Articles Posted in California Marijuana

There is a huge push to legalize cannabis across the country, where 30 states plus Washington, D.C. have some form of lawful marijuana, nine allowing for recreational use. However, some politicians and advocacy groups still staunchly opposed fear they will suffer “de facto” legalization of marijuana in their states if all or most surrounding states have passed laws allowing it.marijuana lawyer blog

Of course, with the majority of states now allowing marijuana (California being the first with medical marijuana legalization in 1996), this is not an invalid concern – nor a new one. It’s true there is conflict when bordering states have different marijuana laws. Issues arise when people travel – for work or school or leisure – and what is perfectly legal in one state is criminalized in the next.

The biggest problem is that marijuana is forbidden under federal law, still considered a Schedule I narcotic, highly addictive and with no legitimate medicinal purpose. Of course, that’s laughable in reality, but U.S. drug policy hasn’t historically been closely aligned with medicine or science or smart public policy. And yet, it has lower schedule classifications for opioids and amphetamines, which are unequivocally more addictive and dangerous.  Continue reading

There is no question marijuana, including medical marijuana and marijuana for recreational use is big business in the greater Los Angeles area.  Like any business, advertising is often needed to bring in new patients or customers, but many are concerned about where and how marijuana businesses choose to advertise.

l.a. marijuana lawyerAccording to a recent news article from the Los Angeles Times, this massive growth in the legalized marijuana industry has led to equally massive ad campaigns some of which feature full-sized billboards being placed around our area.  One of the major concerns is that legalized marijuana will lead to an increase in illegal marijuana use among minors, especially in the case of teenagers.  Continue reading

While there may come a day when marijuana is legal for recreational use all across the nation, that day is nowhere in sight yet.  President Donald J. Trump has said he would be willing to remove marijuana from Schedule One of the United States Controlled Substances Act of 1970 (USCSA), but that is far from something certain to happen in light of his Attorney General’s feelings about marijuana, and marijuana users.  It would be certainly be a good thing for the nation if marijuana were legal for adults everywhere, but for now, those few states which have legalized marijuana for recreational purposes are finding themselves at a distinct advantage when it comes to what is now being called marijuana tourism, and those in the recreational marijuana business in Los Angeles are hoping to cash in on this.

recreational marijuanaThere was a time when people had to travel to Amsterdam for legal marijuana, and now they can go to Canada as our neighbors to the north have legalized marijuana nationwide, but according to a recent news article from the Los Angeles Times, local hotels are trying out new strategies to make their properties more marijuana friendly and hopefully make a big impact in this growing market.   Continue reading

For many decades before recreational marijuana was legalized in California, people were buying marijuana illegally. This included literally buying it on the street in open air drug markets as they are called by the Los Angeles Police Department, and they were also buying on what is often dubbed the marijuana gray market. Now that marijuana is legal for adults to purchase it for recreational purposes, it would seem people would no longer have to buy it illegally.

marijuana tax lawyerThe problem is that people are able to get high quality cannabis products on the gray market, and will not be charged with possession of marijuana under state law for having it, and if they want to purchase it legally, they may be forced to pay much higher prices.  This is not to say there is no risk to those selling marijuana illegally as they can be arrested and charged with various criminal offenses, but there is not much risk to the consumers.  Continue reading

Mendocino County is the latest to sign an agreement with the California Cannabis Authority in an effort to help local governments with regulatory compliance and assist in creating a rich poolcannabis business of data about the cannabis industry. Our attorneys know one of the most difficult things about establishing any new industry is lack of concrete data. There can be a lot of growing pains as authorities and economic leaders gather a foundation of facts that help in making critical decisions about public safety, regulations, and taxation. This is particularly true when dealing with a controlled substance, like marijuana. Even though marijuana has been legal for medical purposes in California since the passing of the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, the switch to recreational legalization in the state as of Jan. 1 was a real game changer. MAUCRSA, Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulations and Safety Act, was created to combine guidelines for medical marijuana with all the new stringent licensing rules for recreational cannabis, so all regulations lived under one umbrella.

