Articles Tagged with California cannabis business attorneys

In January, the state of California kicked off an online rollout of its marijuana inventory tracking system. At a glance, marijuana businesses across the Golden State appear to be successfully reporting product inventory each day, via the California Cannabis Track-and-Trace (CCTT) system. But not without some growing pains.

To start, the idea of tracking marijuana traveling throughout the supply chain sounds simple enough. In theory, all cannabis products would be given unique identification numbers, noting from which ‘batch’ or ‘lot’ they were born. Products would then be sent to labs for testing. Next, approved products would be passed from producer to distributor, and finally to retailers for sale. At each step, the state should be able to track each piece of marijuana as it moves through the chain, making sure nothing is being redirected out of state, and ensuring everybody is paying their required taxes.

California Cannabis Lawyers

But in practice, a few hiccups quickly come to light. First up, only businesses holding ‘provisional’ or ‘annual’ licenses are required to subscribe to the track-and-trace system. And until last month, there were more than 600 marijuana businesses operating on ‘temporary licenses,’ who would not have had to track-and-trace. This means, there was no way regulators could comprehensively account for every legal product moving about the state.

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As the black market for pot sales shows little sign of slowing, Californian authorities have notably increased enforcement action against illegal cannabis traders. Over the last 12 months, raids by law enforcement on black market pot businesses have increased threefold, when compared with similar activity conducted in the year prior. As a result, unlicensed pot growers and sellers have seen a total of $30 million worth of cannabis products seized. But even amid this additional ramp up, cannabis industry insiders say even more activity is needed to curb illegal pot sales across the Golden State.

For context, in 2018 local law enforcement worked in conjunction with the state Bureau of Cannabis Control, and together they served six unlicensed cannabis businesses with search warrants. These raids resulted in the seizure of more than 1,500 pounds of marijuana, said to carry a street value of $13.5 million.

Calilfornia Cannabis Business Licensing Lawyers

Comparatively, according to data release in July, within the first half of 2019 alone, the bureau had already served 19 search warrants to unlicensed sellers. Those raids were successful, and saw more than $16.5 million worth, or about 2,500 pounds of illicit marijuana, confiscated. Just shy of $220,000 cash was also seized from cannabis businesses operating illegally during this time.

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marijuana businessMarijuana supporters in California rejoiced late last month as legislation passed by the U.S. House of Representatives could afford the industry more freedom to grow. Currently, the recreational use and sale of marijuana is legal in California, along with 10 other states, and Washington D.C. But federal law continues to classify cannabis as a Schedule 1 narcotic. While it is yet to happen, this makes folks in the cannabis industry weary, as the door remains open for the federal government to prosecute against cannabis related businesses, even in states that have legalized marijuana.

The Blumenauer-McClintock Amendment
The lauded legislation, known as the Blumenauer-McClintock amendment, would prohibit the Department of Justice from using federal funds to interfere with California state laws, or the laws in any state or district, legally permitting the regulated adult-use of cannabis.

Supporters for marijuana law reform are praising the legislation. Justin Strekal, Political Director for pro-marijuana organization, NORML, called it “the most significant vote on marijuana reform policy that the House of Representatives has ever taken.” That’s because the cannabis industry would certainly welcome extended protections within states that already permit the legal use and sale of marijuana.
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The importance of residency has become a complicated ongoing issue for marijuana business owners in the state ofcannabis regulation Washington, where requirements for marijuana businesses are strict, yet muddled. What started as a residency restriction meant to control big outside mega corporations from putting local businesses at a disadvantage has led to corporations researching ways to exploit residency loopholes and limiting who longtime residents can bring on as partners. Now, due to unclear definition of what qualifies a person for residency, some are concerned how to prove their status.

You see, according to RCW 69.50.331(1)(b), one must be a resident of the state for six months to apply for a marijuana business license. Not only that, all members of the business, no matter how small the stake, must meet the same residency requirement. Further, a “partnership, employee cooperative, association, nonprofit corporation, or corporation” must be formed in Washington according to state laws and meet the above outlined residency requirements in order to be issued a license. Lastly, licensees must comply with residency requirements throughout the duration of the license. Without a firm definition on what constitutes residency, though, some businesses have been in the lurch. Continue reading

To assist California cannabis growers establish their regions as brands, the California Department of Food and cannabis businessAgriculture is working on a system of regulations for naming craft cannabis strains. According to a report from Ganjapreneur, this is similar to the way the system of naming works for wines, in which a wine must actually be from the Napa region in order to carry that moniker on its label. CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing, the arm of CDFA that controls marijuana growers, is planning workshops in September to gather feedback and provide more information to cultivators.

