Articles Posted in California Marijuana

Mendocino County is the latest to sign an agreement with the California Cannabis Authority in an effort to help local governments with regulatory compliance and assist in creating a rich poolcannabis business of data about the cannabis industry. Our attorneys know one of the most difficult things about establishing any new industry is lack of concrete data. There can be a lot of growing pains as authorities and economic leaders gather a foundation of facts that help in making critical decisions about public safety, regulations, and taxation. This is particularly true when dealing with a controlled substance, like marijuana. Even though marijuana has been legal for medical purposes in California since the passing of the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, the switch to recreational legalization in the state as of Jan. 1 was a real game changer. MAUCRSA, Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulations and Safety Act, was created to combine guidelines for medical marijuana with all the new stringent licensing rules for recreational cannabis, so all regulations lived under one umbrella.

The mission of the newly formed California Cannabis Authority is to “develop and manage a statewide data platform that will gather, collect, and analyze information from a myriad of data sources into one resource.” The more local governments that participate, the more compelling and significant the data will be for everyone who accesses it.

The group was created by the California State Association of Counties Finance Corp. The group started with San Luis Obispo, Humboldt, and Monterey Counties on board, with Mendocino following suit. According to a report by the Ukiah Daily Journal, the platform will make it easier to track tax payments, provide compliance information to county departments, and allow health officials to access product information. Continue reading

If you are a marijuana cultivator in California, you might be reluctant to buy insurance on your business. But our experienced cannabis business cannabis businessattorneys know there are many good reasons to invest in insurance.

A recent article from Santa Barbara Independent reveals a big payout one cannabis farmer in Carpinteria received due to losses caused by the Thomas Fire in December, the largest wildfire in the state in recent history. The farm got more than $1 million dollars from their insurance company after thousands of marijuana plants on property were destroyed. This equated to about market value for the plants. While the farm’s crops did not burn in the fire, white ash blew into the greenhouses and tainted the plants. The plants tested positive for lead, arsenic, asbestos, and magnesium. This type of damage was covered under the policy’s clause covering changes in atmospheric conditions.

Meanwhile, most of the other cannabis farms in Northern California were not so fortunate. Many opted out of insurance policies to keep costs low. This money-saving tactic is typical among farmers of all kinds, who often skip this expense to keep profit margins higher. But this is a big gamble, particularly in an area so prone to fires. Continue reading

Every state that allows the use of medical marijuana has their own regulatory scheme and requirements pertaining to how patients are able to access this much-needed medicine.  For example, anyone who needs medical marijuana in California must go to a doctor and get a recommendation letter.  Once they have a recommendation letter, they can register as a patient with a medical marijuana dispensary and are then are eligible to obtain medical cannabis. Because every state has different regulations, the concept of medical marijuana reciprocity becomes important.  This is when a registered patient in one state goes to another state and needs to get their medicine there.

cannabis businessThis may seem like a novel concept, but it should not be anywhere near as controversial as it has become.  If a patient is taking a drug manufactured by a big pharmaceutical company and runs out of it while on vacation, they can simply go to a pharmacy location in their current jurisdiction and ask to have their prescription transferred there. This can be done permanently, or on a one-time basis, no questions asked. Typically, this is not how things work for medical marijuana patients because many states allow only residents to obtain medical marijuana from a dispensary located there. This creates obvious problems. One way to address this is by allowing medical marijuana reciprocity whereby a patient registered in one state, can travel to another state and use their home-state registration to obtain medical cannabis products. Continue reading

Long before anyone even thought about the possibility of legalizing marijuana for recreational use, or even medical marijuana in the U.S., cannabis has been legal in Amsterdam. This led many college students to travel to the city and visit the fabled coffee shops where they could not only purchase marijuana, but could sit at the bar and smoke a joint, or “spliff” like a civilized person without the fear of being harassed or arrested by the police.  For this reason, Amsterdam was for decades the world’s leading destination for marijuana tourism.

