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Using marijuana is legal in California, but apparently, if you’re up for top-level security clearance with the U.S. government, you may want to think twice. employment attorney

The Orange County Register reports The Pentagon is reviewing the federal security clearance of California tech billionaire Elon Musk following an on-air marijuana toke on a comedian’s podcast last fall. Musk reportedly refiled the SF-86 security form required of federal contractors and/or employees who seek security clearance. The form requires filers to answer truthfully whether they have used any illegal drugs at any point in the previous seven years. Musk reportedly had a higher-level secret clearance, thanks to his position spearheading a company (Space Exploration Technologies Corp. – SpaceX for short) that is permitted launch of military spy satellites.

The company’s day-to-day operations aren’t overseen by Musk, and the company won several national security space launch contracts in the wake of the podcast, but the Register reports it’s only with the refiling that Musk may have some issues.

Employers, Contractors Allowed to Set Ground Rules for Off-the-Clock Cannabis Use Continue reading

A Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy scheme to get rich by robbing a marijuana dispensary – and cover it up by making it look like a government raid – did not go according to plan. Now, he’s facing 40 years-to-life in federal prison after pleading guilty to five felonies related to the faux raid. The nearly $650,000 in cash, money orders, half-ton of marijuana and Mercedes-Benz he allegedly heisted during the operation were also turned over to federal authorities. L.A. marijuana criminal defense lawyer

Los Angeles marijuana criminal defense lawyers have taken note that this is one of the most brazen robberies of a dispensary in recent memory. The Los Angeles Daily News reports the law enforcement officer, age 41, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute marijuana and armed robbery. He was also convicted of depriving others of their rights under color of law.

One of his co-defendants pleaded guilty to many of the same charges, as well as being a felon in possession of a firearm. That individual was also convicted in state court of burglary in the second-degree, as well as possessing marijuana for sale and assault with a deadly weapon. He is also facing a lifetime behind bars.

Sentencing is slated for early summer. Four other defendants are also accused, one having signed a plea agreement to testify against the others.  Continue reading

In California, vaping or smoking marijuana in public is not lawful. You’d be forgiven, however, if you didn’t realize that walking on any random strip in Southern California. Lighting up almost everywhere has become practically ubiquitous. Homeowners, renters and businesses have had their share of complaints. Some businesses have even posted explicit signage making it clear: No smoking allowed. Nonetheless, the smell wafts on near every corner. marijuana lawyer

Los Angeles marijuana lawyers know there has been an uptick among local law enforcement citations for smoking in public areas, particularly those nearby to schools, parks, restaurants, shops and in cars or boats. (No, you cannot light up in a car, even if you’re a passenger.) Police say many individuals aren’t familiar with this provision of the law, and even visitors who have come to the state on vacation end up leaving – well, not on probation, but with wallets $100 lighter. That’s the fine for public marijuana smoking in California.

Common areas in apartments and even balconies are forbidden spots for outdoor pot smoking, though that usually goes unchecked unless your neighbors complain. This restriction has become particularly burdensome for those who use the drug as medicine.  Continue reading

A real estate developer who publicly referred to herself as the state’s “cannabis landlord” was arrested by San Bernardino police in a raid on her home in Pacific Palisades. The 44-year-old was arrested on suspicion of possession for sales of a controlled substance in violation of state laws, according to The Los Angeles Daily News. Her bail was set at $30,000, and in addition to $200,000 in cash seized from her residence, they also reportedly also seized large quantities of oxycodone pills and a prescription for Norco (also known as Hydrocodone).San Bernardino marijuana lawyer

So why was this cannabis landlord targeted while others in Los Angeles and elsewhere in Southern California are largely left alone? Our San Bernardino marijuana business lawyers understand authorities had been investigating the high-profile real estate developer for over a year for engaging in marijuana cultivation activities that were in violation of California law. In December 2017, authorities raided four of her properties in San Bernardino, wherein authorities reportedly seized 4.5 tons of marijuana. She, however, was not at any of the sites in question and was not arrested at the time.

Although it is true that growing marijuana is legal in the state – even for recreational use – one cannot presume they will evade the scrutiny of authorities in Southern California if they aren’t following state law and local ordinance to a “T” – which is easier said than done where the patchwork of laws is almost seemingly confusing on purpose. This is why having an experienced San Bernardino marijuana business attorney to help guide you through the process is imperative.  Continue reading

Shops that are operating unlawfully throughout Southern California are widespread, but making a black-and-white distinction has proved difficult. Many of the illicit marijuana shops in Los Angeles are selling the exact same kinds of goods that are offered through licensed retailers and farmers – but at a fraction of a cost. It’s a reality that, as The Orange County Register reports, even has some legal marijuana company owners selling black market wares on the side to make ends meet. These double-dipping players are part of the reason why black market weed in California is believed to be eight times the size of the legal market, though many of those involved say they have no choice when regulation and taxation have created a situation wherein they could not financially survive otherwise.California marijuana lawyer

The stakes for illegal marijuana businesses in Los Angeles are high. As our L.A. marijuana business attorneys can explain, getting caught can mean loss of businesses, loss of assets (including homes, cars and bank savings), severe fines and even criminal penalties. Some have even designated so-called “go-to-jail-guys” to take the fall in the event they are caught.

