Articles Posted in California marijuana business lawyers

Dozens of Los Angeles marijuana businesses with permits that expired Dec. 31, 2020 will have until March to renew their licenses renewed, regulators announced. The news came days after the city’s Department of Cannabis Regulation informed licensees they would not be allowed to conduct commercial marijuana business after New Year’s Eve. Our Los Angeles marijuana business lawyers understand the about-face was based in large part to the widespread impact of the novel coronavirus on business owners’ abilities to pay renewal fees on time. COVID-19-related closures at the city’s finance office set things back even further. Los Angeles marijuana business license

The news impacts nearly 60 businesses with now-expired licenses.

The businesses faced a host of expensive consequences if the city chose to report them to the Los Angeles Police Department or other state agencies. Now, they will have until March 1st before such actions will be taken. Continue reading

One of the largest California cannabis businesses is accusing the federal government of weaponizing federal tax law and wrongly interpreting the U.S. Constitution when it comes to taxation of the marijuana industry.marijuana business lawyer

As our Los Angeles cannabis business tax lawyers can explain, this is the latest development in a long-running legal battle over the much-derided IRS rule outlined in 280E, which curbs the deduction cannabis companies can take on their taxes.

Dispensary chain Harborside in Oakland is appealing in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit following a 2019 ruling by a U.S. Tax Court which ordered the company to pay $11 million in back taxes after wrongly claiming a host of business deductions. Such deductions are available to most businesses in the U.S., but cannabis companies don’t have that luxury, thanks to 280E. Continue reading

Trying to predict the California cannabis market was problematic even prior to an international pandemic that threw everything off course. Part of it is that this is the largest legal marijuana market in the world. Part of it is that it’s so new, being legalized for adult recreational use just three years ago. And part of it is the industry’s ongoing and fierce competition with a huge illegal market – all while the drug is considered illegal and highly addictive by the federal government.marijuana business lawyer

That said, our Los Angeles marijuana business lawyers have been fierce defenders of those involved in cultivating, manufacturing, selling, using, prescribing and advertising marijuana for more than a decade. We have become deft at examining the trends as we advise our clients, many of whom were better off than some other businesses due to their designation by the state as “essential.”

In looking at the year ahead, our marijuana lawyers see a handful of factors that will likely impact the future of the industry and the clients we serve.

This has undoubtedly been a year of challenges for virtually all business sectors, but 2021 holds some promise for the continued growth of California’s burgeoning legal cannabis industry.Los Angeles marijuana business lawyer

Some of the trends our Los Angeles marijuana business lawyers recognize as specific to our state include:

  • More cannabis business license opportunities in Los Angeles and throughout the state.
  • Ongoing evolution of consumer preferences as well as product maturation.
  • Pressure from consumers and businesses on taxes and pricing.
  • Newly available legal finance and banking services.

Although these are mainly positive developments on the horizon, some could lead to a degree of market volatility. Still, all indicators are that California’s legal cannabis market will continue to grow by leaps and bounds. Voters in various parts of the state passed dozens of local initiatives that establish a regulatory and tax framework for new marijuana businesses to become established. That means we’re going to see more marijuana businesses set up shop. Continue reading

A key ruling in the fight to allow marijuana delivery everywhere in the state – regardless of local restrictions on marijuana retailers – was issued partially in the industry’s favor. Still, our Los Angeles marijuana business lawyers recognize it wasn’t all good news, and likely is just the beginning of what could be numerous, protracted legal battles.marijuana delivery lawyer

The Fresno County Superior Court earlier this month upheld the California law allowing licensed marijuana delivery companies to offer services anywhere in the state. Further, the ruling affirmed that while cities and counties can forbid these operations, enforcement is up to local government agencies.

What does this mean for marijuana delivery businesses? As our attorneys see it, they have one of two options:

  • Take the risk of battling with local governments trying to enforce their local bans on cannabis companies (including delivery services).
  • Cease delivery services to those areas.

Continue reading

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a federal bill that would decriminalize marijuana at the federal level. It’s a sweeping measure that expressly strives to address racial inequality of drug law enforcement, though the impact could be much broader – that is, if it had a realistic shot at passing in the Senate. Our Los Angeles marijuana lawyers and most Washington insiders agree the bill is likely to falter in the Senate. Los Angeles marijuana lawyer

The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act (or MORE Act) would remove cannabis from the list of U.S. controlled substances. It would also expunge lower-level federal marijuana arrests and convictions and provide incentives for minority-owned cannabis businesses in a market that has been expanding rapidly in recent years – not just in California, but throughout the country. Additionally, it would establish an excise tax on marijuana sales, allowing that money to be funneled into areas that were particularly hard-hit by the failed war on drugs.

The measure was largely approved along party lines, though five Republican representatives and one independent joined Democrats in passing the bill. Half a dozen Democrats voted against it. NPR quoted the bill’s sponsor as saying federal action on the issue is an imperative, given that the majority of states plus Washington, D.C. have recognized medical cannabis as legal and 15 allow its sale and possession for adult recreational use. Those who voted in favor of the bill say it is long overdue, particularly as so many of the arrest and sentencing laws have placed an unfair burden on minority and low-income communities. Research conducted by the ACLU has established that people of color are four times more likely to be arrested for possession of marijuana than their White counterparts, despite evidence these groups use the substance in equal measure. Federal estimates are that some 22 million Americans regularly use marijuana. Continue reading

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

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