Articles Posted in Marijuana business

Marijuana criminal defenseCalifornia Vape Manufacturer, Kushy Punch, has been accused of operating both legal and illegal cannabis operations, according to state authorities. On October 3, state officials followed a tip to a warehouse in Canoga Park, where a raid turned up an illegal manufacturing operation seemingly run by the well-known state-licensed company, Kushy Punch.

California Department of Consumer Affairs investigators seized numerous ready-for-sale products from the facility, including Kushy Punch packaged gummies, as well as approximately 7,200 Kushy Vape packaged disposable vaporizers. These products are estimated to carry a combined $21 million street value.
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marijuana bankingIn the nation’s first ever vote on a stand-alone marijuana bill, the House of Representatives voted to allow federally insured banks to serve cannabis businesses in states like California, where marijuana use is legal.

First introduced by Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Colorado, the Secure And Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act simply states that deposit insurance cannot be cut off by federal authorities, nor can “any other adverse action” be taken against a financial institution for working with cannabis businesses in states and territories where marijuana use is permitted.

A great number of Democrats from Southern California were among the 206 co-sponsors of the bill, as was GOP Rep. Duncan Hunter of San Diego. Rep. Katie Porter, D-Irvine, also introduced an amendment making it clear that new banks and credit unions would be protected by the bill too. Continue reading

marijuana dispensariesAs California’s legal marijuana industry continues to bloom, so too does a well-stocked black market, comprised of unlicensed, locally grown cannabis, and a plethora of counterfeit cannabis products.

Fake THC Cartridges Are Flooding California
Of all counterfeit cannabis products, refillable THC cartridges used inside vaping pens are currently most common. Surprisingly, states like California – where recreational cannabis use is legal – appear to be most flooded with counterfeit products. Big brands like Kingpen and Rove have tried to get ahead of counterfeits by repackaging their products, but counterfeits have shown they can keep pace, often reproducing new packaging almost as quickly as the legitimate brands.

And industry insiders unanimously agree, the fakes are getting better all the time. Many knockoff THC vape pens are comprised of illegally but locally grown cannabis, which producers then stuff into refillable cartridge pens, before attaching counterfeit labeling they’ve purchased online, and selling the finished counterfeit pens at discounted prices to illegal pop up shops. To most consumers and law enforcement officials alike, it’s very difficult to tell a real pen from a fake one.
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Orange County marijuana lawyerA lawsuit filed against owners of Santa Ana’s 420 Central – a high profile cannabis store in Southern California – accuses CEO Robert Taft, and executives Jorge Burtin and Jeff Holocomb, of defrauding investors. Among the laundry list of claims made, the complaint alleges:

  • Breach of Contract;
  • Fraud;
  • Breach of Fiduciary Duty;
  • Conspiracy to Commit Breach of Fiduciary Duty
  • Dissolution of Partnership and Corporations;
  • Turnover of Corporate Books and Records; and
  • Injunctive Relief.

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If you are operating a marijuana business in Los Angeles County without a license: You’re probably going to want to promptly seek legal representation from lawyers with longtime experience in state and federal marijuana criminal and civil cases. The California Bureau of Cannabis Control reported it had carried out search warrants on two businesses – one in Los Angeles County and the other in Sacramento County – for allegedly operating an unlicensed cannabis company.Los Angeles marijuana lawyer

January 9th marked the end of what state regulators called the grace period for unlicensed marijuana businesses across the state. This was akin to a warning shot, with the agency noting the several hundred unlicensed marijuana retailers and delivery services statewide are “taking their chances.” Even if they do close shop, there is no guarantee authorities wouldn’t take action after the fact, though it’s more probable they’ll want to pursue action against those in active operation.

Licensed L.A. marijuana retailers have been complaining for the last year that black market operators were undercutting their sales with an unfair advantage. The Sacramento raid stemmed from a complaint filed with the BCC, though the agency didn’t indicate where the tip originated.  Continue reading

As Los Angeles attorneys focusing our practice on both California marijuana law and employment law, we’ve seen that the intersection of these two has never been more apparent. Many of these cases focus on the right of an employee/ user of marijuana (particularly for medical purposes) to use legally-obtained drugs on their own time, so long as it doesn’t interfere with the safety or efficiency of their job performance. The results of those claims have been mixed, though as the American Bar Association notes, the trend has been courts siding with employees.marijuana attorney Los Angeles

Now though, our marijuana business attorneys are seeing a new type of claim cropping up among cannabis companies: Employment litigation pursued by workers within the cannabis industry. One of the most recent is a marijuana employment lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon.

