In January, any adult in Los Angeles will be able to walk into a marijuana shop or dispensary and purchase marijuana for any use they see fit. They can use it as a medicine or for recreational use. While California was the first state to legalize medical marijuana back in 1996, the state has become somewhat of a follower of other states.
However, it should be noted that, while California is no longer the nation’s most progressive state with respect to legalization of marijuana, it should be noted that California is the nation’s leader by far in terms of revenue generated, and this is currently only including money generated by the sale of medical marijuana to approved patients. When recreational users can legally purchase cannabis products, the market is expected to grow even larger.One thing to keep in mind is that, while there will be a lot of money to be made in the recreational marijuana industry, there will also be a lot of pitfalls. One reason for this is because, like medical marijuana sales, recreational use marijuana sales are still illegal on the federal level. This is because marijuana is listed a Schedule One controlled substance on the U.S. Controlled Substances Act of 1970 (USCSA). While Congress has been unwilling to remove or even reschedule marijuana to a lower schedule, they have said they will not authorize the federal government (including agencies such as the DEA) to spend taxpayer dollars to regulate or enforce marijuana laws in a state where medical marijuana is legal.
Congress has not, however, limited the enforcement of recreational use marijuana in states where that is legal, such as California. To make the issue even more complicated, the Attorney General, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, has said that “good people” do not use marijuana. He has gone on to say that he will consider going after state legal recreational use marijuana and also that he does not feel the federal prohibitions on enforcing marijuana laws necessarily apply to him. Fortunately, for those in the medical marijuana industry, the attorney general is dealing with other more pressing matters and has not had time to address medical marijuana.
However, with all of these issues being up in the air, it is important to speak with an experienced cannabis lawyer in Los Angeles. There are many attorneys who have realized this is big business and say that they handle these cases, but you want to make sure your attorney has been handling these matters for a long time and really knows what he or she is doing.
Aside from legal concerns, one issue that has arisen is that it may cost more for medical marijuana patients to get their medicine once recreational users are allow to purchase it as discussed in a recent news article from CBS Sacramento. This is partly because of a new 15 percent tax and partly out of concern that the co-op model will be replaced with for-profit shops. These are the advocates that have fought for years to legalize medical marijuana and even recreational use marijuana, but they do not want to find themselves standing on the outside of the business.
The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call us at 949-375-4734.
Medical Marijuana Advocates Worry Pot Price Spike Coming To California, June 8, 2017, By Lemor Abrams, CBS Sacramento
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Marijuana Equipment Business is Booming, April 14, 2017, L.A. Marijuana Attorney Blog