Articles Posted in Riverside marijuana dispensaries

Some local governments have appeared hell-bent on banning or strangling the budding cannabis industry. It’s encouraging in this light to see some leaders embracing the change and making strides to make this a more cannabis-friendly community.marijuana business

The Napa Planning Commission recently endorsed reducing the distance a cannabis business can set up shop to 600 feet from a school or place where children congregate, and even recommended easing up on that rule in instances where a natural barrier would prevent direct access, such as a waterway, according to Napa Valley Register.

For many people, change can be a very scary thing. Often, though, such fears are rooted in lack of education and the feeling of losing control. Once we see new ideas in action, we sometimes wonder why it took us so long to change in the first place, and realize we wouldn’t want things to go back. We see the effects of this sentiment throughout California. Since the passing of Proposition 64, there has been a great deal of caution on the part of cities to slow down change as much as possible. Prop 64 and the follow-up Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act very thoughtfully laid out guidelines that would allow marijuana businesses to begin sales of recreational cannabis, and, in the case of MAUCRSA, brought medical marijuana sales under the same umbrella of rules. These guidelines painstakingly established regulations that would encourage cannabis businesses to operate legally while easing fears of residents. 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

The County of Riverside remains a patchwork laws, with each city holding very different opinions on how to best move forward with regulating (or marijuana business lawyerbanning) marijuana businesses, growing operations, home cultivation, testing, sales, manufacturing and distribution. That same divide is reflected in the Riverside County Board of Supervisors in how to handle regulations in unincorporated parts of the county. But it looks like after a recent vote, the board will be moving forward on its own with those regulations, while also forgoing a tax ballot initiative in November, according to an article from The Press-Enterprise.

As our marijuana attorneys can explain, even though Proposition 64 passed in November 2016, and adult-use sales were permitted beginning Jan. 1, 2018, it did not mean an automatic free-for-all everywhere in California. The Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act was voted into place by state legislators in June 2017 to streamline the existing Compassionate Use Act of 1996 with the incoming recreational marijuana laws. MAUCRSA Section 18-26032(a)(2) outlines that the actions of marijuana businesses “are not unlawful under state law” so long as they are “permitted pursuant to local authorization, license, or permit issued by the local jurisdiction, if any.” Continue reading

Recently, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded an Obama-era Department of Justice Directive that essentially urged federal prosecutors tomedical marijuana ignore marijuana crimes so along as alleged violators were in compliance with state laws. This step gave states the space to figure out how they wanted to handle recreational and/or medical cannabis laws without interference from the federal government.

Sessions, however, has made it clear he intends to revive marijuana prosecutions based on the drug’s current Schedule I controlled substance designation under the Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812. By rescinding the 2013 order, Sessions has given federal officials the freedom to pursue charges against anyone for these violations – even if they follow state and local laws to the letter. Our marijuana attorneys in L.A. encourage all cannabis business owners in California to seek prompt legal counsel to best protect themselves and their livelihood.

Some don’t see this as an immediate threat, citing the lack of resources to go after so many operations. They also point to a lack of support among citizens to pursue such charges, meaning juries will be more reticent to convict. Others are less optimistic. Continue reading

On the same day many recreational marijuana dispensaries in California opened for business, one medical collective in Uplandexit-1421288-640x480-300x225, Calif., was forced to shutter its doors for good.

For years, the owner of the collective in question pushed for Upland to lift its ban against medical marijuana. But the city has repeatedly fought back, working aggressively to close illegal dispensaries. Upland spent roughly $4.5 million on legal fees since 2014 and closed 24 illegal operations along the way, according to an article from the Daily Bulletin.

This particular owner, though, was characterized as a thorn in the city’s side throughout the process. He helped lead the charge in getting Measure U on the city’s November 2016 ballot, which was designed to ease up restrictions and pave the way for three medical dispensaries in Upland.

He assisted in collecting signatures and fighting tough legal battles to get the measure on the ballot. The California Cannabis Coalition took the matter all the way up to the California Supreme Court, which ruled the city must put Measure U up to vote in a special election. However despite all those efforts, the voters of Upland did not get on board, voting down the measure. Continue reading

As we have discussed in various other posts on this blog, California has been taking major steps to regulate the medical marijuana, and now recreational cannabis industry, at a state level.  Since medical marijuana was first legalized back in 1996, there was little regulation at the state level.  All of the major regulation was left to local governments in the various counties, towns, municipal districts, and cities across our state.

marijuana attorney Riverside This meant that, in some cities, there would be no medical marijuana allowed and in others there would be.  It also means that there were varying levels of regulations with respect to cultivation distribution, and sale or delivery. Continue reading

There is more cannabis sold in California that any other state. This is true even when comparing California’s medical marijuana industry with Colorado’s recreational marijuana industry.  While voters in California did legalize recreational use marijuana through the passage of Proposition 64 in November 2016, it will not be legal to sell to recreational users until January 2018.

