Articles Posted in California marijuana legalization

Marijuana first became legal for recreation among adult users in January 2018. With that, Los Angeles marijuana tourism is taken off, with several ancillary businesses cropping up specifically catering to those who are here for the cannabis. Among the various companies that have entered the fray:

  • Shops
  • Lodging
  • Tours (including bus tours)
  • Marketing

Some tours offer scenic drives, glass-blowing demonstrations, food, a chance to smoke with Tommy Chong and more. marijuana tourism attorney L.A.

Los Angeles marijuana tourism attorneys know that some firms had a bit of a struggle making their way into the fray, given that legal marijuana is approximately 35 percent higher cost than what is available on the black market. Medical card recipients pay a bit less, given that they aren’t subject to the state excise tax. Aside from them, people who come to California specifically for this purpose don’t seem to mind too much paying the extra cost, given that they’ve come for the experience – and to revel in the ability to enjoy their buds without worrying about a bust.

Companies latching themselves to these opportunities have the potential to make decent profits – but only if they can establish themselves in a way that minimizes the risk of their own liability. That includes, firstly, the potential liability that any tour company catering the imbibing crowd might need to consider. Continue reading

A rose by another name might smell as sweet, but turns out the name of your bong does matter, and allegations of brand heisting are turning into a big buzzkill. Companies from California to Florida have found themselves named defendants in trademark lawsuits, filed by a luxury brand German water pipe manufacturer and its licensed U.S. seller. The firms allege that their products – which can go for thousands of dollars – have become verified smoker status symbols, the benchmark for cannabis cool – and that it’s being illegally hawked by head shops across the country. L.A. marijuana trademark lawyers understand that at the the heart of these dozens of claims just in California over the pricey pipes are the ways in which the alleged infringement cost the company sales and and diluted its brand.marijuana trademark attorney

What complicates cases like this is that for now, marijuana remains illegal under federal law – specifically 21 U.S. Code Section 863. The company, which does possess a legitimate trademark, officially refers to its product as a bong, proudly advertises its awards from publications like High Times magazine and is open about its commitment to excellence in cannabis consumer goods and advocating for the expansion of marijuana legalization laws. The reason that  is problematic is that products in violation of federal law cannot seek trademark protection, and many companies are reticent to go into a courtroom and testify that their primary product violates federal statute. However, the firm has managed some success in securing settlements from alleged counterfeit distributors.

Further, a company spokesman was quoted by The Associated Press as saying the firm is willing to go to court to defend these cases, and is seeking millions of dollars in damages.

Most of our California cannabis business clients have some type of intellectual property, most often in the form of a brand name they are seeking to protect and capitalize on. However, as our Los Angeles marijuana intellectual property attorneys can explain, licensing can be complicated because, when it comes to marijuana, of course it is.Los Angeles intellectual property licensing agreement lawyer

Let’s start with the fact that recently, the California Bureau of Cannabis Control, California Department of Food and Agriculture and the California Department of Health just dropped a heap of proposed regulatory modifications on the industry. (Written comments must be in by Nov. 5 to be considered – which you should definitely do if you have a cannabis intellectual property licensing agreement or manufacturing deal you’d like to keep going because those could be directly affected.)

Specifically, the state’s proposed action would seemingly effectively ban all IP licensee agreements where the licensor (seller) isn’t licensed by the state. That could put a major crimp in existing deals involving:

  • Separate IP-holding companies established by licensed operators to hold and license intellectual property back to the owner;
  • Cannabis companies out-of-state looking to license their existing brand to manufacturers here, but don’t want to directly be involved in the manufacturing process in this state;
  • Third-parties who aren’t licensed by have created some sort of tech to make a certain brand or marijuana product and want to license the rights to that IP to a licensed California marijuana firm.

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The statewide legalization of marijuana for adult recreational use as of January 1st thanks to Prop. 64 wasn’t the end of California’s cannabis conversation. Far from it. Long-time California marijuana lawyers, businesses and policymakers are paying close attention to this November election, particularly in several local conservative strongholds set to decide whether to commercial cannabis should be given the green light to set up shop in their communities. Because while the Control, regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act of 2016 gave the statewide blessing, it didn’t automatically open the floodgates. Local counties, cities and towns were given the option whether to allow the cannabis industry to operate inside their own borders.Los Angeles marijuana business lawyer

Many leaders saw the passage of Prop. 64 as a major hurdle clearance to legitimizing a promising, lucrative market. While most have let go of the long-debunked reefer madness hysteria of the past, the stigma still remains for some. As marijuana lawyers, we can’t wholly discount all of their concerns, though most have been met with reasonable regulatory response (though some argue certain restrictions go too far). One of the biggest compromises was to allow local control. California marijuana business lawyers and economic experts mostly concur that communities outright refusing cannabis industry access are likely to be at an economic disadvantage, though the extent isn’t yet clear.

