Articles Posted in California marijuana business lawyers

A final rule from the California Bureau of Cannabis Control went into effect this month permitting delivery of cannabis anywhere in the state – even in cities where cannabis has banned. It was no secret the California League of Cities was majorly opposed to this, and last summer submitted an open letter to the cannabis control regulation office arguing the regulation – Section 5416(d) – undermined the ability of local agencies to set their own community standards. The BCC moved forward with the proposed rule anyway, and now our L.A. marijuana delivery attorneys are monitoring the situation, as cities appear poised to duke it out in court.

Meanwhile, amid a spate of arrests by the California State Highway Patrol of marijuana delivery drivers and seizure of their cannabis company goods, the California Office of Administrative Law issued a ruling last week issued a ruling clarifying how marijuana distributors should move about the state. This new rule affirmed the BCC’s regulation indicating these operators can deliver to any jurisdiction, provided the delivery is conducted in compliance with all the BCC’s delivery provisions in place at the time. L.a. marijuana delivery lawyer

It’s been over one year since California opened the largest U.S. retail market for recreational marijuana. Nobody disputes that limited personal possession and private use of the drug is legal almost anywhere (with some restrictions allowable for federal buildings and property, landlords and private property owners). However, the restriction of cannabis sales is within the purview of local communities, per Prop 64 (the measure voters approved in legalizing recreational use marijuana). The question is where deliveries fall in all of this because while it does equate to distribution, actual sales occur elsewhere.

And of of course, as our L.A. marijuana delivery attorneys know, rules for marijuana delivery are likely to be hard-fought as well.

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Standalone CBD shops – those selling oils or other products made solely from cannabidiol (a chemical compound found in the cannabis plant that does not contain the psychoactive elements of THC) – are not expansive in California, but they have gained footing in some cities that have otherwise banned full marijuana dispensaries. They are also proving popular options in states where the drug itself may not yet be legal, particularly in light of the recent passage of the federal Farm Bill, which included provisions that legalized hemp, from which CBD oil can be obtained. L.A. CBD business attorney

Los Angeles CBD shop attorneys understand that while these little stores are outnumbered by the full-service cannabis dispensaries in the city hundreds-to-one, these store owners say they were drawn to the business primarily for the health benefits and variety of products (salves, tinctures, creams, edibles, soft gels, tinctures and more), but also for the reduced legal risk and ease in securing insurance and funding. One in L.A., for instance, sells only hemp-made CBD oil expressly for this purpose Shops that sell only CBD aren’t required to have the pricey licensing, as is required by legal cannabis dispensaries in California.

Such stores have also opened in Missouri, Texas, Kansas, Arkansas, North Carolina, Minnesota, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and Ohio. What the Farm Bill, signed in December by the president, did was remove hemp from the list of controlled substances, allowing states to freely allow permanent cultivation programs, and farmers can be eligible for crop insurance and grants.  Continue reading

Let’s talk pot shop. As long-time L.A. marijuana lawyers, we’ve seen the industry in California morph from its early days as the first state in the U.S. to legalize medical marijuana in the 1990s to joining a growing number of cannabis companies celebrating legal recreational use of the drug, officially allowable after Jan. 1, 2018. However, the passage of this measure did not open the market floodgates. In fact, certain rules are fairly strict and you must be mindful of them when in public, engaging in business with marijuana companies and especially if starting one yourself. L.A. marijuana lawyers

For those who may be new to California, just landed a job here, have an upcoming visit or perhaps are just now interested in testing the THC waters, here are the main things you need to know.  Continue reading

It’s not only pot smokers who line outside California’s cannabis dispensaries. Personal injury attorneys may be lurking nearby as well, watching for the opportunity to pounce on a possible product liability claim if an marijuana product makes someone sick or results in an injury. This is particularly true because many states allow punitive damages (up to three times one’s actual damages, intended to penalize the defendant for egregious wrongs rather than simply compensate the plaintiff) for injuries an intoxicated person causes to others. product;iability

Marijuana product liability attorneys in Los Angeles have concluded cannabis companies with perhaps the greatest vulnerability are those that produce edible products. Soda, gummies, truffles, cookies, truffles, brownies, potato chips, wines – the list is endless. But the waters of marijuana product liability lawsuits aren’t well-tested.

