Articles Tagged with California marijuana lawyer

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is no fan of marijuana. But would he really effect policy that would upend a multi-billion dollar industry that weakens cartels, provides relief for the ailing and dying and helps hundreds of thousands of people avoid unnecessary jail time and criminal penalties? arrest

If one of his recent speeches is any indication, the answer is likely: Absolutely.

The speech took place in Virginia at a summit on violent crime. In part of his message, he called marijuana use a “life-wrecking dependency” that could be considered only slightly less terrible than heroin.  Continue reading

State law in California now says that if you are over the age of 21, you have the right to grow up to six cannabis plans for your own personal use. The law also extends to cities and/ or counties the right to impose reasonable regulation on this homegrown marijuana provision. marijuana

These two rules were both part of Proposition 64, the state’s new legalized marijuana law. However, they conflict with each other and have become something of a battleground in some cities. In the three months since the law took effect, a number of cities home implemented rules for residential growing of the plant. But these rules are testing the boundaries of what may be deemed “reasonable” in terms of regulations.

Cities are citing concerns about safety in their provisions that prohibit marijuana gardens outdoors. Others require costly permits if people want to grow the plant. There are even a few cities that have outright banned the practice.  Continue reading

Marijuana advocates are suing the county over its voter-approved tax on marijuana, arguing the results are not legitimate. Specifically, the group is arguing that Measure AI proposed a tax that amounted to a special tax, not a general tax. For this reason, the measure required not just a simple majority, but a two-thirds majority approval.vote

When the measure passed by voters in November, it amounted to a tax of between 2.5 percent and 10 percent on the gross receipts of cannabis cultivators. It also imposed on all other marijuana businesses a flat-rate tax of $2,500 annually.

An advisory that was attached to this measure indicated that voters wished to have this money spent on county services. Specifically, this would include not just code enforcement on marijuana businesses, but also emergency medical services, fire and police services, repairs of roads and mental health services. This was a non-binding agreement, though, and county leaders technically can spend the funds on whatever they wish.  Continue reading

California marijuana regulations – and specifically, what they should be – is the first order of business for the Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation. The state agency has now opened the doors for applications of stakeholders to weigh in as they craft the state rules that will govern the new legal market. marijuana

Wider medical marijuana laws passed by the state in 2015, plus the recreational legalization measure that was approved by voters in November require some type of regulatory framework put in place by the state agency. These provisions will ultimately cover the specifics of marijuana cultivation, manufacturing, transportation, sales and other market elements. But first, the agency wants input.

In the meantime, state lawmakers are busy working to hammer out a new law that would help to reconcile the various discrepancies between the medical marijuana law and the recreational marijuana law. The discrepancies currently are pitting labor unions against each other. Some of the differences involve things like who can move marijuana from farms and manufacturing plants to market. There are also numerous questions about whether marijuana businesses should be allowed to operate as a one-stop-shop. Continue reading

Although neither U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions or President Donald Trump have directly addressed the issue of cannabis legalization or the disconnect between federal and state laws, it does appear that the administration may likely follow the current status quo. That is, they will focus any efforts pertaining to marijuana toward attacking illegal drug cartels, rather than dispensaries or individuals who are operating legally under state law. This is the presumption, anyway, but rumors are still flying. police car

There was a blog recently that indicated White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told a reporter that the administration would “unlikely” pursue action against states that have legalized the drug. However, when reached for confirmation of this comment, Spicer reportedly responded in an e-mail that he had “no clue where (that report) came from.”

There could be some insight provided in a recent report published by Capital Public Radio. In that piece, Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones commented on a recent meeting he had with Sessions, where they reportedly discussed both marijuana and immigration. In that discussion, Jones said Sessions commented that he didn’t think the federal government would put much if any time or energy on marijuana use or low-level local and state crimes. However, he reportedly said he had not ruled out the possibility of federal prosecutors getting involved where there are larger-scale operations.  Continue reading

The majority of Americans now consider themselves to be “cannabis-friendly,” or at least much more tolerant of it use, whether recreational or medicinal. Sixty percent of people in the country now live in a state that has some form of legalized marijuana, and eight states – including California – plus Washington D.C. allow recreational use of the drug. And yet, in six of those eight states that allow recreational use, we still have tens of thousands of people who are serving time in state prisons for non-violent marijuana crimes.handcuff

We have a duty in states where marijuana has been legalized for recreation, to also press our leaders for justice reform for those who have been caught in the long-standing war on marijuana, a war that has very clearly failed. Here in California, we are one of just two states that have taken action on this issue. Oregon is the other.