Some examples of the dozens of cities set to weigh the future of local cannabis commerce via ballot measures Nov. 6 are rural areas like El Dorado County east of Sacramento and Hemet, a town in the Inland Empire less than an hour south of Riverside. Most areas where the issue is up for vote are expected to pass it by a wide margin, according to The Mercury News in San Jose, but in the more right-leaning regions, predictions are a toss-up.  Continue reading

When California voters approved legalized marijuana for recreational purposes, one of the most important impacts of that was the fact that criminal prosecutions for many cannabis crimes would no longer be an issue. But that didn’t necessarily help the hundreds of thousands with the stain of a criminal offense on their record. Orange County marijuana lawyers understand Assembly Bill 1793 should help address this. However, the impact won’t necessarily be immediate, and those with criminal records due to marijuana may still want to seek the advice of attorney for purposes of expediency and fairness.Orange County marijuana lawyer

Approved by the majority in the California legislature and the governor on Sept. 30, the law (which creates creates Section 11361.9 to the California Health and Safety Code) is in direct response to the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act, and requires the Department of Justice by July 2019 to review state records and identify those prior convictions that may possibly be eligible for recall, dismissal of sentence, dismissal, sealing or redesignation under the new law. The state Justice Department will then be required to notify prosecutors of all cases in their jurisdiction that meet this requirement. Then prosecutors must, by July 2020, review all those cases to ascertain whether they wish to challenge the DOJ’s recommendation. If there is no challenge, the bill requires the department to modify the criminal history information in its database in accordance with the bill within 30 days (by July 31, 2020), and to update the post on its website. The state will be required to reimburse local agencies and school districts for whatever costs are incurred by the state as a result of putting this law into effect.

The state will prioritize cases of those individuals currently serving a sentence or who proactively petition for recall or dismissal of sentence, dismissal and sealing or redesignation (emphasis added). That means that if you take matters into your own hands to ask the state to make your case a priority – and complete the process sooner – you may well have your record cleared before the July 2020 deadline. That could be major for many people with existing criminal records, who may be prevented from important educational, career and housing opportunities, as well as those who may be in the midst of a child custody dispute during which a drug conviction could adversely impact the outcome. Continue reading

Now that adults are starting to gain a better understanding of cannabis and itsmarijuana attorneys benefits, many parents and teachers are facing their next challenge: How do I talk to kids about marijuana? California has been tasked with establishing new education programs to effectively prevent children from consuming cannabis, while making them aware of the choices they will have to make as an adult in a post-legalization world. As such, we are seeing the classic “Just Say No” campaigns shift to a new message: “Delay.” According to an article from Brit + Co, the new strategies focus on lifelong health and good decision making.

Marijuana legalization has had major effects on the lives of adults across the country, with 30 states and the District of Columbia allowing for medical marijuana, and about a third of those states permitting recreational use. Many of the results of this legalization have been expected, including relief for debilitating medical conditions, such as chronic pain, epilepsy, and PTSD. Cannabis also has become an alternative to alcohol in social situations, without the same negative long-term health effects as alcohol. Also expected has been the boost for government coffers with an influx of marijuana tax revenue. The way legalization would come to effect the way we educate children was a bit unexpected. It makes a lot of sense, though, considering the way marijuana functions in our lives is entirely different than it was even 10 years ago. Continue reading

July 1 marked a huge shift for cannabis businesses in California, as certain regulationscannabis business embedded in Proposition 64 became law. Although businesses knew the change was coming, it marked a major change in the supply chain for marijuana throughout the state. No longer was the focus solely on growers and dispensaries. These new regulations have shed light in a whole new way on the importance of testing labs.

According to an article from Leafly, the history of testing labs in the state has come a long way, evolving from van-based operations to highly sophisticated units protecting Californians from contaminants, pesticides, and helping measure strength and makeup of different strains and products. Until now, labs haven’t really been able to fully get off the ground. Like any production cycle, added steps are generally avoided wherever possible in order to cut down on costs. As such, not all cannabis products in California went through the lab-testing stage until laws absolutely mandated it, especially those produced by small businesses. Now labs are overwhelmed with work. Though lab workers did what they could to prepare for this day, it’s still difficult to operate a business at full capacity on profits that are not yet coming in, making it necessary to go from skeleton crew to all hands on deck in a matter of weeks. Continue reading

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