Articles Posted in California Marijuana Dispensaries

Recently, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded an Obama-era Department of Justice Directive that essentially urged federal prosecutors tomedical marijuana ignore marijuana crimes so along as alleged violators were in compliance with state laws. This step gave states the space to figure out how they wanted to handle recreational and/or medical cannabis laws without interference from the federal government.

Sessions, however, has made it clear he intends to revive marijuana prosecutions based on the drug’s current Schedule I controlled substance designation under the Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812. By rescinding the 2013 order, Sessions has given federal officials the freedom to pursue charges against anyone for these violations – even if they follow state and local laws to the letter. Our marijuana attorneys in L.A. encourage all cannabis business owners in California to seek prompt legal counsel to best protect themselves and their livelihood.

Some don’t see this as an immediate threat, citing the lack of resources to go after so many operations. They also point to a lack of support among citizens to pursue such charges, meaning juries will be more reticent to convict. Others are less optimistic. Continue reading

Thanks to Prop. 64, the state of California is considering applications for licenses forLos Angeles Recreational Marijuana Business Lawyers recreational marijuana businesses beginning Jan. 1, 2018.

Authority rests with local governments to decide whether to allow recreational marijuana sales to go into effect in their area, giving them power to either issue bans or develop policies for businesses to operate.

The Long Beach City Council is the latest to join the movement. The council recently voted to move ahead with developing policies for recreational marijuana businesses to operate in Long Beach.  Continue reading

The owners of a marijuana dispensary in Colorado are challenging a provision of U.S. Tax Code that the Internal Revenue Service has interpreted to mean state-legal marijuana businesses should not be allowed to take deductions or claim credits.

marijuana tax lawyer

The couple asserts in a brief filed in U.S. Tax Court that the IRS’ determination of their taxes owed for 2010 through 2012 were unjust, and that they were unfairly taxed compared to other business owners. A marijuana attorney representing the pair characterized the specific section of the code as “absurd.”

Section 280E, deals with expenditures in connection with illegal sale of drugs. As noted in a 2015 internal memo within the IRS, although a marijuana business is illegal under federal law, it remains obligated to pay federal income tax because Section 61(a) doesn’t differentiate between income derived from legal sources and those derived from illegal sources (See the 1961 case of James v. U.S.).  Continue reading

With wildfires tearing across California, many homes are being destroyed, as are other businesses including medical marijuana farms, and unlike other businesses, these farmers cannot have insurance policies on their grow operations because federal law prohibits insurance carriers from writing such policies.marijuana attorney

According to a recent news article from the Cannabist, a company that runs a major online crowdsource, has just pulled the plug on a campaign hosted on their platform to raise money for  the farmers who lost a great deal to the massive wildfires in Northern California. There were already many donations on the site that totaled over $13,000 before the campaign was terminated. Continue reading

Despite the fact that medical marijuana has been legal in California since 1996, many dispensaries are still operating without being in compliance with state, city, and other local regulations. Now, a targeted crackdown by San Diego law enforcement agencies is working to shut down marijuana dispensaries operating illegally.cannabis criminal defense lawyers

The San Diego Crackdown

KPBS reports that San Diego law enforcement and prosecutors began targeting illegally-operated dispensaries in March 2017. More than sixty dispensaries have been shut down in this time. The San Diego Police Department also reports that dozens of property owners and operators have been fined, charged criminally, and prosecuted for operating medical marijuana businesses without a license. All employees of the business – not just owners – are subject to prosecution. In August 2017, the Police Department warned that even delivery drivers could face criminal charges.

Two of the most recent raids indicate a shift in San Diego law enforcement policy. Prior to these operations, the San Diego PD had mostly avoided delivery services, focusing instead on dispensaries with physical retail locations. On August 2, 2017 two delivery services were raided. This may signal a shift toward prosecutions of delivery services which operate illegally. Continue reading

The legalization of recreational marijuana has presented many legal issues which courts, lawyers and judges are facing for the very first time. One of those regards intellectual property. Cannabis business owners retain a legal interest in their copyrights, trademarks, branding, unique cannabis products and technology and other designs. Unfortunately, conflicts in state and federal law can make it difficult to enforce these rights.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office registers all patents, trademarks and copyrights across the country. However, this done pursuant to federal law, which still bans marijuana entirely. Intellectual property holders can still secure patents for marijuana and marijuana-related products, but the enforcement of such a patent can bring unwanted attention from federal law enforcement agencies. Forbes reports that approximately 500 active marijuana patent holders are in legal limbo.Now, California lawmakers have proposed a solution which will better enable cannabis business owners to protect their intellectual property rights.cannabis trademark attorneys

