Articles Tagged with California marijuana lawyer

As a growing number of states follow California’s leap and legalize marijuana, new research shows cannabis use among U.S. teens is more widespread now than it was just a generation ago.

A study published in the June 20 issue of American Journal of Public Health, looked at U.S. federal health data for more than 200,000 high school students between 1991-2017. The results show marijuana use among teens within that time frame, has increased tenfold.

LA Cannabis Attorney

Study author, Hongying Dai, of University of Nebraska’s College of Public Health in Omaha, noted the “surge” in teens using marijuana is troubling, and “highlights the importance of marijuana prevention among youths.”

To date, a plethora of studies have investigated the long-term effects of marijuana use in teens. Concern often centers around effects of the drug on the prefrontal cortex areas of the brain, which control judgment and decision-making, and continue to develop well into a person’s early 20’s. Marijuana use in such studies, has also been linked to an increased incidence of mental health disorders, including depression, psychosis and other long-term psychiatric effects.
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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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Marijuana is the latest economic boom, with revenues spiking, with companies at every stage of the supply chain eager to cash in on the cannabis cash flow. The drug is now legal for recreational use in 23 states plus the District of Columbia and 23 states now allow medicinal marijuana. Los Angeles marijuana lawyers have heard some experts estimate the industry could balloon to $80 billion over the next decade.

Los Angeles marijuana supply chain lawyerThe interest of companies adjacent to the cannabis industry especially is expected to soar – everything from packaging and advertising to purveyors of point-of-sale technology that allows marijuana producers to keep accurate track of their products from seed-to-sale.

Supply chain companies are increasingly willing to form ties with the cannabis industry, which just 10 years ago was illegal in most states. The fact that it’s still illegal under the U.S. Controlled Substances Act means there is still some risk for those associated. That’s why it’s best to check in with an experienced Los Angeles cannabis business lawyer before signing any contracts to ensure your operations meet California cannabis regulatory compliance rules, thereby reducing your risk of both state and federal scrutiny. Continue reading

Lawmakers in California are exploring ways to ease the financial pressure many pot companies are under, with many saying lowering taxes on cannabis products being one of the best ways to facilitate real competition against the black market. Our Los Angeles marijuana lawyers know this has resulted in serious struggle for some shops in the last year since recreational marijuana hit the market. The AP reports a number of marijuana industry-backing state legislators have proposed a measure that would cut taxes for these firms and offer a much-needed jump-start needed to get back in the game.Los Angeles marijuana lawyer

Assembly Bill 286 proposes to:

  • Temporarily lower from 15 percent to 11 percent the tax legal buyers pay when they purchase from a California dispensary
  • Ax the nearly $150 tax applied per pound on farmers – at least for the next three years.

Analysts say sales of legal marijuana in the last year from $3 billion in 2017 to $2.5 billion in 2018. This is of huge concern because in 2017, the only kind of marijuana available for purchase was medicinal. Recreational marijuana wasn’t available for retail until Jan. 1, 2018.

Legislators opined the high taxes were hurting the companies that are trying to follow the law by creative cash incentive for consumers to seek black market retailers. This was the incentive for the Temporary Cannabis Tax Reduction bill.  Continue reading

A federal lawsuit against the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Department of Justice, challenging the constitutionality of the federal law designating marijuana a Schedule I controlled substance proceeded recently to the next level with oral arguments before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. As our Los Angeles marijuana patient attorneys can explain, the crux of the argument by plaintiffs of the claim, first filed in 2017, is that the designation ignores the merits of the drug for medicinal purposes. The appeal was heard last month by the three-judge panel. Los Angeles cannabis lawyer

Plaintiffs in the lawsuit include a 12-year-old epilepsy patient, an 8-year-old Leigh’s syndrome patient, an Iraq war veteran and sufferer of post-traumatic stress disorder, a former NFL player who heads a hemp company hawking sports performance products and a non-profit that helps minorities get ahead in the legal cannabis market. Defendants are acting-Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, the acting director of the DEA and the federal government.

The appeal, limited to presentations of just a few minutes per side, rests on a dispute of the assertion that the Controlled Substances Act violates the 5th Amendment, which guarantees the right of citizens to preserve life and health.  Continue reading

As marijuana legalization continues throughout North America, there is still significant public and private interest resistance to its proliferation. One of the legal ground on which these cases have been tested throughout the country is a federal law known as the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act of 1970, also known as RICO. As our Los Angeles marijuana defense lawyers can explain, this was a law intended to battle organized crime and the mafia. However, it’s been used in several recent federal cases to intervene with legal marijuana businesses and users – one of the most recent in Petaluma, California, marking what is believed to be the first time this legal argument has been used against marijuana businesses in the state. marijuana RICO attorney

But in that case, as in many of the cannabis company RICO civil lawsuits pursued nationally, a federal judge has ruled against the plaintiffs.