The area known as the Emerald Triangle in Northern California has earned its name due to its high rate of cannabis cultivation. In fact, it’s the largest marijuana-producing area in the country. Growers in the region would like to capitalize on their world-renowned status to help give their product recognition and increase its desirability. They pride themselves on creating interesting, high-quality strains and growing in top-notch environments, and they want to make sure that random grow operations from some other region can’t use their regional names on their own labels.
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Two monoliths of cannabis advocacy have joined forces in California, aiming to protect what many estimate to be thecannabis lawyers world’s largest marijuana market. California Growers Association, based in Northern California, is merging with Southern California Coalition out of Los Angeles to leverage their combined strength when voicing needs of the cannabis industry to political representatives, according to Los Angeles Business Journal. A headquarters location for the far-flung group has not yet been selected.

Anyone who is familiar with the cannabis industry knows there are major cultural differences across the board — from the numerous farmers working the fertile lands of the “Emerald Triangle” in Northern California to posh dispensaries in L.A, and all of the laboratory testers, drivers, and processors in between. Each faction of the industry has different priorities, which has often kept the groups and their interests separate. Many in the state, however, are learning that more can be accomplished when we work together. The new CalGrowers-SoCal Coalition Collaboration is now 1,600 members strong, making the group a force to be reckoned with. Continue reading

A new first for cannabis businesses recently took place, with the first initial public offeringcannabis business on a U.S. stock exchange by a marijuana producer. Ontario, Canada-based cannabis conglomerate Tilray went public on New York NASDAQ recently. The stock price spiked 30 percent in one day proving what we have been saying all along: cannabis is very, very good for business. According to a report from Quartz, investors rated the value of Tilray at time at $2.65 billion. Continue reading

U.S. Senate overwhelmingly voted to pass HR-2 Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, also known as the Farm Bill, which contains (among standardcannabis business food policy legislation) measures to legalize industrial hemp sales, cultivation, and processing, according to a report from Forbes. Hemp is a variety of cannabis popular for its lower concentrations of THC and higher levels of CBD, the non-psychoactive component of marijuana. This has made it ideal for creating a variety of products, from plastics to biofuel to animal feed to yarn.

The federal ban on marijuana has made no distinction between these strains of cannabis and THC-laden versions, which has caused Americans to seek out everyday products that happen to include hemp from other countries. Finally, a bipartisan group of politicians, led by Mitch McConnell (R-KY), is standing up for this common sense action. Continue reading

Time is almost up for marijuana business owners to achieve full compliance of testing and packaging regulations. Forcannabis business six months, businesses have enjoyed a grace period that allowed them to sell marijuana products that were not in total compliance so long as they included a label indicating any safety standards the product did not meet. As of July 1, owners must clear their shelves of all product that does not meet regulations, resulting in an influx of cannabis sales in the month of June and could lead to an impending shortage, according to the Orange County Register.

When Proposition 64 went into effect Jan. 1, it brought with it new sets of rules in regards to recreational marijuana sales. Because marijuana products were already in production long before then, having served the medical marijuana market for almost 20 years, California imposed a grace period in which production and labeling regulations could catch up. This led to retailers bulking up on less expensive products that were not in total compliance at the end of 2017 to keep their stores well stocked in the first half of the year. Now they will need to clear their shelves of any remnants of that stock. Meanwhile, owners will be clamoring to replace that inventory with new products that meet regulations.  Continue reading

The American people have known for years that times are changing when it comes to marijuana. Now, it seems somecannabis business politicians at the federal level are starting to wise up and take this issue seriously as well. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) is introducing a bill to remove marijuana from the list of Schedule I narcotics as part of Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812. He said he also wants to leverage this issue as a way to bolster women and minority cannabis business owners.

Politicians have been slow to take a stance in favor of cannabis, even though most of us know it can be a life-changing, medically useful drug. Some have supported passive measures here and there trying to give states some freedom without themselves taking a stand. For example, the Rohrenbacher-Blumenauer Amendment, which has to be renewed annually by Congress into the spending bill, prevents the Department of Justice from using federal funds to seek action against medical marijuana activity that has been legalized in that state. Some have tried to inaccurately portray cannabis as a partisan liberal issue, but even democrats have been shy to give full support. However, as The Washington Post reported, Sen. Schumer has acknowledged that the American people have evolved on this issue and it’s time for a big change. Continue reading