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Our California cannabis business attorneys know this is a field that this is an area of law that is constantly evolving. Case-in-point, two bills that could have a significant impact were advanced. One involves a bill now on the governor’s desk that allows for sales of hemp-derived CBD and ending prohibition on sales of smokable hemp products. The second, a measure to mandate hospitals allow medical marijuana use by certain patients, has advanced in the state legislature. marijuana laws California

Our dedicated cannabis lawyers in Los Angeles are committed to assisting marijuana and hemp farmers, producers, retailers, and ancillary firms navigate the changing legal landscape.

Hemp Regulations

The first, Assembly Bill 45, passed easily in both the state House and Senate. The measure is the result of years of advocacy to update the laws for hemp companies in California. Continue reading

California law prohibits children (under 21) from possessing, using, or buying cannabis. Marketing for marijuana must be tailored in a such a way that it’s less likely to reach them. Proposition 64 (California’s recreational marijuana law) requires a default buffer to keep dispensaries at least 600 feet away from schools, day cares, and youth centers; local ordinances be even more stringent in their requirements. Yet pot shops apparently aren’t doing a great job of keeping cannabis away from kids, according to new research.Los Angeles cannabis lawyer

A new study published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics took a look at how well state regulations intended to keep marijuana out of the hands of minors have been working. The analysis examined the practices of 700 licensed marijuana dispensaries in the state. Researchers discovered that kids can be exposed to both marketing and products, in spite of the restrictions on both.

Dispensaries are required by law to screen out customers who are underage. Many do this with blatant signage, having a checkpoint with mandatory ID (inside or outside), and tailoring marketing efforts where ads are unlikely to reach those under 21.

For this study, researchers close to the legal age cutoff (between the ages of 21 and 23) went into hundreds of dispensaries throughout California to document their screening process. Of the shops they entered, 97 percent were compliant with ID checks. However, only 12 percent verified customers’ ages outside the shop, and nearly 70 percent did not comply in having signs indicating age limits. For the most part, dispensaries were only requiring proof of age once the person was already inside, where both products and marketing materials were in plain view. Continue reading

Inmates in prison are not allowed to possess recreational marijuana while incarcerated, according to a new ruling by the California Supreme Court. The court overturned a lower court’s decision that held prisoners were allowed to have the drug, so long as they didn’t use it. Los Angeles marijuana lawyer

The case, California v. Raybon, involves five inmates in a California state prison who were convicted on felony charges after being found with marijuana in their cells. The men appealed to the 3rd District Court of Appeal in Sacramento, which overturned their convictions after determining that while they could not legally eat or smoke pot in prison, possession of marijuana is no longer a criminal offense. As our Los Angeles marijuana defense lawyers can explain, this ruling conflicted with those of other appellate courts.

The state supreme court weighed in after a challenge from the state attorney general. In a split 5-2 ruling, the high court held that Prop 64, which legalized recreational marijuana in California, was not applicable to prison inmates. The majority opinion held that there as nothing in the ballot materials for the law that indicated voters had considered or were even aware of how this might impact possession of the drug in prison. The court stated, “it seems implausible that the voters intended to essentially decriminalize marijuana in prison.”

Had the public intended to alter the laws and policies regarding possession of cannabis in prison settings, they would have stated so explicitly, the court ruled. Further, it would make no sense that voters would wish to continue to criminalize the consumption of cannabis in prison, yet allow inmates to legally posses it. Continue reading

Measuring one’s degree of marijuana impairment has long been an interest of not only scientists, but law enforcement prosecutors and some employers. Many thought there could be a parallel to alcohol testing; but instead of measuring one’s blood-alcohol concentration they could measure the amount of THC (the primary psychoactive component of cannabis) in one’s blood. The big problem with this, of course, is that THC doesn’t behave in the body the same way alcohol does. It isn’t processed as quickly. Thus, it’s not an accurate measure of one’s degree of impairment. Los Angeles marijuana dui lawyer

This is something our Los Angeles marijuana DUI attorneys have argued for years. Now, this same conclusion was backed by a federally-funded study. Backed by a grant from the National Institute of Justice, researchers tested the THC levels of 20 individuals who either vaporized or ate varying levels of THC. They were then subjected to numerous cognitive and field sobriety tests, similar to what are used by law enforcement.

The groups that received higher doses of THC (above 5 mg) were adversely impacted in terms of their sobriety – their psychomotor skills were visibly impaired – the level of THC in their blood and other biofluids didn’t reliably reflect that. Thus, the amount of THC in one’s blood was not a good indicator of marijuana intoxication. Continue reading

Cannabis may be legal for recreation and medicinal use in California, but that won’t help those on military bases or being treated at a Department of Veteran Affairs facility. Now, the Senate Appropriations Committee has approved an amendment that is intended to increase access to medical marijuana by military veterans. The bill would allow doctors working for the VA to issues recommendations for cannabis as medicine in states where it’s legal. The measure would also bar the federal agency from interfering with or denying services to those military veterans who participate in state-legal cannabis programs.medical marijuana lawyer

The bill’s sponsor noted that despite cannabis being legal as medicine in 37 states, veterans don’t have access to it, even though it’s been shown there may be benefits for treating a variety of issues, including post-traumatic stress disorder. Veterans, the bill’s sponsor said, should be able to talk to their doctors about the potential benefits.

