Articles Posted in Marijuana Lawyer

For many cannabis businesses, social media seems like the ideal place to advertise. Facebook provides many tools forcannabis business advertisers that allow them to focus their audience in a way that would be extraordinarily beneficial for marijuana products and dispensaries. They would be able to narrow down the viewers to only include people in states where cannabis is legal. They would also be able to add age restrictions, ensuring as much as possible that minors would not be exposed to the ads. It’s really a win-win, except for one very annoying catch.

Marijuana businesses are prohibited from advertising on Google or Facebook.

A recent report from Washington Post examined the challenges marijuana businesses face advertising to their customers while pot remains illegal under federal Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812. The act outlines guidelines by which to classify certain drugs based on how dangerous a risk they pose, whether they have any medical benefits, and if they are addictive. Currently, marijuana is Schedule I, the most restricted classification on the list, despite no evidence it fits any of those qualifiers. That very same act (under Section 843) states “It shall be unlawful for any person to place in any newspaper, magazine, handbill, or other publications, any written advertisement knowing that it has the purpose of seeking or offering illegally to receive, buy, or distribute a Schedule I controlled substance.”

So how are there so many marijuana ads out there?

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently rescinded an Obama-era Department of Justice memo, which directed federal prosecutors to lay off cannabis Orange County recreational marijuana charges in states where activity is legal. This has effectively opened the doors for officials to pursue legal action against operations per the federal Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812, even though they are abiding state laws.

That isn’t stopping states, though, from pressing forward with marijuana legalization.

Vermont is the latest state to make recreational marijuana legal for adult use, joining California, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Alaska, and Washington, D.C. But what makes Vermont unique is that this is the first recreational marijuana law passed through legislation rather than a ballot initiative, according to a report from Huffington Post. This was necessary, however, because the state does have a system for voting on such measures. Continue reading

It’s no news that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has strong feelings about the cannabis industry. Since his Marijuana Lawyersappointment almost a year ago, he has promised to uphold federal cannabis law, which classifies marijuana as a Schedule I narcotic under Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812. This path is in stark contrast with the narrative in the rest of the country: 30 states as well as Washington, D.C., have some form of marijuana legalization on the books. Eight of those states (including California) and the District of Columbia allow recreational marijuana sales and use, with more planning ballot initiatives and legislative votes in 2018.

Up until now, those states have been able to manage their marijuana laws as they saw fit without meddling from the federal government thanks to a directive put in place at the Department of Justice during Barack Obama’s presidency that discouraged enforcement.

However, Sessions recently rescinded that directive, opening the door for prosecutors to go after states that have established legal cannabis.  Continue reading

Thirty states across the nation have joined the wave of cannabis legalization, either medical or recreational. Orange County Marijuana Regulations AttorneyCalifornia, the first state to legalize medical marijuana in 1996, has legalized recreational sales and use as of the beginning of the year thanks to the Adult Use of Marijuana Act.

Our legal team at the Cannabis Law Group of Orange County is closely familiar with the regulations necessary to make such legalization possible, and the many variations of permits and guidelines required to operate from city to city, county to county, and of course, state to state, with considerations for the bans that still exist on the federal level.

Now Massachusetts is joining the great state of California on the path to recreational marijuana legalization with a new draft of cannabis regulations being approved by the state’s Cannabis Control Commission. Voters passed Question 4 in 2016, and An Act to Ensure Safe Access to Marijuana was signed into law by the governor of Massachusetts in summer of 2017. Continue reading

California was the first state to legalize medical marijuana in 1996 through ballot initiative Proposition 251. Since then, the topic of drug policies in workplaces has been an ongoing debate, with many questions as to whether California marijuana lawyersemployers could (or should) enforce zero-tolerance drug policies against employees with medical cannabis prescriptions.

These debates culminated in the 2008 California Supreme Court decision stating that Proposition 251, known as the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, did not protect employees who have been tested positive for marijuana in their system, even with a prescription. Some legislators have tried to implement protections for employees since then, but for the most part, employers have final say.

