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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

California marijuana marketing 101: Hire an experienced Los Angeles marijuana business attorney. Yes, you can hire a marketing firm to send out your email blasts or pour some time into cultivating an Instagram following or hire a firm to write some blogs and boost your SEO. However, cannabis shops and distributors shouldn’t drop a dime – or their time – on these things until they have spoken with a California marijuana business lawyer. Yes, you want to be informative, educate, entertain, build brand loyalty and a community of customers – and yes, ultimately move your product. But if you aren’t careful about reading the fine print, you could see your money and resource investment go up in smoke.Los Angeles marijuana marketing attorney

Just like tobacco and alcohol, the cannabis industry has a number of restrictions about how it can be advertised and marketed. Running afoul of this can be expensive, potentially embarrassing and could cost you business. There are state advertising laws that must be considered, with some regulations specific to the cannabis industry. On top of that, you have to consider the platform. Popular social media apps like Instagram and Facebook have specific terms of service use that don’t allow advertising of “criminal activity” – and marijuana is still a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law.

California cannabis shop owners and dispensary operators have been dealing with this sort of thing for some time now, but in Maryland, they’re just starting to face down some of these challenges. The Washington Post recently detailed the struggles of a fledgling marijuana dispensary owner who started with a dream and a little cash and a bit of social media savvy. Marketing on Instagram would be a great way to reach her target audience. She went for it – and it was wildly successful. Customers followed for the latest “Waxy Wednesday” promotion or educational captions on interesting photos, such as the “Featured Flower” she posted regularly. And then – all of it was deleted. Instagram abruptly announced the account violated its complex terms of service. Hundreds of hours of work were lost – and the marijuana business owner suddenly had no way to reach the following she’d worked so hard to build.

Laws on Mass Marijuana Marketing 

Let’s start at the federal level. First, there is the possible risk of prosecution for marijuana advertising under the Controlled Substances Act. 21 U.S.C. section 843(c) bans placement of written advertisements for marijuana and other controlled substances in any newspaper, magazine, handbill or other publication knowing it is done with the purpose of seeking or offering unlawfully to receive, purchase or distribute marijuana. … Soooo… Does that mean you can’t advertise? Not exactly. The measure is seldom-enforced, but it does mean that you’ll need to proceed with appropriate caution.  Continue reading

Facebook is ending its block on searches for marijuana and related products, according to MarketWatch. The change comes just ahead of Canada’s legalization of the drug. Searches related to the drug had been disallowed by the company for many months, according to the social media platform, because people had been using it to sell marijuana illegally online, which was a violation of its policies. cannabis attorney L.A.

This could be an important change as promotion of marijuana on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest can be a main means by which to reach key demographics.

One of the main focuses of our L.A. marijuana business lawyers is ensuring our clients are abiding state regulation on marijuana advertising. Running afoul of state marijuana ad rules can result in huge fines. These rules are spelled out in Business and Professions Code (BPC), Division 10, Chapter 15 (26150-26156), which are fairly stringent.  Continue reading

The Navy Times is reporting a 77-year-old Vietnam War veteran who has spent the last 22 years in the U.S. Air Force was terminated from his position as the dean of academics within the Air Force Special Operations School after superiors learned he was using cannabis oil to treat prostate cancer.marijuana employment attorney

Mind you: This was non-psychoactive CBD oil, an extract that does not make you high.

As long-time Orange County marijuana lawyers, we have run into more than our fair share of employment-related issues. In fact, our clients trust us specifically because California cannabis employment law is a primary area of our legal focus. That means if you feel you have been wrongly terminated for a cannabis-related issue, we can advise you during a free initial consultation whether we feel you have a valid claim that deserves to be pursued.  Continue reading

Corporate investing in California marijuana businesses and sales is driven by the consumer demand for these products. A survey of 2,000 consumers in the U.S. and Canada, conducted by a global management and strategy consulting firm, revealed more than 50 percent of respondents in both countries indicated they would dabble in the drug if it was allowed by law – if or or when that happens.cannabis lawyer

Cannabis will be legal in Canada officially on Oct. 17. In the U.S., however, federal law prohibits the drug’s use or sale for any purpose, but the law is not evenly enforced given the fact that 30 states plus Washington, D.C. have approved it for some level of use, a handful of those – including California – allowing recreational use with restrictions.

The research was released in this moment where big-name brand corporations are toying with the notion – some seriously – of investing in legal marijuana businesses in California and beyond. Continue reading