• Marijuana DUI Defense and Drug Charges
  • Advocating for Collectives, Growers
    and Patients Rights
  • Our Attorneys can Help you find a Location
    and Incorporate your Collective
  • Fighting to keep our Client’s Collectives
    Open Through Affordable Litigation
  • criminal defense: marijuana possession,
    sales & cultivation charges

From grow operations to dispensaries to high end paraphernalia that works with smartphones, there is seemingly no end to the growth potential of the cannabis industry.  According to a recent news article by USA Today, a wealthy cannabis company has just purchased a remote California town to create what they are calling a “marijuana mecca” as part of the growing pot tourism industry.

cannabis business lawyersThe company purchased the real estate in this small town and has been working to renovate the businesses already in existence and also to add new landscaping and hardscaping features. They are currently constructing a pond and digging up the streets for underground utilities.  As more workers and interested residents come to the town the population is growing and there are already more than 25 people living in what was essentially a ghost town.  There is not marijuana for sale in the town yet as they have to way to til 2018, but they are working on residences, lodging, cafes, and many other business that will hopefully generate a lot of revenue as people flock to the resort.

The ultimate goal is to create a safe, self-sustaining place for people to smoke openly in outdoor lounges, restaurants, microbreweries, a medical academy and a wellness spa.

Continue reading

Medical marijuana has been big business in California for over two decades.  However, California was not this first state to legalize marijuana for recreational sales, and regulators here still face a learning curve as we prepare to open the doors on legal, non-medicinal sales. One concern is the tax rate. Specifically, the concern is the method of taxation for legal marijuana may be so high that the black market may offer a better deal, according to a recent news article from the Motley Fool.

cannabis business lawyersUnder the new regulatory scheme, growers will have to pay a tax of $9.25 per ounce of buds (flowers) and $2.75 per ounce of leaves.  While leaves are not sought after for smoking, they do contain smaller amounts of THC and can be used for Butane Honey Oil (BHO) extraction to make concentrates, for example, so they do have some value to the industry as concentrates are becoming more popular. They can also be used to make things like Cannabis head creams to help patents with arthritis. Continue reading

It is well-known that marijuana and cannabis products can do a lot to help with the pain of many serious medical conditions.  These products have proven invaluable to cancer patients, helping them overcome the often powerful nausea and lack of appetite caused by chemotherapy.  Because marijuana returns their appetite, this in turn improves the odds of recovery, given that wasting is a common side effect of cancer treatments. Now, according to a new report from VICE, marijuana could also be invaluable to patients with HIV.marijuana attorney

A new study concludes the active ingredients in marijuana may reduce the HIV viral lode.  If true, this goes beyond helping with pain and other symptoms of the disease.

Since marijuana is still classified as a Schedule One controlled substance of the U.S. Controlled Substances Act of 1970 (USCSA), it is very difficult for researchers who get federal money to conduct any studies. Being on the highest schedule means that it does not have any valid medial use, as established by peer reviewed research, has a high potential for abuse, and is dangerous.  While there is no question that marijuana is not chemically addictive and is not dangerous, it is hard to get peer-reviewed federal studies when conducting such studies were nearly impossible. Continue reading

While medical marijuana is legal in Los Angeles pursuant to state law, and the use and sale of recreational marijuana is going to be legalized in 2018, it is still illegal as it a Schedule One controlled substance on the U.S. Controlled Substances Act of 1970 (USCSA).  This means that a marijuana industry business owner cannot have a bank account for his or her business.  This results in business owners having little choice but to store large amounts of cash on hand at all times and that makes them targets for robbery. This is addition to the large amounts of marijuana on hand that is also a target for robbery.

medical marijuana lawyers LAAccording to a recent news article from NBC 4 News, a dispensary in North Hollywood was robbed in what police have described as a takeover robbery.  The alleged offense involved four suspects, two male and two females who rushed into the Los Angeles medical marijuana dispensary with various firearms and took large amounts of cash and marijuana. During the robbery, the suspects attempted to destroy the security cameras, but it appears that some footage was captured prior to that.  A worker at the dispensary allegedly recognized one of the suspects as a regular patient at the dispensary.  When the police were called, they stopped a vehicle matching the description of the suspect’s vehicle, but it was not the correct car. Continue reading

The Orange County government controls the unincorporated areas of the county.  According to a recent news article from the Los Angeles Times, Orange County officials are taking steps to ban the sale of marijuana and the distribution of marijuana within its jurisdictional limits.

marijuana attorneyA new ordinance was preliminarily approved by the Orange County Board of Supervisors with all but one supervisor voting in opposition to the proposed measure.  Supervisor Shaw Nelson argued that this proposed ordinance is contrary to the desires of the voters of California who voted to legalize the sale of recreational marijuana in our state. Continue reading

California is posed to instantly become the country’s largest marijuana market when lawful sales of cannabis for recreational use begin on January 2, 2018. While this presents vast opportunity for investors and entrepreneurs, it also presents a wealth of regulatory challenges. Businesses often face greater regulation in California than other states, simply due to the size of California’s legal and regulatory codes. Cannabis businesses will have the added headache of new and changing regulations in a brand new industry. Yet, with preparation and planning, and skilled legal advice from an experienced marijuana business compliance attorney, business owners can keep their operations compliant and profitable throughout the coming changes in regulatory framework applicable to California’s cannabis industry.cannabis compliance lawyers

