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The black market bud sales are the bane of legitimate marijuana businesses throughout California. There are billions of dollars to be gleaned in the shadows of licensed, regulated industry. However, it’s getting increasingly expensive to operate on the fringes, and officials say that is precisely the point.marijuana lawyers

Now, a new proposed law targets not just the illicit marijuana operations themselves, but the companies doing business with them. A new bill, if passed, would impose $30,000 in fines for every single offense of aiding and abetting unlawful commercial cannabis activity in California. That would include advertising for these ventures as well as providing leases to them. That would put significant pressure on landlords and advertising companies that try to make a profit off the virulent black market. Penalties would be paid to the state’s general fund.

As our Los Angeles marijuana business attorneys can explain, existing law imposes triple the amount of a state license fee for any individual or entity caught engaging in commercial cannabis business activity that is not licensed. That figure may be adjusted depending on the company’s annual revenue. Continue reading

Green begets green – at least insofar as the California cannabis industry is concerned.cannabis warehouse leasing

The growing legal marijuana market is driving demand for warehousing, retail and land space across the country. One analysis of some 600 commercial brokers last fall by the National Association of Realtors revealed that in states where marijuana was legalized prior to 2016, the demand for these properties was markedly higher than in those states where cannabis use remained against the law.

As our Los Angeles cannabis business attorneys have noted that real estate investors have been especially active in areas where marijuana and CBD trade is thriving. Many more investment firms have been scouring opportunities in states where legalization seems likely in the near future. Continue reading

Los Angeles cannabis business attorneyThe Californian pot industry has largely reacted with positive skepticism after Governor Gavin Newsom unveiled his new budget proposal, which includes significant updates for the cannabis industry. In essence, Newsom’s proposal seeks to merge three existing agencies regulating the state’s cannabis to establish a single, centralized Department of Cannabis Control, and to simplify and streamline the taxation of cannabis.

California voted to legalize cannabis use in adults aged 21 and older, three years ago now. And in that time, the legal marijuana industry has grown rapidly. Cannabis market research firm, BDS Analytics, predicts legal cannabis sales will exceed $3.1 billion this year alone, and forecasts sales will continue to grow to an estimated $7.2 billion by 2024.

Growth of this kind has come to fruition despite California’s complex legal structure, which incorporates in excess of twenty different cannabis license types, four varying  regulatory agencies, and exorbitant taxes that industry insiders say are driving customers to the illicit market for cheaper alternatives. Continue reading

marijuana lawyersMany Californian cannabis companies are in need of quick cash to sustain or grow their businesses, and as funding in traditional realms is drying up, real estate deals are fast becoming solid options.

Selling cultivation land, storage or processing facilities, even retail storefronts, to marijuana-focused real estate investment trusts (REITs) is providing many business owners with cash upfront. Those cannabis companies then sign long-term leases with their new landlords. And by doing so, business owners become tenants withing the properties that once belonged to them.

In recent months, a slew of cannabis companies have taken advantage of sale-leaseback deals, including: Cresco Labs, Columbia Care, Green Thumb Industries, Acreage Holdings, and Grassroots Cannabis, to name a few. Together, sales from these multi-state companies brought in well over $200 million when selling properties then leasing those back from the new owners.
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Calilfornia Cannabis Business Licensing LawyersCalifornia has not been as quick to block flavored e-cigarette, tobacco or cannabis vape products as other states across the country. But that could all soon change.

Until now, companies like Juul Labs Inc., a San Francisco-based manufacturer of nicotine pods and vape pens, have managed to squash bills intended to prohibit the sale of flavored tobacco throughout California. Jull Labs Inc. spent $600,000 last year alone, lobbying and supporting political campaigns aligned with their business goals. Continue reading

employment attorneyAs marijuana use becomes more widely accepted, California market research breakouts show online cannabis purchase demographics now include higher participation among women. And companies are quickly adapting their strategies to woo them.

One such company, Eaze, a San Francisco-based online cannabis shopfront and delivery service, noted an uptick of 81 percent more women purchasing marijuana related products from the company, between 2018 and 2019.

With this shift, women now make up 40 percent of the company’s total customer base. Eaze also shared, that in 2018, women also accounted for 38 percent of its first-time deliveries, and that that figure grew to 43 percent in 2019. Continue reading

Cannabis business attorneySacramento, California could lead the way in showing other cities throughout the state how to institute new, and broaden existing, marijuana social equity plans.

A number of Californian municipalities are yet to meet the ideal cannabis social equity standings, largely due to cannabis businesses tussling with numerous other issues, like licensing hurdles, tax hikes and the continued strength of the illegal market.

That said, of late, a pressing for increased social equity within the state’s capital has emerged. A finite focus has been set on providing both business guidance and financial support for minority communities, as well as those disadvantaged by the war on drugs.

Equity applicants take note — the state’s capital aims to grant as many as 10 of its next dispensary licenses to applicants who meet the equity criteria.

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marijuana businessCalifornia lawmakers, in late January, breathed new life into a proposal that could cut the state’s taxes on marijuana for the short term, to help boost the struggling legal market.

Gov. Gavin Newsom has shown his support for the bill, as he now takes aim at updating California’s cannabis regulations.

Assembly Bill 1948, introduced by Assembly Members Rob Bonta, Ken Cooley, Reggie Jones-Sawyer, Tom Lackey, and co-authored by Assembly Member Mark Stone, seeks for three years to:

  1. lower marijuana retail sales state tax from 15 percent to 11 percent; and
  2. eliminate the cultivation tax altogether.

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marijuana bankingThe state of California has now permitted the legal use of marijuana for two years. And tax dollars collected from the cannabis industry are already showing great impact across a variety of sectors.

Since its passing in 2016, Prop 64 has earmarked its entire cannabis industry tax revenue, minus regulatory costs, to supporting public health, repairing the environment, and bettering public safety.

New parks, healthier children, broader educational opportunities, forest clean ups, drugged drivers removed from the roads, and criminal records cleared are just some of the areas already seeing big improvements thanks to Prop 64 tax revenue contributions.

And this is just the beginning. In mid January this year, Gov. Gavin Newsom proclaimed another $332.8 million in cannabis tax revenue would be allocated to social services for the 2020-2021 fiscal year.

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marijuana lawyerCalifornia regulators, marijuana business owners and law enforcement arms must all up their games in fighting the illicit cannabis market, a new report says.

Just last week, the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA), the cannabis industry’s largest trade association,  issued a report urging all groups to do more in hopes of addressing the nation’s ongoing vaping health crisis.

The NCIA report looked closely at areas specifically intended to help legal cannabis business owners catch up with, and eventually outpace, illegal marijuana businesses. Those include:

  • Relaxing financial burdens weighing heavily on licensed operations — specifically lowering legal cannabis product taxes;
  • Applying procedures that better identify counterfeit cannabis products; and
  • Removing barriers currently making it difficult for unlicensed cannabis companies to join the legal market.

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