Articles Posted in California marijuana business lawyers

A real estate developer who publicly referred to herself as the state’s “cannabis landlord” was arrested by San Bernardino police in a raid on her home in Pacific Palisades. The 44-year-old was arrested on suspicion of possession for sales of a controlled substance in violation of state laws, according to The Los Angeles Daily News. Her bail was set at $30,000, and in addition to $200,000 in cash seized from her residence, they also reportedly also seized large quantities of oxycodone pills and a prescription for Norco (also known as Hydrocodone).San Bernardino marijuana lawyer

So why was this cannabis landlord targeted while others in Los Angeles and elsewhere in Southern California are largely left alone? Our San Bernardino marijuana business lawyers understand authorities had been investigating the high-profile real estate developer for over a year for engaging in marijuana cultivation activities that were in violation of California law. In December 2017, authorities raided four of her properties in San Bernardino, wherein authorities reportedly seized 4.5 tons of marijuana. She, however, was not at any of the sites in question and was not arrested at the time.

Although it is true that growing marijuana is legal in the state – even for recreational use – one cannot presume they will evade the scrutiny of authorities in Southern California if they aren’t following state law and local ordinance to a “T” – which is easier said than done where the patchwork of laws is almost seemingly confusing on purpose. This is why having an experienced San Bernardino marijuana business attorney to help guide you through the process is imperative.  Continue reading

Shops that are operating unlawfully throughout Southern California are widespread, but making a black-and-white distinction has proved difficult. Many of the illicit marijuana shops in Los Angeles are selling the exact same kinds of goods that are offered through licensed retailers and farmers – but at a fraction of a cost. It’s a reality that, as The Orange County Register reports, even has some legal marijuana company owners selling black market wares on the side to make ends meet. These double-dipping players are part of the reason why black market weed in California is believed to be eight times the size of the legal market, though many of those involved say they have no choice when regulation and taxation have created a situation wherein they could not financially survive otherwise.California marijuana lawyer

The stakes for illegal marijuana businesses in Los Angeles are high. As our L.A. marijuana business attorneys can explain, getting caught can mean loss of businesses, loss of assets (including homes, cars and bank savings), severe fines and even criminal penalties. Some have even designated so-called “go-to-jail-guys” to take the fall in the event they are caught.

City leaders say the only power they wield against the unlawful firms at this point is to make it so that black market sales isn’t worth the profit. Local government only has limited means to make that happen, but the Los Angeles Daily News reports the city has vowed to start with their power sources.  Continue reading

For a long time, marijuana’s illegal status under the U.S. Controlled Substances Act has barred study of the plant for most scholars. And while that law (still) has not changed, The Cannabis Law Firm in Los Angeles is aware of an increasing number of colleges adding so-called “marijuana majors” to the roster of available higher education options.marijuana lawyer

According to VOANews.com, a number of colleges have launched four-year degrees in in marijuana-related studies, such as medical plant chemistry, marijuana policy and law. Courses focus on the technical, horticultural, legal, social and political impacts of the plant in all areas of society.

As a law firm that has been focused on representing California marijuana businesses for nearly the last two decades, it’s been encouraging to see these areas of study morph from something of a joke to a field of studies that even Ivy League schools are taking very seriously, fully intent on preparing students for a blossoming career field. Continue reading

Authorities in Los Angeles allege three men in Southern California received funding from China to engage in a scheme to purchase residential real estate and turn it into lucrative marijuana grow operations. Los Angeles marijuana criminal defense

NBC-4 Los Angeles reports the men, ages 37 to 44, all of Pasadena, were each charged in an L.A. federal court with one count of manufacturing, distributing and possessing marijuana with intent to distribute. As our L.A. marijuana criminal defense lawyers can explain, depending on the amount of marijuana purportedly involved, this could result in a maximum prison term of anywhere from 5 years to life, per 21 U.S.C. § 841.

Investigators allege the men were wired millions of dollars from China in order to buy homes that would be used in illegal cannabis grow operations. During one of the search warrants executed, authorities reportedly seized some $80,000 in cash plus 1,650 marijuana plants. Federal authorities took possession of at least seven houses, with an estimated cumulative value of $5 million, per the U.S. Attorney’s Office.  Continue reading

Since cannabis was legalized in cannabis last year, there has been swelling concern that Canadians could be banned from entering the U.S. just for being honest about whether they worked in Canada’s legal marijuana industry. Our California cannabis lawyers understand that fear has now come to fruition, and a law firm in Washington State is suing the federal government demanding to know the authority on which the government is basing its actions, which include lifetime bans on U.S. entry to Canadian cannabis workers.marijuana attorney

The concern is that such action is poised to have a chilling effect not only on U.S.-Canadian relations, but also on the Canadian cannabis industry. Los Angeles marijuana business attorneys know that the CBP officers are empowered with very broad discretion not only to question those who wish to travel into the U.S. on a wide range of subjects. What’s less clear is what authority these officers or the agency in general has to issue lifetime bans into the country, particularly from our northern neighbors.

The Toronto Star reports the legal team behind the suit includes a former U.S. attorney now in private practice. The lawyer’s team alleges the U.S government has unlawfully withheld documents requested by his firm in accordance with the Freedom of Information ACT (FOIA) specifically pertaining to the practice of Canadian cannabis worker border bans.

