Articles Tagged with California marijuana business lawyers

A licensed California cannabis company owner has filed a civil lawsuit against the state’s Department of Cannabis Control alleging that outrageously high taxes on lawful distributors and lack of enforcement against illegal operations has made the industry untenable for those trying to do it by-the-book. cannabis business lawyer Los Angeles

As it stands, the state’s excise tax on cannabis is 15 percent. Municipalities can also set their own rates. Plaintiff, Catalyst Cannabis Company, alleges these tax rates are effectively smothering the legal cannabis industry in California. Operators of pot shops throughout the state are “treated as second class” members of the business community, while they burden an unfair share of taxes and receive little protection against the unfair competition of illegal operators.

In a press release, plaintiff told state media outlets the goal of the litigation was partly to glean information about what state regulators know regarding illegal distributors and partly to compel them to participate in reasonable cannabis industry tax reform that would allow legal operators to survive. As our Los Angeles marijuana business lawyers have been made aware, eking out a profit has become increasingly difficult for California pot shops because of high-taxes and the relentless (and growing) underground market. Legalization of marijuana for recreational use has been a positive in many respects, but it’s also reduced penalties for unlawful marijuana sales, allowing black market cannabis outfits to thrive. Continue reading

Los Angeles marijuana tax lawyersProsecutors for the U.S. attorney’s office in the Eastern District of California have launched a grand jury subpoena, calling for records from Californian marijuana based companies, including the parent company of Weedmaps.

Criminal prosecutors for the U.S. attorney ordered records from 30 cannabis companies, including Ghost Management Group LLC, owner of the subsidiary Weedmaps. Through its website, Weedmaps not only provides consumers with lists of nearby cannabis retailers, it also allows consumers to find retail deals, place delivery orders, and rate compare and cannabis stores.

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For 22 years, medical marijuana was the only kind of legal cannabis sold in California, until the state went on to legalize recreational cannabis in 2018. Within the months immediately following that addition, a number of medical marijuana dispensaries shifted away from leaving pot out on counters for customers to view and smell, to exclusively stocking pre-packed cannabis in already sealed bags. Prices went through the roof, welcome deals for new customers dried up, and hiked taxes raised product prices even more.

Marijuana dispensaries

While other dispensaries carried on with business as they always had done. They kept buds out and available for close-up inspection before being weighed, and a complimentary joint was often handed out to welcome first time purchasers. But if you shop at a dispensary of this kind today, chances are it’s an unregulated, illegal shop. Continue reading

After two years of licensed cannabis stores selling legalized marijuana across California, the industry has encountered numerous teething problems. Crippling regulation and licensing costs, rising local and state taxes, local city usage bans, and a strong illicit market that shows little sign of waning, have all proved to hinder industry growth. At this point, it is safe to say the Golden State’s legal marijuana industry is in need of a little prod, to help it move forward.

Calling for a Return to the Ballot
With lawmakers seemingly finding it difficult to pass any changes as quickly as the cannabis industry needs them, Cody Bass has floated another idea.
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The black market for marijuana in California is three times the size of the legal market, a recent audit has shown. The findings, made public in September, highlight the state’s ongoing battle to curb its illegal cannabis trade.marijuana dispensaries

Approximately 2,835 unlicensed dispensaries were listed as trading across California, according to the audit conducted by the United Cannabis Business Association (UCBA), a trade association representing a wide variety of licensed marijuana businesses. Interestingly, the Bureau of Cannabis Control has only licensed 873 cannabis merchants to operate lawfully within the Golden State.

These comparative statistics reflect the continued hiccups California has faced since rolling out updated legal regulations beginning in 2018, which were intended to level the cannabis market’s playing field. Continue reading

While many California cities and metro areas have been resistant to allowing cannabis shops within their borders, despite the state’s legality, a new poll shows most Golden State residents want easier access.marijuana business lawyer

It’s been nearly three years since voters in California legalized recreational marijuana sales, cultivation and possession with Proposition 64. Yet fewer than 1 in 3 California cities allow marijuana businesses to set up shop and sell recreational-use marijuana, creating so-called “weed deserts” that has given black market sales a means to thrive.

Now, a recent poll by the U.C. Berkeley Institute of Government Studies, conducted for the Los Angeles Times, shows that nearly 70 percent of Californians want cities and counties to allow pot shops in their communities. Prop. 64 was passed with the support of 57 percent of voters. Continue reading

State lawmakers are attempting to ban anyone from smoking cannabis on commercial limousines and party buses, citing concern from police agencies that use of the drug in such an environment may impair drivers and result in a higher risk of crashes.marijuana party bus

The ban was proposed by the state Legislature to serve as a counter to a competing bill – Senate Bill 625 – that would allow such recreational use aboard commercial vehicles, but with certain restrictions, so long as the users were over 21 and the driver compartment was concealed. Both of these address a 2017 law that allowing cannabis on charter-party carriers licensed by the state.

Given that California has grown to be one of the biggest – if not the biggest – legal marijuana market in the world since it was legalized by voters in Prop. 64 three years ago, numerous companies have sprung up in almost every sector. One of those are tours of local cannabis businesses in commercial passenger vehicles. This is similar to companies that take customers to breweries and wineries throughout the state.

cannabis brandingCounterfeits keen to take a piece of the Californian marijuana market share are increasingly targeting cannabis product brands. And the cannabis vaping boom that has swept the marijuana landscape was soon followed by a spate of knock offs. Particularly concerning to big brand vape pen manufacturers including Kingpen, Heavy Hitters and Connected Cannabis Co., is that it’s very hard to discern between real and counterfeit products.

Imitation vape pens are not only hurting brand profits, they’re also sending consumers to the hospital. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently noted “anyone who uses e-cigarette products should not buy these products off the street.” That’s because this year alone, several people have been hospitalized suffering from severe respiratory distress after using bootleg vape pens bought from illegal dispensaries, in California and across the Midwest.
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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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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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