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Our Southern California cannabis lawyers have been carefully eyeing the legal developments happening at the federal level, with Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer of New York recently releasing draft legislation that would legalize marijuana in the U.S. Los Angeles marijuana lawyer

It’s called the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act. It’s similar to a bill passed by the House in December. The House’s approval of such a measure isn’t surprising, given its political makeup. The Senate, however, is much more conservative and a different story. How good of a chance does a measure like this actually have of becoming reality?

A poll conducted last year by the Pew Research Center reveals 6 in 10 Americans favor legalizing pot for both medicinal and recreational use. However, the majority party in the Senate has a lot on its plate, with presidential priorities being immigration, policing and infrastructure. Cannabis isn’t on that list, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t have forward momentum. Continue reading

In a precedential decision, the California State Personnel Board ruled that simply testing positive for prior marijuana use isn’t enough to accurately reflect whether a worker was impaired at work and thus grounds for discipline. The impact of this new civil service rule is that the use of urine tests for cannabis will be significantly limited in state worker discipline cases. marijuana attorney Los Angeles

There are a few positions, such as policing, to which the rule does not apply. Some state employees are expressly barred from using drugs at all. But otherwise, given that cannabis is legal in California, it appears the state will largely be treating it like alcohol where workers are concerned.

The personnel board, which oversees the civil service rules applicable to state employees, pointed out that urine tests are only going to reveal whether a person has used marijuana in the past. It’s no indicator of whether the person is intoxicated on-the-job, which for most employees would be the only situation in which marijuana use would matter. Continue reading

Outdoor advertising of cannabis products on more than 4,000 miles of California highways (any that cross the state border) was banned earlier this year following a district court ruling. In that matter, the court sided with a resident of San Luis Obispo County who alleged the state’s cannabis regulation bureau’s read of Proposition 64 would unduly expose his teens to marijuana ads. But what does that mean for marijuana marketers? Los Angeles cannabis advertising lawyer

As our Los Angeles cannabis business attorneys can explain, cannabis advertising is not something companies should engage in until they’ve consulted with an attorney and are certain their approach is within the boundaries of the law. Having an attorney on retainer assures you can run decisions like this by someone who will be on hand to give you solid advice for whatever issues arise.

The good news is that despite blanket bans on marijuana advertising, many cannabis companies are still finding creative ways to get their brand some traction. For example, some businesses have orchestrated workarounds with state Sponsor a Highway programs. That gets them brand visibility while also complying with the law. Continue reading

Last month, supporters of marijuana legalization got a welcome surprise when conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas questioned the constitutionality of federal prohibitions on marijuana. That line of questioning didn’t alter federal law, but it does seem to inch us closer to a reality where cannabis could be legalized, regulated and accepted the same way alcohol has. Hope has been especially high since the election of President Joe Biden. Still, the actual odds aren’t at all clear-cut. Los Angeles marijuana business lawyer

As of the beginning of this month, recreational marijuana was legal in 18 states, while medical marijuana was legal in 36. Since March of this year, five more states have enacted or introduced legislation that would legalize production, sales and use of the plant. Further, more than 9 in 10 Americans queried by the Pew Research Center believe cannabis should be legal at least for medicinal use.

Despite all this, though, marijuana continues to be classified as a Schedule I narcotic under federal law. As our Los Angeles marijuana business lawyers can explain, that’s the same category used for drugs like heroin – highly addictive and with no medicinal purpose. Obviously, the label isn’t congruent with the reality, and there is a clear disconnect between federal and state laws that has proven a fine line for cannabis companies to walk. Continue reading

A bill that would allow veterinarians to recommend cannabis products for pet is being considered by California lawmakers. Assembly Bill 384 is a follow-up to a law passed three years ago allowing veterinarians to discuss marijuana with pet owners without facing penalties. Numerous product, such as CBD-infused treats, capsules and oils, are now available for pet owner purchase. Vets can legally talk about them, but they can’t recommend them. canine cannabis

The bill reportedly has unanimous, bipartisan support in the Assembly Business and Professions Committee, and is supported not only by organizations like NORML but also the California Veterinary Medical Association.

As our Los Angeles cannabis business attorneys understand that animal owners are essentially being left in the dark about how much or what type of cannabis they should be giving their animals for various ailments. Veterinarians cannot discuss the possible impact of a certain product on a specific animal or offer a suggestion for how much would be a safe yet effective dose. Absent this guidance, pet owners are essentially left to their own devices and research to guess or rely on a cannabis dispensary clerk’s take, even though these individuals know noting about the effects on animals. Continue reading

The majority of states in the U.S. – California included – allow legal marijuana cultivation, production and adult use and sales (with some restrictions) within their jurisdictions. But that hasn’t entirely shielded people from the potential for serious criminal charges for cannabis violations under federal law. California cannabis criminal defense lawyer

Existing statute classifies marijuana as a schedule I narcotic, dangerously addictive like heroin and with no medicinal value. This classification is clearly arcane, but it doesn’t negate the fact that people can still face substantial criminal penalties for federal cannabis violations. Unless and until marijuana is legalized at the federal level, it is imperative to take these seriously and work with a long-time cannabis criminal defense lawyer.