The Proposed Bill

Conflict between state and federal laws have created ongoing logistical challenges for cannabis business owners. Asset protection is a particular challenge for marijuana businesses. First, assets subject to search and seizure by federal authorities, because marijuana remains a Schedule I drug under federal law. Both the cannabis itself and all cash or assets of the business are subject to seizure. Secondly, federal regulation of banks means that most financial institutions are not able to provide banking services to cannabis businesses. Many business owners are left to operate an entirely cash-based business, which leaves the business vulnerable to violent crime. Luckily both of these problems can be addressed with creative business planning and logistics solutions. Learn more about the ways in which California cannabis business owners are meeting these challenges.cannabis business lawyers

The Transportation Niche

Hardcar Security has found a way to help cannabis owners protect their assets. The Desert Sun reports that the armored car service has about twenty-five regular clients, mostly in Northern California, who hire their drivers to transport cash for payment of suppliers, taxes, and other expenses. The drivers are also hired to transport inventory for cannabis businesses. Hardcar anticipates its business will triple or quadruple in size in 2018 once business licenses are issued for legal sales of recreational marijuana. The company’s founders met while working in security technologies in China. The two closely followed the marijuana market, and decided to set up shop in California after observing the expanded cannabis market here. They prioritize the hiring of military veterans, due to veterans’ unique understanding of security needs, and their ability to respond to hostile threats and environments. Continue reading

The legalization of recreational marijuana sales in California has created many business opportunities for other industries in the cannabis market. Joint ventures, cross-promotions, marketing tie-ins, and hybrid products are all hitting the market as the nation’s largest marijuana market becomes legal. The technology sector, in particular, is capitalizing on this vast and untapped market.cannabis technology lawyers

The Many Ways Tech Companies Are Entering the Marijuana Compliance Market

There are many different ways for technology companies to enter the marijuana market. According to Business Insider, one cannabis-centered social media platform (MassRoots) obtained a subscription service for access to cannabis regulations (CannaRegs). The $12 million stock deal will create a “one-stop shop” for MassRoots users. Now, business owners will be able to ensure they and their customers are in compliance with all federal, state and local regulations. MassRoots found CannaRegs to be a particularly valuable acquisition due to its majority of female leadership, and also its financial status as being cash flow positive and debt-free. It was also determined to be highly necessary in today’s regulation-centric cannabis market. Continue reading

Both opponents and advocates of marijuana recognize the harm caused by accidental ingestion of cannabis products by children. Edible marijuana candies are of particular concern, as their size, shape, color, and taste makes them particularly attractive to children. Now, Governor Jerry Brown is considering legislation aimed at limiting those edibles which are likely to be accidentally ingested by childrencannabis regulation lawyers

The Increase in Accidental Marijuana Poisonings

A study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association examined unintentional pediatric exposure to marijuana in Colorado both before and after its recreational use was made legal in that state. The study found that unintentional exposure cases increased more than five times between 2009 (before legalization, in which only 9 children were exposed) and 2015 (after legalization, in which 47 children were exposed). While these cases were only reported from one hospital facility in Aurora, Colorado, the entire state saw a greater increase in unintentional exposure cases than the rest of the country. Baked goods, popcorn, and candy products were involved in more than half of these accidental ingestions. Continue reading

A U.S. Senate panel with considerable power in the federal government is pressing federal agencies to wade into the marijuana industries in ways that some might find surprising. Specifically, there is a request that federal safety testing be conducted on products made by marijuana dispensaries in states where the drug has been legalized. Such standardized marijuana testing could help customers have confidence that their products are safe. marijuana research attorney

Lack of information on the purity and potency of marijuana products distributed to U.S. consumers is of major concern, according to the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee. That’s why its members are asking that federal agencies work together to develop a standard, national testing program for Schedule I products made from marijuana.

The appropriations committee’s recent report instructed qualified scientists at the National Institute on Drug Abuse as well as those working with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to start work on samples of marijuana in order to give the federal government better data that could be used to provide better policy solutions to help protect consumers.  Continue reading