According to The Argus Courier, a U.S. District Judge held that neighbors of a cannabis company and its lead grower can’t be sued under RICO anti-corruption laws because nuisances related to noise and bad smells don’t cause the same kind of tangible financial losses intended to be addressed under RICO. Continue reading

The legalized marijuana market in California is booming with a rising number of investors (hoping for returns the next big thing), horticulturalists carving out regional and brand niches and more recreational pot shops and cannabis couriers than ever before. Still, many who have tried to launch a California small marijuana business – either from an exiting platform or from scratch – are finding themselves squeezed out.California marijuana small business lawyer

For the “mom-and-pot spot” owners either just starting out or wondering how their doors will stay open, it can be tempting to try trimming expenses and skimping on legal services. But even if expenses are tight, this isn’t a good idea. Cannabis law in California isn’t like writing up a simple contract or printing off a power of attorney form from a free site. It’s complex. It’s been changing fast. It varies from city-to-city. It’s got this complicated relationship with federal law. It’s really the type of legal insight you can only get from an attorney who not only practices California cannabis law, but has been doing it for decades.

California legal cannabis market isn’t just about capital. It’s about compliance. If you’re busy trying to cut through state bureaucracy or negotiate a commercial leases on your own, you are firstly  Our marijuana lawyers work with you to help you make sure you’re covered from a legal standpoint. We want to be sure your time, monetary investment and dream is protected. Continue reading

California vineyards seeking to cash in on possible cannibdiol-infused (CBD) wines may benefit from provisions of the much-touted 2018 Farm Bill, which amended the federal Controlled Substances Act to remove restrictions on both hemp and hemp-derived CBD, which is unique from marijuana in its lack of THC, the psychoactive agent in cannabis. However, as experienced Orange County cannabis industry attorneys, we urge wineries to proceed with caution and legal consultation.Orange County hemp lawyer

Although the impact of removing restrictions on hemp and hemp-derived products is likely to be significant, technically federal agricultural subsidies don’t rope in growers of vegetables and fruits – including grapes. Plus, even as the federal ban on marijuana lifted, many states – including California – still have laws on the books making it unlawful to infuse hemp in alcohol or food products. The Farm Bill expressly allows states to govern their own regulation of hemp production, the same as it does with alcohol.

Congress did direct states to both license and track any hemp produced from seed-to-sale, but gives state lawmakers the authority to impose tighter hemp regulations if they so choose. However, state rules can’t be any less strict than federal guidelines and those regulations do need to get the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture’s approval stamp. Continue reading

Amid the booming Southern California cannabis industry, the City of Sacramento is weighing whether to lift the existing cap on the number of marijuana dispensaries licensed to operate in the city, the primary goal being to offer more opportunities to minorities. Since 2014, the number of pot dispensaries permitted by the city has been capped at 30. When recreational marijuana was legalized in California almost a year ago, the city maintained that cap, allowing only those dispensaries that already existed authorization to continue selling. No new licenses were distributed. Of those dispensary owners, not a single one is black. This is problematic and has been vocally opposed by the California Urban Partnership. City officials say they don’t track dispensary owner race. California marijuana dispensary attorneys

Still, it is considered an issue worth addressing, particularly considering people of color are more likely to have been victimized by the failed War on Drugs and have prior drug-related convictions. The city did form a program, CORE, that will waive permit fees for new dispensaries, but because of the cap, no new dispensaries can even be opened once the program officially launches.

Talk of raising the number of dispensaries allowed in the city arose for this reason, though the mayor conversely suggested preference could be given to minorities should one of the existing dispensaries happen to close. However, that’s fairly unlikely, given how lucrative California marijuana dispensaries are and will almost certainly continue to be.  Continue reading

Los Angeles marijuana defense attorneys need to stress that while marijuana is now legal for recreational cultivation, processing, distribution and use, that doesn’t mean these things are 100 percent lawful. Although it’s true penalties for certain crimes are more lax, offenses more likely to result in fines than prison time, the latter isn’t impossible.Los Angeles marijuana defense lawyers

Last month, authorities announced a 39-county marijuana grow sting, busting 250 unlawful cannabis cultivation sites, resulting in the arrest of more than 50 people and seizure of some 614,000 plants. State and local law enforcement said such action was necessary to halt the (apparently) still booming black market. These sites are arguably a threat to registered, licensed operators, who are required to pay hefty taxes and undergo stringent product testing to ensure safety.

Los Angeles marijuana defense attorneys recognize that legalization of marijuana in California has made the drug far more accessible, and the hope was always that black market sales would halt or at least dwindle. However, there have been an increasing number of grow house busts across the state in recent weeks. Continue reading