Some 10,000 California marijuana farmers are going to be out of a legal grow license if state lawmakers don’t act fast to extend the temporary licensing that is set to expire. Of course, Orange County marijuana farming attorneys know the failure of the state to act fast is part of the reason farmers are in this predicament to begin with.cannabis attorney

Proposition 64 authorized state regulatory agencies to grant marijuana businesses temporary licenses for operation until the state could issue permanent licenses. Problem is, the state never got around to issuing those licenses because of bureaucracy.

Now, Democratic state Sen. Mike McGuire is sponsoring SB 67 that would rectify this and extend those temporary licenses to cannabis farmers so they wouldn’t suddenly be out of compliance. McGuire explained in a hearing on the bill that the intention is to protect cannabis farmers who did their best to comply with the law by applying for a state license just after the passage of Prop. 64.  Continue reading

From the outside looking in, it might seem as if California is a haven of progress for pot proliferation. In reality, nearly two-thirds of California cities expressly bar marijuana businesses from establishing roots. Our Los Angeles marijuana business attorneys know this underscores the hurdles marijuana entrepreneurs face in attempting to break into the world’s biggest cannabis market. They are left with limited options for where such shops can be open. Even in the 161 of California’s 482 cities where it’s allowable, marijuana businesses are strictly regulated and heavily taxed. California marijuana

That’s why any individual or investor considering entry into the marijuana industry in Southern California should consult with a dedicated business attorney who has extensive experience specifically in marijuana law.

The Mercury News reported last year that just one in seven cities in California has entered the marijuana industry. That figure hasn’t changed much since then.  Continue reading

Workplace safety is a topic of growing concern among those in the cannabis industry amid numerous reports of hash oil manufacturing site explosions because of unregulated use of butane gas. But Los Angeles marijuana industry attorneys know that isn’t the only safety concern facing growers, manufacturers and retailers, and it places cannabis companies in a vulnerable position of liability. There are several forms of workers’ compensation available to marijuana businesses in California, and The Cannabis Law Firm can help you determine the best one for your business plan.Los Angeles marijuana business lawyer

Last year, the California Insurance Commissioner announced a new marijuana industry workers’ compensation program through Atlas General Insurance Services tailored specifically to the cannabis business. The program accommodates an array of risks involved in numerous aspects of work in the cannabis industry – from growing and extracting to lab work and medicinal manufacturers to food and beverage products makers, packaging, warehousing and distribution, transportation and retail work.

According to the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment, there are a laundry list of potential risks for employees and contractors in the cannabis market. Workers at risk include:

  • Cultivators
  • Trimmers
  • Extraction technicians
  • Edible producers
  • Budtenders
  • Laboratory technicians
  • Cultivation owner/operator
  • Administrative workers
  • Transportation workers
  • Maintenance workers

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California is one of the first states to attempt to make right decades of racist drug policies that tore apart families and and destroyed lives. When the voters approved a ballot measure for recreational marijuana, they also allowed those with previous marijuana convictions to apply to have those records expunged. Very few people actually acted on it. So lawmakers last year passed a different measure that ordered prosecutors to review each prior conviction automatically and decide whether to reduce or dismiss the sentences and records of low-level marijuana offenses. Los Angeles marijuana defense attorneys understand this is the very first law of its kind in the U.S.Los Angeles marijuana business attorney

It is no secret that for the entirety of the war on drugs’ decades-long span, minority communities suffered the devastating impact to a hugely disproportionate degree. Los Angeles marijuana attorneys have watched how these communities are still punished with a cyclical merry-go-round of arrest, limited employment options and poverty. Increasingly, as marijuana legalization gains traction across the country, many advocates are taking it a step further, asking for a remedy for the racist application of law and policy. In cases where those calls have been heeded, criminal records for marijuana dealing and possession are being automatically expunged. There is also help for members of minority groups looking to launch their own California cannabis businesses.

Still, even current enforcement policies aren’t totally equal. In Oakland, where voters passed a ballot initiative to order police to make marijuana enforcement the lowest priority – even lower than jaywalking – evidence showed a decade later police were still arresting black men for criminal marijuana offenses at rates exponentially higher than their white counterparts. The city’s own statistics revealed nearly 80 percent of marijuana arrests in Oakland were African Americans. Four percent were white people, even though the population of the city is 30 percent white. Although legalization of marijuana has slashed the overall number of marijuana arrests, people of color are still police targets. Continue reading

As attorneys representing marijuana companies and workers in Los Angeles, we urge them to carefully analyze every aspect of the business plan – including safety. Now, a safety issue previously believed to be fluke with marijuana manufacturers appears to be a growing cause of greater concern: Cannabis factory explosions and fires. Workers have been hospitalized with severe burns and revealing a major issue in an industry that operates without clear safety standards.marijuana factory explosions liability

Politico reports that in the 33 states where marijuana is legal to purchase for medicinal or recreational use, there have been at least 10 fires or explosions in the last five years. Each of those known incidents occurred at sites where workers were tasked with extracting hash oil for use in edible products. Almost every single one of these incidents led to serious injuries for staff who worked on the production line.

The process for extraction is something that is continuing to evolve, and we don’t know all there is to know about it yet. The fire-safety industry hasn’t offered any guidelines or warnings about best practices. That doesn’t mean marijuana manufacturing operations are off-the-hook when it comes to worker safety. Continue reading