Articles Posted in California marijuana legalization

There are many considerations to take into account when starting a marijuana business, and branding is one of those. The marijuana industry on the whole prides itself on branding that is bold, cheeky and perhaps a little more risque than most. But cannabis start-ups must be careful to research whether certain names are not only good for marketing, but whether they are actually available. Otherwise, owners may find themselves embattled in a lawsuit alleging trademark infringement or copyright infringement. marijuana business lawyer

Brand infringement is a serious, and potentially costly, risk. Companies are increasingly being proactive against this damage by monitoring their brand name and competition – especially online. Protecting yourself from such action, as well as protecting your own brand from infringement, is important.

When competitors, affiliates or other third parties take advantage of your brand by using your trademarks, ideas, products and keywords to confuse similar aspects of your brand as their own, it can cost you business. 15 U.S.C. 1114 outlines provisions for trademark infringement, innocent infringement and remedies. Our marijuana business attorneys in California can help.  Continue reading

Black market sales of marijuana thrived under a system that totally outlawed the drug. For decades, illicit sales lined the pockets of violent drug cartels and gangs. Legalizing marijuana, as California did with Prop. 64, would effectively quash this problem, or so it was believed. After all, when marijuana is sold in highly-regulated stores, it gives the government more control, it gives taxpayers a cut and it provides safe access for patients and users. However, recent analysis shows black market sales may not be completely eliminated. marijuana license

The San Francisco Chronicle looked at this issue in weighing the makeup of the black market.

First, there is the fact the California grows more marijuana than is consumed by residents. Prop. 64 did nothing to effect the laws in other states, but interstate borders aren’t always policed to the point every person crossing from one state to the next with marijuana would be caught. Secondly, the law did not give a rubber stamp to all growers or sellers of marijuana. Sellers have to be licensed by a state agency, and they must comply with a long series of rules that detail everything from plant testing to packaging labels to tracking.  Continue reading

While California was at one time the most progressive state in terms of medical marijuana legalization, as it was the first state to allow for such an unheard of thing in 1996, there are other states, and the District of Columbia, that have legalized marijuana for adult recreational use.  However, it should be noted that California is expected to far outpace the rest of the country in terms of the money being made once recreational marijuana becomes legal in 2018.

medical marijuana lawyerA recent article from The Union discusses how that fact that California was not first to legalize the recreational use of marijuana for adults might not be such a bad thing, because we will get to learn from some of the problems and “pitfalls” other states had when they first legalized recreational marijuana. Continue reading

In 2015, a bill was first introduced that was designed to allow states to have legal medical marijuana or even recreational marijuana without any fear that the federal government would step in and enforce existing federal drug laws.  This is important, because marijuana is still a Schedule One controlled substance on the United States Controlled Substances Act of 1970 (USCSA).

LA Medical Marijuana LawyerThe previous attempt at the CARERS Act, which stands for Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect State, called for moving marijuana from the highest schedule and moving it down to a Schedule Two controlled substance. Continue reading

On November 8, 2016, California voters passed Proposition 64 – the Adult Use of Marijuana Act. This law has many effects for the use and sale of marijuana within California. While the guidelines for personal use are fairly clear within the law, cannabis business owners face greater uncertainty. Their challenge is to adapt their business model to the new forms of industry regulation.

Business experts expect California’s cannabis industry to quickly become the largest marijuana market in the country once the provisions of Proposition 64 take effect. For reference: Washington and Colorado had over one billion dollars’ worth of marijuana sales in the first half of 2017. California, by comparison, had over two billion dollars in sales of just medical marijuana in 2016, before the bill had even passed, The Hill reported. Financial experts claim that few industries offer the growth potential of legal marijuana. Yet this profitable and exciting market is also young and untested, and its regulations change almost daily. Successful cannabis businesses must adapt their business models and prepare for the coming effects of Proposition 64.  Continue reading

In a predictable, but utterly absurd, effort to crack down on medical marijuana in states where it is legal, Attorney General Jeff Sessions III, is claiming that marijuana has no medical uses and is a major reason for what he calls the historic drug epidemic he sees us in.

arrest marijuana LACurrently, Sessions cannot use any federal money to go after medical marijuana in states where it is legal because of an amendment passed by Congress in 2014 that prohibits any federal taxpayer dollars from being spent for this reason.  This means that U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, any agency that falls under Sessions’ Department of Justice (DOJ), cannot go after those in the state-legal medical marijuana business.  Continue reading

According to a recent news article from Bloomberg, local municipalities are putting the finishing touches on their local regulation of recreational marijuana sales.  Industry experts believe that areas with more successful medical marijuana businesses are likely to also have top recreational marijuana businesses.

LA Medical Marijuana AttorneyAs discussed in this article, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Alameda rank at the top of this list in terms of medical marijuana sales with Los Angeles being the highest on the list. With the medical marijuana business growing to this level over the past two decades, tax revenues have grown, as well, and this is part of the reason for the community support we are seeing for the legalization of recreational marijuana. Continue reading

We have been waiting to see if there was going to be a budget agreement to prevent a government shutdown for much of the first 100 days of President Donald J. Trump’s administration. Even though it looked like there would be no hope of reaching a joint resolution given the partisan nature of Congress these days, they were able to do just that at the 11th hour.

marijuana lawyerHowever, this last-minute budget resolution did not merely put off a government shutdown until at least September 2017. It also prevents the federal government from cracking down on medical marijuana in states where it is legal, according to a recent news article from ABC News 7 Denver. The lengthy budget deal contains restrictions that prevent the U.S. Department of Justice or any of its subsidiary agencies including, but not limited to, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) from using any of its budgeted funds to crack down on medical marijuana in a list of states included in the bill. Continue reading

In more than half of the states in the union, as well as the District of Columbia, medical marijuana has already been legalized. Some of the states have had legal medical marijuana for more than a decade, and others have just taken the first steps in the past few years.  Some of the jurisdictions have even gone so far as to legalize the recreational use of marijuana.

marijuana budsWhile opponents used to argue that it was a just a few very liberal states such as California that allowed people to use medical marijuana, that is no longer an argument that one can seriously make.  According a recent News Article for the News and Observer, a new poll shows that 80 percent of those surveyed in North Carolina now favor the legalization of medical marijuana. While there has been a majority of support across the country for years, numbers like these show just how far the movement has come. Continue reading

In the recent National Football League (NFL) draft, we heard a lot of stories about the draft position of at least one highly ranked collegiate athlete was sliding because of a failed drug test.  However, it should be noted that he did not actually test positive for marijuana. Rather, he tested positive for what is known as a water-loaded sample.

marijuana lawyerMany people are concerned that they will fail a drug test with positive sample and will do whatever they can to pass the test. This includes taking detox products that are available on the internet or at specialty vitamin stores, and it even includes using synthetic urine or another person’s urine.  Since many testing centers watch the subject take the test with a mirror or directly, they even sell products that allow someone to discreetly provide a substitute sample.  This is generally not a good idea and many people get caught.

Someone seeking to defend their right to use marijuana, particularly medicinal marijuana, and hold onto their job may face an uphill battle. However, consultation with an experienced marijuana lawyer is recommended.

Continue reading