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Dozens of bipartisan Congressional leaders signed onto a letter pressing top law enforcement agencies for faster action in approving marijuana cultivation for government research. The Associated Press reports the letter advocated for more analysis of the medicinal properties, benefits and potential risks of the drug.marijuanaresearch-300x200

Orange County marijuana farming lawyers know this would be a substantial first step to decriminalizing cannabis at the national level, a move that could have significant implications for state-legal dispensaries. Because cannabis remains illegal under the U.S. Controlled Substances Act – especially in the highest-risk classification – California marijuana farms, production centers, labs, landlords and ancillary businesses know the Cole Memo is little more than a tenuous truce. They are largely at the mercy of political whims, and while it seems certain legalization (or at least lower classification) will be inevitable, the question is: When?

A Schedule I narcotic like marijuana is considered by law to be extremely dangerous, highly addictive and have no medicinal value. Even those opposed to federal legalization for recreation know this description is absurd. The problem is its classification has prevented reputable study for decades. Yet the government has argued it doesn’t have enough data to eschew the Schedule I categorization – so it becomes a catch-22. Continue reading

Much ire has been expressed by licensed California cannabis cultivators and dispensaries at the unfair black market competition by those who don’t pay state fees and taxes and whose product isn’t thoroughly vetted. Orange County marijuana lawyers understand the glut of illegal marijuana has undermined the roll-out of recreational marijuana in communities from Los Angeles to San Francisco.California marijuana farming attorney

Similar problems have been reported not just here but in other liberalized state marijuana statutes appear to have had little impact on black market sales. So far, 10 states including California have legalized marijuana for recreational sales.

Not so in Oregon and Washington, a new study suggests, indicating that the way states have written their recreational marijuana laws may play a big role. Since Washington and Oregon legalized recreational marijuana (in 2012 and 2014, respectively) there has actually been a decline in the wealth of marijuana farms throughout the state’s national forests, resulting in reduced adverse ecological impact.

European scholars in an analysis published recently in the journal Ecological Economics, identified a number of health and economic upsides to Oregon and Washington marijuana policy, something California legislators may want to note. Continue reading

Intellectual property rights for cannabis, marijuana, CBD and hemp have long been a point of serious contention for CBD businesses. Now, with both hemp and CBD decriminalized, removed from the list of federally-controlled substances, intellectual property rights for these newly-legal crops are now strengthened. intellectual property law

Hemp farming attorneys in Orange County noted the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s recent announcement that growers of hemp can now officially submit applications for protection of their intellectual property.

Hemp Intellectual Property Protections Offered

Now for the first time since the ill-fated War on Drugs launched, the USDA’s Plant Variety Protection Office expressly affords intellectual property right protection to hemp cultivators, instilling the power to pursue claims against other growers who attempt to capitalize on unique variety of plants developed by other farmers. Continue reading

Although hemp and CBD are no longer on the U.S Controlled Substances list, thanks to the 2019 Farm Bill, there are still regulatory agencies that can impose stringent restrictions on their use. L.A. CBD lawyers have been closely monitoring the evolution of federal policy and statutes pertaining to application of legal sales, in particular infusion of food and beverage products made from hemp-derived CBD. L.A. CBD lawyers

In April, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) made clear that CBD made with hemp can’t be lawfully added to alcoholic drinks.

In response to a flood of inquiries submitted by L.A. CBD lawyers and other interested parties, the TTB made clear that while CBD and hemp are now federally legalized, that legality doesn’t pertain to alcohol. Continue reading

Throughout Southern California, marijuana dispensaries are reportedly selling cannabis products that are counterfeit – capitalizing on another firm’s branding, holding out one’s illicit products as legal or both. Law enforcement and marijuana business lawyers in Los Angeles are actively monitoring both fronts.counterfeit cannabis

The Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA) establishes a complex maze of rules and regulations to ensure pot products sold to the public are safe and legal. That means cultivators, manufacturers and dispensaries are vetted and licensed, cannabis goods are tracked seed-to-sale and quality assurance testing is conducted to limit consumers’ exposure to dangerous metals and pesticides.

