Articles Tagged with California cannabis lawyer

The State of California is doling out more than $15 million in grants to nearly a dozen cities and counties that have onboarded social equity programs – including California. The intention is to aid minorities and those harmed by the failed war on drugs in becoming stakeholders in the state’s legal cannabis market. The allocation is in addition to $40 million previously awarded by the state for the same cause. But will it make a real difference? Los Angeles marijuana business lawyer

Our Los Angeles marijuana business lawyers know that many cannabis company entrepreneurs who had been banking on this help have felt overlooked by the L.A. government in particular. Our goal is to assist these companies in building a solid framework by establishing workable business plans that are not only profitable but legally protected.

As detailed in a recent L.A. Times article, politicians in Los Angeles vowed help for those hit hardest by pot prohibition through the social equity program, which targets those with low incomes, prior marijuana arrests and who live in areas disproportionately impacted by enforcement of marijuana prohibition laws. But some lament they’ve been left stranded with little local aid. The city granted licenses to some of the long-standing marijuana operations that met city requirements, but newer social equity program retailers have not seen expedited license approvals. Continue reading

As we’re rolling into our third year of California’s legal recreational marijuana market, industry operators might expect heightened tax enforcement could be on the horizon. With an increasing number of audits already underway, there is concern some marijuana businesses could find themselves drowning in delinquent tax bills – some possibly as high as tens of millions of dollars. California marijuana lawyers

The three-year milestone is noteworthy because that’s the cutoff for California Department of Tax and Fee Administration auditors for examination of corporate tax returns.

Prior to 2018, marijuana companies were already required to pay sales taxes. As our Los Angeles cannabis lawyers know first hand, many were were routinely subject to state audits. In 2018, when the state first allowed legal cannabis sales for recreational use, they were required to pay two new taxes – a cultivation tax and a 15 percent excise tax.

As some CPAs note, audits like these can be very advantageous for the state of California, so it should come as no shock that these are starting. In fact, the state is pumping up all its general business audits too, so it’s not necessarily that marijuana companies are being singled out. Still, the high tax rates and significant penalties associated with marijuana sales could spell trouble for some marijuana businesses if anything is amiss. Continue reading

What recourse do marijuana companies with provisional licenses have if regulators choose to revoke them? Can they appeal? It’s a question that’s likely to get some answers as the case of Harrens Lab Inc. v. Bureau of Cannabis Control works its way through the courts. California cannabis lawyer

In that case, a marijuana testing lab forced to close earlier this year after the California Bureau of Cannabis Control revoked its provisional license said the move was unconstitutional because they were denied due process by not being allowed to appeal the decision. But in a recent filing before the Superior Court in Alameda County, the state’s attorney general argued that no cannabis business in California operating on a provisional license is entitled to due process under state law. Continue reading

Adults in California can smoke marijuana (or consume it a myriad of other ways) without fearing jailtime. However, use after-hours can still have adverse consequences for one’s employment prospects. A new bill introduced in the state legislature would change that, five years after voters legalized recreational cannabis. California marijuana employment lawyer

As longtime Los Angeles marijuana lawyers also well-versed in California employment law, we recognize this could be a substantial benefit not only for workers, but cannabis companies as well.

Assembly Bill 1256 would put a stop to the common practice of common employers who require workers to be tested for marijuana use. It would also prohibit employers from using certain kinds of evidence of prior marijuana use (urine tests, hair follicle tests, etc.) from being used to discriminate against the worker or denying them employment opportunities. The measure is sponsored by California NORML. Continue reading

A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit against a Canadian edibles maker for allegedly breaching California consumer protections laws for improper labeling of its THC and CBD products. Specifics of that settlement haven’t been made public, but the allegation was that the manufacturer of medicinal chocolates sold products in Southern California over the course of two years that failed to contain the amount of CBD and THC that was advertised. Los Angeles cannabis lawyer

Labeling lawsuits against CBD and THC product makers are increasing. As our Los Angeles cannabis attorneys can explain, it is imperative that companies ensure the level of THC and CBD in their products aligns with what is advertised. In this case, the lawsuit alleged the potency of these compounds in the products were “drastically” different from what was publicly claimed. Continue reading

California businesses operate legally all over the state (under certain licensing and oversight conditions), but that doesn’t mean companies can expect a hassle if they operate near an international boarder.Los Angeles marijuana business attorneys
Of course, lack of harmony between the state and federal positions on marijuana is nothing new. But it’s important for marijuana businesses in cities close to international borders to use extra caution, and consult with a California cannabis lawyer for insight on how best to protect their investment, operation and employees from legal headaches. As The Los Angeles Times reported recently, those in Imperial and San Diego counties especially need to beware due to the closeness of the U.S.-Mexico border. The U.S. Boarder Patrol has the authority to establish checkpoints that stretch as far north as 100 miles past the international line.

