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As legal marijuana makes continued gains, commercial property owners are increasingly faced with the question of whether the opportunity of leasing to marijuana retailers and related businesses outweighs the potential risk.California cannabis leases

Legalized marijuana poses challenges for real estate professionals and brokerages in two key arenas: Employment law and property management. Whether you are a landlord, tenant or subtenant in the California cannabis market, you will need an airtight commercial cannabis lease. Carefully structuring these leases can help protect property owners from liability issues while remaining competitive. An experienced Los Angeles marijuana lawyer can help.

The very first thing to understand is that, regardless of state laws and regulations, the use, possession, sale or processing is still illegal under federal law. Further, the so-called “Crack House Statute,” 21 USC 856 makes it a felony to knowingly open, lease, rent, use or maintain any place for purposes of manufacturing, distributing or using any controlled substances. Continue reading

Professional athlete endorsements are gold mines for any health and fitness product. Men’s Health magazine reported earlier this year on the unlikely crop of new cannabis advocates found in former and current pro athletes. Many, like former New England Patriots Super Bowl champion Rob Gronkowski, insist cannabis and CBD are superior options for treatment of chronic pain compared to the powerfully addictive and dangerous opiates doctors have been prescribing them for years. They report that with CBD, they are sleeping better, have improved muscle recovery, suffer fewer symptoms of chronic pain, anxiety and chronic traumatic encephalopathy – without the high or risk of addiction.cbd advertising lawyer

Some have gone on record to endorse their favorite brands of CBD oils and products, joining dozens of A-list celebrities who do the same.

This has resulted in Los Angeles cannabis advertising lawyers being asked whether these endorsements violate state or federal advertising laws.

Truth is, this is still a relatively new area of law, which is why each party should consult with an attorney before soliciting, offering or publishing a CBD advertisement or endorsement. Continue reading

There are many reasons California cannabis industry entrepreneurs these days might feel their situation a bit bleak. The ever-present threat of black market sales are encroaching on their profits. Excessive regulations and taxation have left many companies stretched incredibly thin. A patchwork of confusing local laws have proven difficult to navigate. Some large cannabis companies have been enacting mass layoffs to help cope with the fact that revenue has fallen far short of initial projections. All the while, the drug remains an illegal Schedule I narcotic at the federal level. California marijuana lawyer

And yet, there is a fair bit of good news on the horizon for new pot shop owners.

The marijuana legalization movement continues to gain significant ground both in the U.S. and abroad. Investors, manufacturers and researchers are paying close attention, with more than a few continuing to take on the potential risks. The legal marijuana industry was estimated to be worth some $10.4 billion last year, employing more than 250,000 workers nationally. There are now 33 states that have moved to legalize the plant for medicinal purposes and 10 states – including California – have legalized the drug for recreational sales and use. Continue reading

The legal status of cannabidiol, better known as CBD, the popular extract of the cannabis plant, remains something of a mystery – even after the changes brought about by the 2018 Farm Bill that made low-THC hemp and its derivatives legal. Los Angeles cbd lawyers

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration had already assumed the position that the substance could not lawfully be sold in food. Now, the agency has released a sharply-worded warning to the public about the possible dangers of CBD and issued notices to more than a dozen large companies that sell it, citing alleged violations of the U.S. Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act. Five of those companies are in California and one is in Los Angeles. Similar warning letters had been sent to other companies.

They are accused of unlawfully selling CBD products interstate for purposes claiming to prevent, treat, diagnose, mitigate or cure disease of a serious nature, like cancer. Some were a double violation because they were included in food products and/or advertised as being dietary supplements. The FDA press release on the warning letters noted that regulators haven’t approved any CBD products, save for those issued by prescription to treat certain rare forms of pediatric epilepsy. Even then, the agency notes that CBD might cause liver injury, but have determined the benefits of treatment outweigh the potential health concerns.

The illicit marijuana market is the bane of every legal operator’s existence. Illegal dispensaries outnumber lawful ones 3-1 throughout California, and state officials have committed themselves to cracking down hard on unlicensed operators. But what happens when its faith – not funding – that drives these operations? Los Angeles cannabis church lawyer

The idea of cannabis as a religious sacrament isn’t new. Numerous religions – historically and presently – have used cannabis as an entheogen to induce a spiritual experience. Courts, however, haven’t always been so kind.

Last year in Indiana, for example, a judge ruled that a local First Church of Cannabis would not be legally allowed to use marijuana as a religious sacrament, finding it would be impossible to battle illicit drug trade “while allowing a religious exception that would be ripe for abuse.”

