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Recreational marijuana became legal in California January 1st, meaning this is the first year cannabis has beenmarijuana criminal defense available to all adults on the infamous marijuana holiday of 4/20. While it is perfectly legal to enjoy the festivities, our experienced attorneys also know that Proposition 64 is not a free pass on all pot-related activities. Before imbibing in a safe and responsible way, keep in mind the laws remaining on the books per the CA Health and Safety Code, Division 10, Ch. 6, Article 2 could still result in criminal charges or civil citations.

The following is a list of a few major restrictions to keep in mind when enjoying the perks of recreational marijuana in California: Continue reading

For more than a year, the country has faced uncertainty over the future of cannabis, thanks to the long-time and aggressive anti-marijuana business lawyersmarijuana 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. Continue reading

Both medical and recreational marijuana are now legal in California. And yet for about 40 percent of the state, itrecreational marijuana 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. Continue reading

For many cannabis businesses, social media seems like the ideal place to advertise. Facebook provides many tools forcannabis business 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?

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As a country, many support troops with parades and national days of honor. Yetmedical marijuana 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.  Continue reading

Marijuana has proven so replete with benefits with so few side effectsmarijuana criminal defense, 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.  Continue reading

California marijuana supply shortages have been of mounting concern, marijuana businessstemming 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. Continue reading

Los Angeles, Oakland, San Diego and San Francisco have been praised for being at the forefront of decriminalization and legalization of marijuana in California.marijuana business

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. Continue reading

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 thatmarijuana legalization 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.

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When President Trump signed a recent spending bill, he not only prevented the looming third federal government shutdown of the year, but also letmedical marijuana 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.

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