• Marijuana DUI Defense and Drug Charges
  • Advocating for Collectives, Growers
    and Patients Rights
  • Our Attorneys can Help you find a Location
    and Incorporate your Collective
  • Fighting to keep our Client’s Collectives
    Open Through Affordable Litigation
  • criminal defense: marijuana possession,
    sales & cultivation charges

Medical marijuana has long been known to be effective in treating conditions like anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain. Yet the U.S. military has long taken a hard-line stance against marijuana, a position solidified during the Vietnam War as reports blasted on the evening news indicated that half of all soldiers deployed were regularly using marijuana. A study by the Pentagon later revealed the actual figure was closer to 70 percent. This, along with the crash of an aircraft carrier by soldiers later found to have marijuana in their systems led to a zero tolerance policy. California medical marijuana veterans

This has led to all sorts of injustices. Historically, it’s been military policy to exclude from entrance any individual who previously used marijuana as a civilian. In recent years, waivers for “past misconduct” have risen, and are expected to continue rising. Just last year, for instance, the Military Times reported a Vietnam War veteran and head of a military school in Florida was terminated for using medical marijuana extract to treat cancer.

Now, Congressional leaders have filed twin bills in the House and Senate to change federal law that would allow U.S. veterans who abide by state medical marijuana laws to avoid federal intervention and would allow doctors with the Department of Veterans Affairs to issue medical marijuana recommendations to their patients. The Veterans Medical Marijuana Safe Harbor Act, sponsored by U.S. Senate Democrats from California and Hawaii, notes that the drug is legal in 33 states and that medical marijuana can be used to treat chronic pain without the use of dangerous and highly addictive opiates. The sponsor of the House version of the bill said in a statement, “it’s past time to end the anti-science, anti-health cannabis prohibition laws that prevent veterans from accessing health care.” Continue reading

Leaders in luxury are looking to grace their way into marijuana product sales in Los Angeles, with a high-end New York retailer inking a partnership with an upscale cannabis firm to offer a large line of cannabis accessories and “lifestyle products” under the business model concept of a “wellness shop.”luxury marijuana products

Los Angeles marijuana retail attorneys recognize the ways in which this illustrates the many ways in which ancillary companies can break into the bud-tending business. Because marijuana is such a versatile plant – used in everything from medicine for seizures and anxiety to shampoo – we’re likely to see more of these non-traditional dispensaries on the horizon.

These companies need the advice and guidance of a dedicated Los Angeles retail marijuana lawyer to help them navigate the complex legal landscape, ensuring they can offer their products in a way that aligns with state and local regulations – to protect their brand and their assets. Continue reading

Years ago, you could call your Los Angeles pot product pretty much anything you wanted, and not only would you find a market for it, you were unlikely to face costly litigation if you swiped someone else’s style. As marijuana increasingly gains legitimacy across the U.S. (now fully legal in Canada), preserving your budding cannabis brand is becoming a significant legal issue for Los Angeles marijuana businesses. Our California cannabis attorneys can help you in this and other endeavors in launching – or rebranding – your legal marijuana business. cannabis intellectual property protection

As NBC Los Angeles recently reported, now that regulations in the year-old recreational marijuana industry are beginning to settle, some companies are revamping their whole image in an effort to appeal to a wider audience. (Years of “reefer madness” propaganda, a spotty patchwork of state medical marijuana statutes and a spate of federal raids hadn’t helped the industry’s image.)

Building on this previously-untapped market, long-time dispensaries are taking a new tact on branding, while those just breaking into the market are working on forging their recognition for the first time. Unfortunately, because federal law – specifically the U.S. Controlled Substances Act – remains at odds with the now-majority of states that legalize the drug in some form, not all types of intellectual property protection are available to marijuana businesses. Nonetheless, acting on available protections now can help combat copycats in the present while better positioning them to seize further opportunity if/when the government does repeal the CSA. Continue reading

In the more than two decades since California voters approved legal marijuana as medicine, we’ve seen a dramatically-altered legal and political landscape in the California cannabis industry – and yet cash is still king

When medical marijuana dispensaries and collectives first started cropping up around California in 1997, they had to heavily guard their assets – both product and cash. Banks, cowed by federal law that might ensnare them on criminal money-laundering charges, denied accounts to almost everyone who profited from cannabis, a Schedule I narcotic. Being state-legal didn’t matter.marijuana asset protection lawyer

More than 20 years later, although California was late to join the recreational sales party, our Los Angles cannabis lawyers have seen so much of the legal landscape change. Profits are not only allowed, but encouraged. Collectives and co-ops were outlawed as of last month. Businesses are licensed and heavily regulated and taxed. Everything from seed-to-sale is tracked and tested by outside labs.

