Articles Posted in California marijuana legalization

Sparklers weren’t the only things people were lighting up across the country this Fourth of marijuana lawyerJuly. Residents of states with adult-use marijuana laws were enjoying newfound freedoms to consume cannabis products. This was especially true here in California with this being the first Independence Day with legalized recreational marijuana.

The holiday came just a few short days after regulations went into place for packaging and sales of cannabis in California. The new rules mean that all products must meet certain standards of quality control, pass tests for safe pesticide content, and have packaging that clearly displays warnings and the makeup of the product, including THC levels. This spurred retailers to offer deep discounts on cannabis products last month that did not meet new standards, putting an influx of marijuana in the hands of Californians ahead of the July 1 deadline. This made for a very happy Independence Day for many users, indeed. Continue reading

It’s becoming more clear that support of marijuana is politically marijuana businessadvantageous. Politicians across the country at all levels are stepping forward with pro-marijuana campaign platforms, and it’s paying off. Even here in California, where both medical and recreational marijuana are legal, it is clear voters want candidates who will continue to protect those laws, according to a report from Civilized. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) recently switched her stance to pro-marijuana and won her primary bid for re-election. It’s no surprise her change of heart came after her Democratic challenger Kevin de Leon came out swinging with strong support for cannabis last year. Because of California’s “top-two” primary system, both candidates will be on the ballot in November, even though they are from the same party.

These sudden “evolutions” in thinking about marijuana are springing up among political figures all over the country. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer recently had a similar change in thinking, and former Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner flipped on his previously staunch anti-marijuana views to join the board of directors of a cannabis company. Continue reading

The American people have known for years that times are changing when it comes to marijuana. Now, it seems somecannabis business politicians at the federal level are starting to wise up and take this issue seriously as well. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) is introducing a bill to remove marijuana from the list of Schedule I narcotics as part of Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812. He said he also wants to leverage this issue as a way to bolster women and minority cannabis business owners.

Politicians have been slow to take a stance in favor of cannabis, even though most of us know it can be a life-changing, medically useful drug. Some have supported passive measures here and there trying to give states some freedom without themselves taking a stand. For example, the Rohrenbacher-Blumenauer Amendment, which has to be renewed annually by Congress into the spending bill, prevents the Department of Justice from using federal funds to seek action against medical marijuana activity that has been legalized in that state. Some have tried to inaccurately portray cannabis as a partisan liberal issue, but even democrats have been shy to give full support. However, as The Washington Post reported, Sen. Schumer has acknowledged that the American people have evolved on this issue and it’s time for a big change. Continue reading

Marijuana businesses have become a major competitor to beer and willmarijuana business lawyers continue to disrupt that industry for the foreseeable future.

An investment firm industry analyst, who specializes in beverages, tobacco, and adult-use marijuana, recently shared data with CNBC, and she established a clear correlation between increased use of marijuana and decreased use of alcohol. She said in states where recreational marijuana use is legal, binge drinking rates have dropped “significantly.” She identified both as “social lubricants.” In other words, both are used by adults in social situations to help unwind, de-stress, have a good time, and feel relaxed with new people or in new environments. 

In terms of stocks, the numbers are clear, as well. Her firm primarily valuates the Canadian market, with Canada on track to legalize adult-use marijuana nationwide by the end of summer. Several Canadian medical marijuana companies are seeing shares grow by up to 240 percent in the past year in anticipation. She said estimates from her firm put the U.S. cannabis industry as being worth $75 billion by 2030, assuming marijuana is removed as a Schedule I narcotic from the Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812. Continue reading

Both medical and recreational marijuana are now legal in California. And yet for about 40 percent of the state, itrecreational marijuana would be difficult to tell. Thanks to some data analysis compiled by The Sacramento Bee, we can clearly see how local regulations have shaped the pot landscape in the state as a whole and how it is affecting people who live in more remote areas of California.

The report defined some regions of California as being “pot deserts” – areas where residents have to travel 60 miles or more to access legal marijuana at a licensed dispensary. An additional 29 percent have to drive 30 to 60 miles to the closest location. This disparity in cannabis access stems from the clause in Proposition 64 that allows local governments to establish their own set of recreational marijuana regulations or to ban sales altogether. While a majority of residents in the state clearly favor adult-use marijuana based on the 2016 vote, there is seemingly a desire among many districts to leave the actual growing, producing, and selling of the drug to other cities … cities far away from their own. Continue reading

As a country, many support troops with parades and national days of honor. Yetmedical marijuana when those same veterans seek help ease the mental and physical pain they endure as a result of fighting for our freedoms, their pleas often fall on deaf ears. That’s why many veterans find themselves standing up and fighting once again, this time in a battle for their own lives in the ongoing war over medical marijuana.

