Articles Tagged with California cannabis attorney

California marijuana farmers are facing a crisis. Currently, all 9,464 state issued temporary cannabis cultivation licenses, have expired. Meant to be replacing those, for businesses continuing to meet the required regulations, are either provisional or permanent annual cannabis business licenses.

The catch though, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is yet to show its ability to approve those provisional or permanent licenses, at the same pace applications are being lodged.

California Cannabis License Attorney

The backlog on approvals may be due to the complexity of the licensing application process itself. Tellingly, by mid July 2019, only 2,053 provisional licenses and 230 permanent licenses had been granted. As it stands, when applying for prospective licenses, cannabis farmers are expected to demonstrate compliance with the stringent California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), as well as submit:

  • Background checks;
  • Surety bonds;
  • Real property documents;
  • Detailed site plans;
  • Farm management practices;
  • Waste management protocols;
  • Security procedures; and
  • Pesticide measures.

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cannabis defense lawyersEver since cannabis was legalized in California in January 2018, a flood of marijuana businesses have opened, hoping to take their share of the pot market. But it’s no secret that many industry stakeholders are unhappy with the current state of affairs.

Today there are 182 licensed marijuana dispensaries operating throughout Los Angeles, and many of those business have paid well into the tens of thousands of dollars to operate legally. First by registering their companies and covering licensing fees, then paying city taxes and continually meeting strict safety standards imposed by the state.

Meanwhile, there are countless other outfits operating slightly more under the radar. They are able to skip paying licensing fees and, as predominantly cash run businesses, also avoid paying taxes. To the frustration of legal business owners, rouge pot shops attract a slew of customers with undercut pot prices, prices that legal outfits have a hard time matching given their higher operating costs.

While regulation of cannabis use and sale continues to undergo assessment and tweaking in the state of California, many licensed cannabis business owners have reached boiling point. The biggest reason, illegal pot shops continuing to operate comfortably, with little pressure from state authorities requiring them to toe the line.
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marijuana dispensariesCalifornia has kicked off a multi-lingual public awareness campaign, urging cannabis users throughout the state to ensure they’re purchasing from legal dispensaries.

Amid growing calls from licensed cannabis dispensaries, The California Bureau of Cannabis Control’s “Get#weedwise” program aims to educate consumers on the risks they face when buying from unlicensed retailers. It also advises that safest pot purchases are made with licensed dispensaries and warns illegal business operators of consequences they can expect if they continue to trade without a license.
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Dazed-dog-300x208California dogs are increasingly getting high. While this may sound harmless or even amusing at first, it’s imperative that pet owners become aware of the dangers associated with marijuana exposure to animals, so that beloved fur family members can be kept out of harm’s way.

As territory across the country allowing the legal use of marijuana has quickly grown – currently, medical marijuana is legal in 33 states, recreational marijuana in 11, and the District of Columbia permits both varieties – it should come as little surprise that more and more pets are inadvertently becoming exposed to cannabis too.
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California shoppers are about to see a brand new line of cannabidiol (or CBD)-infused beverages hit supermarket shelves this week, despite the fact such products are still illegal. Even though federal U.S. law now allows for the creation of CBD based products (in the form of tinctures, capsules, lotions and oils, etc.), FDA guidelines restrict CBD food and beverage interstate product sales.Los Angeles cannabis business attorney

Alternative health food observers can likely tell you that locally made CBD food products have been steadily propping up all across the country for a couple of years now. As functional foods, CBD products have grown in popularity thanks to their relaxing properties, but they won’t produce a ‘high’ as they lack the psychoactive tetrohydrocanabidiol (THC) found in marijuana.

To buy CBD products until now, consumers have typically had to seek out alternative health food stores, neighborhood dispensaries, or mom-and-pop market stalls. Now, the Oki brand is about to change that. With its CBD-infused, flavored water and iced tea lines, Phivida – the premium functional food and beverage manufacturers of the Oki brand – is among the first to mass produce CBD-infused beverages and is poised to make its 360,000 bottles already produced, available in mainstream grocery stores.
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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.

