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The nationwide vape crisis, driven by high-profile health scares that included an outbreak of lung injuries has led to California cannabis vape companies’ sales taking a steep dive along with consumer confidence. Although much of the problem appears to have been tracked to illegal manufacturers – some not even in the U.S. – consumers are still wary of wading back into the vape world. Los Angeles cannabis vape company lawyer

To combat the problem and assure the public that their products are safe, a growing number of cannabis vape businesses are unveiling various technologies that create a more transparent supply chain.

Our Los Angeles cannabis vape company attorneys understand some of these solutions involve smartphone apps that show buyers:

  • Certificates of analysis that show the product has been through a battery of quality testing;
  • QR codes that give consumers information about the usage and dosing of each particular vape product;
  • Encryption cartridges so consumers can be sure that what they’re buying is a safe, state-legal product;
  • Proof the manufacturer has adopted quality testing methods that go above and beyond what the state requires.

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Last year, the California Bureau of Cannabis Control adopted a controversial policy allowing marijuana deliveries everywhere in the state – even in locations where city officials formally banned adult use retail sales, as is their express right under Proposition 64. Our Los Angeles marijuana delivery attorneys recognize this provision as key to the future success of the legal cannabis market in California. That’s why we’ll be closely following the developments in the case of County of Santa Cruz et al v. Bureau of Cannabis Control, slated to be heard in the Superior Court in Fresno in April 2020. A countersuit filed against the county by a marijuana retailer out of Salinas is slated to be heard by the Superior Court in Santa Cruz in July 2020. Los Angeles marijuana delivery lawyer

If this challenge to marijuana’s delivery law succeeds, it would not only threaten the many marijuana delivery services that rely on the state’s protection, it would also be yet another significant threat to the success of California’s struggling legal market by giving black market vendors a major inroad to under-served consumers.

The lawsuit was filed by 24 cities and Santa Cruz County, all of them contending that the state regulatory agency crossed the boundaries of its authority when it made the rule pertaining to marijuana deliveries. They assert that Prop. 64 expressly imbued local governments with the authority to restrict and even prohibit cannabis sales and activity inside their own districts, and the bureau’s policy is a direct affront to that right. Continue reading

The City of Pasadena sued itself over a controversial cannabis ballot initiative – and won. The result is a judge has ordered the county to remove the proposed measure from the city ballot in the upcoming March election. Had the initiative passed, it would have legalized some 18 cannabis businesses operating without in the city without permits.Los Angeles marijuana business lawyer

Not only would those stores have been legalized, but they wouldn’t be subjected to the same set of stringent rules laid forth in the city’s permitting process. The rules for pot shop permitting in Pasadena are so strict, in fact, that it only allows four-to-six retailers to operate in the city at a given time.

The measure had been signed by more than 9,000 residents, so the city clerk had no choice but to add it to the ballot. The city didn’t blame the clerk or other city employees for the proposed measure; they did what the law compelled them to do. But in order to remove it from the ballot, an attorney for the city explained there was no choice but to sue its own clerk as well as the county’s registrar of voters. Neither the clerk nor the city were defending the initiative; that was left to another lawyer who represented the interests of those backing it. Only a judge could determine whether a ballot initiative is unlawful in advance of such a vote. The city sought an expedient ruling, as a decision was needed by Christmas Eve in order to ensure the measure could be removed from the spring ballot. Continue reading

In a recent statement on a large-scale federal funding bill that President Donald Trump signed into law, he released a statement indicating he reserves the right to essentially ignore any provision of law approved by Congress that seeks to shield medical marijuana laws from federal interference. Los Angeles marijuana lawyer

The statement notes that Division B, section 531 of the Act disallows the U.S. Department of Justice from using funds made available under the act to prevent medical marijuana cultivation and distribution by the various states and territories where it’s allowed. The Trump administration, the statement said, would treat this provision in a manner consistent with the president’s constitutional duty to execute federal laws in good faith. As it stands, marijuana is still classified as a Schedule I narcotic under the Controlled Substances Act.

Our Los Angeles marijuana lawyers don’t necessarily take this to mean the president will ignore the Congressional block on DOJ funds or that we’ll start seeing any enforcement crackdown efforts again soon as we did a few years ago under the Obama administration. In fact, it might not mean much considering presidents often will sign statements like these while flagging certain aspects they believe might be an impediment to executive branch authority.

Ambiguous though the statement was, it still warrants some degree of concern. The effect of it is that the executive branch has expressly declared that it can broadly enforce U.S. drug laws against people or marijuana businesses, even if they’re in total compliance with state marijuana laws and even though Congress has instructed the executive branch to use a hands-off approach. Continue reading

California’s Compassionate Use Act, the 1996 law that made this state the first in the country to allow medical marijuana, gave patients with serious illnesses a means to access cannabis products for free through small, non-profit collectives and dispensaries. However, since the passage of Proposition 64 in 2016, wherein California voters approved cultivation and sales of the drug for recreational use, funding for low-income patients qualified for medical marijuana through CUA has run dry. Los Angeles marijuana lawyer

Our Los Angeles marijuana lawyers know this is largely thanks to the fact that with legalization came a flood of state and local taxation. The drug is taxed at virtually every stage – from seed to sale – making it difficult if not impossible for patients to access the drug at lower costs as they once did. Marijuana is taxed largely the same whether it’s donated for medicinal use or sold for profit. The markup can be as much as 40 percent.

