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Canadian media are reporting a spike in black market marijuana sales online, as the country is poised to officially usher in legal recreational marijuana sales and possession.L.A. marijuana business lawyer

National news outlet CBS reported there are at least a dozen e-commerce websites unlawfully selling marijuana-infused products – primarily edibles – without requiring proof beyond a driver’s license and credit card and without any indication that to do so may be unlawful. Some marijuana sales websites even offer loyalty points the more weed you buy. Opposition Conservatives in Ottawa allege these illegal sales are especially dangerous for teenagers, who can potentially purchase these products online themselves with relative ease. Most of these products contain no warnings of possible effects. Politicians cited the case of a young girl who was hospitalized after ingesting marijuana-infused gummies. The concern is the black market will continue to thrive, undercutting what was the primary stated goal of passing a federal law allowing for recreational sales: To curb violence associated with criminal gangs profiting from illegal trafficking.

But it’s not just Canada that has a problem with e-commerce marijuana sales. Los Angeles marijuana lawyers recognize problems with online marijuana trade are even more complicated in the U.S., thanks to the federal law that still classifies marijuana as a Schedule I dangerous and addictive substance – despite the fact that 30 states plus Washington, D.C. allow it to be used and sold in some capacity or another.  Continue reading

A marijuana business expo is now in its fifth year in L.A., with NBC-4 defining it as an event for cannabis growers, entrepreneurs, investors, doctors and users to gather, network and collaborate. As California is poised to become one of the biggest marijuana markets on earth, thanks to its recent legalization of adult recreational use of the drug. The expo is held until the end of the month, with booths making available a variety of businesses, services and products. Some keynote speakers have been identified as industry experts and trailblazers. marijuana lawyer

But as the market grows, our L.A. marijuana business attorneys cannot stress enough how important it is that whatever you niche, you need an attorney to help you navigate through the complex process of state law and local regulation. Failure to do so can end up costing you a substantial sum in the long run.

Although it seems everyone is finding a niche in the cannabis market, there are some main umbrellas under which most of these operations fall:

  • Cultivation
  • Infused products
  • Retail sales

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The favored recreational indulgence appears to be shifting – from alcohol to marijuana. This is noteworthy because the shift is likely ultimately to be the nail in the coffin for federal marijuana prohibition. The fervent support of the younger generation for the plant – in addition to a growing number of baby boomers relying on its medicinal properties – could mean that day will happen sooner than later.cannabis lawyer

As our marijuana lawyers in Los Angeles see it, cannabis prohibition is a pit from which the federal government will need to dig itself out.

Now, a new survey released from The Tylt (the largest and fastest-growing social polling and opinion platform among the youngest adult cohort), indicates it is likely to be increasingly difficult to hold off on the move for too much longer. Specifically, roughly 85 percent back legalized marijuana, and no longer buy into the lie that total prohibition is necessary to keep America’s youth safe. Most said the “War on Drugs” is a failed one and the “War Against Weed” is one that needs a complete overhaul.  Continue reading

A new California law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown eases the way for those impacted hardest by the failed “War on Drugs” to launch a budding marijuana business. Senate Bill 1294 aims to counteract the disproportionate impact of the misguided drug ware on minority communities, allowing local jurisdictions in California to apply for a grant from the state’s Bureau of Cannabis Control to aid entrepreneurs who are also minorities in a number of ways, including providing financial support via waiver of license fees, providing technical assistance and more (with $10 million allocated to provide this support). cannabis business

The new law, supporters said, will directly go to helping those who have been more profoundly impacted by the criminalization of marijuana.

The California Cannabis Equity Act was sponsored by the Drug Policy Alliance, noting that cities that have local marijuana equity programs (Los Angeles, Oakland, San Francisco and Sacramento) will have access to the grant funds. Some opponents of this law argued prior to passage that giving marijuana growers a license and access to grants despite a prior marijuana conviction, something even some proponents of legal marijuana argue harms legitimate businesses because some would-be cannabis business owners got their prior convictions growing marijuana unlawfully on land that wasn’t designated for it, thereby harming the environment. Continue reading

As the marijuana industry becomes more mainstream, our L.A. cannabis business lawyers are seeing many of these companies facing down similar legal challenges as other traditional companies. These include employment lawsuits, business partnership disputes, injury and premises liability litigation and more. However, many of these cases are even more complicated by the fact that the industry is so highly regulated at the state and local level, and of course the fact that their primary product is technically illegal under the federal Controlled Substances Act. business attorneys

Recently in Oregon, a marijuana business owner filed a lawsuit to ask his nephew and former business partner to halt harassment after the business relationship went downhill in the wake of major crop losses. According to Oregon Live, he is seeking $700,000 in damages. In a separate lawsuit filed by attorneys for the marijuana business itself, plaintiff alleges the nephew and one-time co-owner, of defamation and trademark infringement. The company alleges defendant’s inability to produce a marketable flower with any degree of consistency cost the company several million dollars, and is seeking $2.6 million in compensation.

Plaintiff alleges that the flowers grown under defendant partner’s care were total losses in terms of a shelf-worthy flower, and that this was the result of breach of contract on his part. The company owns and operates a production facility on more than 80 acres in Central Oregon, as well as a retail store in a downtown area. The company seeks to grow with retail locations in three other cities, including Portland, where it has applied for a license.  Continue reading

Although a federal judge last month dismissed a racketeering lawsuit last month against numerous marijuana businesses, the plaintiff still has grounds to refile on the basis of a private nuisance claim. This matter in Oregon is noteworthy for our Southern California marijuana business lawyers because it’s one of several that take aim at cannabis industries and companies that are sanctioned by the state using a federal law that was passed for the purpose of tanking organized crime (drug cartels in particular).marijuana business attorney L.A.