The mission of the newly formed California Cannabis Authority is to “develop and manage a statewide data platform that will gather, collect, and analyze information from a myriad of data sources into one resource.” The more local governments that participate, the more compelling and significant the data will be for everyone who accesses it.

The group was created by the California State Association of Counties Finance Corp. The group started with San Luis Obispo, Humboldt, and Monterey Counties on board, with Mendocino following suit. According to a report by the Ukiah Daily Journal, the platform will make it easier to track tax payments, provide compliance information to county departments, and allow health officials to access product information. Continue reading

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

Every state that allows the use of medical marijuana has their own regulatory scheme and requirements pertaining to how patients are able to access this much-needed medicine.  For example, anyone who needs medical marijuana in California must go to a doctor and get a recommendation letter.  Once they have a recommendation letter, they can register as a patient with a medical marijuana dispensary and are then are eligible to obtain medical cannabis. Because every state has different regulations, the concept of medical marijuana reciprocity becomes important.  This is when a registered patient in one state goes to another state and needs to get their medicine there.

cannabis businessThis may seem like a novel concept, but it should not be anywhere near as controversial as it has become.  If a patient is taking a drug manufactured by a big pharmaceutical company and runs out of it while on vacation, they can simply go to a pharmacy location in their current jurisdiction and ask to have their prescription transferred there. This can be done permanently, or on a one-time basis, no questions asked. Typically, this is not how things work for medical marijuana patients because many states allow only residents to obtain medical marijuana from a dispensary located there. This creates obvious problems. One way to address this is by allowing medical marijuana reciprocity whereby a patient registered in one state, can travel to another state and use their home-state registration to obtain medical cannabis products. Continue reading

Long before anyone even thought about the possibility of legalizing marijuana for recreational use, or even medical marijuana in the U.S., cannabis has been legal in Amsterdam. This led many college students to travel to the city and visit the fabled coffee shops where they could not only purchase marijuana, but could sit at the bar and smoke a joint, or “spliff” like a civilized person without the fear of being harassed or arrested by the police.  For this reason, Amsterdam was for decades the world’s leading destination for marijuana tourism.

Caifornia marijuana lawyersWhen legalized recreational use marijuana came to Colorado, other western states, and now California as well, the concept of cannabis tourism became possible in the U.S.  The problem, however, is while it is legal to go to one of these states and purchase marijuana, assuming you are over the legal age of 21, laws prohibiting public consumption of marijuana made anything other  than the use of edibles very impractical. For anyone staying in a hotel, most are non-smoking entirely, and this also includes the use of marijuana products. Continue reading

When Canada legalized the recreational use of marijuana, the government set out to drive all black market cannabis sellers out of business.  They did this not through more rigid enforcement methods, but by making legal marijuana as cheap, if not cheaper, than buying it from a traditional dealer.  This was accomplished by setting the tax rate very low for legal sales of recreational marijuana.

marijuana businessOn the other hand, when California legalized marijuana, the ballot initiative was sold to many as a way for the state to generate billions of dollars in revenue.  While this is certainly true, and a laudable goal, it was accomplished by setting a tax of 15 percent, which is many times higher than the tax rate set in Canada. There is also a separate tax on the cultivation of cannabis set at nine percent, which results in a direct expenses passed on to distributors and consumers as discussed in a recent news article from Forbes. Continue reading

With the rollout of Proposition 64 on Jan. 1, Californians are beginning to enjoy legal adult-use marijuana. Some cities, though, decided not to legalizemarijuana legalization recreational cannabis, either because residents or leaders voiced opposition or because they wanted to wait to see how it played out in other areas of the state.

Chula Vista is one such city that did not join legalization efforts right away, but is considering a ballot measure this year. This would put the final decision in the hands of the residents of the city.

According to an NBC Los Angeles report, the city is working with a private research firm to survey residents for their feedback and thoughts on whether to legalize and how best to regulate the industry. Continue reading