Such lawsuits will assert that marijuana products are defective, dangerous, mislabeled and/or the makers and distributors failed to issue adequate warnings about these risks. Continue reading

Marijuana has been around since before recorded history, but as it was illegal for almost the last 80 years of U.S. history, we’re only just now seeing a rush on pot-related patents. Technically, as our Los Angeles marijuana attorneys can explain, the classification of cannabis within the U.S. Controlled Substances Act (CSA) has in turn meant it would be tough for anyone patent or trademark holder to defend their right to that protection in federal court. Not to mention: Is it even possible to patent a plant that’s been around forever?marijuana lawyer

As an increasing number of states approve marijuana for legal sale and use (not to mention the fact that it’s now fully legal in Canada), companies are rushing to secure patents from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, which according to a recent Reuters report increased the number of patents issued containing the words “marijuana” or “cannabis” from 14 in 2016 to 29 in 2017 to 39 last year.

Of course, securing patents for possibly new uses of cannabis products isn’t an entirely new practice in the U.S., where the age-old botanical only first gained any measure of legality in California in 1996. But even before that, starting somewhere in the 1990s, some of the world’s largest pharmaceutical firms started quietly securing U.S. patents for medical applications of marijuana. Abbvie reportedly now has the most, with 59 patents and 95 U.S.-published medical applications of the drug. Merck is No. 2., with 35 patents and 55 U.S.-published medical applications. There are also several patents held by universities – and even the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (which holds 11 patents and 39 published applications). Continue reading

Los Angeles marijuana attorneys have been fighting for the cannabis rights in California for two decades now. As one of the oldest-serving cannabis law firms in Los Angeles, the biggest city in the first and largest state ever to approve medical marijuana, it has not been without its many, many challenges – from a patchwork of local laws at the community level to the federal raids of dispensaries operating legally under state but not federal law to the disparities revealed when police officers were given broad discretion in deciding who to civilly cite versus who to arrest for petty possession crimes. Every battle saw this once-demonized plant inch closer to legitimacy, closer to legalization. We still aren’t there. We won’t be until the federal government removes marijuana from the federal list of Controlled Substances, does more than look the other way at state-approved marijuana sales and allows these companies to operate with the same protections as any other business, its customers treated like any other patron.California cannabis attorney

Looking back, 2018 has been a banner year for legalized marijuana across the country – including here in California, where it all started. One legislator and long-time marijuana advocate commented that “this was the year the movement crested,” meaning action that would overturn the federal ban is imminent now that two-thirds of all states have some form of legalized medicinal marijuana, 10 allow recreational marijuana and more are sure to follow.

After voters approved legalization of recreational marijuana in 2016, the legal market couldn’t simply swing open the doors the next day. The state established an oversight board, set product standards, carved out power to local communities and allocated the tax revenue generated. This year marked the year California became the biggest legal marijuana marketplace in the U.S. Continue reading

When California passed a measure permitting the sale of marijuana for recreation, there was a presumption that within short order, there would be cannabis farms cropping up all over the state, shops in almost every city and that adult consumers could score a stash with a stroll down the street or a quick dash across town. However, as our Los Angeles marijuana business owners have observed, the reality hasn’t quite measured up. In fact, while this is indeed the largest market in the U.S., it hasn’t performed at the same clip the state and business owners would have hoped.Los Angeles marijuana lawyer business

As recently reported by The Los Angeles Times, factors at play include retail operations bridled by a host of regulations, oppressive taxes and decisions made in most cities to prohibit the retail stores. Cannabis law firms have also noted some shops have been dragged to city hall over neighbor’s complaints their presence is a nuisance. Police in several districts have expressed concern about crimes related to both the industry and illicit trade, which hasn’t completely disappeared, given the markup prices on legal marijuana.

