Articles Posted in California marijuana business lawyers

One of the first of its kind California civil racketeering lawsuits involving two warring former cannabis business partners has been dismissed by a federal judge citing U.S. prohibition on marijuana. Los Angeles cannabis lawyer

Schulman et. al., v. Kaplan et. al. was a $200 million case filed last year in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California pitting one marijuana grower against another, citing the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).

The case was unique because the majority of RICO legal battles were filed by those trying to shut down cannabis grow operators, arguing the farms slashed the value of their property due to the pungent odor of the plant and concerns over security. This matter, on the other hand, was a dispute between two fellow farmers who had once worked together. Continue reading

A cannabis businessman and two industry trade organizations are suing the City of Los Angeles and the city’s Department of Cannabis Regulation, home to the largest legal marijuana market, over social equity restrictions on stand-along marijuana delivery licenses. Los Angeles marijuana delivery lawyer

The new rules approved earlier this year blocked availability of stand-alone delivery-service licensing for the next five years. Continue reading

Small plot, outdoor California cannabis farmers are among those who stand to gain the most from the state’s new appellations law, under which marijuana growers can claim, protect and market the unique elements of the plant grown in their specific region. marijuana appellations lawyer

Appellations are legally defined and protected geographical indications. Appellations laws are the reason that only sparkling wine that originates from the region of Champagne, France can be legally marketed and sold as “Champagne,” (with a few exceptions for some semi-generic names that were grandfathered in a few years ago).

Back to marijuana marketing: Establishing a strong, consistent reputation for the best quality, potency and flavor profiles will give smaller growers a leg up in the market. This is critical for several reasons, including the fact that a place-based brand (very similar to what we see with producers of wine) could help some above-board growers edge out the black market dealers. A region with a highly-rated brand association could parlay that into a niche tourism market, similar to what we see in Napa Valley (which also relies heavily on appellations to build their credibility and customer loyalty). This could prove especially fruitful if prohibition is lifted at the federal level. Continue reading

A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit against a Canadian edibles maker for allegedly breaching California consumer protections laws for improper labeling of its THC and CBD products. Specifics of that settlement haven’t been made public, but the allegation was that the manufacturer of medicinal chocolates sold products in Southern California over the course of two years that failed to contain the amount of CBD and THC that was advertised. Los Angeles cannabis lawyer

Labeling lawsuits against CBD and THC product makers are increasing. As our Los Angeles cannabis attorneys can explain, it is imperative that companies ensure the level of THC and CBD in their products aligns with what is advertised. In this case, the lawsuit alleged the potency of these compounds in the products were “drastically” different from what was publicly claimed. Continue reading

Unsolicited marijuana business text advertisements have resulted in a number of class action lawsuits against pot providers, accused of spamming recipients with unwanted sales and deals. At least 12 marijuana ad lawsuits have been filed across the country over the last two years. Eaze, a California marijuana delivery company, is one of the first of those cases to head to court. That case was ultimately sent to arbitration last year, and the company ended up settling another similar case pre-trial for an undisclosed sum. Los Angeles marijuana marketing lawyer

Cannabis companies would be wise to turn to Los Angeles marijuana advertising attorneys before launching any sort of marketing campaign, as the navigating the legal waters of such enterprises can be fraught with peril. The reality is, marijuana marketers can’t afford to turn a blind eye to federal law that is on the side of consumers in these cases. After mounting a defense and settling a case, you could easily be looking at six-figures.

One of the primary issues in these cases are reported violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), a federal law that prohibits transmitting unsolicited advertisements of any goods, property or services to a person without their express prior permission or invitation. A cannabis advertising lawyer in California can help you review your marketing practices to make sure you aren’t risking vulnerability to such claims. Continue reading

A growing swell of support for decriminalization and legalization of marijuana – and expunging the criminal records of those with prior cannabis convictions – could indicate these policy changes might become reality in the next few years.

A top advisor to Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee, stated emphatically that these would be top priorities for the new administration if he’s elected. L.A. cannabis lawyers

In an interview with MSNBC, the advisor referred to these drug reform policy proposals as “modest,” but also imperative, underscoring that neither Biden nor his pick for vice president, Kamala Harris, think people should be jailed for non-violent drug offenses.

