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Applicants vying for a cannabis retail business license in L.A. say the first-come, first-serve process the city used was fundamentally flawed. The Social Equity Owners and Workers Association, along with one of its members, have filed a lawsuit that would compel the city to either consider all the licensing applications it received last fall or develop its own process that would offer an equal shot to all applicants.L.A. marijuana retail lawyer

As the Los Angeles Times reports, the latest round of cannabis retail business licensing took place in December, with the goal of issuing a total of 100 new licenses to social equity applicants.

The problem, according to the plaintiffs in this case, was that some applicants were given early access to the online application form, effectively pushing the rest of the applicants to the back of the line. Upon investigation, it appears internet speed was a factor in how quickly some applicants were able to submit their requests for consideration. The most disproportionately affected neighborhoods and individuals would be more prone to have slower internet speeds. Continue reading

marijuana lawyerCalifornia regulators, marijuana business owners and law enforcement arms must all up their games in fighting the illicit cannabis market, a new report says.

Just last week, the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA), the cannabis industry’s largest trade association,  issued a report urging all groups to do more in hopes of addressing the nation’s ongoing vaping health crisis.

The NCIA report looked closely at areas specifically intended to help legal cannabis business owners catch up with, and eventually outpace, illegal marijuana businesses. Those include:

  • Relaxing financial burdens weighing heavily on licensed operations — specifically lowering legal cannabis product taxes;
  • Applying procedures that better identify counterfeit cannabis products; and
  • Removing barriers currently making it difficult for unlicensed cannabis companies to join the legal market.

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pregnancy2-200x300A panel in California has declared that marijuana smoke and THC – the chemical within the drug responsible for producing the ‘high’ – pose a risk to women who are pregnant, as well as to their unborn babies. The move will require all legal cannabis products sold in California to carry warning labels, though changes will not begin for a year.

Scientists made up the nine-member panel, which formed the Development and Reproductive Toxicant Identification Committee, who considered the accuracy and reliability of a number of detailed research studies that investigated the effects of marijuana on people, fish, mice and rats.
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Any business owner knows that investment in advertising is key to success. But Los Angeles marijuana business lawyers know that when it comes to cannabis company advertising, matters get a little trickier. marijuana business advertising

Some California cities are implementing tight restrictions on marijuana advertisements. San Diego, for instance, has begun the process of cracking down on cannabis billboard ads, part of a larger package of rule and regulation changes regarding the new legal market for recreational sale and possession of the drug.

The San Diego Tribune reports new restrictions will be added to limit where cannabis business billboards can be placed. On the bright side, the city is also mulling a move to ease regulation concerning where pot shops, indoor farms and processing centers can be located.

cannabis defense lawyersEver since cannabis was legalized in California in January 2018, a flood of marijuana businesses have opened, hoping to take their share of the pot market. But it’s no secret that many industry stakeholders are unhappy with the current state of affairs.

Today there are 182 licensed marijuana dispensaries operating throughout Los Angeles, and many of those business have paid well into the tens of thousands of dollars to operate legally. First by registering their companies and covering licensing fees, then paying city taxes and continually meeting strict safety standards imposed by the state.

Meanwhile, there are countless other outfits operating slightly more under the radar. They are able to skip paying licensing fees and, as predominantly cash run businesses, also avoid paying taxes. To the frustration of legal business owners, rouge pot shops attract a slew of customers with undercut pot prices, prices that legal outfits have a hard time matching given their higher operating costs.

While regulation of cannabis use and sale continues to undergo assessment and tweaking in the state of California, many licensed cannabis business owners have reached boiling point. The biggest reason, illegal pot shops continuing to operate comfortably, with little pressure from state authorities requiring them to toe the line.
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marijuana dispensariesCalifornia has kicked off a multi-lingual public awareness campaign, urging cannabis users throughout the state to ensure they’re purchasing from legal dispensaries.