Consider the case of a 26-year-old Maryland man who has been jailed in a maximum security federal prison for close to a year, awaiting trial on federal marijuana conspiracy charge, which is something of a gray area of the law as state laws grow more lenient. He and nearly a dozen others are accused of transporting more than 1,000 kilograms of cannabis from California to Maryland over the course of two years. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 15 years. Continue reading

Since the right of California cannabis delivery services was cemented late last year with the state supreme court’s ruling in County of Santa Cruz v. Bureau of Cannabis Control, the market seems poised for growth. Still, the clarity of some issues remains clouded. For example, when, where and under what conditions can a licensed retail operator in the state deliver goods to cannabis consumers in outside jurisdictions?Los Angeles cannabis delivery lawyer

As the cannabis delivery market represents a ripe post-pandemic opportunity, those companies considering adding cannabis delivery to their roster of services should have a Los Angeles marijuana business lawyer on retainer.

The mass shutdowns of the COVID-19 pandemic saw huge spikes in all kinds of delivery services, as the public was eager to avoid shopping center crowds. Grubhub, DoorDash, UberEats, Instacart and Drizly soared. Meanwhile on the cannabis front, the CA-based cannabis delivery app Eaze saw its customer base jump by 70 percent. In the last 12 months, Eaze execs estimate a California cannabis order was placed every eight seconds. Our state accounts for the lion’s share of the $17 billion in legal pot sold in the U.S. last year. Continue reading

Minors getting ahold of marijuana was a major sticking point in the lead up to the passage of Proposition 64, which legalized adult-use California cannabis. It’s also been cited as a reason to block cannabis business billboards on California highways. But as it turns out, licensed marijuana retailers are doing an excellent job keeping the substance out of the hands of youth. Los Angeles cannabis lawyers

You don’t need to take our Los Angeles marijuana business lawyers‘ word for it. This is according to a new study commissioned by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Despite a few isolated incidents of state law violations (i.e., workers giving out free samples of edibles), the analysis revealed workers at cannabis retail locations are committed to following the rules, protecting minors and staying in business.

Study authors say the largest loophole through which minors obtain cannabis in California is through unlicensed vendors. Consider that black market bud sales are three times bigger than the legal market. They don’t have the regulations and taxes to contend with. They sell products that aren’t verified for safety or quality, but they can sell them cheaper – and they don’t always ensure the people to whom they’re selling are of legal age to do so.

The proliferation of the black market in this state has served as a lesson to other states preparing to oversee the unveiling of similar recreational cannabis industries. Continue reading

Cannabis could end up back on the California ballot if some marijuana advocates have their way. An increasingly vocal faction argues that in the five years since voters approved legalization of adult recreational use, access to legal supply for consumers has been limited, thanks to unchecked taxes and fractious local governments. A booming black market has overshadowed legal proprietors, who are struggling to make ends meet – all of which was not the voters’ vision when they passed Prop. 64, the advocates argue. Los Angeles cannabis business lawyer

The California Cannabis Reform Project and Weed for Warriors organizations are working together to hammer out a ballot initiative that would, among other things, deprive local governments of the power to approve or deny licenses for cannabis business operators. They allege local governments have failed to wield that power effectively, in turn causing more harm than good, giving illegal operators a leg-up while making it harder for many law-abiding consumers in massive swaths of the state to obtain safe, legal cannabis.

As noted by analysis in the New York Times, roughly 8 in 10 of the state’s local governments have outlawed the sale of marijuana within their borders, effectively creating marijuana retail deserts. Local governments’ loss of control is effectively evidenced by the huge – and growing – illicit marijuana market. Continue reading

California may have legalized recreational cannabis, but questions carry on over how “in-your-face” the public messaging should be. State legislature rows are brewing over splashy marijuana business billboards that have been erected across the state. As our Los Angeles marijuana business lawyers can explain, such advertising is considered essential by industry insiders who rightfully point note the legal market is barely treading water. Opponents, however, argue that such ads incentivize a potentially harmful substance to impressionable youth. Los Angeles cannabis business lawyer

Assembly Democrats have introduced two competing bills that would allow for two very different approaches to public advertising of cannabis businesses and their products. The more restrictive CA AB 273(21R) would prohibit any cannabis-related billboard from being visible from a highway. The other, CA AB 1302 (21R) would allow billboard advertising of cannabis companies along most thoroughfares in the state, but it would discourage sales interstate, which is still unlawful at the federal level, by banning marijuana billboard ads within 15 miles of any highway border into another state.

Although advertising may seem like a minor detail, the reality is some of these nuances could have a significant impact on the legal cannabis market in the state. Consider that the biggest tech companies – Google, Facebook, and YouTube – effectively ban cannabis marketing to online consumers. That means outdoor advertising is crucial for the marijuana industry. Prohibition that unreasonably restricts content and placement is going to further impede any business’s ability to effectively compete against other providers, particularly in markets teeming with unlicensed businesses that sell cheaper products because they are uninhibited by taxes, regulatory fees, compliance testing, etc. Continue reading

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