Articles Posted in California Marijuana

Marijuana has been legalized – slowly – in more than half the states in the U.S., either for medicinal or recreational purposes (26 in all). And yet, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (the non-profit that regulates athletes in some 1,300 programs and organizes athletic programs in many colleges and universities throughout the U.S., overseeing some 450,000 college athletes) continues to test college athletes for marijuana. Those who test positive still face substantial punishments – up to an including expulsion from the team.cannabis lawyer

This is true even in states like California, Colorado and Washington, where the drug is legal for those over the age of 21.

Recently, CBS Sports polled college coaches – anonymously – for their views on college athlete marijuana use and whether it should continue to be penalized the same way, given the current legal climate. Continue reading

Proponents of the failed “War on Drugs” have long characterized marijuana as a “gateway” drug, meaning it opens the doors to use of heavier, more dangerous narcotics.marijuana lawyer

But now, a new drug rehabilitation center in Los Angeles is touting cannabis as an “exit” drug – a way out of the prison of addiction. As Leafly reports, the center, called High Sobriety, does not focus on complete and total abstinence of all substances (the hard-line approach advocated by groups like Narcotics Anonymous and other 12-step model programs). Instead, participants are encouraged to rely on marijuana as a means to cope with the difficulties of withdrawals and more. Although many treatment models staunchly discourage replacing one drug for another, that’s exactly what facilitators hope to do here. Marijuana, they say, is much less threatening than the harder drugs like heroin, cocaine and prescription narcotics for which the cannabis serves as a substitute.

The facility and its treatment model are quite new, but there is a high likelihood we’ll see more of these centers crop up if there are continued success stories. Although medicinal marijuana has been available in California for those with certain debilitating medical conditions since the 1990s, those in the treatment center won’t need a prescription, so long as they are over 21, thanks to the passage of Prop. 64 last year. Continue reading

Cannabis businesses have many legal issues with which to contend, from banking to bud-tending. Commercial leases for cannabis businesses raise special concerns for both landlords and tenants.marijuana business

Because of the federal civil asset forfeiture program, which allows the U.S. Justice Department to seize assets of any real property used to manufacture or distribute drugs that are illegal under federal law, the typical boiler plate lease won’t cut it. That’s why in many cases, property leases that involve cannabis businesses use something known as an “escape clause,” for instances when there is federal intervention or enforcement action. This can help protect the property owner, but it’s likely to end – or at least halt – the marijuana business indefinitely, likely costing a great deal of money.

We must now also consider the recently-passed Medicinal and Adult Use Cannabis Regulation Safety Act (MAUCRSA). Structuring the business – and the commercial lease agreement – according to these provisions can help safeguard your financial investment and livelihood.  Continue reading

Federal banking regulations have made the operation of a cannabis business both a complicated and dangerous proposition. Because cannabis is still classified as a Schedule I drug under federal law, any transactions made at a cannabis business operating lawfully under state law are, nonetheless, considered illegal drug money under federal law. This is a problem for banking institutions, because they are subject to federal law and banking regulations. Most cannabis businesses have no alternative other than to operate exclusively in cash. Continue reading

It is a logical contradiction, but one which can benefit cannabis entrepreneurs: despite being banned by federal law, marijuana and marijuana products can be protected by federal patents. Problems with theory and logic notwithstanding, cannabis business owners can protect and enhance their business interests with an understanding of the patent process.   Continue reading

Since recreational marijuana was legalized in California as of November 9, 2016, residents and government regulators have experienced many unintended consequences of the regulatory sea change. Perhaps one of the most bizarre outcomes is changing an increased power needs for those areas of California which house indoor grow houses.Cannabis farmer attorneys

This is not unlike the British phenomenon of “TV pickup”. There, utility administrators must respond to predictable surges in electricity use. Geek.com reports that these surges are a well-documented correlate of the widespread use of electric tea kettles immediately after popular TV programs end. The British National Grid allots an electricity reserve to manage these surges, and can even access reserves in France when needed. If there is a lesson to be learnt from British utility services, it is that careful planning around reliable data can be used to prevent interruptions in service and other problems as a result of increased electricity demand.   Continue reading

The Adult Use of Marijuana Act ensured that the State of California would begin issuing cannabis business licenses no later than January 1, 2018. The state is working feverishly to meet this deadline. Nevertheless, it is a massive undertaking which will require the coordination of hundred of employees at dozens of state agencies. These include: the Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation within the Department of Consumer Affairs; CalCannabis within the Department of Food and Agriculture; the Office of Medical Cannabis Regulation within the Department of Public Health; and the California Department of Technology.

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While it remains to be seen exactly when cannabis business licenses are issued, the state has taken an important step toward implementing an efficient licensing system. Government Technology reports that the state has selected software from Accela, Inc. to manage licensing for the cannabis industry. State Chief Information Officer Amy Tong says the software was chosen due to a competitive price quote, ease and flexibility of use, and its successful history within the industry and other state licensing entities. While this successful history does bode well for cannabis business licensing, it is, of course, no guarantee of success in meeting the state’s January 1 deadline.  Continue reading

As of November 2016, recreational marijuana use is legal within the state of California. As Californians have begun to enjoy the benefits of this law, they are learning a hard lesson: federal law enforcement can trump state law, even within state borders. cannabis defense attorneys

The conflict between state and federal law is apparent in many aspects of California life. Cannabis businesses cannot bank in federal institutions, because their finds are considered illegal drug money. Federal employment is usually unavailable to Californians who use marijuana (whether recreationally or medicinally). And in perhaps the most confusing of all restrictions, marijuana use is illegal on federal lands within state borders. Continue reading

Most Californians are aware that recreational marijuana use was legalized in November 2016. What is less well known is that Proposition 64 (the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act, or “the Act”) also carried sentencing provisions, which eliminated penalties for minor marijuana offenses, and reduced penalties for more serious offenses such as selling or cultivating marijuana. More importantly, these provisions are retroactive. This has allowed many incarcerated Californians to file petitions under the Act and seek immediate release. Hundreds of inmates have achieved such release since the law took effect.  cannabis conviction attorneys

The Effects of Proposition 64

The Huffington Post reports that close to one million people in California qualify for relief under Proposition 64. This can include: reducing a felony conviction to a misdemeanor; terminating a sentence of probation or incarceration, expunging criminal records, or dismissing a pending case. The terms of Proposition 64 created a new law (California Health and Safety Code §11361.8) by which to facilitate the process of applying for relief.

Retroactive application of a sentencing law is unusual in and of itself, but §11361.8 is even more striking, in that it does not place a time limit on which the conviction must have occurred. Any person currently serving a sentence may apply for relief if he or she would not have been guilty – or been guilty of a lesser offense – had the Act been in affect at the time of the offense. Moreover, California courts are instructed to broadly grant petitions for relief. In order to deny such a petition, the court must determine that an unreasonable risk of danger to public safety would be posed by granting it. This creates a de facto legal presumption that qualified applicants are entitled to have their petitions for relief under the Act granted. This presumption can be challenged (and overcome) by a prosecutor, but it is still an advantage for defendants seeking relief from their sentences for marijuana offenses. Continue reading

With all the talk about legalization of marijuana for recreational use for adults in California, many are wondering what will happen to the medical marijuana market.  One thing that is certain is that medical marijuana patients will still be able to get their much-needed medicine.

marijuana deliveryThere is a good chance they will still be able to get it from the same dispensaries they have been going to because of the fact that colocation will be legal in most places.  This means that the same dispensaries that are already in existence will be able to also sell marijuana for recreational use. Continue reading