The Drug Policy Alliance reported in 2015 that more than 6,000 people were serving time in California state prisons or jails for non-violent crimes that involved cultivation or distribution of marijuana. When Proposition 64 passed legalizing the drug for recreation, it came with the caveat that allowed those individuals to apply for early release or parole and also to have their records expunged. It’s not clear at this point how many have taken up this offer or realize that it even exists.  Continue reading

Most new businesses recognize that e-commerce has to play some type of role in their operation, and it’s often a critical one. Smartphones and computers are ever-present in everyday modern life. As of 2013, worldwide business-to-business e-commerce sales topped $1.2 trillion, and an estimated 40 percent of internet users purchase products via the web. These figures are expected to grow exponentially in the coming years, and many industries have downsized their brick-and-mortar operations in favor of e-commerce platforms (think Macy’s, Sears and Kmart). People want to click and buy.computer

Cannabis e-commerce, meanwhile, has yet to really take off here in the U.S., and for good reason. It’s true that e-commerce can help to optimize a buying experience by clearly putting the price, product, features and purchase in front of consumers so decisions can be fast and easy. However, the product sold by marijuana dispensaries – and the federal law surrounding that product – makes e-commerce a difficult if not impossible prospect, at least for the moment. This is true not just for companies selling the drug itself, but related items, such as pipes, storage containers, bongs, vaporizers and other supplies.

These legal items can often be found on Amazon and other big e-commerce platforms. Other items may include irrigation controls, piping and lights, fertilizers, hydroponics, harvesting and farming equipment and oil extraction supplies. Pretty much everything except the seeds or the plants themselves can be sold online. However, with the exemption of hemp products, marijuana and derivatives of marijuana are not able to be sold online without restriction. It’s important for recreational marijuana retailers to consult with skilled marijuana lawyers before taking their business to the web, to make sure their practices are above-board and in compliance with the law. Continue reading

For decades, prosecutors have been securing convictions against drunk drivers using the same tried-and-true means of evidence gathering: Roadside sobriety tests.police car

The officer has the driver stand on a single leg, walk a straight line, recite the alphabet (starting with G), conduct an eyeball analysis. If the driver doesn’t perform as well as they should, the officer will come to court to testify about why they believe the driver wasn’t fit to drive. Criminal defense lawyers have long challenged these tactics, but they have still proven generally useful in drunk driving cases.

However, marijuana defense lawyers are increasingly successful at arguing that such tests aren’t an adequate indicator of whether someone is too impaired by cannabis to drive. There is little to no science to show that these standardized measures are effective in testing the sobriety of someone believed to be high on weed as opposed to drunk on alcohol.  Continue reading

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer has rattled the cannabis industry after saying he anticipates the Department of Justice to ramp up enforcement of federal statutes that outlaw recreational marijuana – even in states where it is legal, including California. whitehouse

A total of eight states plus the District of Columbia have legalized recreational use of marijuana among adults. What this means is currently 1 in 5 Americans adults can lawfully smoke, drink, eat or vape cannabis under state laws. More than half the population lives in a state where the drug is legal for medicinal purposes. This has given rise to a $6 billion industry that is projected to grow to $50 billion by 2026. But all of that could be in jeopardy.

Many in the marijuana industry have expressed surprise at this about-face, especially given that the Trump administration has seemingly prioritized states’ rights on a myriad of other issues, from education to use of bathrooms by people who are transgender. The statement by Spicer was also surprising given the fact that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is a major proponent of states’ rights. However, Sessions has also for many years vehemently opposed cannabis use. During his confirmation hearing in January, Sessions refused to say he wouldn’t enforce federal law on the issue, and further indicated that if Congressional leaders believed the drug should no longer be illegal, they should pass a law.  Continue reading

Law enforcement leadership for years were on the side of tighter marijuana laws. But now, it seems there may have been a substantial shift. police lights

A recent poll of 8,000 officers by the Pew Research Center finds that almost two-thirds of them believe marijuana should be legal for either medical or personal use.

This was a survey that was nationally representative, which mean it took into account a myriad of factors of police demographics. It was also one of the largest surveys of its kind ever conducted.

According to the report, a third of officers said cannabis should be legal for both recreational and medicinal use, while 37 percent opined it should only be allowed if someone needs it as medicine. Thirty percent said marijuana shouldn’t be legal whatsoever.  Continue reading