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The “stoner” stereotype has plagued California cannabis businesses since before the drug was legal as medicine in the late 1990s. But many Los Angeles marijuana businesses are looking to re-brand their images in the hopes of better reflecting the type of business they do. marijuana advertising

Branding is valuable for any business, but in the case of marijuana, the benefits are industry-wide because it can help to combat archaic conventional perceptions about marijuana as a product. Formulating a professional, unified brand can help address this – and allow companies to carve a name and a niche in a fiercely competitive market.

On the flip side, even where it’s legal to sell marijuana, it’s tough to advertise it. As our Los Angeles marijuana advertising attorneys can explain, marketing cannabis brands and marijuana dispensaries is rife with hurdles.

Hurdles to California Cannabis Advertising

A recent poll from Pew Research Center reveals nearly 7 in 10 Americans think marijuana should be legal. There’s a broad market of potential consumers within your reach. But when it comes to advertising, marijuana businesses need to tread carefully. Continue reading

Cannabis business attorneyState regulators recently suspended some 400 Californian marijuana business licenses, for failure to participate in compulsory tracking and tracing system trainings, and weeks later, approximately four per cent of the state’s permits still remain in limbo.

While a vast number of permits remain suspended, the total number has fallen. State licensing data shows that of those 407 permits initially put on hold, 277 are yet to have their status returned to “active.”
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An all-encompassing cannabis reform bill inches the nation’s marijuana industry ever closer to federal legalization, as the U.S. House Judiciary Committee voted 24-10 in favor of the bill carried by California-Dem. Kamala Harris in the Senate.

The MORE Act
Should the bill become law, the 2019 Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act (MORE Act) has the potential to extend vast business opportunities for licensed cannabis outfits, especially in states like California where legal operations have already had time to become well established.

However, the bill is not expect to be reviewed by the full House until at least 2020. And in the event that the full House does pass the measure, the current Republican-controlled senate will likely be a difficult obstacle for the Democrat lead bill to overcome prior to next year’s federal election.Marijuana policy
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In a move that has shocked the cannabis industry, California is hiking legal marijuana business taxes. This decision comes on the heels of many licensed marijuana companies imploring the state to reduce such taxes.

But with legal storefronts now set to face cannabis taxes nearing 50 per cent beginning January 1, the move is being seen by some as another reason pot customers will choose the Golden State’s already thriving black market. Cannabis business analysts estimate that for every dollar spent in California’s legal pot market, $3 are being spent on the illicit market.Cannabis business attorneys

In a statement released by the California Cannabis Industry Association, members are said to be both outraged and stunned by the decision. The group believes increased cannabis business taxes will only make trading even more difficult for those operating legally, who are already fraught with heavy fees, stringent regulation, local community bans on cannabis cultivation and sales, and a flourishing black market.
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police lineCalifornia vaping brand, Kushy Punch, has had its cannabis license revoked after state cannabis regulators raided its premises and found the company to be conducting business from a facility that it was not licensed to use.

Last month, California cannabis regulators received a tip off suggesting the company was running illegal business activity, and on inspection of the unlicensed Canoga Park facility, authorities seized cannabis products worth $21 million. The products were held by a company called Verticle Bliss, also operating as Kushy Punch when manufacturing and distributing cannabis products.

The Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) reported that approximately 7,200 unregulated vape cartridges were seized in the raid.
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Cannabis defense attorneyThis month, California has shown an increase in law enforcement activity targeting illegal marijuana growers. A statement from the California Attorney General’s Office said that on November 4, 148 people were arrested by local, state and federal law enforcement officers.

During the raids, California Police seized $1.5 billion worth of illegally grown marijuana. Under California’s “Campaign Against Marijuana Planting” (CAMP) activity, the operations lead authorities to seize and destroy 953,459 plants grown at 345 different cannabis grow sites throughout Southern, Central and Northern California. The November 4 raids also saw 168 weapons confiscated by police.
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The U.S. Department of Agriculture has at last issued the text of its long-awaited interim final rule pertaining to the regulation of domestic hemp. The rule is considered in immediate effect as soon as its published in the Federal Register. hemp farming

The rules were required as part of the plan to implement the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized the production of commercial hemp as an agricultural commodity. The law also explicitly removed hemp from the list of federal controlled substances, marking it distinct from its cannabis cousin, marijuana. Both hemp and marijuana are derived from the cannabis plant, but hemp contains very little to no THC, the psychoactive ingredient that gets people high. Hemp can be used in a broad variety of products, from paper to lotion to clothing.

