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From the outside looking in, it might seem as if California is a haven of progress for pot proliferation. In reality, nearly two-thirds of California cities expressly bar marijuana businesses from establishing roots. Our Los Angeles marijuana business attorneys know this underscores the hurdles marijuana entrepreneurs face in attempting to break into the world’s biggest cannabis market. They are left with limited options for where such shops can be open. Even in the 161 of California’s 482 cities where it’s allowable, marijuana businesses are strictly regulated and heavily taxed. California marijuana

That’s why any individual or investor considering entry into the marijuana industry in Southern California should consult with a dedicated business attorney who has extensive experience specifically in marijuana law.

The Mercury News reported last year that just one in seven cities in California has entered the marijuana industry. That figure hasn’t changed much since then.  Continue reading

Workplace safety is a topic of growing concern among those in the cannabis industry amid numerous reports of hash oil manufacturing site explosions because of unregulated use of butane gas. But Los Angeles marijuana industry attorneys know that isn’t the only safety concern facing growers, manufacturers and retailers, and it places cannabis companies in a vulnerable position of liability. There are several forms of workers’ compensation available to marijuana businesses in California, and The Cannabis Law Firm can help you determine the best one for your business plan.Los Angeles marijuana business lawyer

Last year, the California Insurance Commissioner announced a new marijuana industry workers’ compensation program through Atlas General Insurance Services tailored specifically to the cannabis business. The program accommodates an array of risks involved in numerous aspects of work in the cannabis industry – from growing and extracting to lab work and medicinal manufacturers to food and beverage products makers, packaging, warehousing and distribution, transportation and retail work.

According to the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment, there are a laundry list of potential risks for employees and contractors in the cannabis market. Workers at risk include:

  • Cultivators
  • Trimmers
  • Extraction technicians
  • Edible producers
  • Budtenders
  • Laboratory technicians
  • Cultivation owner/operator
  • Administrative workers
  • Transportation workers
  • Maintenance workers

Continue reading

California is one of the first states to attempt to make right decades of racist drug policies that tore apart families and and destroyed lives. When the voters approved a ballot measure for recreational marijuana, they also allowed those with previous marijuana convictions to apply to have those records expunged. Very few people actually acted on it. So lawmakers last year passed a different measure that ordered prosecutors to review each prior conviction automatically and decide whether to reduce or dismiss the sentences and records of low-level marijuana offenses. Los Angeles marijuana defense attorneys understand this is the very first law of its kind in the U.S.Los Angeles marijuana business attorney

It is no secret that for the entirety of the war on drugs’ decades-long span, minority communities suffered the devastating impact to a hugely disproportionate degree. Los Angeles marijuana attorneys have watched how these communities are still punished with a cyclical merry-go-round of arrest, limited employment options and poverty. Increasingly, as marijuana legalization gains traction across the country, many advocates are taking it a step further, asking for a remedy for the racist application of law and policy. In cases where those calls have been heeded, criminal records for marijuana dealing and possession are being automatically expunged. There is also help for members of minority groups looking to launch their own California cannabis businesses.

Still, even current enforcement policies aren’t totally equal. In Oakland, where voters passed a ballot initiative to order police to make marijuana enforcement the lowest priority – even lower than jaywalking – evidence showed a decade later police were still arresting black men for criminal marijuana offenses at rates exponentially higher than their white counterparts. The city’s own statistics revealed nearly 80 percent of marijuana arrests in Oakland were African Americans. Four percent were white people, even though the population of the city is 30 percent white. Although legalization of marijuana has slashed the overall number of marijuana arrests, people of color are still police targets. Continue reading

As attorneys representing marijuana companies and workers in Los Angeles, we urge them to carefully analyze every aspect of the business plan – including safety. Now, a safety issue previously believed to be fluke with marijuana manufacturers appears to be a growing cause of greater concern: Cannabis factory explosions and fires. Workers have been hospitalized with severe burns and revealing a major issue in an industry that operates without clear safety standards.marijuana factory explosions liability

Politico reports that in the 33 states where marijuana is legal to purchase for medicinal or recreational use, there have been at least 10 fires or explosions in the last five years. Each of those known incidents occurred at sites where workers were tasked with extracting hash oil for use in edible products. Almost every single one of these incidents led to serious injuries for staff who worked on the production line.

The process for extraction is something that is continuing to evolve, and we don’t know all there is to know about it yet. The fire-safety industry hasn’t offered any guidelines or warnings about best practices. That doesn’t mean marijuana manufacturing operations are off-the-hook when it comes to worker safety. 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

The latest report on the recreational cannabis industry in California reveals aggregate profits of about $345 million – not $1 billion as was anticipated in its first year. A new report by the state’s Cannabis Advisory Committee, revealed in-depth that one of the biggest drags on the market is dilution due to black market sales of the drug – often cheaper and more accessible than legal purchases from a licensed dispensary – creating unfair competition. Los Angeles marijuana business attorneys know the complex regulatory system doesn’t help. Los Angeles marijuana business lawyer

Gov. Gavin Newsome, a staunch proponent of recreational marijuana legalization who received some $340,000 in campaign contributions from the cannabis industry, said it could take at least five years before the market truly hits its stride. One strategy by the state has been to extend timelines to licensed businesses to comply with all aspects of complicated state and local regulations. However, some evidence suggests this could be hampering business for those already in compliance. Part of the problem also has to do with the fact the state lacks adequate resources to enforce the laws. Pot shops also pay hefty taxes and must invest in significant resources to manage a cash-only operation.