And yet: Most Southern California marijuana businesses still can’t convince banks to do business. That means in a world where e-commerce is booming, retail stores are shuttering and most people pay with plastic, marijuana businesses can’t move money electronically. So every time cash must be moved – to pay a vendor or file taxes – it’s almost always coordinated with teams of gun-strapped security officers (many ex-military) and armored cars, equipped with bullet-proof glass and high-end GPS tracking. Continue reading

With tax season in full swing, the deadline approaching April 15th, California cannabis companies and growers are hauling in piles of cash to government offices to ensure their taxes are paid. However, neither those firms or government employees are keen on dealing with the archaic process of hand-counting dollars. Yet as our California cannabis business attorneys can explain, these tax woes are indicative of the long-standing and much bigger problem: Marijuana businesses can’t access banking. California cannabis company lawyers

Despite the fact that now 10 states plus the District of Columbia have marijuana legal for recreational purposes (1 in 4 Americans lives in a state where recreational use is legal), the federal Controlled Substances Act that still designates marijuana as a Schedule I narcotic means banks are reticent to get involved. Doing so could risk the U.S. Department of Justice coming after them for money laundering. Recently, The Modesto Bee reported the U.S. House of Representatives intends to hold hearings on bills that, if passed, could allow marijuana companies easier access to banking services – some six years after states started legalizing the plant for recreational use. It’s not the first time the issue has been raised, but it had always stalled in the past with Republicans being the Congressional majority – even when, as recently as 2017, the House bill had 95 bipartisan co-sponsors and a sister measure in the Senate had 20.

Lawmakers from Colorado and Washington are sponsoring a new marijuana banking bill that cannabis lawyers in Los Angeles know could help these companies – and government workers – avoid the risk of carrying around large cash stashes that may make them vulnerable to criminal targeting. As it now stands, the California Tax and Fee Administration already has to expend substantial resources to carefully plan for cannabis company tax payment drop-offs. In Humbolt County, where a large number of marijuana growers operate, the tax collector’s office has invested in numerous cash-counting machines, which so far have helped to processed some $10.3 million in marijuana tax revenue. Statewide, officials collected nearly $230 million in tax revenue from the marijuana industry in the first nine months of last year. Little less than half of that was reportedly submitted via cash payment. Continue reading

If you are operating a marijuana business in Los Angeles County without a license: You’re probably going to want to promptly seek legal representation from lawyers with longtime experience in state and federal marijuana criminal and civil cases. The California Bureau of Cannabis Control reported it had carried out search warrants on two businesses – one in Los Angeles County and the other in Sacramento County – for allegedly operating an unlicensed cannabis company.Los Angeles marijuana lawyer

January 9th marked the end of what state regulators called the grace period for unlicensed marijuana businesses across the state. This was akin to a warning shot, with the agency noting the several hundred unlicensed marijuana retailers and delivery services statewide are “taking their chances.” Even if they do close shop, there is no guarantee authorities wouldn’t take action after the fact, though it’s more probable they’ll want to pursue action against those in active operation.

Licensed L.A. marijuana retailers have been complaining for the last year that black market operators were undercutting their sales with an unfair advantage. The Sacramento raid stemmed from a complaint filed with the BCC, though the agency didn’t indicate where the tip originated.  Continue reading

Marijuana business entrepreneurs are increasingly striking green in the Golden State. If you’re looking to launch a new pot shop or any company ancillary to the cannabis industry: California is a prime location. Our Los Angeles marijuana business attorneys could have told you that, but this comes from a new report by FitSmallBusiness.com, which ranked California the No. 5 best state in the U.S. for cannabis start-ups. marijuana entrepreneur

The study analyzed numerous factors, including how easy it is for a new business owner to enter the market, what it costs to do so, how much you’ll pay in taxes, how many laws and regulations exist and the overall market opportunity.