Los Angeles marijuana attorneys see a wide range of legal cannabis challenges for the incoming governor, Gavin Newsome, who takes office in January. These include initiatives like:

  • Inability of California marijuana shops to access banking services.
  • Crippling tax burdens on pot shop retailers.
  • Illicit marijuana cultivation and sales, mostly stemming from high cannabis costs due to government taxation and regulation.
  • Problematic issues with sales of marijuana to minors.
  • Stifled growth of cannabis industry due to ongoing federal restriction on the drug.

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Most of the marijuana businesses in California and across the country run by small, independent entities operating in a limited regional network within their own state. Los Angeles marijuana business attorneys have seen several indications we might see a major shift on this front in 2019. There are already four large multi-state marijuana businesses in operation, and as more national and international companies enter the fray, we’re likely to see a boom of large cannabis business growth – partially or primarily through mergers and acquisitions. Los Angeles marijuana business merger

Historically, cannabis business ventures have been small as federal law has hindered businesses from stretching across state lines. While the states control trade within their borders, the federal government has jurisdiction over interstate sales – and cannabis is still under federal law considered a Schedule I dangerous narcotic. But with the drug legalized in some form now by 33 states and available for recreational use in 10, legal in Canada and poised for legitimacy in Mexico, this is probably going to change (though it’s tough to say exactly when). State and local governments are embracing the tax revenue these companies rake in and they’re spending less on police resources to bust people for petty marijuana possession charges. A legal marijuana industry analyst with Forbes opined next year will see an explosion of cannabis mergers and acquisitions.

Still, expanding the tentacles of one’s marijuana business into other states is still very risky and could result in millions of dollars in losses if they overreach or fail to follow the stringent regulations set forth by each state. There are personnel issues, regulatory issues and sometimes just rotten luck. But even for smaller cannabis businesses in Southern California, staying competitive in this rapidly expanding and evolving market may require it. If you’re thinking about branching out – whether into the next county or across state borders, you can begin strategic business plan discussion with an experienced Los Angeles marijuana lawyer who can help you maximize your odds of success and minimize the liability risk.  Continue reading

Hopes of a public bank to serve California cannabis companies appear to have fizzled with an extensive marijuana banking report from the state Treasury Department explaining that as long as marijuana remains a Schedule I narcotic per U.S. Code, any publicly-funded banking intended for companies that sell it would put tax money at risk.Los Angeles cannabis banking attorney

When you’re working with a Los Angeles marijuana business lawyer to get your cannabis business plan, licensing, permits, insurance and quality compliance in order, inevitably, one issue that will arise is how you plan to manage your money. Cannabis companies can’t just open a business checking or savings account like any other because technically, selling marijuana is still against federal law, thus proceeds are “dirty money,” and any banker who works with these firms knowing what they do could be found guilty of money laundering. That would cost the financial firms their banking charters and effectively put them out of business.

Of course, it’s utterly ridiculous given that the plant is legal now in most states in some form or another. Los Angeles marijuana lawyers suspect U.S. law will eventually catch up to the science and times. For now, though, California pot shop owners slog through major logistical hurdles of operating almost exclusively in cash, leaving them vulnerable to robbery, thwarting growth and denying additional tax revenue to both the state and local governments.  Continue reading

The legalized marijuana market in California is booming with a rising number of investors (hoping for returns the next big thing), horticulturalists carving out regional and brand niches and more recreational pot shops and cannabis couriers than ever before. Still, many who have tried to launch a California small marijuana business – either from an exiting platform or from scratch – are finding themselves squeezed out.California marijuana small business lawyer

For the “mom-and-pot spot” owners either just starting out or wondering how their doors will stay open, it can be tempting to try trimming expenses and skimping on legal services. But even if expenses are tight, this isn’t a good idea. Cannabis law in California isn’t like writing up a simple contract or printing off a power of attorney form from a free site. It’s complex. It’s been changing fast. It varies from city-to-city. It’s got this complicated relationship with federal law. It’s really the type of legal insight you can only get from an attorney who not only practices California cannabis law, but has been doing it for decades.

California legal cannabis market isn’t just about capital. It’s about compliance. If you’re busy trying to cut through state bureaucracy or negotiate a commercial leases on your own, you are firstly  Our marijuana lawyers work with you to help you make sure you’re covered from a legal standpoint. We want to be sure your time, monetary investment and dream is protected. Continue reading