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U.S. lawmakers in a House committee approved a bill that would grant federal protection for banking and financial institutions serving marijuana dispensaries and ancillary businesses. Los Angeles cannabis business lawyers recognize this paves the way for wider discussion in Congress. For California marijuana businesses, this could be a major step toward physical and financial security. Los Angeles cannabis banking lawyer

Why Cash Sales Are Problematic for California Cannabis Companies

Conducting all-cash transactions poses potential risks by making companies a target of robberies, forcing investment in extensive security for on-site sales and delivery personnel. There is also greater risk of accounting errors and audits – a very uncomfortable place for any cannabis owner considering the IRS is a federal agency and, despite California’s approval of the operations, the drug remains illegal under federal law.

The U.S. House Financial Services Committee approved the measure 45-15, just after amending it slightly to extend further protection to insurance companies and also to allow easier access for women and minorities seeking to stake a claim in the industry. Continue reading

Native American tribes allege California’s cannabis market since Proposition 64 effectively excluded them by making no provision to allow sales of the plant grown on reservations. California cannabis attorney

Reservations are considered legally-protected sovereign nations with little if any oversight by state or federal authorities, and thus marijuana cultivation and sales has never been regulated by outside entities. That has not changed. However, as a California Bureau of Cannabis Control spokesman explained, while tribes are free to do as they wish with cannabis while on the reservation itself, they cannot enter the legal cannabis market without proper state permitting and licensing.

As Los Angeles marijuana lawyers can explain, that would mean reservation-based cannabis farmers wanting to secure a place in the legal market would, like all others, be held to state and local regulations. Tribes vying for an in to the lucrative California cannabis market because they can’t sell their product beyond tribal land unless it’s to other tribes.

Current Cannabis Operations on Tribal Land in California

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In the two years since California legalized recreational marijuana, a half-a-dozen government corruption prosecutions alleging California cannabis-related official bribery, fraud and other crimes have been reported. The causal dynamics are in dispute. Those who were always opposed to legalization are saying, “I told you so,” while proponents of the legal market blame the clash between state-and-federal law, the patchwork of city laws and a glut of cannabis crop fueling the black-market because the legal market is too difficult to gain entry.Los Angeles cannabis lawyer

Los Angeles cannabis defense attorneys recognize the difficult state in which many marijuana businesses find themselves. Many are bogged down by too much supply and onerous product testing requirements, leaving them either forced to take a financial loss or turn to the black market. Some try getting their foot in the door to legal sales, but do it trying to buy silence or support from those with power and influence.

In one instance detailed by The Los Angeles Times on the issue, federal investigators launched an investigation after a sheriff from Siskiyou County reported receiving an offer of $1 million from a man allegedly operating several illegal marijuana farms. The man suggested it could go to a foundation the sheriff spear-headed. When the man tried to make his down payment with tens of thousands of dollars stuffed into envelopes, federal authorities swooped in. The man was later indicted on federal bribery charges.

Laws on the CBD food craze are all over the map, and misinformation is rampant. CBD, known formally as cannabidiol, is used in everything from blended drinks to savory sauces, and unlike its cousin THC, it doesn’t make consumers high. Some have referred to it as a natural form of Xanax and Tylenol – without the adverse health impact. No substantial research exists with regard to the health benefits of the compound, yet we do know it’s part of a significant health food craze. Even Martha Stewart has taken on a role advising a marijuana company on CBD food products for both people and their pets.Los Angeles CBD lawyer

Los Angeles CBD lawyers can explain that overlapping federal and state laws have created substantial confusion among restauranteers about what’s legal and what’s not. Consulting with an attorney before launching your latest line of CBD products is advisable.

California and Federal Laws on CBD in Food and Drink Products Continue reading

Our Los Angeles cannabis business lawyers have been on the forefront of the legal marijuana movement from the start. This began with helping medical marijuana patients, doctors, collectives, cooperatives, cultivators, landlords and employees navigate the confusing patchwork of laws that one might reasonably expect from being the very first state to venture into this legal territory while the drug remained against federal law. marijuana attorney

One might have thought the process would become simpler in the two decades since California led the charge on legalization of medical marijuana (in 33 states now), particularly now that 10 allow it for recreational use. But for as long as pot remains prohibited under the U.S. Controlled Substances Act, ensuring compliance while still making a profit continues to be something of a puzzle.

Now, with recreational legalization on the table, many of the old rules are out (collectives at this point are now illegal) and a maze of new laws and regulations are in – with widespread variation from county-to-county, city-to-city. Because the reality is unless and until federal law aligns with state laws, the rights of California cannabis entrepreneurs, investors, patients and innovators will be at-risk. Continue reading

The growing number of athletes who are also budding cannabis fans are legion. Yet at least at the federal level, the drug continues to retain its Schedule I label, putting it in the same category with drugs like LSD and methamphetamine. As of this writing, 33 states allow marijuana use for medicinal purposes. California is one of 10 allowing it for recreational use.athlete cannabis lawyer Los Angeles

Los Angeles athlete marijuana lawyers are aware now of a growing number of companies promoting cannabis as a means for recovery after a significant athletic feat. Whether it’s running a marathon or testing one’s endurance in a yoga session, cannabis has potential power to help the body heal from the strain such exertion can cause. A few sporting goods and activewear companies are teaming up with cannabis innovators to promote the use of cannabis in recovery.

