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In what is being considered a big win for all California cannabis companies after the federal government declined to proceed with civil forfeiture action initiated by the California Highway Patrol following a traffic stop of two marijuana delivery drivers, and the court ordered the money returned. cannabis company delivery

Attorneys for the cannabis businesses say these traffic stops targeting state-legal cannabis companies – and then calling in the feds to seize whatever goods and cash they found – were part of a systematic effort to undercut the burgeoning cannabis industry.

Although these companies are operating under the guidelines set forth by Prop. 64 the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, the cultivation, production, sale and use of marijuana remains illegal under the U.S. Controlled Substances Act. Federal and state justice agencies alike have, in the course of the failed War on Drugs, also availed themselves of a civil procedure known as civil forfeiture, designed to curb organized criminal activity (gangs, drug dealers, etc.).

State law enforcement agencies in California can no longer do this because marijuana is no longer flatly outlawed. So instead, it appears they were forwarding this means to undercut cannabis operations to the federal government. Continue reading

Lawmakers, worker rights advocates, cannabis industry leaders and criminal defense lawyers are expressing outrage after a trucker hauling hemp was arrested on felony state charges in Idaho for transporting an unlawful substance across state lines from Oregon.truck accident lawyer

The incident occurred a month after the  2018 U.S. Farm Bill that legalized commercial hemp at the federal level went into effect. So long as the hemp contains less than 0.03 percent tetrahydrocanabidiol (THC), it is now legal under federal law for cultivation, production, transportation and sale.

The case underscored some of the worst fears expressed by trucking companies and drivers about hauling these products. Cannabis industry suppliers, carriers, vehicle owners, drivers and contractors scrambling to understand what happened, learn how to protect their operations and advocate for a driver who almost certainly didn’t think he was doing anything illegal. Continue reading

The first step in any successful marijuana business plan is knowing your audience. For marijuana entrepreneurs, that means paying careful attention to the fact that not only are one-third of U.S. adults over 21 interested in trying legal cannabis, but also understanding why.medical marijuana attorney

The answer may surprise some folks: It’s not to get high, but for medicinal reasons.

Studying Cannabis Consumer Motivation

A recent survey conducted by market analysts at Nielsen reveals those interested in trying cannabis wanted to do so for wellness-related reasons, often for treatment of pain. The breakdown for motivation is as follows:

  • To ease chronic pain (migraines, arthritis, neck & back pain, menstrual cramps) – 85 percent
  • Improve mental health state – 82 percent
  • Treatment of minor injuries – 82 percent
  • Use as a sleep aid – 77 percent
  • Relaxation – 74 percent

Treatment of a non-pain-related medical condition or disease, overall improvement of public health and enjoyment with family and and friends were other reasons noted. Continue reading

Cannabis stores in California are clearing the shelf space for CBD-infused food and supplements, in preparation approval of Assembly Bill 228, which requires a two-thirds state Senate majority after passing in the House earlier this month.California CBD sales

However, Los Angeles cannabis law firm attorneys urge reefer retailers to exercise caution. It’s unclear whether removing the state level ban would mean companies are legally in the clear to manufacture/sell CBD-infused products and supplements so long as the U.S. Food & Drug Administration has made it clear that such sales are illegal under federal law. The agency is reportedly reconsidering this stance amid intense pressure from the cannabis industry, but thusfar, there has been no shift in policy.

At issue are hemp-derived CBD (cannabidiol), a non-psychoactive extract of the hemp plant, which is a type of cannabis that contains less than 0.03 percent THC (tetrohydrocannabidiol), the cannabis plant extract that gives users a high. The historic 2018 U.S. Farm Bill formally differentiated hemp from its cannabis cousin, marijuana, opening the door for a host of cannabis-derived products, from textiles to beauty products.

Yet even as purveyors of Southern California food and beverages in states where recreational marijuana is legal infuse THC-laden products into everything from pizza and beer to candies and chips, they haven’t technically been allowed under either state or federal law to do the same with CBD. Continue reading

Medical marijuana use among American seniors has soared in recent years, with a new study from the University of Colorado revealing baby boomer pot use has spiked 10-fold in as many years. Most seek cannabis to help treat aches and pains, anxiety, depression and other conditions. baby boomer cannabis law

Researchers reported that just in the last year, some 3.7 percent of Americans older than 65 used marijuana, compared to 0.3 percent that had reported doing so a decade ago. Study authors combed data from the National Survey of Drug Use and Health to reach their conclusions, which included finding higher rates of use among adults between 60 and 64 (9.4 percent, compared to 1.9 percent back in 2007).

Medical cannabis lawyers in California fully believe that as more states approve access to the drug for health woes and recreational use (33 and 11, respectively), this tend of pot-friendly baby boomers is likely to continue trending upward – especially as the body of research showing pot’s full medicinal potential expands.

