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The cannabis industry in California is struggling, despite being larger than ever. Los Angeles marijuana lawyers know that is thanks in large part to the tight regulations and steep taxes imposed on cultivators, producers, labs, retailers and consumers. Now, some legal analysts are proposing a plan that would base tax level on how potent a product is. Los Angeles marijuana tax lawyer

In other words, the higher the concentration of a product’s THC content, the more it would be taxed. The proposal comes as state-legal businesses have been begging lawmakers for some relief from local and state government taxes. The high tax rates (a combined 50 percent for some businesses) are driving up the costs of marijuana products, which in turn are being passed onto consumers, a growing number of whom find it preferable to frequent the plentiful (and much cheaper) black market vendors.

The plan proposed by the state’s Legislative Analyst’s Office would:

  • Eliminate existing marijuana business taxes (including the 15 percent across-the-board tax paid by customers when they buy).
  • Replace this with a tiered tax system wherein taxes would range on the basis of the potency or the type of product itself.

This would effective address a few different issues, they say. First, it would help reduce the potential for consumers to get their hands on dangerous, high-potency pot products. Secondly, it would ease the tax burdens of retailers primarily selling low-to-moderate THC potency products. Once companies aren’t so squeezed financially, they’ll be better able to compete with the unregulated black market. Continue reading

An Oakland cannabis company’s tax fight with the Internal Revenue Service is being closely watched by industry insiders throughout California. Although it’s been two years since recreational cannabis sales became legal in California, marijuana businesses are still – at least in the eyes of the IRS – sizable drug traffickers. Los Angeles marijuana tax lawyers

Our Los Angeles marijuana tax lawyers know that taxes are a major sore point for many pot shops throughout the Golden State – starting with the fact that local and state government taxes have sapped many businesses of the ability to fairly compete with the cheaper, thriving black market.

Taxation by the federal government is a whole different beats entirely. The U.S. Controlled Substances Act still categorizes marijuana as a dangerous Schedule I narcotic, criminalizing marijuana possession, sale and cultivation. This is true regardless of state law, though federal officials have struck a tenuous peace with state-legal operations with annual federal spending bills that stipulate the U.S. Department of Justice isn’t to use taxpayer funds to go after operations in compliance with state cannabis laws. But that doesn’t provide any relief where the IRS is concerned. Continue reading

cannabis chemist lawyerMonthly lab-testing numbers for California’s legal cannabis products show signs of bouncing back, after lulls midyear. Even in late November, indicators pointed to a cultivating season that will continue well into the year’s end.

News of this rise in legal cannabis product quantities moving through the state’s supply chain has been met with spliff, or rather split, industry opinions. That’s largely because California’s unsteady marijuana market is still trying to find its stride.

Some insiders see the rise as a positive sign, showing that California’s licensed marijuana operations are enjoying an uptick. Meanwhile, others see the latest statistics as further evidence of a black market that continues to outpace the regulated industry.
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pregnancy2-200x300A panel in California has declared that marijuana smoke and THC – the chemical within the drug responsible for producing the ‘high’ – pose a risk to women who are pregnant, as well as to their unborn babies. The move will require all legal cannabis products sold in California to carry warning labels, though changes will not begin for a year.

Scientists made up the nine-member panel, which formed the Development and Reproductive Toxicant Identification Committee, who considered the accuracy and reliability of a number of detailed research studies that investigated the effects of marijuana on people, fish, mice and rats.
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medical marijuanaThe Californian cannabis industry watched with the nation, as 47 patients across 25 states lost their lives to possible ­­vaping associated pulmonary illness this summer. And as the epidemic dragged on, news reports covered a notable dip in vape sales, understandably as consumers took a slight step back from vaping until safety could be assured.

When the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed there was a vaping crisis sweeping the nation, media reports surrounding the deaths believed to be linked to vaping also covered news of the crisis hurting cannabis vape sales. At the time, vaping was the cannabis industry’s fastest growing segment. It appeared that California bore the brunt of the fallout, and Marijuana Business Daily reported the state’s vaping shares for the recreational cannabis market dropped for four weeks straight, “from 30.5% the week of August 19 to 24.3% by the week of September 16.”