But in Indiana, unlike in California, possession of non-medicinal marijuana is still illegal. But as our Los Angeles cannabis church lawyers know, that doesn’t mean cannabis churches here are exactly safe – especially if they’re operating without licensed approval from the state. Continue reading

The Federal Bureau of Investigations is examining possible public corruption tied to the local marijuana industry in Sacramento after federal prosecutors indicted four for reportedly directing overseas money into both campaign coffers and cannabis companies. Did public officials accept bribes in return of favorable licensing to entrepreneurs in a fiercely competitive legal marijuana market?cannabis corruption attorney

That’s the question being asked of marijuana industry insiders in the region. High Times reported the FBI has declined to confirm or deny the existence of such an investigation. Yet in an FBI podcast broadcast titled “Corruption Threat Emerges in Marijuana Industry” in mid-August, supervisory special agents indicated unequivocally they had noted an increasing threat of public corruption in the burgeoning marijuana market in Southern California. They explicitly sought tips that might help direct such investigatory efforts.

Another investigation by city officials in Sacramento is examining how one cannabis company owner and those associated with him were able to score eight marijuana dispensary licenses in the city – roughly one-third of the allowable number of sellers within city limits. The man reportedly donated handsome sums to numerous local politicians in the city while they were running for election and re-election. Continue reading

The chemistry of cannabis is something about which we still have much to learn. That point was underscored again recently when chemists testing the THC content of marijuana edibles revealed there is something about chocolate that seems to skew the potency tests. cannabis chemist lawyer

The California Bureau of Cannabis Control requires not only that edible cannabis products be tested for the presence of pesticides and other contaminants, but also that their THC content be tested and accurately labeled on the project. Single-serving edibles sold in California can contain no more than 10 milligrams of THC, per the BCC. Packages can contain no more than 100 milligrams of the psychoactive ingredient.

But if your edible product contains chocolate, the labels on your marijuana products may not be accurate. Chocolates labeled as containing 10 milligrams of THC may in fact contain far more, which is a possible public health concern, as well as a liability for marijuana edible manufacturers and retailers.

The newest research on how chocolate interferes with the pot potency tests was recently presented at a conference in San Diego, representing just one of the ways in which chemistry is increasingly a factor in marijuana product manufacturing and sales. Continue reading

Drive-thru cannabis dispensaries are banned in California, but thanks to a small loophole in the law, Southern California is getting its first in, in Desert Hot Springs. It is the second one in the entire state. Los Angeles marijuana lawyer

The state’s recreational cannabis law does expressly prohibits marijuana drive-thru operations – unless a dispensary applied for a permit prior to June 2018, when Prop. 64 rules were finalized. Harborside cannabis dispensary filed its application for a drive-thru shop earlier that year, so it’s allowed to proceed with its marijuana business plan.

Approaching customers will have the benefit of a large, electronic menu, where they can place orders for edibles, vape cards and pre-rolled joints – the same way one might order a Happy Meal (except you will have to show ID to prove you are of age). Passengers, however, will not need to produce identification.

Desert Hot Springs, located in the Coachella Valley geographic region of Riverside County, is a great place to start, considering it was one of the first to welcome legal recreational marijuana with open after Prop. 64 passed in 2016. (Eighty percent of California jurisdictions have decided not to allow cannabis to be sold in their jurisdictions.) Continue reading

Washington State has imposed a temporary ban on flavored THC vaping products in emergency legislation passed rapidly after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported to have found a link to vaping and serious illness.thc vape attorney

The emergency rule, following an executive order from the governor, was made the same day the CDC announced there was a possibility of a breakthrough in the effort to ascertain the cause of vape-related illnesses.

As reported by The Spokesman-Review, the ban is in place for the next 120 days. One cannabis vaping company filed a lawsuit against the state department of health, seeking at least a temporary restraining order to halt the ban. A judge denied the request, and it’s unclear whether the plaintiff vaping business will file an appeal. The next hearing in the case isn’t slated until February. Continue reading

State regulators have suspended hundreds of marijuana business permits, in effect halting some 5 percent of the state’s legal cannabis business operations, disrupting supply chains and retail/distribution networks statewide. Los Angeles cannabis business licensing

Some 400 companies have been ordered to halt all transactions until they ensure their licenses are brought up to “active” status.

The notices were issued by the California Bureau of Cannabis Control on Nov. 1st, directed to delivery services, retailers, microbusinesses and distributors, informing them they will no longer be allowed to lawfully conduct business until they implement the appropriate track-and-trace system credentialing and training mandated by the state.

The state agency oversees more than 2,500 marijuana businesses, each of which hold either an annual or provisional license. Meanwhile, the California Department of Public Health is in charge of handling oversight of more than 930 marijuana manufacturers and the California Department of Food and Agriculture is responsible for managing regulations and oversight of more than 3,800 cannabis farmers. Continue reading

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