Recently, the governor announced plans to expand the effort to shutter illegal cultivation of marijuana, particularly those operated by international drug cartels in Northern California. Specifically, he’s lending expanded aid from the California National Guard to assist the federal government in cracking down on black market marijuana operations. Analysis by New Frontier Data, a private company that follows marijuana industry trends determined 80 percent of the cannabis sold statewide is black market pot. Profits for illicit marijuana sales are estimated to be four times that of the legal market.  Continue reading

California hemp businesses cheered when the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 (“2018 Farm Bill”) approved federal expansion of legalized hemp and hemp-derived products – including CBD (cannabidiol). But when mapping supply chains that cross state borders, Los Angeles hemp business lawyers urge caution.interstate hemp sale

This may seem a bit confusing, given that section 10114(b) of the 2018 Farm Bill expressly states that no state or Indian Tribe has the authority to bar transportation or shipment of hemp or hemp-derived products across boarders, so long as the products meet the criteria of section 10113.

Straightforward, right?

Why Interstate Hemp Shipping Requires Caution  Continue reading

Medical marijuana has long been known to be effective in treating conditions like anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain. Yet the U.S. military has long taken a hard-line stance against marijuana, a position solidified during the Vietnam War as reports blasted on the evening news indicated that half of all soldiers deployed were regularly using marijuana. A study by the Pentagon later revealed the actual figure was closer to 70 percent. This, along with the crash of an aircraft carrier by soldiers later found to have marijuana in their systems led to a zero tolerance policy. California medical marijuana veterans

This has led to all sorts of injustices. Historically, it’s been military policy to exclude from entrance any individual who previously used marijuana as a civilian. In recent years, waivers for “past misconduct” have risen, and are expected to continue rising. Just last year, for instance, the Military Times reported a Vietnam War veteran and head of a military school in Florida was terminated for using medical marijuana extract to treat cancer.

Now, Congressional leaders have filed twin bills in the House and Senate to change federal law that would allow U.S. veterans who abide by state medical marijuana laws to avoid federal intervention and would allow doctors with the Department of Veterans Affairs to issue medical marijuana recommendations to their patients. The Veterans Medical Marijuana Safe Harbor Act, sponsored by U.S. Senate Democrats from California and Hawaii, notes that the drug is legal in 33 states and that medical marijuana can be used to treat chronic pain without the use of dangerous and highly addictive opiates. The sponsor of the House version of the bill said in a statement, “it’s past time to end the anti-science, anti-health cannabis prohibition laws that prevent veterans from accessing health care.” Continue reading

Leaders in luxury are looking to grace their way into marijuana product sales in Los Angeles, with a high-end New York retailer inking a partnership with an upscale cannabis firm to offer a large line of cannabis accessories and “lifestyle products” under the business model concept of a “wellness shop.”luxury marijuana products

Los Angeles marijuana retail attorneys recognize the ways in which this illustrates the many ways in which ancillary companies can break into the bud-tending business. Because marijuana is such a versatile plant – used in everything from medicine for seizures and anxiety to shampoo – we’re likely to see more of these non-traditional dispensaries on the horizon.

These companies need the advice and guidance of a dedicated Los Angeles retail marijuana lawyer to help them navigate the complex legal landscape, ensuring they can offer their products in a way that aligns with state and local regulations – to protect their brand and their assets. Continue reading

Years ago, you could call your Los Angeles pot product pretty much anything you wanted, and not only would you find a market for it, you were unlikely to face costly litigation if you swiped someone else’s style. As marijuana increasingly gains legitimacy across the U.S. (now fully legal in Canada), preserving your budding cannabis brand is becoming a significant legal issue for Los Angeles marijuana businesses. Our California cannabis attorneys can help you in this and other endeavors in launching – or rebranding – your legal marijuana business. cannabis intellectual property protection

As NBC Los Angeles recently reported, now that regulations in the year-old recreational marijuana industry are beginning to settle, some companies are revamping their whole image in an effort to appeal to a wider audience. (Years of “reefer madness” propaganda, a spotty patchwork of state medical marijuana statutes and a spate of federal raids hadn’t helped the industry’s image.)

Building on this previously-untapped market, long-time dispensaries are taking a new tact on branding, while those just breaking into the market are working on forging their recognition for the first time. Unfortunately, because federal law – specifically the U.S. Controlled Substances Act – remains at odds with the now-majority of states that legalize the drug in some form, not all types of intellectual property protection are available to marijuana businesses. Nonetheless, acting on available protections now can help combat copycats in the present while better positioning them to seize further opportunity if/when the government does repeal the CSA. Continue reading