Since then, data has shown that vaping cannabis sales have stabilized, and even increased market share in a number of states. Tom Adams, BDS Analytics’ Managing Director of Industry Intelligence explains that’s because people enjoy vaping, they see it as a healthy substitute for smoking cigarettes and cannabis, and find vaping far more convenient and discrete than burning dried plant matter. So unless we see a total government ban imposed, a slowdown is unlikely.
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cannabis lawyerCalifornian marijuana industry members are in distress, and an urgent cry for help has been made to state leaders. Legal cannabis companies in California say they are simply unable to keep pace with illicit marijuana business operators who don’t pay licensing fees, skip state taxes and fail to meet state mandated industry regulations. Licensed marijuana businesses warn the state’s largest emerging industry is at risk of going up in smoke, unless lawmakers quickly usher in regulatory changes.

If you need legal advice regarding your commercial cannabis business, our Orange County cannabis business lawyers are here for you.
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Los Angeles marijuana delivery driverCalifornian officials are stepping into an escalating court battle surrounding cannabis home deliveries. The move comes as the state’s counties and cities are at odds with companies delivering cannabis to customers’ homes, within communities that have either banned or restricted marijuana sales.

In early November, Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra and the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) filed a motion to help bolster a suit brought by Eden Cannabis Co. against Santa Cruz County, which had banned unlicensed marijuana companies from making deliveries within the county. The county’s suit states that the California regulation directly and irreconcilably conflicts with Proposition 64, which “preserves the right of local jurisdictions to regulate commercial cannabis activity at the local level.”

Becerra, meanwhile, told the court the state has acted appropriately in determining where cannabis can be delivered and sold. He went on to argue that banning deliveries from outside companies is ‘inconsistent’ with state regulations that permit deliveries by licensed marijuana companies, anywhere within the state of California. The Santa Cruz court has set a hearing date for Jan. 2 to determine whether the state bureau can intervene in the case.
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As legal marijuana makes continued gains, commercial property owners are increasingly faced with the question of whether the opportunity of leasing to marijuana retailers and related businesses outweighs the potential risk.California cannabis leases

Legalized marijuana poses challenges for real estate professionals and brokerages in two key arenas: Employment law and property management. Whether you are a landlord, tenant or subtenant in the California cannabis market, you will need an airtight commercial cannabis lease. Carefully structuring these leases can help protect property owners from liability issues while remaining competitive. An experienced Los Angeles marijuana lawyer can help.

The very first thing to understand is that, regardless of state laws and regulations, the use, possession, sale or processing is still illegal under federal law. Further, the so-called “Crack House Statute,” 21 USC 856 makes it a felony to knowingly open, lease, rent, use or maintain any place for purposes of manufacturing, distributing or using any controlled substances. Continue reading

Professional athlete endorsements are gold mines for any health and fitness product. Men’s Health magazine reported earlier this year on the unlikely crop of new cannabis advocates found in former and current pro athletes. Many, like former New England Patriots Super Bowl champion Rob Gronkowski, insist cannabis and CBD are superior options for treatment of chronic pain compared to the powerfully addictive and dangerous opiates doctors have been prescribing them for years. They report that with CBD, they are sleeping better, have improved muscle recovery, suffer fewer symptoms of chronic pain, anxiety and chronic traumatic encephalopathy – without the high or risk of addiction.cbd advertising lawyer

Some have gone on record to endorse their favorite brands of CBD oils and products, joining dozens of A-list celebrities who do the same.

This has resulted in Los Angeles cannabis advertising lawyers being asked whether these endorsements violate state or federal advertising laws.

Truth is, this is still a relatively new area of law, which is why each party should consult with an attorney before soliciting, offering or publishing a CBD advertisement or endorsement. Continue reading

There are many reasons California cannabis industry entrepreneurs these days might feel their situation a bit bleak. The ever-present threat of black market sales are encroaching on their profits. Excessive regulations and taxation have left many companies stretched incredibly thin. A patchwork of confusing local laws have proven difficult to navigate. Some large cannabis companies have been enacting mass layoffs to help cope with the fact that revenue has fallen far short of initial projections. All the while, the drug remains an illegal Schedule I narcotic at the federal level. California marijuana lawyer

And yet, there is a fair bit of good news on the horizon for new pot shop owners.

The marijuana legalization movement continues to gain significant ground both in the U.S. and abroad. Investors, manufacturers and researchers are paying close attention, with more than a few continuing to take on the potential risks. The legal marijuana industry was estimated to be worth some $10.4 billion last year, employing more than 250,000 workers nationally. There are now 33 states that have moved to legalize the plant for medicinal purposes and 10 states – including California – have legalized the drug for recreational sales and use. Continue reading

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