Articles Tagged with California cannabis lawyer

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California cannabis businesses should steel themselves for the reality of an unannounced inspection by state Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) compliance officers – some of whom have been showing up armed at inspection sites. California cannabis company inspections

As our Los Angeles marijuana business lawyers can explain, it’s not the first time pot shops have been subject to inspections. It’s just that officials handling it in the past typically gave companies a heads-up – often several days of notice – before showing up. But according to recent reports, there has been a surge of drop-in, no-notice inspections. The 24-to-48-hour heads-up is no longer something your company can count on.

Given that even minor transgressions or oversights might compromise your ability to keep your doors open, it’s imperative that licensed California cannabis businesses be ready for a DCC inspection out of the clear blue sky.

Prime Targets of California DCC Inspections

If a company isn’t following state marijuana law and guidelines to the letter, DCC can issue citations, fines, and even license revocation. As this new aggressive inspection campaign is under way, it’s unclear how nit-picky inspectors are going to be, but we do know the agency has expressly stated there are a few major compliance rules on which they’ll be devoting a heavy focus. Those include: Continue reading

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Online sales of hemp products – specifically delta-9 THC products that are derived from hemp – are likely to see a federal regulatory crackdown in the coming months. Los Angeles marijuana lawyer

Congress is currently mulling the 2023 Farm Bill, while state lawmakers across the country are slated to hold their yearly sessions. Many are expecting hemp extract sales and shipments – particularly those happening online and across state lines – are likely to get attention from both federal and state lawmakers.

As our Los Angeles marijuana business lawyers can explain, the concern with delta-9 products is that they possess intoxicated properties, yet aren’t being taxed, overseen by safety regulators, and are being shipped across state lines with little oversight.

For those who may be unfamiliar, delta-9 products are different than delta-8. Delta-8 THC products are manufactured in labs. Lawmakers have set limits on delta-8 products. So now, some hemp manufacturers have concentrated the delta-9 THC that already exists in hemp plants, allowing them to make tinctures, edibles, and vapes that are intoxicating – and then sell those online. Delta-9 is the THC compound created when raw hemp is heated, but in smaller amounts than what one might find in a cannabis extract. Continue reading

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It’s been more than two centuries since the New World colonists dumped their tea into the sea to protest unfair taxation. Now, legal proprietors of California’s retail cannabis industry say it may be well past time for a “Weed Party” in response to astronomical taxes imposed on them when they can’t compete with black market operators.cannabis business taxes

However, rather than toss their crops into the ocean, shop owners are floating the notion of not paying state taxes. If the idea where to gain traction statewide, that would amount to roughly $1.3 billion.

Whether the call will lead to real action is questionable, but Los Angeles marijuana business lawyers know there is no doubt retailers are treading water. Steep competition from illicit providers who don’t follow state rules – yet aren’t unequivocally shut down by the state – have cut into the survival odds for these firms. Some call it a clear case of “taxation without representation,” echoing the Revolutionary War grievances.

This is not a new problem. It’s a situation that has been ongoing for the last five years, ever since state voters approved recreational use cannabis for adults. The prospect of bolstered taxes was one that spurred many government leaders to climb aboard. The problem, business owners say, is that while those firms are happy to rake in the tax revenue, they aren’t doing enough to protect the industry from unfair competition.

Beginning first thing next year, taxes on cultivation of cannabis is increasing by 4.5 percent. This comes even as the state is staring down a budget surplus next year of $31 billion.

The “Weed Party” proposal is to put all taxes in an escrow account rather than handing to the state, in an effort to force their hand and bring them to the table. However, as marijuana business attorneys, we would tend to strongly advise against this, as it’s going to violate a myriad of regulations and tax laws and risk state license suspension. The hope is that there will be viable solutions proposed in the coming year.

Why California Marijuana Industry Tax Hikes Are Unique

Of course, no industry is a fan of tax increases, but there is also no other industry (save tobacco) that is taxed at the same sky-high rates as cannabis retailers. And unlike the tobacco industry, legal marijuana retailers are banned in most cities in the state. Plus, legal tobacco retailers aren’t threatened by a behemoth black market. Continue reading

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California became the first state in the U.S. to approve marijuana for medicinal use back in 1996. It was also among the first to legalize recreational adult use marijuana in 2016. Los Angeles cannabis retail attorney

However, it would be erroneous to assert that marijuana sales are legal everywhere in the state. As our Los Angeles marijuana lawyers can explain, cannabis still remains widely unavailable in some of the largest cities in the Golden State.

Of the state’s 482 cities, only 174 of them allow some type of licensed, cannabis business to operate within their district. In a number of those jurisdictions, the only allowable businesses are those that are not classified as retail locations. That means that a key piece of the supply chain puzzle is missing. Ultimately, this leaves millions of people without immediate access to retail recreational cannabis.

The one exception is delivery. Having a state license from the California Department of Cannabis Control authorizing delivery allows that company to deliver in any jurisdiction in the state – something that has been affirmed in subsequent court rulings challenging this right. However, those companies might still be subject to local jurisdictional requirements. All cannabis company owners and operators should be working with an experienced marijuana business attorney to help ensure their operation rights are protected.

But the benefit of accessible cannabis for all communities goes beyond the shop owners. It benefits the industry as a whole, as well as citizens. Accessible legal cannabis constricts opportunities for those in the black market to gain a foothold.

So what’s the holdup? Continue reading

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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

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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

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Starting this summer and prompted by a new federal law, the U.S. Postal Service will begin prohibition of vape product shipments – a move that concerns some California cannabis companies. Los Angeles cannabis lawyer

As our Los Angeles marijuana business lawyers can explain, the measure was tucked quietly into an appropriations bill late last year that was passed to keep the government running.

Not a single mention of “marijuana” or “hemp” is contained in the Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children Act, but investors and entrepreneurs in both sectors are concerned – and rightly so. They will be expected to comply with it.

To the extent any industry is involved in selling vape products, it will apply to them. That includes manufacturers and retailers. Continue reading

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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

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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

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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

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