In one case, as Los Angeles Magazine reports, one pop-up pot provider in Culver City incorporates the use of medicinal-grade marijuana with other rest and recovery techniques like yoga, hot stone massages and meditation. The anti-inflammatory effects of cannabis and CBD oil are touted as a means of easing pain and helping athletes get the rest they need to make a full recovery. Continue reading

We reported recently in our Los Angeles Cannabis Attorney Blog that a report from marijuana analytics team Vessel Logistics, showing that even if California cannabis farmers were to slash their production of the plant by 50 percent, we would still end up with a significant surplus of marijuana. This could have significant implications, potentially spurring cannabis companies at every leg of the supply chain to fold. cannabis farmer attorney

Pot Shops Bogged Down by Regulation, Cheap Black Market Competitors

Part of how we got into this mess was California’s historical reliance on black-market sales, including those out-of-state. Federal law prohibits transport of marijuana across state lines, considering it a serious felony drug trafficking offense. Prior to legalization (even after by companies that hadn’t yet obtained a permanent permit) businesses reportedly offloaded excess marijuana product (including that which failed to meet the strict lab testing guidelines issued/overseen by the California Bureau of Cannabis Control) to those willing to pay a little less for it on the black market. A lot of that product then went east, to states where the drug wasn’t easily found or where the only market for it is illicit. Continue reading

So much weed is being grown in California, it could create a bubble that will soon leave us set up for bust. There are too many marijuana farms, too much product and not enough demand. It has the potential, according to Vessel Logistics, to result in an an industry collapse. This is obviously something to which marijuana businesses and our Los Angeles marijuana business lawyers are paying close attention. cannabis lawyer L.A.

The research firm/marijuana distribution company, crunched the numbers to learn nearly 1,150 acres of cannabis farms have a permit by the state. Those farms can generate an estimated 9 million pounds of the crop annually, yet the wholesale marked for the drug in the state – just realistically at this point – is about 2.2 million pounds. That means even if cannabis farms cut their production by half – we would STILL have an overstock.

In a typical trade situation, we’d look to offload that excess to markets in other states selling less. But we’re forbidden to do that by federal and state law. The drug remains a Schedule I narcotic, which our Los Angeles marijuana lawyers know that neither farmers nor distributors can ship this product across state or international lines without breaking serious felony drug trafficking laws – even when those states allow the drug to be used and sold legally.

Using marijuana is legal in California, but apparently, if you’re up for top-level security clearance with the U.S. government, you may want to think twice. employment attorney

The Orange County Register reports The Pentagon is reviewing the federal security clearance of California tech billionaire Elon Musk following an on-air marijuana toke on a comedian’s podcast last fall. Musk reportedly refiled the SF-86 security form required of federal contractors and/or employees who seek security clearance. The form requires filers to answer truthfully whether they have used any illegal drugs at any point in the previous seven years. Musk reportedly had a higher-level secret clearance, thanks to his position spearheading a company (Space Exploration Technologies Corp. – SpaceX for short) that is permitted launch of military spy satellites.

The company’s day-to-day operations aren’t overseen by Musk, and the company won several national security space launch contracts in the wake of the podcast, but the Register reports it’s only with the refiling that Musk may have some issues.

Employers, Contractors Allowed to Set Ground Rules for Off-the-Clock Cannabis Use Continue reading

A Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy scheme to get rich by robbing a marijuana dispensary – and cover it up by making it look like a government raid – did not go according to plan. Now, he’s facing 40 years-to-life in federal prison after pleading guilty to five felonies related to the faux raid. The nearly $650,000 in cash, money orders, half-ton of marijuana and Mercedes-Benz he allegedly heisted during the operation were also turned over to federal authorities. L.A. marijuana criminal defense lawyer

Los Angeles marijuana criminal defense lawyers have taken note that this is one of the most brazen robberies of a dispensary in recent memory. The Los Angeles Daily News reports the law enforcement officer, age 41, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute marijuana and armed robbery. He was also convicted of depriving others of their rights under color of law.

One of his co-defendants pleaded guilty to many of the same charges, as well as being a felon in possession of a firearm. That individual was also convicted in state court of burglary in the second-degree, as well as possessing marijuana for sale and assault with a deadly weapon. He is also facing a lifetime behind bars.

Sentencing is slated for early summer. Four other defendants are also accused, one having signed a plea agreement to testify against the others.  Continue reading