How Cannabis Prohibition Harms Veterans

Our Southern California cannabis lawyers have been carefully eyeing the legal developments happening at the federal level, with Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer of New York recently releasing draft legislation that would legalize marijuana in the U.S. Los Angeles marijuana lawyer

It’s called the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act. It’s similar to a bill passed by the House in December. The House’s approval of such a measure isn’t surprising, given its political makeup. The Senate, however, is much more conservative and a different story. How good of a chance does a measure like this actually have of becoming reality?

A poll conducted last year by the Pew Research Center reveals 6 in 10 Americans favor legalizing pot for both medicinal and recreational use. However, the majority party in the Senate has a lot on its plate, with presidential priorities being immigration, policing and infrastructure. Cannabis isn’t on that list, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t have forward momentum. Continue reading

In a precedential decision, the California State Personnel Board ruled that simply testing positive for prior marijuana use isn’t enough to accurately reflect whether a worker was impaired at work and thus grounds for discipline. The impact of this new civil service rule is that the use of urine tests for cannabis will be significantly limited in state worker discipline cases. marijuana attorney Los Angeles

There are a few positions, such as policing, to which the rule does not apply. Some state employees are expressly barred from using drugs at all. But otherwise, given that cannabis is legal in California, it appears the state will largely be treating it like alcohol where workers are concerned.

The personnel board, which oversees the civil service rules applicable to state employees, pointed out that urine tests are only going to reveal whether a person has used marijuana in the past. It’s no indicator of whether the person is intoxicated on-the-job, which for most employees would be the only situation in which marijuana use would matter. Continue reading

Outdoor advertising of cannabis products on more than 4,000 miles of California highways (any that cross the state border) was banned earlier this year following a district court ruling. In that matter, the court sided with a resident of San Luis Obispo County who alleged the state’s cannabis regulation bureau’s read of Proposition 64 would unduly expose his teens to marijuana ads. But what does that mean for marijuana marketers? Los Angeles cannabis advertising lawyer

As our Los Angeles cannabis business attorneys can explain, cannabis advertising is not something companies should engage in until they’ve consulted with an attorney and are certain their approach is within the boundaries of the law. Having an attorney on retainer assures you can run decisions like this by someone who will be on hand to give you solid advice for whatever issues arise.

The good news is that despite blanket bans on marijuana advertising, many cannabis companies are still finding creative ways to get their brand some traction. For example, some businesses have orchestrated workarounds with state Sponsor a Highway programs. That gets them brand visibility while also complying with the law. Continue reading

Last month, supporters of marijuana legalization got a welcome surprise when conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas questioned the constitutionality of federal prohibitions on marijuana. That line of questioning didn’t alter federal law, but it does seem to inch us closer to a reality where cannabis could be legalized, regulated and accepted the same way alcohol has. Hope has been especially high since the election of President Joe Biden. Still, the actual odds aren’t at all clear-cut. Los Angeles marijuana business lawyer

As of the beginning of this month, recreational marijuana was legal in 18 states, while medical marijuana was legal in 36. Since March of this year, five more states have enacted or introduced legislation that would legalize production, sales and use of the plant. Further, more than 9 in 10 Americans queried by the Pew Research Center believe cannabis should be legal at least for medicinal use.

Despite all this, though, marijuana continues to be classified as a Schedule I narcotic under federal law. As our Los Angeles marijuana business lawyers can explain, that’s the same category used for drugs like heroin – highly addictive and with no medicinal purpose. Obviously, the label isn’t congruent with the reality, and there is a clear disconnect between federal and state laws that has proven a fine line for cannabis companies to walk. Continue reading

A bill that would allow veterinarians to recommend cannabis products for pet is being considered by California lawmakers. Assembly Bill 384 is a follow-up to a law passed three years ago allowing veterinarians to discuss marijuana with pet owners without facing penalties. Numerous product, such as CBD-infused treats, capsules and oils, are now available for pet owner purchase. Vets can legally talk about them, but they can’t recommend them. canine cannabis

The bill reportedly has unanimous, bipartisan support in the Assembly Business and Professions Committee, and is supported not only by organizations like NORML but also the California Veterinary Medical Association.

As our Los Angeles cannabis business attorneys understand that animal owners are essentially being left in the dark about how much or what type of cannabis they should be giving their animals for various ailments. Veterinarians cannot discuss the possible impact of a certain product on a specific animal or offer a suggestion for how much would be a safe yet effective dose. Absent this guidance, pet owners are essentially left to their own devices and research to guess or rely on a cannabis dispensary clerk’s take, even though these individuals know noting about the effects on animals. Continue reading

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