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Cannabis legalization isn’t enough to protect someone from being arrested on marijuana criminal charges. Being onemarijuana criminal defense of the trailblazing marijuana business owners in the state isn’t even necessarily enough. Just ask the woman who opened Ventura County’s first legal medical marijuana dispensary. She has spent the last year and a half facing down charges for perjury, possessing and transporting marijuana, and maintaining a place to sell the drug. These charges, however, were recently dropped, freeing her to focus on her business at last.

The woman is also president of a collective in Ojai, Calif. The property of the collective and her own home in Ventura were raided in November 2016, just before Proposition 64 passed on the ballot. She lost many personal possessions in addition to property of the collective. At the time, the collective was operating under the guidelines of Compassionate Use Act of 1996, which regulated use and sales of medical marijuana in the state, but investigators said she was in violation of those rules, according to a Ventura County Star article. Continue reading

California could learn a thing or two from those who paved the way for cannabis legalization. For example, Uruguay cannabis lawyerwas the first country to fully legalize marijuana, and the South American country has learned much as a result of trial-by-error. Cannabis was legalized there five years ago, but it wasn’t until last year that legal sales began. Since then, Uruguay has experienced a number of supply problems. Residents report having to travel long distances to licensed pharmacies, and sometimes once they arrive, the supply is dry.

According to a report from High Times, the issues are two-fold. First an excess in government oversight is creating supply chain issues. Only registered pharmacies can sell cannabis, and there have only been 14 licenses issued out of the 1,200 pharmacies in Uruguay. The government is also in charge of cultivation of marijuana, but only two cultivators have received licenses. Much like in California, when too many restrictions come between buyers and their marijuana, many consumers will choose black market options, even though there are legal options.

Second, the head of the Uruguay National Drug Council said there is an issue of farming capacity. Farming cannabis on such a large scale was not common, and there certainly was not a guidebook available. This led to a learning curve for cultivators to catch up on technology and processing on a mass scale. The two cultivators have just recently reached the allowed capacity of 4 metric tons per year. Continue reading

Time is almost up for marijuana business owners to achieve full compliance of testing and packaging regulations. Forcannabis business six months, businesses have enjoyed a grace period that allowed them to sell marijuana products that were not in total compliance so long as they included a label indicating any safety standards the product did not meet. As of July 1, owners must clear their shelves of all product that does not meet regulations, resulting in an influx of cannabis sales in the month of June and could lead to an impending shortage, according to the Orange County Register.

When Proposition 64 went into effect Jan. 1, it brought with it new sets of rules in regards to recreational marijuana sales. Because marijuana products were already in production long before then, having served the medical marijuana market for almost 20 years, California imposed a grace period in which production and labeling regulations could catch up. This led to retailers bulking up on less expensive products that were not in total compliance at the end of 2017 to keep their stores well stocked in the first half of the year. Now they will need to clear their shelves of any remnants of that stock. Meanwhile, owners will be clamoring to replace that inventory with new products that meet regulations.  Continue reading

A bipartisan blend of politicians has come together to support a bill that could finally offer some marijuana businessconcrete relief from the oppressive federal law that continues to bind the hands of marijuana businesses despite state legalization. The STATES Act, Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States, is a more formal way of declaring that state laws regarding cannabis usurp the federal government’s Schedule I classification under Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812.

According to a report from Leafly, the bill allows representatives who refuse to step into the 21st Century to support marijuana businesses without taking a stance on marijuana at all. It turns the matter purely into a states’ rights issue, which has become the great unifier in the cannabis debate. It also removes industrial hemp from the definition of “marijuana,” freeing many industries that create products unrelated to the psychoactive properties of cannabis. Continue reading

Nine drivers in Northern California are speaking out against what they say are shady practices by marijuana criminal defensepolice departments who allegedly are targeting businesses while transporting cannabis and seizing their delivery and cash. North Coast Journal conducted an investigation of these cases and found a pattern of confiscations over the past three years without any charges ever being filed against the drivers. Each of the incidents allegedly occurred during traffic stops with local police officers, and some said they were not even in the jurisdiction of that department when the stops were made.