The continued expansion of legalized marijuana in states is leading to one surprising result: overproduction of cannabis businesscannabis. Oregon in particular is reporting an excess in cannabis production, which is driving down the price of marijuana at dispensaries across the state, according to Associated PressAs a result, growers are exploring more options, including hemp (a low-THC strain of cannabis used in industrial goods) and CBD oil (made from the non-psychoactive compound in marijuana, cannabidiol).

It’s hard not to recognize the irony in this latest advancement: while hemp is a benign, useful resource that makes excellent, durable fabric, paper products, and oils, it was marijuana that helped usher it back into the spotlight. Marijuana has now been legalized in 29 states and Washington, D.C., at least for medical use with a handful also allowing recreational. This is in defiance of federal regulations prohibiting the sale or use of marijuana. California was the first to allow medical use with the Compassionate Use Act of 1996. It wasn’t until 2014, however, that the Agricultural Act, Sec. 7606 allowed agricultural departments and higher learning institutions to start cultivating hemp for research. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) recently spoke in favor of a bill that would give power over hemp regulation to the states. Continue reading

Every state that allows the use of medical marijuana has their own regulatory scheme and requirements pertaining to how patients are able to access this much-needed medicine.  For example, anyone who needs medical marijuana in California must go to a doctor and get a recommendation letter.  Once they have a recommendation letter, they can register as a patient with a medical marijuana dispensary and are then are eligible to obtain medical cannabis. Because every state has different regulations, the concept of medical marijuana reciprocity becomes important.  This is when a registered patient in one state goes to another state and needs to get their medicine there.

cannabis businessThis may seem like a novel concept, but it should not be anywhere near as controversial as it has become.  If a patient is taking a drug manufactured by a big pharmaceutical company and runs out of it while on vacation, they can simply go to a pharmacy location in their current jurisdiction and ask to have their prescription transferred there. This can be done permanently, or on a one-time basis, no questions asked. Typically, this is not how things work for medical marijuana patients because many states allow only residents to obtain medical marijuana from a dispensary located there. This creates obvious problems. One way to address this is by allowing medical marijuana reciprocity whereby a patient registered in one state, can travel to another state and use their home-state registration to obtain medical cannabis products. Continue reading

Humans are not the only ones to benefit from California’s legalization of recreational marijuana. Pets, too, can receive medical benefits from marijuana. National Public Radio reports on the anti-anxiety effects of marijuana products that are designed for use by pets. Such products produced noticeable benefits for dogs that were agitated by fireworks. (Shelters see an increase in activity around the Fourth of July and New Year’s Eve, due to pets who run away after being frightened by fireworks.)

While marijuana products and derivatives can help soothe pets, they can also subject an owner to criminal liability for possession. Continue reading

The legalization of recreational marijuana in California has created a revolution within the cannabis business sector. As cannabis business owners prepare to adapt to the regulatory and financial overhaul of an entire industry, many are looking to the craft wine sector as a model of profitability in a highly regulated industry. Some ambitious entrepreneurs are even looking to combine the two in a potent combination of craft pairings. cannabis business lawyers

The Craft Strategy

The overhaul of the cannabis industry in California is an expensive proposition, and many owners of smaller cannabis businesses simply do not have the resources to adapt their business model to new regulations. They are addressing this problem in many different ways. Some small farm owners are banding together to form marijuana co-ops, which will help all participants adapt to the changing industry. Others are borrowing the business model of the craft wine industry: by focusing on a specialized product which commands a premium in the marketplace, their profit margins increase dramatically.

Leafly reports on the case study of one Sonoma County grower who has eschewed the mass market strategy with great success. Sam Edwards grows loose, airy buds that have little value on the flower market, but are “absolutely great for extracts”. Indeed, his vape cartridges command a premium of nearly double the price of other cartridges. Edwards himself worked in the wine industry, and it was there that he learned this business strategy. By developing a high-end specialty product with local character, niche wineries were able to compete with large, mass-production wine companies. Edwards does the same to compete with mass market cannabis growers.     Continue reading