Riverside Marijuana LawyerThis means that for the time being, medical marijuana dispensaries are the only legal way to buy marijuana in the state.  However, as discussed in a recent news article from The Daily Chronic, medical marijuana shops will largely become recreational marijuana shops, and this is why there are many more dispensaries opening up throughout the state in anticipation of the increasing market for cannabis products. This includes flowers, high-end concentrates like shatter and wax, edibles and tinctures, and even skin creams and bath beads. Continue reading

The contrast between the stock of marijuana in the U.S. and Canada couldn’t be more stark. graph

CNN Money reported that a real estate investment trust that plans to buy buildings to lease to medical marijuana growers went public on Wall Street – and the response was less-than-encouraging. On the NYSE, the Innovative Industrial Properties stock shares were priced at $20, inched upward to $20.52, and then finished the day by 4 percent less than where they started. Granted, this is just one of a few companies related to the marijuana trade that is traded on any major exchange. So in some sense, the fact that it’s being traded at all is something of an accomplishment. Another company out Britain, GW Pharmaceuticals, is listed on Nasdaq, and its stock is actually up more than 55 percent this year. However in the U.S., this has proven more the exception than the rule.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg Markets reports that a company called ICC International Cannabis Corp. debuted its first day on the Canadian stock market and closed 356 percent higher than where it started. The CEO of ICC, a company out of Uruguay, has called the Canadian market “perfect” for marijuana companies. The entire country is slated to legalize the use of recreational marijuana next year. If that event occurs on the timeline expected, there will be an estimated 4 million legal recreational users in Canada by 2021. That means there will be a potential for $4.5 billion in annual sales. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that legality at the federal level makes it a much more attractive option to investors.  Continue reading

Riverside marijuana lawyers applaud the recent ruling by a superior court judge allowing a Murrieta marijuana dispensary to re-open its doors – just not in the same place where it used to be. victory.jpg

As we understand it, the Cooperative Medical Group on Madison Avenue had been forced to close, after another judge decided its proximity was too close to Sky High Party Zone. For those who don’t know, that’s a children’s indoor playground.

Now, a judge has decided that it can in fact operate in the city – just not near a spot known to be frequented by children. This one was within 600 feet of the playground.

Just to underscore: This Murrieta marijuana dispensary had been operating within the parameters of California law. At issue, once again, is the fact that the federal government has outlawed marijuana, and is seeking to flex its muscle on the issue – and city governments are bowing to that pressure.

What this case does is show that with the help of an aggressive Riverside marijuana lawyer, a California marijuana collective can be successful in suing the city to allow its continued operation.

The decision in the Murrieta case is one of many that has been made in a months-long lawsuit that was brought by the owners of the collective against the city. Not all of them have been favorable, but this marks a significant victory.

Damian Nassiri, prominent Riverside marijuana lawyer, says that cities can no longer ban marijuana collectives under the City of Lake Forest v. Evergreen Holistic case.

“Any fines or nuisance abatement lawsuit brought by these cities should no longer be tolerated by the collectives,” Nassiri said. “It’s time to fight back, because this appellate case helps collectives and is currently the law in California. It must be followed by the lower courts and judges should rule against cities that try and shut collectives down with unlawful bans.”

A state supreme court decision is pending that will ultimately decide the issue of cities v. dispensaries. What’s important to remember in all of this was that the voters declared their clear intent with the passage of the law in 1996 that allowed marijuana possession, sale and use for medicinal purposes. This right continues to be trampled on.

The details of the Murietta case look something like a crazy ping-pong battle.

The dispensary opened in the summer of last year, despite a city ordinance that banned its operation. It was shuttered just two weeks later after city officials secured a temporary injunction against it. But then an appeals court removed that injunction in the fall, and the collective re-opened – only to be shut down two weeks after that. Now, the court has ruled the dispensary can re-open, it just has to be in a different place.

Unfortunately, the issue is not likely to stop there – in Murietta or anywhere else in California. Murietta is also involved in a lawsuit with the Greenhouse Cannabis Club under similar circumstances. In that case, officers with the Murrieta Police Department are even accused of going so far as to put a tracking device on a volunteer patient as part of its enforcement of the ban.

Attorneys for the city say this legal wrangling isn’t likely to end before the state’s supreme court takes on the issue.

Until then, collectives need to know that there is legal help available, and that they shouldn’t be bullied into thinking they have no options or recourse.
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Medical marijuana in California and 15 other states and the District of Columbia has been legalized. In more than half of these areas, government officials have been launching new medical laws that could lands these people involved in the industry with criminal charges and stiff fines.
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Back in 1996, California was the first state in the country to make marijuana legal for various medical uses. It has recently come under some serious scrutiny from federal officials. Our laws remain the most liberal, to some, in the country, allowing doctors to hand out medical marijuana recommendations for a variety of conditions. One that same hand, officials have been granted broad discretion and little ways to implement it. Mendocino County thought they had found an effective way, until the feds stepped in.

Our Southern California medical marijuana attorneys understand the fight against unreasonable medical marijuana regulations is far from over. The state law conflicts with federal law. The federal government rules that marijuana is still an illegal substance with absolutely no health benefits. Still, state law allows dispensaries.

After years, residents in Mendocino County thought that they had come to peace with absurd medical marijuana regulations and enforcements. Two years ago, the sheriff made an agreement to stop raiding those who produce medical marijuana as long as they paid to have their collections inspected.

This payment was a $1,500 fee and was used to keep growers in compliance with rules regarding distance from neighbors, odor control, water usage and the limitations stating that growers could only grow 99 plants on five acres of land, according to the Huff Post.

This program, requiring growers to pay the fee, earned the sheriff’s department more than $663,000. Other jurisdictions quickly inquired about creating their own similar program after seeing its success.

The program’s under scrutiny now. After crackdown efforts from the state’s federal prosecutors, the board of supervisors put an end to Mendocino County’s experiment. The program was halted after the U.S. attorney for Northern California threatened take the county to court for helping residents to produce a drug that was illegal under federal law, but still legal under state law.

“We thought we had something that was working and was making our life easier so we could turn our attention to other pressing matters,” Supervisor John McCowen said.

McCowen thought that the city really was on to something. That is, until the feds stepped in.

Melinda Haag, Northern California’s U.S. attorney, said that the County’s licensing system doesn’t meet federal standards. She says her and the other federal officials are just trying to push the federal laws banning this substance.

In recent crackdowns in Southern California, nearly 100 dispensaries have been shut down. Many of these dispensaries received threats from feds saying that they better close up shop or they could face criminal charges and fines.
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