It is not unusual that officers would share duties with other departments near major highways, like Highway 101, to patrol those long stretches of road. It’s not even unusual that they would be intercepting illegal drug transports, as the department in question was part of joint efforts to go after cocaine, meth, opioids, ecstasy, and methamphetamines. Also on the list of targeted drugs, though, was marijuana, and drivers alleged officers showed no interest in whether or not drivers were in compliance with state and local laws. One driver described a briefcase full of all necessary paperwork he carried on his route in case he was pulled over, but it allegedly did not protect him, and the contents of his vehicle were confiscated. Continue reading

While we try to hash out how to handle marijuana laws across the U.S., World Health Organizationmedical marijuana is bringing their findings to the global stage. WHO was tasked by secretary general of United Nations to deliver a recommendation on the level of international control necessary for cannabis, according to a Mother Jones report. It is of no surprise to our cannabis law firm that the first report from WHO described marijuana as a “relatively safe drug.”

An international team of marijuana experts contributed to the report, which was presented to the Expert Committee on Drug Dependence. The report analyzed both THC and CBD and found evidence it has medical benefits, particularly in relieving symptoms of cancer treatments, pain relief, and anxiety. It also concluded that driving under the influence of cannabis is risky, but not as risky as alcohol. Marijuana use also can also be risky for pregnant women and children. Continue reading

It’s becoming more clear that support of marijuana is politically marijuana businessadvantageous. Politicians across the country at all levels are stepping forward with pro-marijuana campaign platforms, and it’s paying off. Even here in California, where both medical and recreational marijuana are legal, it is clear voters want candidates who will continue to protect those laws, according to a report from Civilized. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) recently switched her stance to pro-marijuana and won her primary bid for re-election. It’s no surprise her change of heart came after her Democratic challenger Kevin de Leon came out swinging with strong support for cannabis last year. Because of California’s “top-two” primary system, both candidates will be on the ballot in November, even though they are from the same party.

These sudden “evolutions” in thinking about marijuana are springing up among political figures all over the country. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer recently had a similar change in thinking, and former Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner flipped on his previously staunch anti-marijuana views to join the board of directors of a cannabis company. Continue reading

If you are a cannabis retailer in Los Angeles and you do not yet have all of the necessary licenses and regulations inmarijuana criminal defense place, it’s time to get your house in order with the help of a trusted legal team. The city attorney and Los Angeles Police Department have made clear their commitment to ending the unlicensed marijuana marketplace in the city and have already filed 36 criminal cases, according to High Times. Punishments could include fines up to $1,000 and even jail time. Other shops are receiving cease-and-desist letters, and officials hope this round of charges will show others that they mean business.

These raids did not come without warning. Earlier in the year, officials from California Bureau of Cannabis Control sent warning letters to several hundred businesses they knew to be operating without licenses and promised civil and criminal action should they continue operating illegally.  Continue reading

One of the biggest obstacles for any farming community is how to best control pests. Each plant attracts a differentcannabis business set of insects and animals and requires special care to deter wildlife from harming crops. Farmers must also take into consideration how pest-control methods could harm natural surroundings and affect the people who will consume the product. Cannabis farms are no different, though they lack the years of shared wisdom other farmers have gathered. In fact, cannabis farmers have to be even more thoughtful in some ways about what they use because their end product isn’t easily washable like an apple. Although it wouldn’t seem a cannabis attorney would be your first consult on this front, it’s worthwhile to review it with your counsel so you are sure you’re abiding local and state environmental regulations.

The California Department of Pesticide Regulation, has been tasked by California’s Medicinal Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act to provide guidelines for pesticide use in cannabis farming. The department said there is not a pesticide product federally registered for use specifically for cannabis farmers. However, there are plenty of pesticides that can legally be used on cannabis so long as they meet certain criteria. Continue reading

A judge in Florida’s Leon County Circuit Court has struck down a ban on smoking medical marijuana in the state,medical marijuana calling it unconstitutional. People United for Medical Marijuana Inc. v. Florida Department of Health challenged a smoking restriction lawmakers added to regulations for medical marijuana. Plaintiffs cited medical cases in which smoking cannabis was beneficial to the patient, including a woman who smoked marijuana as part of her treatment for ALS. She testified her doctors never objected to her smoking and were impressed by the ways she showed improvement after smoking.

In November 2016, voters passed Florida Medical Marijuana Legalization Initiative (or Amendment 2) with the required super-majority it needed to amend the state constitution. The ballot initiative called for the legalization of medical marijuana “for individuals with specific debilitating diseases or comparable debilitating conditions as determined by a licensed state physician.” Power to set regulations went to the Legislature, which compiled a list of eligible diagnoses the following year that would be qualified for medical marijuana recommendations. Lawmakers also added verbiage to SB-8A about how cannabis could be administered, which specifically banned smoking.

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