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Adult-use cannabis became legal in California Jan. 1 with Proposition 64 going into effect. Many cities and counties however have decided to maintain a ban on marijuana, and others did not have local regulations in place in time for the official roll out of the law.marijuana business attorneys

But even after just a few weeks, the state government is already reaping big cash benefits reefer. Gov. Jerry Brown estimates $643 million in marijuana excise taxes in the first year, according to a Los Angeles Times report. Earlier projections estimated tax revenue could eventually hit $1 billion. Brown cautioned we don’t fully know every market issue that is at play, so local governments should be careful before enacting any sweeping measures.

Even as such, the lower estimates more than cover the $52 million California budgeted for 2017-2018 to establish and run the marijuana licensing system. The $643 million also does not include local sales taxes or state license fees. It costs businesses $1,000 for a license to sell cannabis. The fees are set to cover all costs associated with permits, including background checks, and resources necessary for processing and issuing. Continue reading

While Attorney General Jeff Sessions is doing all he can to hold states to federal law regarding marijuana, some representatives are pushing to Los Angeles marijuana legalizationeliminate federal grasp over cannabis altogether and begin the healing process of the destruction caused by the war on drugs.

The Marijuana Justice Act of 2017 was originally introduced in the Senate by Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) in August, where it stalled. Two representatives from California — Barbara Lee (D-CA 13th District) and Ro Khanna (D-CA 17th District) — are now trying to get a companion bill before the House of Representatives. The objective of these bills is to remove marijuana as a Schedule I narcotic in the Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812.

This move comes on the heels of Sessions rescinding a directive, known as the Cole Memo, issued in 2013 by the Department of Justice during the Obama administration, which indicated that federal prosecutors should not pursue charges in relation to illegal marijuana activity so long as those in question were abiding by state laws. Continue reading

Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently rescinded an Obama-era Department of Justice memo, which directed federal prosecutors to lay off cannabis Orange County recreational marijuana charges in states where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

Three weeks after recreational cannabis sales officially became legal in California, select Los Angeles businesses were allowed to open their doors for Los Angeles recreational cannabis businesscommercial sales. While the Adult Use of Marijuana Act made recreational sales legal in the state Jan. 1, it is still up to city and county governments to decide for themselves whether they will issue a ban or set up their own guidelines and regulations. Implementation of guidelines takes time, and some cities, Los Angeles included, were not able to get them in place before the rollout at the beginning of the year.

Los Angeles City Council approved commercial marijuana sales early in December, and by mid-January about two dozen businesses in the city had been granted temporary permits. Three of those businesses had state approval secured and were able to open for business that week, according to an NBC News report. More regulations will have to be met down the road to achieve legal status permanently, the Los Angeles Department of Cannabis Regulation told NBC. Continue reading

As of January 1, California rolled out Proposition 64, The Adult Use of Marijuana Act, making recreational marijuana legal in the state. However, themarijuana legalization attorneys new law did not automatically make cannabis legal everywhere in California. It is still up to local governments to regulate, restrict, and ban as they see fit or to open the floor to residential votes. Therefore, many Californians have been disappointed to discover their local laws are prohibitive to using, growing, or distributing marijuana.

Even more disappointing, though, is when the law changes in a region that initially legalized marijuana, especially for citizens who have already made significant investments in the cannabis industry.

This is the case in Calaveras County in Northern California, where the board of supervisors voted 3-2 to ban commercial marijuana. The board included four newly elected members who campaigned last year on promises of banning marijuana, according to an article from Associated Press. The decision will have broad-sweeping effects on some 200 cannabis farms that will now have only three months to shut down operations. Continue reading

In 2013, Deputy Attorney General James Cole issued what was known as The Cole Memo, a directive during the Obama administration that toldmarijuana business lawyers federal officials to back off of prosecuting those selling, distributing, growing, or using marijuana, so long as the offenders were following state laws. The memo was issued to reconcile the federal Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812, which classifies marijuana as a Schedule I narcotic, with the wave of state laws that allow cannabis sales and use, either medically or recreationally. The move gave hope to the growing number of Americans in favor of full cannabis legalization nationwide.

However, the U.S. recently took a big step backward when current Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the directive, re-opening the door for federal prosecutors to allocate resources at their discretion for cracking down on marijuana operations.

Leaders in states that have legalized marijuana have no intention of going down without a fight, though. With many more making moves to legalize cannabis in state legislatures or on ballots this year, they might have even more allies by their side. 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

While California has been on the forefront of cannabis legalization, making medical marijuana legal more than 20Caifornia marijuana lawyers years ago with the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, and more recently with recreational cannabis being legalized through the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, other states have not been as lucky.

Many hope to change that this coming year, with at least 12 states on deck to consider some form of cannabis legalization in 2018.

This is huge news, not only for those particular states, but also for California and other states that already have legalization in place. The more states rally behind legalization, the stronger we stand against outdated federal laws, which still classify cannabis as a Schedule I narcotic under the Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812. According to a recent report from Newsweek, more than 60% of Americans now support full legalization. Continue reading

California has in many ways led efforts to legalize marijuana around the country. The state was the first to allow medical marijuana with marijuana legalizationProposition 215, i.e. the Compassionate Use Act of 1996. And while the state is a little behind others, such as Colorado, to join the recreational marijuana movement, it will set an example for the rest of the country with Los Angeles expected to skyrocket to the top of the list of the largest commercial markets in the country.

Los Angeles is among cities in California who have approved recreational marijuana activity after the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (or Proposition 64) went into effect Jan. 1, though the city is still finalizing regulations and collecting applications.

This is a fantastic step toward removing the long-held stigmas surrounding cannabis, paving the way toward normalization of marijuana both as a significantly beneficial medical resource, and also as a safe, non-lethal recreational device. Now that both are legal in California, though, be prepared to see a shift in the market. Continue reading

It is an extremely exciting time now in California for cannabis businesses. While medical marijuana has been legal in the state for nearlymarijuana businesses two decades, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, which went into effect Jan. 1, 2018, is ushering in a new era with the legalization of recreational cannabis in California.

But our legal team knows it also can be a very scary and confusing time. Some officials are seeking to make the transition as easy as possible to encourage cannabis businesses to become public and legal. While others seem to be looking for reasons to crack down on businesses and exploit clashing laws.

Such is the case in northern California’s Mendocino County, where in late December two delivery workers were arrested, and their van and its contents, roughly a ton of marijuana, was confiscated. Continue reading