Articles Posted in California marijuana business lawyers

For years, one of the primary reasons given by federal government agencies such as the Drug Enforcement Administration for its stubborn stance on marijuana as a controlled substance is that there is not enough peer-reviewed, independent research on its benefits and dangers. But our Los Angeles cannabis lawyers know that’s a catch-22 because the reason it isn’t studied to any great degree is because it’s a Schedule I narcotic, a category reserved for the most dangerous, addictive substances. For many years, there is only one higher education institution in the country – the University of Mississippi – had federal permission to grow and study cannabis, though even that permission was restricted.marijuana lawyer

Now, while the agency’s stance remains unmoved, it appears that officials are at least cracking open to more study by more universities – and allowing much more of the drug for study, according to a new report by Forbes. Specifically, the DEA is allowing 7,000 pounds of marijuana to be used in scientific, medical and industry research next year, which is 30 percent more than what the agency allowed this year and more than 620 percent higher than what it allowed the year before.

Presumably, this will allow the federal government to create a more accurate profile for marijuana – one that possibly would led to a relaxing of the government’s long-time hard-line stance that the crop should be classified among the most dangerous controlled substances.

A more accurate drug profile, based on ample research, could make it much more likely that we’ll see some form of federal legalization of cannabis. As our Los Angeles cannabis lawyers know, this would ease many of the headaches for cannabis businesses in California – and the dozens of states where the plant is legal. Continue reading

The fight over legal California marijuana farming – specifically the question of where it’s allowed – has caused great tension in communities from Sacramento to Napa. Property owners are particularly riled at the loss of home values due to reportedly persistent and overwhelming marijuana grow operations.marijuana lawyers

In one such instance in Santa Barbara County, government officials have begun implementing regulations for the large cannabis farms throughout the region, hoping to address the smell-related issues

But Los Angeles marijuana lawyers know there have been other disputes as well. It’s been more than two years since the state ruled residents don’t need a physician’s note to purchase the drug, but it’s largely up to local governments to decide if cannabis farms are allowed and whether to impose restrictions tighter than state rules. Continue reading

marijuana dispensariesAs California’s legal marijuana industry continues to bloom, so too does a well-stocked black market, comprised of unlicensed, locally grown cannabis, and a plethora of counterfeit cannabis products.

Fake THC Cartridges Are Flooding California
Of all counterfeit cannabis products, refillable THC cartridges used inside vaping pens are currently most common. Surprisingly, states like California – where recreational cannabis use is legal – appear to be most flooded with counterfeit products. Big brands like Kingpen and Rove have tried to get ahead of counterfeits by repackaging their products, but counterfeits have shown they can keep pace, often reproducing new packaging almost as quickly as the legitimate brands.

And industry insiders unanimously agree, the fakes are getting better all the time. Many knockoff THC vape pens are comprised of illegally but locally grown cannabis, which producers then stuff into refillable cartridge pens, before attaching counterfeit labeling they’ve purchased online, and selling the finished counterfeit pens at discounted prices to illegal pop up shops. To most consumers and law enforcement officials alike, it’s very difficult to tell a real pen from a fake one.
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cannabis brandingCounterfeits keen to take a piece of the Californian marijuana market share are increasingly targeting cannabis product brands. And the cannabis vaping boom that has swept the marijuana landscape was soon followed by a spate of knock offs. Particularly concerning to big brand vape pen manufacturers including Kingpen, Heavy Hitters and Connected Cannabis Co., is that it’s very hard to discern between real and counterfeit products.

Imitation vape pens are not only hurting brand profits, they’re also sending consumers to the hospital. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently noted “anyone who uses e-cigarette products should not buy these products off the street.” That’s because this year alone, several people have been hospitalized suffering from severe respiratory distress after using bootleg vape pens bought from illegal dispensaries, in California and across the Midwest.
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Orange County marijuana lawyerA lawsuit filed against owners of Santa Ana’s 420 Central – a high profile cannabis store in Southern California – accuses CEO Robert Taft, and executives Jorge Burtin and Jeff Holocomb, of defrauding investors. Among the laundry list of claims made, the complaint alleges:

  • Breach of Contract;
  • Fraud;
  • Breach of Fiduciary Duty;
  • Conspiracy to Commit Breach of Fiduciary Duty
  • Dissolution of Partnership and Corporations;
  • Turnover of Corporate Books and Records; and
  • Injunctive Relief.

