Department of Justice Hits Marijuana Paraphernalia Industry

Congress listed marijuana on Schedule One of the U.S. Controlled Substances Act of 1970 (USCSA) and has not de-listed or even moved marijuana to a lower level since that time.  To be included on Schedule One, the drug is supposed to have a chance of abuse, a high level of danger, and have no approved medical use.  While this is absurd, and based on this list marijuana is considered more dangerous and more likely to cause addiction than heroin, this is where it is listed and that doesn’t look like it will be changing any time soon.

Riverside Marijuana LawyerThat being said, Congress has added language in budget acts that prohibit the federal government and its agencies from spending money to go after medical marijuana in states where it is legal under state law.  There is no such prohibition on sending the DEA and FBI after state legal marijuana for recreational use, and that is scaring off many prospective investors, according to a recent news article from Forbes.However, there is another sector that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has chosen to go after, even though the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) may have its hands tied. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), a child agency of DOJ, has been seizing shipments of marijuana paraphernalia products.

These days, as our Riverside medical marijuana attorneys can explain, we are no longer talking about pipes and rolling papers. Aside from the sale of marijuana itself, there is huge industry created to manufacture, distribute, and sell products to use in conjunction with marijuana. This includes vaporizers, “stashboxes” and “stash jars” and just about everything else you can imagine, and many things you probably would never think of until you saw them online or in a brick and mortar store.

Like everything else, many of these products are manufactured in China and other countries and imported into the U.S.  In some instances, these products are claimed to be for tobacco use or for use with essential herbs and oils, but this is something you should discuss with your experienced marijuana business attorney.  However, in many cases, they are marketed and sold for marijuana use and shipped so they can be sold in states where medical marijuana and legal marijuana for recreational use is sold.

The past April, CBP seized a large shipment of containers designed to lock via a combination so that children cannot get to the marijuana contained inside the box.  There is no language in the in the congressional prohibition that prevents CBP from making such seizures, according to an agency spokesperson.

The company that manufactured these boxes is in an industry that has been dubbed the ancillary cannabis industry, and there is a clearly a lot of money to be made.  Previously, there was little risk in these businesses, as there was hardly any enforcement from the federal government.  Also, the previous presidential administration said that going after medical marijuana or these types of products was not going to be a priority.  The current administration has said the enforcement of federal marijuana laws is very much a priority.

The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call us at 714-937-2050.

Additional Resources:

The War On Cannabis Heats Up, June 12, 2017, By Debra Borchardt, Forbes

More Blog Entries:

Marijuana Equipment Business is Booming, April 14, 2017, L.A. Marijuana Attorney Blog