve cannabis businesses in states like California, where marijuana use is legal.

First introduced by Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Colorado, the Secure And Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act simply states that deposit insurance cannot be cut off by federal authorities, nor can “any other adverse action” be taken against a financial institution for working with cannabis businesses in states and territories where marijuana use is permitted.

A great number of Democrats from Southern California were among the 206 co-sponsors of the bill, as was GOP Rep. Duncan Hunter of San Diego. Rep. Katie Porter, D-Irvine, also introduced an amendment making it clear that new banks and credit unions would be protected by the bill too. Continue reading

Los Angeles cannabis business lawyerFollowing a slew of vaping related lung disease cases, a Los Angeles City Council member calls for a year-long ban on all vaping sales.

The proposed ban has many in the industry rushing to cut the motion off before it becomes law. The major concern is that such a ban could mean the end for countless vaping companies who are solely in business to sell vape pens and cartridges. Continue reading

The black market for marijuana in California is three times the size of the legal market, a recent audit has shown. The findings, made public in September, highlight the state’s ongoing battle to curb its illegal cannabis trade.marijuana dispensaries

Approximately 2,835 unlicensed dispensaries were listed as trading across California, according to the audit conducted by the United Cannabis Business Association (UCBA), a trade association representing a wide variety of licensed marijuana businesses. Interestingly, the Bureau of Cannabis Control has only licensed 873 cannabis merchants to operate lawfully within the Golden State.

These comparative statistics reflect the continued hiccups California has faced since rolling out updated legal regulations beginning in 2018, which were intended to level the cannabis market’s playing field. Continue reading

Magic MushroomsWith the 2020 ballot fast approaching, California activists are keenly working towards securing a measure that would decriminalize psilocybin, also commonly known as ‘magic mushrooms.’

Together with the required $2,000 fee, an advocacy group by the name of Decriminalize California submitted ballot language to the state attorney general’s office in September. Now the activist group awaits approval from the attorney general on both the official measure title and summary it submitted. Such a response is typically granted within 65 days, and if approved, the measure will be green lit to begin seeking signatures.

At that point, within 180 days of receiving the attorney general’s approval of title and summary, the Decriminalize California group must collect 623,212 valid signatures before the measure qualifies for the California ballot. Continue reading

While many California cities and metro areas have been resistant to allowing cannabis shops within their borders, despite the state’s legality, a new poll shows most Golden State residents want easier access.marijuana business lawyer

It’s been nearly three years since voters in California legalized recreational marijuana sales, cultivation and possession with Proposition 64. Yet fewer than 1 in 3 California cities allow marijuana businesses to set up shop and sell recreational-use marijuana, creating so-called “weed deserts” that has given black market sales a means to thrive.

Now, a recent poll by the U.C. Berkeley Institute of Government Studies, conducted for the Los Angeles Times, shows that nearly 70 percent of Californians want cities and counties to allow pot shops in their communities. Prop. 64 was passed with the support of 57 percent of voters. Continue reading

California’s hemp industry is a complex one, regulated by a patchwork of rules that can vary dramatically  from county-to-county.hemp farming attorneys

As Orange County hemp business lawyers can explain, despite Congress’s legalization of non-psychoactive hemp (and its CBD derivative) by way of the 2018 U.S. Farm Bill, allowances for actual production of the crop remains in the hands of local jurisdictions.

California, despite being on track to have the largest legal marijuana market sales in the world, remains one of the last remaining strongholds against production of legal hemp, which, like marijuana, is derived from the cannabis plant. Across the state, entrepreneur efforts to grow hemp are in full force, and the good news is several counties have passed ordinances that will give farmers the permission they need to kick start their hemp-growing ambitions. Continue reading

Any business owner knows that investment in advertising is key to success. But Los Angeles marijuana business lawyers know that when it comes to cannabis company advertising, matters get a little trickier. marijuana business advertising

Some California cities are implementing tight restrictions on marijuana advertisements. San Diego, for instance, has begun the process of cracking down on cannabis billboard ads, part of a larger package of rule and regulation changes regarding the new legal market for recreational sale and possession of the drug.

The San Diego Tribune reports new restrictions will be added to limit where cannabis business billboards can be placed. On the bright side, the city is also mulling a move to ease regulation concerning where pot shops, indoor farms and processing centers can be located.

It was just last year that California’s lab testing industry was pushed near to its limits with state regulators’ recently-imposed testing thresholds – the first round of which went into effect last summer and the second nearly 10 months ago. marijuana business lawyer

The primary impact of all this, aside from additional expenses that nearly crippled some laboratories and retailers, was:

  • Extended wait time for cannabis testing results;
  • An increase in product testing failures (as facilities adjusted to the new expectations);
  • Industry insiders calling for state regulators to extend permits to more testing lab facilities.

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A historic cannabis banking bill was recently passed by House legislators hoping to secure a safe haven for financial institutions that serve hemp and hemp-made CBD companies. Los Angeles hemp business attorneys know this key measure is necessary, despite the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill that made hemp legal.marijuana banking

The banking bill, also known as H.R. 1595, passed 321-103 in the House with wide bipartisan support, with 91 of those who voted for it being Republican. It’s unclear whether it will face much fierce opposition in the Senate or what the president’s position would be if it lands on his desk. There are Senate committee chair Republicans who are in support of cannabis banking reform measures, though none have specifically mentioned hemp.

If passed, the measure would direct U.S. banking regulators to draft guidelines to federally-backed financial institutions affirming the legality of both hemp and CBD products extracted from it – within 90 days of the law’s passage. The federal regulatory directive would outline best practices for banks on how to follow the law in offering financial services to any hemp-related business (which can include contractors, landlords, plumbers, etc.). Continue reading

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