Oregon wrestled the No. 1 spot, Colorado No. 2, Michigan No. 3 and Alaska No. 4.

The fact that we aren’t first – despite being the biggest legal marijuana market despite being the largest marijuana market – was attributed largely to our patchwork of laws and hefty taxes (15 percent excise and a sales tax for recreational product). There’s also a mid-range startup fee – $5,000 for business applications. Compare that to Oregon where the fee is a cheap $250 but then also to Illinois, where a cultivator licensing fee costs $200,000 – all but ensuring any prospective small business owners would be pushed out.

Still, California secured the most recreational marijuana revenue of any in 2018 – it’s very first year – at $2.75 billion. Continue reading

Recreational marijuana use has been legal in California now for little more than a year, but access to the drug remains scarce in some regions. That’s why some – including those who seek non-psychoactive CBD oil – are relying on a technology app called Weedmaps to help them locate the nearest provider. Our Los Angeles marijuana attorneys are aware this has generated a few problems stemming from the fact that a number of the providers listed on the platform aren’t legally allowed to operate by the state and have not been subjected to the same rigorous quality assurance regulations as legal marijuana businesses.marijuana lawyer

From a patient’s perspective, that means the product they are receiving may not be 100 percent safe or accurately-labeled with proper potency levels. From the perspective of marijuana businesses, these other companies have carved an unfair advantage over them because they operate in regions they do not and/or have not had to pay the mountains of fees for taxes, licensing, workers’ compensation and quality assurance testing. From the state’s perspective, these businesses are flouting the regulatory framework of the law.

As reported by Wired.com, marijuana businesses can list their services on the site for free, but top billing requires an advertising fee. Some companies pay as much as $20,000-a-month for top-level billing on the site, which doesn’t vet firms to see which are technically legal and does not indicate those pot shops that pop up first on the site have paid for that placement.

The Medical Board of California has revoked the medical license of a physician alleged to have violated the standard of care in prescribing medical marijuana to a 4-year-old child. In the case of The Medical Board of California v. Eidelman, the case was opened seven years ago, but the board revoked his license in December. Last month, the Superior Court of California, County of San Francisco, issued an order barring the physician from treating patients under the age of 18. San Bernardino medical marijuana attorneys understand the order also barred the physician from issuing any recommendations for cannabis as a treatment for minors. medical marijuana attorney

As San Bernardino medical marijuana attorneys at The Cannabis Law Firm can explain, a medical marijuana prescription is the only means by which a person under 21 can lawfully obtain cannabis in California. HS 11361 prohibits anyone over 18 from “furnishing, administering or giving any cannabis to a minor” under the age of 14, with conviction warranting a state prison sentence of 3-5 years. Both parents of children considering pursuing a medical marijuana prescription for their child as well as doctors need to be aware of how the law is applied, under what conditions an adult can be considered in violation of the law and what steps are needed to ensure your legal protection.

The state medical board issued medical marijuana prescription guidelines last April for doctors. Continue reading

Marijuana first became legal for recreation among adult users in January 2018. With that, Los Angeles marijuana tourism is taken off, with several ancillary businesses cropping up specifically catering to those who are here for the cannabis. Among the various companies that have entered the fray:

  • Shops
  • Lodging
  • Tours (including bus tours)
  • Marketing

Some tours offer scenic drives, glass-blowing demonstrations, food, a chance to smoke with Tommy Chong and more. marijuana tourism attorney L.A.

Los Angeles marijuana tourism attorneys know that some firms had a bit of a struggle making their way into the fray, given that legal marijuana is approximately 35 percent higher cost than what is available on the black market. Medical card recipients pay a bit less, given that they aren’t subject to the state excise tax. Aside from them, people who come to California specifically for this purpose don’t seem to mind too much paying the extra cost, given that they’ve come for the experience – and to revel in the ability to enjoy their buds without worrying about a bust.

Companies latching themselves to these opportunities have the potential to make decent profits – but only if they can establish themselves in a way that minimizes the risk of their own liability. That includes, firstly, the potential liability that any tour company catering the imbibing crowd might need to consider. Continue reading