Orange County Moves Toward Banning Sale of Marijuana

The Orange County government controls the unincorporated areas of the county.  According to a recent news article from the Los Angeles Times, Orange County officials are taking steps to ban the sale of marijuana and the distribution of marijuana within its jurisdictional limits.

marijuana attorneyA new ordinance was preliminarily approved by the Orange County Board of Supervisors with all but one supervisor voting in opposition to the proposed measure.  Supervisor Shaw Nelson argued that this proposed ordinance is contrary to the desires of the voters of California who voted to legalize the sale of recreational marijuana in our state.As our Orange County marijuana business lawyers can explain, it was through the passage of Proposition 64 that recreational sales distribution will be made legal in 2018.  Specifically, the law legalizes the use of marijuana by adults age 21 or older, and also imposes state tax on the sale and cultivation of marijuana. It also created a licensing body and a established a series of regulations for the sale and distribution of marijuana and marijuana products.  This is not only expected to raise possibly billions of dollars in tax revenue for the state, but it is also designed to reduce the money spent on crime prevention involving the sale and distribution of marijuana in our state.

With respect to cultivation of marijuana, a private resident, without the need for any additional licensing, will be allowed to grow a maximum of six plants at any given time.  However, in the cases of commercial cultivators and distributors, business licenses and Conditional Use Permits (CUPs) will be required.  There will also be a requirement that the area in which the marijuana is being grown commercially is zoned appropriately for such reason.  As we have seen in the past, if a government agency or official wishes to close down a grow operation or dispensary, they may have code enforcement red tag the business as a zone violator.  This makes it much easier to close the business through the administrative process.

The best thing a person or company planning on entering the medical marijuana business in Orange County can do is to speak with an experienced medical marijuana lawyer as early in process as possible to make sure all laws and regulations are being followed.  There are however, a couple of things to keep in mind when selecting a lawyer to represent you and your business.  You want to choose a marijuana business attorney who has been working in this sector for years and actually knows what will happen.  There are far too many lawyers trying to enter the market late now that it is big business and they may not be in the best position to advise prospective business owners. Another thing to keep in mind, is that marijuana is still listed on Schedule One of the U.S. Controlled Substances Act (USCSA) or 1970, which mean that the federal government can possibly enforce these law.  The reason we say possibly enforce them is that congress has issued orders that the U.S. Department of Justice shall not spend money enforcing marijuana laws in states where it is legal.  However, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has stated he is not bound by these orders.

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

Additional Resources:

Orange County takes a step toward banning pot sales and distribution in unincorporated areas, November 15, 2017, Los Angeles Times

More Blog Entries:

How California Marijuana Growers Are Rebuilding Their Businesses After Devastating Wildfires, October 21, 2017, by Cannabis Law Group