But with the tides turning on perception of cannabis use and Proposition 64 going into effect statewide Jan. 1, 2018, making recreational marijuana legal in California, it is time once again for employers to re-evaluate their stances.

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With the vote to begin recreational marijuana sales in California, cannabis business owners must navigate new waters to establish themselves with consideration of local and state laws. They also must circumvent federal laws, which still prohibit marijuana sales and use.cannabis business

Another major consideration that is coming into play is how to co-exist with other businesses. Partnerships between mutually beneficial businesses can be highly profitable for all parties involved. However forming such deals can be tricky given the perceptions around the cannabis industry as well as non-cannabis businesses wanting to remain compliant with all relevant laws.

Before joining forces with sister businesses, it’s important for cannabis entrepreneurs to speak with a marijuana lawyer with an expertise in laws to guide you in best practices for a partnership. Continue reading

The owners of a marijuana dispensary in Colorado are challenging a provision of U.S. Tax Code that the Internal Revenue Service has interpreted to mean state-legal marijuana businesses should not be allowed to take deductions or claim credits.

marijuana tax lawyer

The couple asserts in a brief filed in U.S. Tax Court that the IRS’ determination of their taxes owed for 2010 through 2012 were unjust, and that they were unfairly taxed compared to other business owners. A marijuana attorney representing the pair characterized the specific section of the code as “absurd.”

Section 280E, deals with expenditures in connection with illegal sale of drugs. As noted in a 2015 internal memo within the IRS, although a marijuana business is illegal under federal law, it remains obligated to pay federal income tax because Section 61(a) doesn’t differentiate between income derived from legal sources and those derived from illegal sources (See the 1961 case of James v. U.S.).  Continue reading

A university in Michigan is breaking new ground on higher education by offering an advanced degree in marijuana. marijuana attorney

The program at Northern Michigan University in Marquette involves medical plant chemistry, and it started just this semester. About a dozen students are enrolled in the class, which combines horticulture, botany, biology, chemistry, finance and marketing. The program is unique in that, while other schools do offer classes on marijuana law and marijuana policy, none other offers this kind of comprehensive coursework. First off, it’s not a single class but a full, four-year degree. Secondly, it addresses both the science and business aspect of marijuana cultivation and sales. Graduates will be uniquely situated to open their own marijuana business.

Although there are some joking about the ease of such a program, those who are enrolled in or teaching it say it’s not simple at all. The coursework is complex and varied.  Continue reading

Although Proposition 64 opens the doors for for recreational marijuana businesses in California, it still allows the county’s 88 cities to regulate these businesses however they see fit. While the City of Los Angeles has indicated it intends to license these shops next year (the state will begin issuing licenses Jan. 1, 2018), the Los Angeles County government has been notoriously averse to marijuana dispensaries.marijuana attorney

But now, a marijuana collective has been formally recognized by the county. 99 High Tide Collective in Malibu obtained a business license through the L.A. County government, despite the county’s 2011 ban on marijuana businesses. That ban had been extended as of June, while the L.A. County Board of Supervisors weighs a clear system of rules for cultivators, producers and retailers of recreational marijuana.

Although the business is located in Malibu, the city contracts with the county to process its business licenses. Malibu has just two dispensaries, this being one of them. Still, county leaders are clear to point out: This is not actually a county license. It is a city license handled by contract through the county. At this juncture, the county still isn’t approving or authorizing any marijuana businesses.  Continue reading

The federal government needs to reform laws on cannabis so legal cannabis businesses in states that have de-criminalized marijuana can operate more efficiently and without the threat of federal prosecution. Los Angeles marijuana business lawyers know many cultivators and purveyors of marijuana face challenges on a range of issues, including tax challenges and difficulty finding financial institutions, even though there has been a thriving marijuana industry for a long time in California.cannabis

Crafting smart policies in connection with drugs is vital. The agency in Washington that plays a major role in crafting drug policy is called the White House Office of National Drug Control policy. According to the Washington Post, this Office is currently facing substantial cuts. If budget cuts which are currently being discussed occur, the cuts could undermine the ability of the federal government to create and enforce the nation’s drug laws. Continue reading