Articles Posted in California marijuana business lawyers

marijuana businessArroyo Verde farm, owned by Barry Brand in Carpinteria, was considered a prime example of how a legal cannabis business could flourish under close regulation from Santa Barbara County. Then in January, a sheriff-led raid of the farm found evidence to suggest the farm was not only selling licensed products, but also selling products on the illicit market too.

This came as a surprise to some. Barry Brand had a reputation among county officials and industry investors as an honest businessman.

He was so well trusted by officials, that when a licensed cultivator property tour was given by the county to show reporters just how well cannabis regulations were going, Brand’s farm was chosen. Ironically, the tour intended, among other things, to demonstrate just how impossible it would be for a grower to siphon off crop to sell on the illicit market.

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For 22 years, medical marijuana was the only kind of legal cannabis sold in California, until the state went on to legalize recreational cannabis in 2018. Within the months immediately following that addition, a number of medical marijuana dispensaries shifted away from leaving pot out on counters for customers to view and smell, to exclusively stocking pre-packed cannabis in already sealed bags. Prices went through the roof, welcome deals for new customers dried up, and hiked taxes raised product prices even more.

Marijuana dispensaries

While other dispensaries carried on with business as they always had done. They kept buds out and available for close-up inspection before being weighed, and a complimentary joint was often handed out to welcome first time purchasers. But if you shop at a dispensary of this kind today, chances are it’s an unregulated, illegal shop. Continue reading

California’s cannabis industry is sitting on a not-so-well kept secret — that many of its licensed, above board, legal business operators have also traded unlawfully, at some point, and to one extent or another.marijuana business

As many industry insiders have echoed, anyone turning a profit in this new era, has to have at least one hand in unregulated dealings. Chris Coulombre, CEO of Pacific Expeditors in Sonoma, has said “I have to imagine that 60 percent of the market overall is probably playing in a parallel markets, but I don’t think they enjoy that. It’s truly a decision of necessity.”

Whispers of retailers selling counterfeit products are rife. Cultivators are known to sell unregulated product on the side. But how can we blame them? Suffering terribly at the hands of price undercutting from illegal competitors, these unregulated exchanges are all taking place in hopes of keeping doors open, and businesses afloat. Continue reading

cannabis businessEver since California legalized marijuana, state government  job applicants have found cannabis use to be a major hurdle in gaining employment. Too often, legal cannabis is the reason candidates are deemed ineligible for government agency jobs.

With a sharp rise in the number of public and private sector job seekers disqualified for testing positive for marijuana use, calls have been made to update legislation. Insiders are asking whether rules of employment should now be relaxed, given marijuana use is far more widely accepted today, than it was prior to its legalization.

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Marijuana companies are actively working to update their websites, business practices and internal policies in preparation for new directives under the California Consumer Privacy Act.California cannabis compliance lawyers

As Los Angeles marijuana business attorneys can explain, many cannabis companies don’t even fall under the jurisdiction of the landmark act. Still, they are motivated not only by a desire to prove their desire to be in compliance just like any other company. Plus, it’s something most of their customers want.

Most California marijuana businesses are facing enough legal scrutiny as it is. Although the new law applies only to those corporations that generate at least $25 million a year in revenue and glean data on 50,000 or more households, devices or residents, some believe it’s better to make a good faith effort than to skate on the excuse that they aren’t technically beholden to it. It’s a potential marketing opportunity as well as a way to show regulators they are working to be responsible business partners. Continue reading

The black market bud sales are the bane of legitimate marijuana businesses throughout California. There are billions of dollars to be gleaned in the shadows of licensed, regulated industry. However, it’s getting increasingly expensive to operate on the fringes, and officials say that is precisely the point.marijuana lawyers

Now, a new proposed law targets not just the illicit marijuana operations themselves, but the companies doing business with them. A new bill, if passed, would impose $30,000 in fines for every single offense of aiding and abetting unlawful commercial cannabis activity in California. That would include advertising for these ventures as well as providing leases to them. That would put significant pressure on landlords and advertising companies that try to make a profit off the virulent black market. Penalties would be paid to the state’s general fund.

As our Los Angeles marijuana business attorneys can explain, existing law imposes triple the amount of a state license fee for any individual or entity caught engaging in commercial cannabis business activity that is not licensed. That figure may be adjusted depending on the company’s annual revenue. Continue reading

Green begets green – at least insofar as the California cannabis industry is concerned.cannabis warehouse leasing

The growing legal marijuana market is driving demand for warehousing, retail and land space across the country. One analysis of some 600 commercial brokers last fall by the National Association of Realtors revealed that in states where marijuana was legalized prior to 2016, the demand for these properties was markedly higher than in those states where cannabis use remained against the law.

As our Los Angeles cannabis business attorneys have noted that real estate investors have been especially active in areas where marijuana and CBD trade is thriving. Many more investment firms have been scouring opportunities in states where legalization seems likely in the near future. Continue reading

Los Angeles cannabis business attorneyThe Californian pot industry has largely reacted with positive skepticism after Governor Gavin Newsom unveiled his new budget proposal, which includes significant updates for the cannabis industry. In essence, Newsom’s proposal seeks to merge three existing agencies regulating the state’s cannabis to establish a single, centralized Department of Cannabis Control, and to simplify and streamline the taxation of cannabis.

California voted to legalize cannabis use in adults aged 21 and older, three years ago now. And in that time, the legal marijuana industry has grown rapidly. Cannabis market research firm, BDS Analytics, predicts legal cannabis sales will exceed $3.1 billion this year alone, and forecasts sales will continue to grow to an estimated $7.2 billion by 2024.

Growth of this kind has come to fruition despite California’s complex legal structure, which incorporates in excess of twenty different cannabis license types, four varying  regulatory agencies, and exorbitant taxes that industry insiders say are driving customers to the illicit market for cheaper alternatives. Continue reading

marijuana lawyersMany Californian cannabis companies are in need of quick cash to sustain or grow their businesses, and as funding in traditional realms is drying up, real estate deals are fast becoming solid options.

Selling cultivation land, storage or processing facilities, even retail storefronts, to marijuana-focused real estate investment trusts (REITs) is providing many business owners with cash upfront. Those cannabis companies then sign long-term leases with their new landlords. And by doing so, business owners become tenants withing the properties that once belonged to them.

In recent months, a slew of cannabis companies have taken advantage of sale-leaseback deals, including: Cresco Labs, Columbia Care, Green Thumb Industries, Acreage Holdings, and Grassroots Cannabis, to name a few. Together, sales from these multi-state companies brought in well over $200 million when selling properties then leasing those back from the new owners.
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Calilfornia Cannabis Business Licensing LawyersCalifornia has not been as quick to block flavored e-cigarette, tobacco or cannabis vape products as other states across the country. But that could all soon change.

Until now, companies like Juul Labs Inc., a San Francisco-based manufacturer of nicotine pods and vape pens, have managed to squash bills intended to prohibit the sale of flavored tobacco throughout California. Jull Labs Inc. spent $600,000 last year alone, lobbying and supporting political campaigns aligned with their business goals. Continue reading

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