Patients who have relied on cannabis as a daily use medicinal said the prices have resulted in the plant being out of reach. Some point to this as yet another piece of the puzzle as to why the black market thrives. Low-income patients, veterans and others face buying illegal stock or else going without altogether. Some providers who were once paying $10-per-patient suddenly were suddenly paying $100-a-patient after Prop. 64.

SB-34, signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom earlier this year, is an attempt to rectify this problem. Continue reading

The cannabis industry in California is struggling, despite being larger than ever. Los Angeles marijuana lawyers know that is thanks in large part to the tight regulations and steep taxes imposed on cultivators, producers, labs, retailers and consumers. Now, some legal analysts are proposing a plan that would base tax level on how potent a product is. Los Angeles marijuana tax lawyer

In other words, the higher the concentration of a product’s THC content, the more it would be taxed. The proposal comes as state-legal businesses have been begging lawmakers for some relief from local and state government taxes. The high tax rates (a combined 50 percent for some businesses) are driving up the costs of marijuana products, which in turn are being passed onto consumers, a growing number of whom find it preferable to frequent the plentiful (and much cheaper) black market vendors.

The plan proposed by the state’s Legislative Analyst’s Office would:

  • Eliminate existing marijuana business taxes (including the 15 percent across-the-board tax paid by customers when they buy).
  • Replace this with a tiered tax system wherein taxes would range on the basis of the potency or the type of product itself.

This would effective address a few different issues, they say. First, it would help reduce the potential for consumers to get their hands on dangerous, high-potency pot products. Secondly, it would ease the tax burdens of retailers primarily selling low-to-moderate THC potency products. Once companies aren’t so squeezed financially, they’ll be better able to compete with the unregulated black market. Continue reading

An Oakland cannabis company’s tax fight with the Internal Revenue Service is being closely watched by industry insiders throughout California. Although it’s been two years since recreational cannabis sales became legal in California, marijuana businesses are still – at least in the eyes of the IRS – sizable drug traffickers. Los Angeles marijuana tax lawyers

Our Los Angeles marijuana tax lawyers know that taxes are a major sore point for many pot shops throughout the Golden State – starting with the fact that local and state government taxes have sapped many businesses of the ability to fairly compete with the cheaper, thriving black market.

Taxation by the federal government is a whole different beats entirely. The U.S. Controlled Substances Act still categorizes marijuana as a dangerous Schedule I narcotic, criminalizing marijuana possession, sale and cultivation. This is true regardless of state law, though federal officials have struck a tenuous peace with state-legal operations with annual federal spending bills that stipulate the U.S. Department of Justice isn’t to use taxpayer funds to go after operations in compliance with state cannabis laws. But that doesn’t provide any relief where the IRS is concerned. Continue reading

cannabis chemist lawyerMonthly lab-testing numbers for California’s legal cannabis products show signs of bouncing back, after lulls midyear. Even in late November, indicators pointed to a cultivating season that will continue well into the year’s end.

News of this rise in legal cannabis product quantities moving through the state’s supply chain has been met with spliff, or rather split, industry opinions. That’s largely because California’s unsteady marijuana market is still trying to find its stride.

Some insiders see the rise as a positive sign, showing that California’s licensed marijuana operations are enjoying an uptick. Meanwhile, others see the latest statistics as further evidence of a black market that continues to outpace the regulated industry.
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pregnancy2-200x300A panel in California has declared that marijuana smoke and THC – the chemical within the drug responsible for producing the ‘high’ – pose a risk to women who are pregnant, as well as to their unborn babies. The move will require all legal cannabis products sold in California to carry warning labels, though changes will not begin for a year.

Scientists made up the nine-member panel, which formed the Development and Reproductive Toxicant Identification Committee, who considered the accuracy and reliability of a number of detailed research studies that investigated the effects of marijuana on people, fish, mice and rats.
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medical marijuanaThe Californian cannabis industry watched with the nation, as 47 patients across 25 states lost their lives to possible ­­vaping associated pulmonary illness this summer. And as the epidemic dragged on, news reports covered a notable dip in vape sales, understandably as consumers took a slight step back from vaping until safety could be assured.

When the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed there was a vaping crisis sweeping the nation, media reports surrounding the deaths believed to be linked to vaping also covered news of the crisis hurting cannabis vape sales. At the time, vaping was the cannabis industry’s fastest growing segment. It appeared that California bore the brunt of the fallout, and Marijuana Business Daily reported the state’s vaping shares for the recreational cannabis market dropped for four weeks straight, “from 30.5% the week of August 19 to 24.3% by the week of September 16.”

Since then, data has shown that vaping cannabis sales have stabilized, and even increased market share in a number of states. Tom Adams, BDS Analytics’ Managing Director of Industry Intelligence explains that’s because people enjoy vaping, they see it as a healthy substitute for smoking cigarettes and cannabis, and find vaping far more convenient and discrete than burning dried plant matter. So unless we see a total government ban imposed, a slowdown is unlikely.
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