This isn’t a total 180 from the campaign’s previous platform on drug policy, but it does indicate that marijuana reform is something that is being pushed to the forefront. The idea of decriminalizing – and going a step further to legalize – marijuana at the federal level was part of the recommendations made by a criminal justice task force that Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) launched earlier this year. But Biden’s position doesn’t go quite that far. Continue reading

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) released a new interim rule on hemp and derivative products, such as CBD. The DEA insists that this final rule simply conforms the agency’s regulations to the statutory changes made to the Controlled Substances Act in the 2018 Farm Bill. hemp cbd lawyers

But our Los Angeles CBD lawyers know that those in the hemp processing business still need to use special care. The 2018 Farm Bill did in fact legalize hemp, its derivatives and extracts. Yet nothing in the bill expressly covers processing of hemp, and the new DEA regulations don’t address it either. This creates some concern that hemp processing companies may face criminal actions because the chemical effect of the hemp extraction process can push the THC concentration above the legal limit. Continue reading

As longtime Los Angeles cannabis business lawyers, we recognize that there are significant legal barriers to entry in California’s legal marijuana market. For this reason, an increasing number of smaller farmers are jumping on the bandwagon of something called “contract cannabis farming.” This is a common practice in mainstream agriculture that is just starting to gain steam in the cannabis market.Los Angeles cannabis contract lawyer

These types of contracts diverge from the normal model of cultivation employment, and they can even vary significantly from contract to contract. Basically land owners gain the appropriate cultivation permits from local and state authorities. From there, they contract with experienced cannabis crop growers who conduct the actual farming. Many of these farmers are legacy growers who weren’t successful in landing their own state cultivation permits due to so many barriers to entry. The land owners and the growers then split the profits. Additionally, farmers get their foot in the door of an industry they may not have otherwise. That could result in more opportunities down the line.

Cultivation contracts vary in length and scope, but they typically last a year or so, but some continue in perpetuity until one or both parties dissolves the relationship. Neither should enter such an agreement until having it carefully examined by a California cannabis business lawyer experienced in contract drafting and review. The importance of this is underscored by the fact that there have been numerous lawsuits stemming from these arrangements, with allegations including fraud, breach of contract and labor law violations. Continue reading

The 2018 Farm Bill left no question as to the legality of hemp when it removed the crop – and its derivatives like CBD – from the definition of “marijuana” as listed within the U.S. Controlled Substances Act. The measure gave the U.S. Department of Agriculture regulatory authority over how hemp could be grown under federal guidelines. That said, states were given the option to assert primary regulatory authority over hemp growth and production inside its own borders. States that wanted to do this needed to submit plans to the USDA. Los Angeles CBD Lawyer

Although states weren’t given a strict deadline for submission of their own plans, it was noted in USDA interim rules that previous federal statute governing cultivation of hemp (the 2014 Farm Bill) expires at the end of October. That means hemp industry insiders in states that don’t turn in their hemp cultivation and production plans prior to Oct. 31, 2020 may have issues if their practices are not consistent with federal law.

As a longtime Los Angeles CBD lawyer, I have been closely watching these developments in California. In 2019, state lawmakers passed SB-153, a measure that required the state’s attorney general and department of food and agriculture to team up and put forth a hemp production plan to the federal agriculture department by no later than May 2020. However, that did not happen. According to the USDA, the feds are still waiting on California’s plan. Continue reading

The U.S. Department of Justice is requesting that a federal court intervene to force marijuana regulators in California to turn over records on cannabis business licenses, shipping manifests and other data. The purpose of that request remains unclear. Los Angeles marijuana business lawyer

According to L.A. Cannabis News, a petition filed within the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California shows the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in January issued a subpoena to the California Bureau of Cannabis Control for records pertaining to cannabis companies and owners. Regulators refused to turn the records over, citing the federal government’s failure to specify the relevancy of their request. Furthermore, the agency said they risked violation of privacy laws by turning over the records.

What is not clear to our Los Angeles marijuana business attorneys is what type of federal investigation is occurring such that would require records pertaining to legal cannabis operations. Overall, the current administration has taken a hands-off approach with respect to state-legal marijuana laws, even after they had rescinded the Obama administration memorandum directing federal prosecutors to generally avoid meddling in state-legal marijuana markets. The president has said he supports the right of state governments to set their own cannabis laws, regardless of federal-level prohibition. Continue reading

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