Plaintiff was previously employed to provide expertise and labor to an investment company that owned a marijuana grow operation in Junction City. He alleges that despite being a non-exempt employee, in turn requiring the company to pay at least minimum wage plus overtime for all hours worked over 40 in a given week (which he claims he did frequently), the company failed to pay him for approximately 2,500 hours worth of pay. He further alleges the cannabis company failed to provide him itemized pay statements or establish a regular pay day, both in violation of state employment laws. He also incurred numerous expenses on behalf of the company, such as using his personal vehicle for work purposes with no reimbursement.  Continue reading

The U.S. president’s signature on the major farm bill earlier this month was a big win for legalized hemp. However, our Los Angeles marijuana product sales attorneys have just learned the passage of that measure won’t necessarily grant blanket protection for CBD oil, after the U.S. Food and drug administration issued warnings to a number of cannabis product makers making certain health claims about products produced with CBD, formally known as cannabidiol.  The hemp-derived extract is becoming increasingly popular in a range of products, including foods, lotions and medicines.Los Angeles CBD oil attorney

A week after the farm bill was passed, the FDA Commissioner issued a statement underscoring the department’s position on CBD oil and related products. The commissioner stated in plain terms that CBD oil is a drug ingredient, and thus is unlawful to put in food or health products absent any prior approval from the FDA, with the main concern being potential risk to patients when products haven’t been proven to be effective or safe.

Remember: CBD is the non-psychoactive compound found in hemp, which is a version of the cannabis plant that is very low in THC. It’s the THC infused naturally in marijuana that gives off the high. CBD is in a number of medications that are approved by the FDA for treatment of certain ailments. Epidiolex, a CBD-oil infused syrup used to treat seizures, is one, having just received its stamp of approval this past summer.  Continue reading

Almost 1 in 5 California marijuana products have failed tests for purity and potency by the state’s Bureau of Cannabis Control since the agency began mandating checks at the beginning of July. The Associated Press reported that some cannabis farmers and distributors are blaming the failure rate not on product quality but rather on standards that are unrealistic and aren’t aimed to protect the public. Technical glitches haven’t helped.marijuana lawyer

Cannabis-infused cookies, tinctures and candies have been especially hit hard, with approximately one-third of its product removed from store shelves.

Other problems revealed (albeit on a smaller scale) by state-licensed testing firms are finding too-high levels of solvents, pesticides and bacteria, including salmonella and E. coli.

Within just eight weeks of testing, some 2,000 samples failed out of more than 11,000 Our L.A. marijuana product attorneys understand that in some of those instances, the product had to be destroyed, but a lot of the problems arose from issues with labeling, which are able to be fixed. Just for example, if a label on a container indicates a product has a potency level different than what’s on the label, the product can simply be relabeled and then move to market. Continue reading

Would cannabis by any other name be quite as sweet? Well… yeah, if the folks at Mendocino Appellations Project  (MAP) are correct. California marijuana grower attorneys recognize that such branding could help otherwise struggling marijuana cultivation operations in the state seize their stake. California marijuana grower attorney

Think about champagne. Yes, it is an alcoholic drink. It’s also a grape-growing region in France. If you want to call a liquid beverage “champagne,” law requires that you must grow it in certain parts of France and only in accordance with very specific guidelines that cover everything from planting to pressing to packaging. That’s what allows sellers to charge top dollar for it.

So what does that mean for marijuana growers in California? Many were among the first in the U.S. to practice and perfect careful cultivation techniques when the drug first became legal for medicinal purposes. And unfortunately, while legalizing bud has been boom for consumers, it’s been a bust for growers. It has meant a near-crushing amount of oversight and safety testing. A virtual mountain of regulation, cannabis cultivators are finding that the laws meant to protect the consumer and the environment are being largely placed on their shoulders. Continue reading

Although a federal judge last month dismissed a racketeering lawsuit last month against numerous marijuana businesses, the plaintiff still has grounds to refile on the basis of a private nuisance claim. This matter in Oregon is noteworthy for our Southern California marijuana business lawyers because it’s one of several that take aim at cannabis industries and companies that are sanctioned by the state using a federal law that was passed for the purpose of tanking organized crime (drug cartels in particular).marijuana business attorney L.A.

The Racketeer Influenced and Corruption Organizations Act, commonly referred to as “RICO,” is a U.S. federal law providing criminal penalties as well as a civil cause of action for acts performed as part of an ongoing criminal organization. It was formed to target the mob.

According to one recent report, these lawsuits are part of a wider strategy nationally to “upend legal weed.” In Oregon, some law firms actually focus exclusively on suing marijuana businesses for racketeering under the RICO statute, 18 U.S.C. Chapter 96. As reported by Willamette Week, a single attorney represented a woman who has sued more than 200 businesses, all that had ever been involved with her neighbor, a single marijuana processing plant that squeezes the THC oil from the flower for use in cannabis-infused candies. That lawsuit alleged that every dispensary and grower that had ever done business with the neighbor conspired to commit crimes that damaged the value of plaintiff’s home. That crime was growing a product deemed illegal by federal law, specifically the Controlled Substances Act. Continue reading

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