Amid growing calls from licensed cannabis dispensaries, The California Bureau of Cannabis Control’s “Get#weedwise” program aims to educate consumers on the risks they face when buying from unlicensed retailers. It also advises that safest pot purchases are made with licensed dispensaries and warns illegal business operators of consequences they can expect if they continue to trade without a license.
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Throughout Southern California, marijuana dispensaries are reportedly selling cannabis products that are counterfeit – capitalizing on another firm’s branding, holding out one’s illicit products as legal or both. Law enforcement and marijuana business lawyers in Los Angeles are actively monitoring both fronts.counterfeit cannabis

The Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA) establishes a complex maze of rules and regulations to ensure pot products sold to the public are safe and legal. That means cultivators, manufacturers and dispensaries are vetted and licensed, cannabis goods are tracked seed-to-sale and quality assurance testing is conducted to limit consumers’ exposure to dangerous metals and pesticides.

Despite this, black and gray market marijuana operations in L.A. abound. Continue reading

Tomorrow is the federal tax filing deadline, and a recent ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court has California’s small cannabis businesses concerned about being hit with a tax bill from jurisdictions in which they may have never set foot. Los Angeles cannabis lawyer blog

Los Angeles marijuana tax lawyers can explain this is a case about the astronomical uptick in e-commerce sales and the right of states to pursue taxes from businesses that conduct online transactions with merchants or buyers in those states, but that have no actual physical presence there.

In a 5-4 decision, the US. Supreme Court in South Dakota v. Wayfair Inc. overturned previous precedent requiring physical presence from an out-of-state seller for a state to establish jurisdiction for purposes of pursing an entity for sales and use taxes. In previous case law, physical presence of an out-of-state seller might include things like inventory storage, office maintenance, meeting attendance or delivery of owned/rented vehicles located in the state. No more. Continue reading

In what is being characterized as an abrupt change in CBD edible products policy, New York City has begun cracking down on CBD oil following by a late-last-year ruling by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration deeming CBD unsafe for consumption in culinary use. Los Angeles CBD business attorneys have begun seeing in this in California also. CBD edibles California law

Last summer, the Orange County Health Department began paying visits to coffee shops, bars and cafes, seizing CBD-laced food and warning the company to stop using illegal cannabis or else pay a fine. The Orange County Register reported the new rules were causing a major shift in the trend of widespread use of CBD oil. The rules impacted many L.A. restaurants and bars that were beginning to rely on sales from CBD cocktail and/or supplement. Some businesses reported CBD-laced products account for 30 percent of their business.

Last week, Florida’s new Secretary of Agriculture – who ran partially on increasing access to medical marijuana – recently made a public statement asserting CBD is not legal to sell in Florida. There is, however, a pending bill in the state legislature that proposes a state regulatory framework for cultivation of hemp and quality control for CBD. Mandatory testing and FDA approval would all be part of that, but so far, that measure has not passed. Continue reading

Strict state regulations on transport and distribution of marijuana in California has spawned a thriving new ancillary industry: Third-party logistics (3PLs). These are independent companies that don’t grow or produce cannabis or related products, but help ensure orders are accurately filled, delivery demands are met on time and products are properly preserved between destination points. Of course, third-party logistics firms have been around for ages, working within just about every national or international market sector, but as Los Angeles marijuana business attorneys can explain, they’re pretty new to this particular economic sector. In California, the state requires licensing for “distributors” and “transporters,” basically the “mandatory middle-men.” Los Angeles marijuana business lawyer

One recent report by logistics trade publication Supply Chain 24-7 detailed burgeoning efforts to build a strategy for state-level supply chains, but also for what some believe may sooner than later become a global supply chain. One logistics firm working on this has its sights on Canada, and with development help from its technology and finance partners is hoping to on-board major licensed marijuana producers, retail distribution centers and government regulators.

Most global third-party logistics for cannabis are likely to employ some type of blockchain, given mandates that product be tracked and accounted for from seed-to-sale. Blockchain is a type of digital ledger for sales transactions made on a cryptocurrency platform like bitcoin, which are meticulously recorded in chronological order and recorded for the public. Cyrptocurrency is likely to be the preferred method of payment for ancillary cannabis companies that have expanded to the point of needing a third-party logistics firm to manage its supply chain. This will help not only keep track of cannabis products and sales, it will improve consumer safety and allow for rapid recalls of tainted marijuana, ensure legal sourcing of marijuana products and facilitate automatic tax and legal process requirements. Continue reading

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