Despite this, black and gray market marijuana operations in L.A. abound. Continue reading

Industrial hemp agriculture and production is now legal in California. Following the passage of the 2108 Farm Bill, followed by the recent launch of the California Industrial Hemp Program, following approval of Division 24 of the California Food and Agricultural Act. This measure allows registered growers and established agricultural research institutions the green light to grow industrial hemp.hemp attorney

Farmers in Orange County are finally ready to dig in, looking to carve a market niche of one of hemp’s many products, including:

  • Textiles
  • Lotions
  • Paper
  • Biofuels
  • Animal feed

The list goes on for miles, which sets the stage for this incredibly versatile part of the cannabis plant to quickly become an invaluable cash crop and one of the fastest-growing cannabis markets in Southern California. We may even see some marijuana dispensaries and related companies shift their sights more to this sector, given that the glut of black market recreational marijuana and intense state regulatory requirements have left many pot shops struggling to stay afloat

Our Orange County hemp attorneys do urge industrial hemp entrepreneurs to be diligent in the exercise of abundant caution with respect to careful following of local, state, federal and international regulation for hemp cultivation and sales. Basic information costs, restrictions and licensing is on the state’s industrial hemp program page. However, any question hemp law firm that can help establish a business plan, ensure licensing is and navigate the complex regulatory scheme by which hemp growers need to abide for above-board cultivation. Continue reading

A number of cannabis trademark infringement lawsuits have been cropping up nationally. Many involve other dispensaries or ancillary businesses in nearby marijuana markets, but an increasing number pit other plant businesses against pot shops. Horticulture, lumber and other “green product” companies are more likely than other industries to discover an overlap, considering many use shades of green and plant icons in their brand bibles.Los Angeles cannabis trademark attorney

L.A. marijuana trademark attorney noted the latest in this trend is an established Idaho lumber company suing a Massachusetts cannabis dispensary. The allegation is that the “tree” logo used by the New England dispensary bears striking similarity to that of the lumber company, using the same green or alternative black color and an encircled tree with six branches.

This, plaintiff tree company says, has the potential to cause confusion among its office supply and wood products customers – one of whom is the U.S. government. As a $5 billion federal contractor in business 55 years, it is compelled to provide a drug-free work environment, which includes cannabis, and conducts random drug-testing of employees. Defendant dispensary, meanwhile, opened just a few months ago. It also uses a green-tree-in-a-circle logo, though their tree has four branches.

The firm is seeking monetary damages and an order that the new company halt use of the trademark.

L.A. Marijuana Attorneys Can Assist With California Cannabis Branding Strategy

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The State of Nevada is facing a series of cannabis lawsuits alleging the process for awarding pot licenses is shrouded in secrecy. The litigation doesn’t allege that public officials are getting any sort of kickbacks from the firms awarded licenses, but say the state should nonetheless be more transparent about its processes. Los Angeles marijuana business lawyer

Since recreational cannabis became legal in Nevada two years ago, our Los Angeles marijuana attorneys understand the state has released only trickles of information about the state criteria for the new market. TIME Magazine in a recent report flat-out stated, “No one knows for sure” how state officials are awarding new licenses, only that they are being awarded because dispensaries are opening without complaint from the state.

Several plaintiffs are seeking to learn more about how the state chose the companies it did in awarding 61 licenses out of 462 vendors to sell recreational marijuana to adults. Continue reading

In a first-of-its-kind cannabis lawsuit, the City of Los Angeles is suing an unlicensed marijuana dispensary for selling products to the public that contained dangerous pesticides. The city attorney warned the civil litigation against the South Los Angeles owner would not be the last, as his office joins the fight to crackdown on booming black market bud.unlicensed dispensary defense

Legitimate cannabis companies say they’re being crippled, some already driven out, by the presence of unlicensed operations. Los Angeles marijuana business lawyers know these firms have an unfair market advantage over those abiding the law because they are burdened by the intense regulatory oversight developed by the California Cannabis Control Bureau.

It’s a process that involves rigorous (and expensive) pesticide testing. Cannabis dispensaries not weighed down by these requirements – among others – effectively carving out an unfair financial advantage over licensed dispensaries. Customers may opt to purchase the drug legally, especially for concentrates and edibles, which are bound by stringent labeling and packaging requirements. On the other hand, they can get it for a whole lot cheaper from an unlicensed dealer.

L.A. Warns: Patronize Illegal Pot Shops at Your Own Risk

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Stores throughout Southern California, in Los Angeles, Riverside, Orange County and beyond, are ramping up advertising to promote sales of CBD oil, but questions of legality persist: Who can sell it and how and whether it can be sold at all. CBD oil Riverside attorney

People across the country mistakenly presumed that the 2018 Farm Bill effectively opened the doors to all CBD sales. In fact, that is not the case, and small businesses are learning this the hard way when their shops are raided and product confiscated. Some are even facing criminal charges.

Hemp-derived CBD is now legal under federal law, but not for all purposes. Further, state law has yet to catch up, and police/prosecutors have yet to neatly map their approach with yet another federal-state legal conflict on marijuana law.

As CBD popularity has booming, businesses will want to check in with an attorney experienced in marijuana and CBD law in California to ensure they aren’t properly producing, selling or advertising CBD in a way that could jeopardize their livelihood and even their freedom. Continue reading