In one reason case, a small van transporting about $15,000 of marijuana wholesale – locally grown, certified and state-legal – from Imperial County to a state-licensed dispensary about three hours north. However, it was stopped at a Border Patrol checkpoint on the highway – 20 miles from the actual U.S.-Mexico boarder. The distributor reports federal agents seized the entire load.

Drive-thru cannabis dispensaries are banned in California, but thanks to a small loophole in the law, Southern California is getting its first in, in Desert Hot Springs. It is the second one in the entire state. Los Angeles marijuana lawyer

The state’s recreational cannabis law does expressly prohibits marijuana drive-thru operations – unless a dispensary applied for a permit prior to June 2018, when Prop. 64 rules were finalized. Harborside cannabis dispensary filed its application for a drive-thru shop earlier that year, so it’s allowed to proceed with its marijuana business plan.

Approaching customers will have the benefit of a large, electronic menu, where they can place orders for edibles, vape cards and pre-rolled joints – the same way one might order a Happy Meal (except you will have to show ID to prove you are of age). Passengers, however, will not need to produce identification.

Desert Hot Springs, located in the Coachella Valley geographic region of Riverside County, is a great place to start, considering it was one of the first to welcome legal recreational marijuana with open after Prop. 64 passed in 2016. (Eighty percent of California jurisdictions have decided not to allow cannabis to be sold in their jurisdictions.) Continue reading

Marijuana is legal in some form in 33 states plus Washington, D.C., but pot-related penalties still abound for those who are students, employees, businesses and public housing residents. Even in places like California where people are unequivocally allowed under state law to buy, sell and consume the drug for recreational purposes, those living in subsidized public housing or who use Section 8 vouchers face eviction if they test positive for the drug – even if they are prescribed it for medical reasons. marijuana eviction lawyer

Housing authority officials cite the conflict between state and federal law, saying they jeopardize their access to much-needed federal dollars if they allow a Schedule I narcotic to be used in taxpayer-funded housing or by those receiving assistance. However, what our Los Angeles marijuana lawyers see is yet another example of double standards when it comes to marijuana law and regulation enforcement – with people of color in low-income communities facing particular adverse consequences. Coincidentally, this is the same population disproportionately impacted by the failed, decades-long War on Drugs.

Officials with the Department of U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) have said they do want “sensible” regulation that might legally permit medical marijuana use by public housing tenants, but so far there is no concrete proposal on the table. Continue reading

Those following cannabis industry trends in recent months may be troubled by a spate of layoffs announced at half a dozen sizable marijuana businesses across the country. Some speculated this might be indicative of looming financial woes on the horizon for the entire industry.marijuana business lawyer

However, our Los Angeles cannabis lawyers prefer to look at these layoffs on a case-by-case basis. There are undoubtedly some lessons to be gleaned about business planning and management, but ultimately the same kind that are relevant to entrepreneurs in any market.

Marijuana agriculture, manufacturing, processing, retail, tech and quality control sectors all comprise a new and evolving industry. Companies that don’t properly plan from the beginning phases may soon find themselves overwhelmed, overstaffed and prime for failure.

The truth of the matter is cannabis isn’t a veritable gold mine. Companies must implement careful strategy, smart investment and measured growth. Even with the increasingly high demand for the plant and derivative products, there are a fair number of marijuana businesses that simply aren’t making the money they need to survive, let alone thrive. Continue reading

The legal market for marijuana sales in Los Angeles has become something of a Wild West free-for-all that has left very few feeling satisfied: Government officials, legal cannabis companies, law enforcement and those trying to edge their way into the local market.Los Angeles cannabis business attorney

Law enforcement say it’s like playing whack-a-mole, city officials say they’re overwhelmed, legal businesses planning to sue the city and those operating on the fringes without a legal license say they’re only doing what they’ve been doing for years, but operating on the fringe, thanks to being shut out by regulators.

The director of the Los Angeles Department of Cannabis Regulation cracked a joke when asked what she’d do if given an unlimited staff and budget – doing her best Oprah Winfrey impression while opining that, “You get a license! You get a license!” (And no one would be arrested.)  This spurred some laughter and applause from those listening at the retreat in Mendocino County where she spoke, but Los Angeles marijuana business lawyers know: Most of us aren’t laughing. Continue reading

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