City leaders say the only power they wield against the unlawful firms at this point is to make it so that black market sales isn’t worth the profit. Local government only has limited means to make that happen, but the Los Angeles Daily News reports the city has vowed to start with their power sources.  Continue reading

For a long time, marijuana’s illegal status under the U.S. Controlled Substances Act has barred study of the plant for most scholars. And while that law (still) has not changed, The Cannabis Law Firm in Los Angeles is aware of an increasing number of colleges adding so-called “marijuana majors” to the roster of available higher education options.marijuana lawyer

According to VOANews.com, a number of colleges have launched four-year degrees in in marijuana-related studies, such as medical plant chemistry, marijuana policy and law. Courses focus on the technical, horticultural, legal, social and political impacts of the plant in all areas of society.

As a law firm that has been focused on representing California marijuana businesses for nearly the last two decades, it’s been encouraging to see these areas of study morph from something of a joke to a field of studies that even Ivy League schools are taking very seriously, fully intent on preparing students for a blossoming career field. Continue reading

Authorities in Los Angeles allege three men in Southern California received funding from China to engage in a scheme to purchase residential real estate and turn it into lucrative marijuana grow operations. Los Angeles marijuana criminal defense

NBC-4 Los Angeles reports the men, ages 37 to 44, all of Pasadena, were each charged in an L.A. federal court with one count of manufacturing, distributing and possessing marijuana with intent to distribute. As our L.A. marijuana criminal defense lawyers can explain, depending on the amount of marijuana purportedly involved, this could result in a maximum prison term of anywhere from 5 years to life, per 21 U.S.C. § 841.

Investigators allege the men were wired millions of dollars from China in order to buy homes that would be used in illegal cannabis grow operations. During one of the search warrants executed, authorities reportedly seized some $80,000 in cash plus 1,650 marijuana plants. Federal authorities took possession of at least seven houses, with an estimated cumulative value of $5 million, per the U.S. Attorney’s Office.  Continue reading

A marijuana delivery company marketing itself as UPS 420 is being sued by UPS, the national general parcel delivery service, alleging trademark infringement. Not only is the delivery service usurping its name, plaintiffs argue, but are also capitalizing on the famous shield logo that has become synoymous with the larger UPS brand. California marijuana lawyer

As our California cannabis attorneys know, some smaller marijuana dispensaries and delivery services are making the fatal mistake of assuming these huge, name-brand firms won’t take note if they piggyback on the larger firm’s brand recognition. This could not be farther from the truth. Marijuana trademark infringement is taken quite seriously by these big companies. Some have entire legal departments dedicated to identifying and addressing copyright and trademark infringement.

Although trademark infringement can be somewhat of a tricky area of legality for marijuana businesses because, as noted in a recent Los Angeles Cannabis Law Group blog, the U.S. Trademark Act has a specific clause requiring trademark registrants to attest their mark isn’t used to sell illegal goods. As it stands currently, marijuana is still illegal per the U.S. Controlled Substances Act. Continue reading

Since cannabis was legalized in cannabis last year, there has been swelling concern that Canadians could be banned from entering the U.S. just for being honest about whether they worked in Canada’s legal marijuana industry. Our California cannabis lawyers understand that fear has now come to fruition, and a law firm in Washington State is suing the federal government demanding to know the authority on which the government is basing its actions, which include lifetime bans on U.S. entry to Canadian cannabis workers.marijuana attorney

The concern is that such action is poised to have a chilling effect not only on U.S.-Canadian relations, but also on the Canadian cannabis industry. Los Angeles marijuana business attorneys know that the CBP officers are empowered with very broad discretion not only to question those who wish to travel into the U.S. on a wide range of subjects. What’s less clear is what authority these officers or the agency in general has to issue lifetime bans into the country, particularly from our northern neighbors.

The Toronto Star reports the legal team behind the suit includes a former U.S. attorney now in private practice. The lawyer’s team alleges the U.S government has unlawfully withheld documents requested by his firm in accordance with the Freedom of Information ACT (FOIA) specifically pertaining to the practice of Canadian cannabis worker border bans.

Some 10,000 California marijuana farmers are going to be out of a legal grow license if state lawmakers don’t act fast to extend the temporary licensing that is set to expire. Of course, Orange County marijuana farming attorneys know the failure of the state to act fast is part of the reason farmers are in this predicament to begin with.cannabis attorney

Proposition 64 authorized state regulatory agencies to grant marijuana businesses temporary licenses for operation until the state could issue permanent licenses. Problem is, the state never got around to issuing those licenses because of bureaucracy.

Now, Democratic state Sen. Mike McGuire is sponsoring SB 67 that would rectify this and extend those temporary licenses to cannabis farmers so they wouldn’t suddenly be out of compliance. McGuire explained in a hearing on the bill that the intention is to protect cannabis farmers who did their best to comply with the law by applying for a state license just after the passage of Prop. 64.  Continue reading