Seniors and Sativa: What the Science Says

The research on marijuana as a treatment for the ailments of aging is thin, primarily because the classification of marijuana as a Schedule I narcotic per the U.S. Controlled Substances Act has severely limited peer-reviewed research. Researchers are still significantly restricted in terms of clinical analysis, but as the drug becomes more widely available to test in laboratories and in general population data sets, the more we’re learning. Continue reading

Just 25 years ago, virtually every company in America enjoyed freedom from virtually any duty to accommodate workers who used cannabis. At the time, California was still a handful of years away from being the first state to legalize medicinal marijuana and the thought of legalized cannabis for recreation seemed a laughable pipe dream. marijuana drug test work California

The tides have rapidly turned, with 33 states permitting some degree of access to medicinal marijuana, soon-to-be-11 states allowing recreational sales and use and still others on the fence. The drug does, however, remain a Schedule I narcotic per Title 21 of U.S. Code, the U.S. Controlled Substances Act.

As it pertains to rights and duties of employees and employers, those working in the federal government must be especially careful – particularly if they are in the military and/or require security clearance to do their jobs. Even something as benign as investing in marijuana stock has been used as an excuse to revoke security clearance.

But federal employees aren’t the only ones whose jobs may be on the line if they test positive for marijuana – even if they have a recommendation from a medical doctor. Continue reading

Dozens of bipartisan Congressional leaders signed onto a letter pressing top law enforcement agencies for faster action in approving marijuana cultivation for government research. The Associated Press reports the letter advocated for more analysis of the medicinal properties, benefits and potential risks of the drug.marijuanaresearch-300x200

Orange County marijuana farming lawyers know this would be a substantial first step to decriminalizing cannabis at the national level, a move that could have significant implications for state-legal dispensaries. Because cannabis remains illegal under the U.S. Controlled Substances Act – especially in the highest-risk classification – California marijuana farms, production centers, labs, landlords and ancillary businesses know the Cole Memo is little more than a tenuous truce. They are largely at the mercy of political whims, and while it seems certain legalization (or at least lower classification) will be inevitable, the question is: When?

A Schedule I narcotic like marijuana is considered by law to be extremely dangerous, highly addictive and have no medicinal value. Even those opposed to federal legalization for recreation know this description is absurd. The problem is its classification has prevented reputable study for decades. Yet the government has argued it doesn’t have enough data to eschew the Schedule I categorization – so it becomes a catch-22. Continue reading

Much ire has been expressed by licensed California cannabis cultivators and dispensaries at the unfair black market competition by those who don’t pay state fees and taxes and whose product isn’t thoroughly vetted. Orange County marijuana lawyers understand the glut of illegal marijuana has undermined the roll-out of recreational marijuana in communities from Los Angeles to San Francisco.California marijuana farming attorney

Similar problems have been reported not just here but in other liberalized state marijuana statutes appear to have had little impact on black market sales. So far, 10 states including California have legalized marijuana for recreational sales.

Not so in Oregon and Washington, a new study suggests, indicating that the way states have written their recreational marijuana laws may play a big role. Since Washington and Oregon legalized recreational marijuana (in 2012 and 2014, respectively) there has actually been a decline in the wealth of marijuana farms throughout the state’s national forests, resulting in reduced adverse ecological impact.

European scholars in an analysis published recently in the journal Ecological Economics, identified a number of health and economic upsides to Oregon and Washington marijuana policy, something California legislators may want to note. Continue reading

Intellectual property rights for cannabis, marijuana, CBD and hemp have long been a point of serious contention for CBD businesses. Now, with both hemp and CBD decriminalized, removed from the list of federally-controlled substances, intellectual property rights for these newly-legal crops are now strengthened. intellectual property law

Hemp farming attorneys in Orange County noted the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s recent announcement that growers of hemp can now officially submit applications for protection of their intellectual property.

Hemp Intellectual Property Protections Offered

Now for the first time since the ill-fated War on Drugs launched, the USDA’s Plant Variety Protection Office expressly affords intellectual property right protection to hemp cultivators, instilling the power to pursue claims against other growers who attempt to capitalize on unique variety of plants developed by other farmers. Continue reading

Although hemp and CBD are no longer on the U.S Controlled Substances list, thanks to the 2019 Farm Bill, there are still regulatory agencies that can impose stringent restrictions on their use. L.A. CBD lawyers have been closely monitoring the evolution of federal policy and statutes pertaining to application of legal sales, in particular infusion of food and beverage products made from hemp-derived CBD. L.A. CBD lawyers

In April, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) made clear that CBD made with hemp can’t be lawfully added to alcoholic drinks.

In response to a flood of inquiries submitted by L.A. CBD lawyers and other interested parties, the TTB made clear that while CBD and hemp are now federally legalized, that legality doesn’t pertain to alcohol. Continue reading