Articles Posted in California marijuana business lawyers

marijuana bankingIn the nation’s first ever vote on a stand-alone marijuana bill, the House of Representatives voted to allow federally insured banks to serve cannabis businesses in states like California, where marijuana use is legal.

First introduced by Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Colorado, the Secure And Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act simply states that deposit insurance cannot be cut off by federal authorities, nor can “any other adverse action” be taken against a financial institution for working with cannabis businesses in states and territories where marijuana use is permitted.

A great number of Democrats from Southern California were among the 206 co-sponsors of the bill, as was GOP Rep. Duncan Hunter of San Diego. Rep. Katie Porter, D-Irvine, also introduced an amendment making it clear that new banks and credit unions would be protected by the bill too. Continue reading

Los Angeles cannabis business lawyerFollowing a slew of vaping related lung disease cases, a Los Angeles City Council member calls for a year-long ban on all vaping sales.

The proposed ban has many in the industry rushing to cut the motion off before it becomes law. The major concern is that such a ban could mean the end for countless vaping companies who are solely in business to sell vape pens and cartridges. Continue reading

The black market for marijuana in California is three times the size of the legal market, a recent audit has shown. The findings, made public in September, highlight the state’s ongoing battle to curb its illegal cannabis trade.marijuana dispensaries

Approximately 2,835 unlicensed dispensaries were listed as trading across California, according to the audit conducted by the United Cannabis Business Association (UCBA), a trade association representing a wide variety of licensed marijuana businesses. Interestingly, the Bureau of Cannabis Control has only licensed 873 cannabis merchants to operate lawfully within the Golden State.

These comparative statistics reflect the continued hiccups California has faced since rolling out updated legal regulations beginning in 2018, which were intended to level the cannabis market’s playing field. Continue reading

While many California cities and metro areas have been resistant to allowing cannabis shops within their borders, despite the state’s legality, a new poll shows most Golden State residents want easier access.marijuana business lawyer

It’s been nearly three years since voters in California legalized recreational marijuana sales, cultivation and possession with Proposition 64. Yet fewer than 1 in 3 California cities allow marijuana businesses to set up shop and sell recreational-use marijuana, creating so-called “weed deserts” that has given black market sales a means to thrive.

Now, a recent poll by the U.C. Berkeley Institute of Government Studies, conducted for the Los Angeles Times, shows that nearly 70 percent of Californians want cities and counties to allow pot shops in their communities. Prop. 64 was passed with the support of 57 percent of voters. Continue reading

A historic cannabis banking bill was recently passed by House legislators hoping to secure a safe haven for financial institutions that serve hemp and hemp-made CBD companies. Los Angeles hemp business attorneys know this key measure is necessary, despite the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill that made hemp legal.marijuana banking

The banking bill, also known as H.R. 1595, passed 321-103 in the House with wide bipartisan support, with 91 of those who voted for it being Republican. It’s unclear whether it will face much fierce opposition in the Senate or what the president’s position would be if it lands on his desk. There are Senate committee chair Republicans who are in support of cannabis banking reform measures, though none have specifically mentioned hemp.

If passed, the measure would direct U.S. banking regulators to draft guidelines to federally-backed financial institutions affirming the legality of both hemp and CBD products extracted from it – within 90 days of the law’s passage. The federal regulatory directive would outline best practices for banks on how to follow the law in offering financial services to any hemp-related business (which can include contractors, landlords, plumbers, etc.). Continue reading

The cannabis industry has a good number of hand trimmers, those who don so-called “sticky gloves” to spend hours meticulously removing the undesired stems and leaves from the flower. It’s one of the most time-consuming elements of cannabis production, so many hand-trimmers get to know one another well, giving rise to the job having something of it’s own sub-culture within the the cannabis industry.marijuana business lawyer

But that sub-culture might be threatened if auto-trim machines become increasingly popular. A human hand-trimmer can process somewhere between 1 and 3 lbs daily, and are paid a rate of roughly $12 to $20 hourly. Auto-trim machines, meanwhile, can process a great deal more – smaller machines between 3 and 5 lbs an hour and larger trimmers up to 60 pounds an hour.

It is true the machines can be costly, but they tend to pay for themselves very quickly. As our Los Angeles marijuana business lawyers know, the financial burden of heavy regulation and taxation plus fierce competition from the black market has legal cannabis companies keen to seize on anything they can to tamp down their costs. Continue reading

State lawmakers are attempting to ban anyone from smoking cannabis on commercial limousines and party buses, citing concern from police agencies that use of the drug in such an environment may impair drivers and result in a higher risk of crashes.marijuana party bus

The ban was proposed by the state Legislature to serve as a counter to a competing bill – Senate Bill 625 – that would allow such recreational use aboard commercial vehicles, but with certain restrictions, so long as the users were over 21 and the driver compartment was concealed. Both of these address a 2017 law that allowing cannabis on charter-party carriers licensed by the state.

Given that California has grown to be one of the biggest – if not the biggest – legal marijuana market in the world since it was legalized by voters in Prop. 64 three years ago, numerous companies have sprung up in almost every sector. One of those are tours of local cannabis businesses in commercial passenger vehicles. This is similar to companies that take customers to breweries and wineries throughout the state.

Marijuana is perhaps the most highly-regulated crop in the state. Earlier this year, the state added another complication in the form of regulations imposed by the State Water Resources Control Board, which sets rules (a veritable maze of them) for the cannabis cultivation industry. Los Angeles marijuana farmer attorney

Recently, the California Water Boards sent out some 270 letters to marijuana farmers operating in the Emerald Triangle, warning them to comply with state regulations or else face potential fines – or even loss of their licenses to grow the crop.

The compliance letters were sent to cultivation operations in Mendocino, Humboldt and Trinity counties, informing them of their lack of appropriate permitting for all their cannabis business operations. Continue reading

The Golden State boasts the biggest budding legal marijuana market in the world – and yet, consumers in California are three times as likely to to buy cannabis from dispensaries and delivery services that aren’t licensed under state law. That’s according to a recent audit, made public recently, of the thriving underground marijuana trade. marijuana lawyer

Conducted by the United Cannabis Business Association, the audit criticizes both law enforcement and elected officials for their failure to shutter unlawful pot shops. Many consumers are drawn to the unregulated market by online community forums like Weedmaps that for a long time listed unregulated stores. (Weedmaps announced this month it would no longer list illegal marijuana businesses, according to LA Weekly.)

Part of the UCBA’s audit included an analysis of Weedmap’s platform, which showed nearly 3,800 active dispensary and delivery services in the state – with roughly 920 of those having any license listed. This is the data on which researchers’ based their 3-1 figure. Continue reading

With little or no access to mainstream banking services, all but a few marijuana businesses have remained small ventures. Growth opportunities – within cities, across counties and certainly across state and international borders – are significantly curtailed by the fact that the drug remains illegal under the U.S. Controlled Substances Act. Federal money laundering statutes prohibit financial institutions from offering their services to state-legal cannabis companies so long as the drug remains – no matter how matter how implausibly – a Schedule I narcotic. marijuana business lawyers

Medical marijuana is currently legal in 33 states and 11 states allow recreational marijuana sales and possession. It’s now considered one of the fastest-growing job sources, with some more than $3 billion in projected sales in California alone (the biggest legal market anywhere in the world).

Still, lack of access to banking services has been one of the biggest sources of angst among legal marijuana business entrepreneurs. In addition to difficulty with day-to-day transactions and savings – and all the security issues that arise from being a cash-only operation – marijuana businesses have difficulty starting retirement plans for workers, obtaining insurance or federal bankruptcy protection. Continue reading

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