California’s Compliance Rating

Forbes reports on recent compliance data issued by Adherence Compliance, a cannabis compliance company based in Denver, Colorado. Adherence Compliance has applied predictive analytics and machine learning to the cannabis industry in order to determine the compliance areas in which a business is likely to fail. Its data has found California cannabis business owners to be the least compliant across the country. Here, owners average sixteen compliance infractions per inspection, and score an average of 74.4 out of 100 on Adherence’s compliance metrics. By contrast: Illinois was found to be the most compliant state, and averaged 91.1 out of 100 on the same tests. It is worth noting that Illinois has a relatively new and small program of strict regulation. Colorado, in comparison, has an older and larger program of regulation, which has complex applications for both recreational and medicinal use. Its cannabis business owners scored an average of 82.9 out of 100 on the Adherence Compliance metric. Continue reading

For years, industry and academia have partnered to find better ways of delivering a better product to consumers. This model has allowed entrepreneurs to take advantage of scientific findings and reliable data to improve their operations and products. Now, one cannabis company is partnering with academic researchers to better understand marijuana.cannabis business lawyers

An Unusual Partnership

The Denver Business Journal reports that Front Range Biosciences – an agricultural biotechnology company based in Lafayette, Colorado which specializes in marijuana – has partnered with the University of California-Davis to study marijuana. The deal began with a $150,000 gift – one of several installments – provided to the University of California by the company, which says it is designed to advance understanding of the medicinal and nutraceutical uses of cannabis. In turn, a professor in the UC-Davis Department of Viticulture and Enology says the college is excited to have the opportunity to study and decode the hemp genome, which will enable new insights into the genetic bases of complex pathways of secondary metabolism in plants. The company also seeks to reduce pesticide residues and excessive application of fertilizers in compounds with medicinal benefits.

Continue reading

As with any retail business, cannabis entrepreneurs find themselves with increased sales around the holiday season. Businesses which are prepared for these opportunities can invest in growth which will sustain profitability well into the new year.cannabis business attorneys

Fall Festivities

There are many ways to market cannabis products for the fall season. GOOD Co-op, a cannabis company based in Oakland, has introduced a “pumpkin spice blondie”. According to Fortune, the cookies are made with real pumpkin, a special blend of spices, and organic cannabis butter. The edibles will be sold exclusively through the Eaze platform in the Oakland area. There are many possibilities for similarly autumn-themed cannabis edibles and products. Apple butter, pumpkin buttercream, and similar autumn scents can be incorporated in many different formats. Edible treats, lotions and salves, bath products, candles, and many other products can carry popular autumn scents. Autumn festivals, carnivals, and other events give cannabis business owners more formats in which to introduce their products to consumers.

In the wake of devastating wildfires in Northern California, many cannabis farmers were dealt a particularly hard financial blow. Cannabis businesses are generally unable to obtain insurance coverage. This is because the insurance industry is regulated by federal law – a federal law which classifies marijuana as an illegal substance. For this reason, when millions of dollars of crops were destroyed, the losses were not compensable. The wildfires also destroyed cash reserves of many businesses. Many cannabis businesses are forced to operate entirely in cash for the same reason – federal law prohibits regulated banks from offering financial services to cannabis businesses. With large cash reserves on site and many evacuation orders coming instantaneously, business owners were not always able to save their business funds. Now, the state Department of Insurance is speaking to cannabis business owners to learn about the challenges they face, and how the insurance industry can better meet the future needs of the cannabis industry.cannabis business lawyers

A New Option for Protecting Cannabis Business Assets

A series of recent moves within California’s insurance industry indicate that cannabis business owners may be better able to protect their assets from future acts of force majeure. The Insurance Journal reports that, for the first time, a carrier admitted to the California Department of Insurance has filed to provide coverage to legal cannabis businesses within the state. Other carriers have expressed the desire to file with the Department to offer similar products to the legal cannabis industry. Standardized insurance forms for the cannabis industry may also be available in the very near future.

Identifying the target market of a business is an important step for any entrepreneur. Profitability can be enhanced by spending advertising budgets effectively, and expanding into markets which have the best potential for sustained business growth and profitability. Entertainment icon Whoopi Goldberg is now breaking into the cannabis industry with this strategy. She and her business partner, Maya Elisabeth, are marketing their products to the medical needs of women.cannabis business lawyers

The Whoopi & Maya Market

Goldberg and Elisabeth launched their cannabis brand, Whoopi & Maya, with a focus on female users. The Daily Beast reports that this has allowed them to gain traction in California’s expanding market for topical cannabis products. And as their business has expanded its efforts to meet the needs of women, Goldberg herself has become vocal on another issue: the use of medical marijuana to treat menstrual pain. She lives in New Jersey, where Governor Chris Christie has rejected legislative efforts to add menstrual pain to the list of qualifying conditions for accessing medical marijuana in that state. Goldberg claims that Christie has stated “several times” that he doesn’t believe period pain is real pain. This has spurred her efforts to market Whoopi & Maya products to sufferers of menstrual pain, and raise awareness of the issue in her public appearances. Continue reading