But as our Los Angeles hemp business attorneys can explain, these new rules don’t automatically make hemp production legal everywhere in the country. It is expressly legal in 46 states, but the farm bill did give states discretion to decide whether to continue to ban growth of the crop within their borders. As it stands, South Dakota, Idaho, Mississippi and New Hampshire have explicitly banned hemp farming and production.

Despite numerous substantial fits and starts, California’s legal cannabis market is still an a growth trajectory. In fact, it’s anticipated that within the next five years, California sales of the crop will account for almost one-quarter of the legal marijuana sold in the country. That’s according to a new analysis by ArcView Market Research and BDS Analytics.cannabis lawyer

Voters in the Golden State agreed to legalize recreational marijuana use three years ago, and sales officially became legal at the start of last year. Prior to that, only sales for prescribed medicinal use was allowed. Although there was a great deal of anticipation about how legalization would unfold, our Los Angeles marijuana business lawyers know the transition to a legal market was rocky at best.

Despite troubles with the black market and untested regulatory rules (including rigid new testing mandates, heavy taxation and licensing that moves at a snail’s pace in some jurisdictions), the current market size is $2.5 billion, according to the analysis. Continue reading

The City of Los Angeles has been urged to stop its pot shop vetting process and initiate an independent audit amid complaints that some applicants were given unfair early access.cannabis lawyer

The Los Angeles Times reports City Council President Herb Wesson wants the city to temporarily suspend the approval process until these concerns can be rectified.

As our Los Angeles cannabis business attorneys can explain, the current system only allows for review of a limited number of applications, so it’s done on a first-come, first-serve basis. The concern with this approach is that some applicants had an edge when it came to faster submission.Would-be cannabis entrepreneurs in economically-disadvantaged areas (coincidentally those hit hardest by the decades-long war on drugs before marijuana became legal) struggled to keep pace with those in wealthier communities with widespread access to high-speed internet. Continue reading

Manufacturers of THC vape cartridges should be alert to the fact that the industry could be facing a wave of product liability lawsuits, if headlines and recent filings are any indication. marijuana lawyer

Recently, a police officer/former U.S. Army Special Forces servicemember filed a product liability lawsuit in Washington State against numerous THC vape cartridge manufacturers, alleging he contracted a condition known as lipoid pneumonia as the result of using the vape cartridges. According to court records in Wilcoxson v. Canna Brand Solutions LLC et al., plaintiff began using a number of cannabis vapor products in January 2018, and continued use through September 2019. He suddenly woke up one night wheezing uncontrollably. When symptoms didn’t improve, he went to the emergency room. He was given the pneumonia diagnosis, and the pathology report noted indicators of a reactive airway disease that doctors traced to the vape pens. He was hospitalized for three days, and while he did return to work, it’s only been part-time and on light duty, as he can no longer run. The full extent of his injuries, the lawsuit says, is not yet known.

Asserting negligence and strict liability against a number of defendants, plaintiff accuses the manufacturers of producing and selling a product that was defectively designed, unreasonably dangerous, unfit for human use and that caused his illness.

The defendants in the case are listed as jointly and severally liable, which as our Los Angeles marijuana lawyers can explain means that a single defendant can be held legally responsible to pay damages caused by other defendants. This civil litigation strategy is often used when there isn’t enough reliable/scientific evidence to prove medical causation of one’s illness against any single defendant. (We saw this exact thing in tobacco and asbestos toxic torts.) It’s beneficial for the plaintiff too because if one defendant goes bankrupt or defunct or can’t be found, any of the others can be responsible to pay their share. Continue reading

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