Caifornia marijuana lawyersWhen legalized recreational use marijuana came to Colorado, other western states, and now California as well, the concept of cannabis tourism became possible in the U.S.  The problem, however, is while it is legal to go to one of these states and purchase marijuana, assuming you are over the legal age of 21, laws prohibiting public consumption of marijuana made anything other  than the use of edibles very impractical. For anyone staying in a hotel, most are non-smoking entirely, and this also includes the use of marijuana products. Continue reading

When Canada legalized the recreational use of marijuana, the government set out to drive all black market cannabis sellers out of business.  They did this not through more rigid enforcement methods, but by making legal marijuana as cheap, if not cheaper, than buying it from a traditional dealer.  This was accomplished by setting the tax rate very low for legal sales of recreational marijuana.

marijuana businessOn the other hand, when California legalized marijuana, the ballot initiative was sold to many as a way for the state to generate billions of dollars in revenue.  While this is certainly true, and a laudable goal, it was accomplished by setting a tax of 15 percent, which is many times higher than the tax rate set in Canada. There is also a separate tax on the cultivation of cannabis set at nine percent, which results in a direct expenses passed on to distributors and consumers as discussed in a recent news article from Forbes. Continue reading

With the rollout of Proposition 64 on Jan. 1, Californians are beginning to enjoy legal adult-use marijuana. Some cities, though, decided not to legalizemarijuana legalization recreational cannabis, either because residents or leaders voiced opposition or because they wanted to wait to see how it played out in other areas of the state.

Chula Vista is one such city that did not join legalization efforts right away, but is considering a ballot measure this year. This would put the final decision in the hands of the residents of the city.

According to an NBC Los Angeles report, the city is working with a private research firm to survey residents for their feedback and thoughts on whether to legalize and how best to regulate the industry. Continue reading

Even in states where medical marijuana is legal under the relevant state law, it is still illegal under federal law.  This conflict of law manifests in many ways, most recently in a directive in Hawaii, where medical marijuana users in Honolulu are being asked to voluntarily surrender any firearms they may own. Officials have given them 30 days to comply with this voluntary directive.  While this may sound strange, according to a recent article from Task & Purposes, that is what the police are doing now that the state’s first medical marijuana dispensary opened a few months prior to this new plan.

marijuana defenseAccording to the local police department, a state statute essentially says that a fugitive shall not own a firearm, and neither can any person who is prohibited from owing or possessing a firearm under a relevant federal statute. The felon in possession portion of the statute is present is in the criminal code of most if not every state’s criminal code, so this is not a new argument, but those using medical marijuana are not convicted felons for the reason of using medical cannabis.  They may be convicted felons for other reasons, and if that is the case, there is no question they are not allowed to own or possess a firearm.

As our Orange County medical cannabis attorneys can explain, the second part of the statute is where it gets a bit murkier. Continue reading

Medical marijuana has been legal in California since 1996 as our state was the first to legalize.  Since that time, more than half of the states and the District of Columbia have legalized either medical marijuana, recreational marijuana use, or both. California, while not leading the legal recreational use movement, has recently legalized it for anyone over the age of 21 as of 2018.

cannabis defense attorneysAccording to a recent news article from the Washington Post, medical marijuana has finally arrived in dispensaries throughout the state of Maryland, and more are opening each month.  This is not to say marijuana has just been legalized for medical use in the state, but it is finally in dispensaries. The law was passed years ago, but there were so many delays and legal battles, many patients desperately in need of medical cannabis were wondering if this day would ever come.  Continue reading

When the voters of California passed Proposition 64, it allowed for the legal use, sale and distribution of marijuana for anyone 21 years of age and over.  The Proposition also allowed the state to tax  the sale of marijuana and to enact regulations over the cultivation and sale of cannabis. There was much debate over whether the many separate agencies already in existence would each do their part in regulating the growing, sale and distribution, or if there would be a new agency created.

cannabis business lawyersThere was a new agency created for medical marijuana which was then transitioned into the Bureau of Cannabis Control to regulate the cultivation, manufacturing, distribution, and retail sales of cannabis as well as provide for laboratory testing. Continue reading

From grow operations to dispensaries to high end paraphernalia that works with smartphones, there is seemingly no end to the growth potential of the cannabis industry.  According to a recent news article by USA Today, a wealthy cannabis company has just purchased a remote California town to create what they are calling a “marijuana mecca” as part of the growing pot tourism industry.

cannabis business lawyersThe company purchased the real estate in this small town and has been working to renovate the businesses already in existence and also to add new landscaping and hardscaping features. They are currently constructing a pond and digging up the streets for underground utilities.  As more workers and interested residents come to the town the population is growing and there are already more than 25 people living in what was essentially a ghost town.  There is not marijuana for sale in the town yet as they have to way to til 2018, but they are working on residences, lodging, cafes, and many other business that will hopefully generate a lot of revenue as people flock to the resort.

The ultimate goal is to create a safe, self-sustaining place for people to smoke openly in outdoor lounges, restaurants, microbreweries, a medical academy and a wellness spa.

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