Articles Posted in California marijuana legalization

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

There’s no finer example of the ongoing struggle between politicians and the people over the issue of marijuana legalization than the current events marijuana legalizationtaking place in Nebraska. Despite efforts on two different fronts to get medical marijuana on the 2018 ballot, all efforts have been halted, at least for the time being.

A recent survey of Nebraska residents showed that 77 percent of respondents would vote yes on a ballot initiative to legalize medical marijuana in the state, according to an Omaha World-Herald report. The survey was conducted as part of research one state senator was conducting to support a resolution to make way for voters to decide on medical marijuana legalization. The resolution was dropped, though, when the senator determined she did not have enough support from her fellow legislators, despite the overwhelming support from voters.

Meanwhile the Marijuana Policy Project (which offered support for Proposition 64 when it was on the ballot in California) has been trying to organize a petition drive to get an initiative on the ballot as well. However, the group determined there was not enough time to rally for 2018 and are instead focusing their efforts on a big 2020 push. Continue reading

Marijuana legalization has been a decades-long battle that is finally paying off, with states all over the country legalizing medical and/or recreational marijuana legalizationcannabis. But in addition to fighting for your rights on the legal front, our experienced lawyers know there is another fight that must be won: the battle of public perception.

Nowhere is that struggle better illustrated than in Texas, where a college baseball coach blew off an athlete interested in attending the school over the issue of marijuana. You might be wondering what the connection is. Did the student fail a drug test? Did he have a criminal record involving marijuana? Had he been penalized by his high school for coming to school under the influence?

All of these would be excellent guesses. But the answer to all three is “no.” According to an email to the athlete, which has since gone viral, it appears the coach deemed the student guilty by association of the entire state of Colorado, according to a report from The Washington Post.

The email claimed the school was not considering students from Colorado because in the past, recruits from the state had difficulty passing the drug test. “We have made a decision not to take a chance on student-athletes from your state. You can thank your liberal politicians,” the message went on to say.

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While excitement over marijuana legalization continues to rise at the state level, the incoming clouds of the federal government continue to threaten tomarijuana legalization rain on the parade. And while some hope to just wait out the storm, others are taking the matter into their own hands.

Berkeley City Council is putting its city and citizens first by becoming a sanctuary city for adult-use marijuana, according to CNN. The council passed a resolution recently that would prevent local agencies from using city funds to enforce federal marijuana laws. That means if federal agents try to come down on anyone in the city, they can do so within the boundaries of their own authority, but not with the assistance of the city or its employees. No financial assistance. No help from employees. No access to information.

The city is taking it a step further as well by actively fight against any steps by Drug Enforcement Administration to close down recreational marijuana businesses in the city.

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While many politicians and other leaders continue to wring their hands, hemming and hawing ad nauseum over the best way to regulate the growing marijuana businessnumber of marijuana businesses, University of California San Francisco says the answer is right under our noses.

According to a study by the university published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, regulators need look no further than the tobacco industry for inspiration to create best practices for adult-use marijuana. By using what the tobacco industry has learned by trial and error over the years, the marijuana industry can avoid early mistakes and take a proactive approach.

Examples in the study include implementing clear labeling with conspicuous warning labels, avoiding marketing that appeals to minors, and restricting product potency. Continue reading

The more understanding of cannabis changes, the more enforcement of archaic laws stays the same.cannabis legalization

In Los Angeles and other areas in California, government employees are getting warning letters reminding them that they are not allowed to consume marijuana, even while off-duty, saying their employers strict no-drug policies have not changed, even as state laws have evolved into the 21st century, according to NBC Los Angeles.

The warnings were spurred by the passing of Proposition 64, which led to legalization of recreational marijuana in California as of Jan. 1. Los Angeles is one of the cities which has welcomed legalization efforts and cannabis businesses. Meanwhile, it is clear many will not be able to enjoy the same freedoms as their fellow residents.

No one is arguing the merits of such a policy when it comes to consuming anything that might impair a worker while on the clock. But prohibiting marijuana use on one’s own time is as ridiculous as forbidding an employee from enjoying a glass of wine after a long day at work. Continue reading