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cannabis lawyerCalifornia’s unlicensed farmers in Humboldt County are on notice, with a new crackdown on cannabis growing now in effect. After issuing 1,500 provisional cannabis licenses, state and local authorities are increasingly pursuing farmers for operating without permits.

And it’s not what we’ve seen in years past. Growers need not fear raids from Sheriffs in Humboldt, as much as they should civil action. That’s right, fines are now being issued in the amount of $10,000 per day, for each violation, capping out only at $900,000. And if that isn’t deterrent enough, next comes property liens and forfeitures.
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A big part of why black market buds are still big business in the Golden State has to do with the fact that there are still so many cities and municipalities that ban the substance outright. But a major provision of Prop. 64, which legalized the drug, was that it gave cities the right to decide for themselves the extent to which they welcomed the cannabis industry – if at all.cannabis lawyer

In the spring, a bill introduced by a California Democrat from San Francisco promised to put that aspect of the law on the chopping block, requiring cities that had enacted bans to put their measure to a local vote. Anywhere more than half the electorate was against their local ban, it would be reversed.

Assembly Bill 1356, introduced in February, had the potential to triple the amount of storefront pot shops in the state – from about 630 to more than 2,200. It called for allowing at least one cannabis store to every four liquor stores or one for every 10,000 residents. Continue reading

When it comes to hiring, retail cannabis operations have some special considerations. A consult with a California marijuana business lawyer helping entrepreneurs navigate the world’s largest cannabis marketplace should not overlook corporate structure, business plans – and hiring. Our team has longtime experience, both in cannabis and employment law.cannabis business

Human Resources is a budding new branch of the cannabis industry, as marijuana retailers want to be certain they are following both the spirit and letter of the law when it comes to recruitment, hiring, promotions and adverse employment action.

Job growth in this sector has reportedly been impacting other industries, such as hospitality and restaurants, where cooks, servers and others are flocking to greener pastures. Some dispensaries are finding they have a glut of applications and resumes, so the question becomes how to hire the best people – and cover all your legal bases. Continue reading

Navigating the rules of advertising isn’t easy for California marijuana businesses, and some have turned to more fleeting mediums like Twitter and Snapchat – presuming there is considerably less risk. Los Angeles marijuana advertising lawyers know that while it’s certainly possible to post your pot shop posters in these mediums, it’s not without potential liability. cannabis company advertising

Federal and state regulations on marijuana advertising are murky – and there can be possible repercussions both for cannabis corporations and publishers of that material. Social media giants aren’t likely to open themselves up to federal or state regulatory action if they can avoid it, especially when they can do just fine without the income.

Specific legal strategies should be formulated in close coordination with your cannabis company attorney (and if you don’t already have one, in this industry, you should get one). Generally speaking though, there are a few ways you can capitalize on social media marketing – if you’re careful. This is especially true considering these platforms are evolving to require more “pay-to-play” advertising, rather than putting as much emphasis on organic likes or hits. Continue reading

In January, the state of California kicked off an online rollout of its marijuana inventory tracking system. At a glance, marijuana businesses across the Golden State appear to be successfully reporting product inventory each day, via the California Cannabis Track-and-Trace (CCTT) system. But not without some growing pains.

To start, the idea of tracking marijuana traveling throughout the supply chain sounds simple enough. In theory, all cannabis products would be given unique identification numbers, noting from which ‘batch’ or ‘lot’ they were born. Products would then be sent to labs for testing. Next, approved products would be passed from producer to distributor, and finally to retailers for sale. At each step, the state should be able to track each piece of marijuana as it moves through the chain, making sure nothing is being redirected out of state, and ensuring everybody is paying their required taxes.

California Cannabis Lawyers

But in practice, a few hiccups quickly come to light. First up, only businesses holding ‘provisional’ or ‘annual’ licenses are required to subscribe to the track-and-trace system. And until last month, there were more than 600 marijuana businesses operating on ‘temporary licenses,’ who would not have had to track-and-trace. This means, there was no way regulators could comprehensively account for every legal product moving about the state.

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