The Racketeer Influenced and Corruption Organizations Act, commonly referred to as “RICO,” is a U.S. federal law providing criminal penalties as well as a civil cause of action for acts performed as part of an ongoing criminal organization. It was formed to target the mob.

According to one recent report, these lawsuits are part of a wider strategy nationally to “upend legal weed.” In Oregon, some law firms actually focus exclusively on suing marijuana businesses for racketeering under the RICO statute, 18 U.S.C. Chapter 96. As reported by Willamette Week, a single attorney represented a woman who has sued more than 200 businesses, all that had ever been involved with her neighbor, a single marijuana processing plant that squeezes the THC oil from the flower for use in cannabis-infused candies. That lawsuit alleged that every dispensary and grower that had ever done business with the neighbor conspired to commit crimes that damaged the value of plaintiff’s home. That crime was growing a product deemed illegal by federal law, specifically the Controlled Substances Act. Continue reading

Arizona marijuana attorneys are asking the state supreme court to side with their argument that the state’s medical marijuana law makes no distinction between cannabis edibles, liquids, dried flowers or leaves. The appeal follows a decision by the Arizona Court of Appeals, which upheld the marijuana possession conviction of a man found with 0.05 ounces of hashish, for which he was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison (for drug possession and possession of drug paraphernalia). Defendant had obtained the hashish (cannabis plant resin) and jar from a legal dispensary in Maricopa County.criminal defense

The state allows regulated dispensaries to distribute medical edibles and liquids to be sold for medical use. The 2010 Arizona Medical Marijuana Act allowing one to obtain up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana twice a month, something more than 174,000 people qualify. Defendant’s attorneys are arguing that the active medicinal ingredient in the plant is the resin, and that the law doesn’t expressly exclude certain parts of the plant. There is no provision that says only the flower or only the leaves are allowed. The law defines marijuana broadly to include all parts of any plant of the genus cannabis, whether growing or not, and the seeds of such plants.

In State v. Jones, both sides disagreed as to whether hashish was included within the immunities of AMMA. Citing a previous state supreme court case from the late 1970s, the appeals court noted the legislature recognizes marijuana and hashish as two distinct forms of cannabis, and that the differing forms of treatment between marijuana and hashish have to do with its potency and rendering it susceptible to “serious and extensive abuse.” The state’s medical marijuana law makes no mention of hashish one way or another. Continue reading

A major part of the work our legal team is involved with includes helping marijuana businesses establish themselvescannabis business while remaining in compliance with local and state regulations and laws. What happens, though, when a company is found to be in violation of one of those rules? Many businesses are beginning to find out as authorities ramp up efforts to wrangle illegal, unlicensed, and non-compliant marijuana operations in California. Recently more than 500 people were charged with misdemeanors in Los Angeles for their participation in illegal activity at 105 marijuana businesses in the city.

Those charged could face up to six months in jail and a $1,000 in fines for operating marijuana businesses without a license. The crackdown included not only dispensaries, but also extraction labs, cultivation sites, and delivery services, according to Los Angeles Times. Judges have been hearing cases associated with this series of investigations since May, and arraignments will carry into the end of October. So far, 21 have pleaded no contest or guilty and 11 have been dismissed. Other violations included not following security locations or not following rules regarding the business’s location, such as being too close to a school. With the proper future licensing and guidance, some of these businesses could still have a future, but major infractions like location will mean some will have to practically start over from scratch if they hope to continue in the industry.
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The issue of children and marijuana protections arose once again in the form of a proposed bill from Californiamedical marijuana Senator Jean Fuller (R-Bakersfield). The senator wanted to get on the books more concrete ramifications for dispensaries who sold marijuana to underage clients. The bill proposed a tiered system in which first offenders would receive a 15-day license suspension, second-time offenders within a three-year period would receive a 25-day suspension, and a third offense in three years would lead to a full license revocation. SB-1451, however, was vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown, who called the bill “not necessary,” according tot a report from High Times. Gov. Brown pointed to the Bureau of Cannabis Control and cited their power to suspend or revoke licenses based on these exact kinds of violations and said he would rather the bureau be able to use their own discretion in determining punishment.

In the numerous discussions surrounding the issue of cannabis laws in California and other states across the country, there has been an extraordinary amount of focus on children. Can they be recommended marijuana by a doctor? What is the punishment for selling to a minor? How can marijuana businesses advertise in a way that would not be seen by or not be appealing to children? How do we make the packaging child safe? How does cannabis affect developing brains and bodies? How far should a business be located from schools? The list goes on and on, and many of these issues can be addressed simply with the guidance of a skilled marijuana legal counsel. Continue reading

Recent research out of American University, Colorado State University, and Montana State University delved into a medical marijuanacorrelation between workplace fatalities and the legalization of medical marijuana, and the discoveries could be surprising to many. The data points compiled fly in the face of anti-marijuana rhetoric that has been peddled as “common sense” for decades and show, in fact, a sharp decline in fatal workplace accidents as access to medical marijuana increases. The research is set to be published in The International Journal of Drug Policy, and according to a report from Colorado Springs Independent, the connection the research demonstrated between continuous decreases in fatalities in the workplace and medical marijuana is compelling.

Researchers compiled data from 1992 to 2015, providing a set that included the several years leading up to the passage of the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, which legalized medical marijuana in California, making it the first state to do so. The study followed other states as well and found that deaths from workplace accidents would drop about 34 percent after medical marijuana had been legal in that state for five years. The connection was most notable in the age group of 25- to 44-year-olds, which demonstrated a 19.8 percent reduction. Continue reading