A group of veterans in Louisiana has been on the front lines pushing for legalization of medical cannabis in the state. According to the Leesville Daily Leader, they want to help veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder as well as chronic pain that developed as a result of their service time. Even though these veterans know medical marijuana to be a safe and effective form of treatment for these issues, using it would make them a criminal in the country they risked their life to defend due to the Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812, which classifies marijuana as a Schedule I narcotic with no medical benefits. The group hopes to at least change the law in Louisiana so the state can join 29 others in legalizing marijuana. Furthermore, they also recognize that legalization would be beneficial to all residents, so they are putting their efforts behind cannabis education.  Continue reading

Los Angeles, Oakland, San Diego and San Francisco have been praised for being at the forefront of decriminalization and legalization of marijuana in California.marijuana business

On the flip side, we have San Bernardino. The city recently passed a regulation (Ordinance No. 1464 Section 5.10) that prevents any cannabis business that has “conducted commercial cannabis activity in the City of San Bernardino in violation of local and state law” from obtaining one of the 17 licenses available in the city.

One savvy business owner isn’t taking this move lying down, though. She is suing the city after officials in December raided and shut down a facility she owned and leased out to cannabis growers. They confiscated 35,000 marijuana plants, according to a report from High Times. And though the owner of the facility was never charged, she still falls under the current restrictions and is not qualified for one of the licenses, currently being given to other establishments who have the same intention as her: to run a facility for growing marijuana. Continue reading

Public support for pot is on the rise. More states are looking to legalize marijuana or expand accessibility. In fact, cannabis is one of the few issues thatmarijuana legalization politicians on both sides of the aisle can agree on these days, particularly medical marijuana. It’s a time when cannabis is poised to go mainstream and become an accepted medical resource, cultural norm, and economic powerhouse. Yet, since the current administration entered Washington, D.C. and Jeff Sessions was asked to helm the Justice Department, the industry has faced uncertainty and instability.

That’s why states that strongly support marijuana legalization, including California, have requested a meeting with Sessions with the goal reconcile the stark contrast between state law and federal law, according to the Associated Press. The state treasurer from California was joined by Pennsylvania, Oregon, and Illinois in crafting a letter to open dialogue with Sessions about what banks and marijuana businesses can expect from the federal government in terms of enforcement moving forward. As our skilled lawyers can explain, the federal government is holding firm to marijuana’s Schedule I classification as part of the Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812. To receive this classification, a substance must not demonstrate medical benefits, be considered unsafe, and have a high potential for abuse. To make these claims about cannabis is absurd, and frankly, Sessions is standing on the wrong side of history on this one.

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If you are a marijuana cultivator in California, you might be reluctant to buy insurance on your business. But our experienced cannabis business cannabis businessattorneys know there are many good reasons to invest in insurance.

A recent article from Santa Barbara Independent reveals a big payout one cannabis farmer in Carpinteria received due to losses caused by the Thomas Fire in December, the largest wildfire in the state in recent history. The farm got more than $1 million dollars from their insurance company after thousands of marijuana plants on property were destroyed. This equated to about market value for the plants. While the farm’s crops did not burn in the fire, white ash blew into the greenhouses and tainted the plants. The plants tested positive for lead, arsenic, asbestos, and magnesium. This type of damage was covered under the policy’s clause covering changes in atmospheric conditions.

Meanwhile, most of the other cannabis farms in Northern California were not so fortunate. Many opted out of insurance policies to keep costs low. This money-saving tactic is typical among farmers of all kinds, who often skip this expense to keep profit margins higher. But this is a big gamble, particularly in an area so prone to fires. Continue reading

In the midst of tax season, the paradox of tax-paying marijuana business owners being treated like criminals takes center stage. The San Francisco marijuana businessChronicle recently described the scene as marijuana retailers brought bags of cash to tax administration offices. Some retailers reported bringing in up to $80,000 at a time.

But what other choice did they have? California has opened the door for legal recreational sales with the implementation of Proposition 64 this year, which is bringing a new wave of money-making opportunities for cannabis entrepreneurs. And where there is money-making, there are also taxes. These businesses want to pay their taxes, but without the option of processing transactions and savings in a bank like a normal business, cannabis companies end up paying taxes with cash out of bags.

As our marijuana attorneys can explain, at the heart of this issue is Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812. According to the federal government, marijuana is classified as a Schedule I narcotic under this act. A Schedule I classification means that a drug “has high potential for abuse” and has no accepted medical use in the United States. And even under medical supervision, it would not be considered safe to consume. Obviously, nothing could be further from the truth when it comes to marijuana. For more than 20 years, cannabis has been offering relief to patients in California for everything from cancer to arthritis to anxiety thanks to the Compassionate use Act of 1996. Continue reading