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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Native American tribes allege California’s cannabis market since Proposition 64 effectively excluded them by making no provision to allow sales of the plant grown on reservations.
Reservations are considered legally-protected sovereign nations with little if any oversight by state or federal authorities, and thus marijuana cultivation and sales has never been regulated by outside entities. That has not changed. However, as a California Bureau of Cannabis Control spokesman explained, while tribes are free to do as they wish with cannabis while on the reservation itself, they cannot enter the legal cannabis market without proper state permitting and licensing.
As Los Angeles marijuana lawyers can explain, that would mean reservation-based cannabis farmers wanting to secure a place in the legal market would, like all others, be held to state and local regulations. Tribes vying for an in to the lucrative California cannabis market because they can’t sell their product beyond tribal land unless it’s to other tribes.
Current Cannabis Operations on Tribal Land in California
The Trump Administration’s anti-marijuana policies adversely affect thousands of Americans who rely on the medicinal benefits of cannabis to relieve various forms of suffering. There is, perhaps, no more potent illustration of the harm these policies cause than in the military veteran community.
The American military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan have created a mental health crisis of unprecedented proportions within the veterans’ community. Post traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injuries, night terrors, depression, suicide, opioid addictions and other symptoms are increasingly prevalent. According to the National Alliance for Mental Health, nearly one in four active service members shows signs of a mental health condition. The Veterans Administration reports that, in 2014, an average of twenty veterans died every day from suicide. Six out of these twenty daily deaths were veterans who had accessed VA services in an attempt to get help. Continue reading
Despite the ever increasing amount of evidence that cannabis is a power medicine that has helped millions of people with medical conditions ranging from anxiety to cancer, there are those who still refuse to admit that it is actually medicine and not just a recreational drug. The question is why these people and companies refuse to admit this simple fact, and the answer may have a lot of do with money.
While there is no question that the medical marijuana industry is very profitable as it is actually quickly becoming a billion-dollar industry, the problem for some is who is making money and who is not. The drug companies are making billions of dollars each year on sales of their pharmaceutical products, but they are not making much money from medical marijuana other than through producing some synthetic marijuana pills such as Marinol. Continue reading
A recent news article from Above the Law takes a look at some of the risk associated with funding a medical marijuana business in Los Angeles or other parts of California. As the medical marijuana business grows and continue to grow, there are more and more companies and individual investors who are interested in getting in on their share of the profits which are approaching $1 billion by some estimates.
However, as these investors are looking to get on board, they are discovering some of the pitfalls that can await them due to still existing legal constraints on the medical marijuana industry. This is true even with all of the new regulations and allowances put in place by the Medical Cannabis Regulation Safety Act (MCRSA). There is also much speculation about what challenges these new and prospective investors may face if recreational marijuana is legalized by Proposition 64 this November. It should be noted that many in the industry predict that Proposition 64 will be voted into law this next election as it has widespread support among the people of California. Continue reading
Hash oil is a very powerful medicine that is rendered from medical cannabis using a process that includes one or more harsh chemicals. The marijuana plant material is turned into hash oil through a process known as solvent extraction. This involves filtering and evaporating a solvent to create the thick resinous liquid oil.
The process involves using chemicals such as butane, methanol, chloroform, ether, ethanol, or naphtha. Due to the fact that butane is often the preferred chemical for rendering hash oil, the finished product is often called butane hash oil (BHO) and the producers of BHO are commonly referred to as butane hash blasters. Continue reading