Articles Tagged with California marijuana lawyers

Local and state government agencies across California have a significant amount of work to do before January 2, 2018. Proposition 64 – The Adult Use of Marijuana Act – provided that the state would issue business licenses for recreational marijuana sales no later than January 1, 2018. (Because January 1 is a state holiday, the licenses are scheduled to begin issuing on January 2). Much of this work fell to the California Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation. The Bureau was formed by legislation enacted in 2015 to regulate medical marijuana in the state. Now, the bureau chief has been named California’s Cannabis Czar.   California marijuana lawyers

The Mercury News spoke with state Cannabis Czar Lori Ajax to learn what Californians can expect to happen with recreational cannabis business licenses come January 2. Ajax acknowledges that not every business license will be issued on Day 1, but claims that applications will be accepted, and the online system will be up and running. Ajax also claims that temporary licenses may be issued in order to facilitate a timely start to sales of recreational marijuana. Furthermore, medical marijuana business licenses will continue to be valid until the state makes final determinations about the regulation of medical marijuana licensees. Holders of medical marijuana cards will, therefore, be able to obtain cannabis from local dispensaries, regardless of the state of recreational business licenses on January 2, 2018. Continue reading

A federal judge in San Francisco has blocked the prosecution of two marijuana growers in Northern California, citing a Congressional prohibition on the Justice Department interfering with medical marijuana laws of the states. marijuana lawyer

In 2014, the two defendants pleaded guilty to marijuana possession and cultivation on  Humboldt County farm. Each were facing down the possibility of a three-year prison term, per federal sentencing guidelines. However, a U.S. District Judge has suspended any further proceedings in the case, stating prosecutors were prohibited by Congressional restrictions imposed three years ago – and has renewed every year thereafter.

The restrictions were implemented as part of an amendment that was sponsored by two California representatives – one a Republican, one a Democrat. The rule does not allow the U.S. Justice Department to spend money in a way that would interfere with any state’s medical marijuana laws. In 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled in U.S. v. McIntosh issued a ruling that prohibited any federal prosecution of individuals who are in compliance with medical marijuana law in a given state – even though federal statute prohibits use or possession of the drug, which it considers a Schedule I narcotic.  Continue reading

The town of Nipton, California is a small, unincorporated community in San Bernardino County bordering the Mojave National Preserve. An old cattle-loading and mining town, its population today fluctuates somewhere between 6 and 30. About three decades ago, a gold miner from Malibu purchased the ghost town. As The New York Times reported, the goal was to a community that could run on clean energy entirely of its own making. It was this foundation that recently attracted the business eye of a cannabis technology firm, which purchased the town for $5 million.ghosttown

Now, owners of American Green Inc. say the goal is to turn the 80-acre community into an eco-tourism destination for conscious cannabis consumers. The fact that the city runs totally on a self-sufficient, off-the-grid energy system from a solar farm is likely to be attractive to many marijuana enthusiasts across the country. Already existing in the town is old western hotel, an RV park, a coffee shop and a handful of homes. American Green plans to expand the farm to manufacture and sell marijuana-infused water from the town’s aquifer. The company is also in talks with others in the marijuana industry business, in hopes of interesting them to relocate and bring more jobs to the tiny town.

As for whether it will be renamed, that’s not yet clear.  Continue reading

Measure M, a bill proposed by the City of Los Angeles that gives council the authority to regulate the local recreational and medical marijuana industries was overwhelmingly approved recently.marijuana bud

Measure M won over big in comparison to the votes garnered for another, Measure N, which was placed onto the ballot by a marijuana trade group that later swung its support behind the city’s proposal.

The bills were placed on the ballot in response to the November results in the state election that legalized marijuana for recreational purposes, beginning next year. Measure M gives the city the authority to repeal the current ban on medical marijuana dispensaries (Proposition D, passed in 2013), and replace it with updated rules that will regulate the varying kinds of marijuana businesses in Los Angeles. Additionally, the measure grants city leaders the power to enforce these rules, including imposition of fines, criminal penalties and loss of utilities like water and power for companies that flout city rules or try to operate unlicensed.  Continue reading

Marijuana consumers and rights activists have praised Colorado for its role as one of the first states in the nation to legalize marijuana for recreation. The move was touted as not only good for consumers, but also for states hoping to cash in on the tax dollars. marijuana

However, it seems that legalization may not be bringing in as much tax revenue as expected – and that’s because the increased availability has driven down costs. Vox.com reports new data from the Colorado Department of Revenue shows that the wholesale price of cannabis has fallen 22 percent since recreational sales first started three years ago. It’s now at about $1,470 from $1,880. That’s a stark change from what we saw immediately after legalization, when prices soared to $2,865 per pound when there was a short supply and high demand. Prior to legalization, the wholesale price of marijuana could reach as high as $5,000 per pound.

Speculation is that these prices aren’t done falling. Drug policy experts say once mass production really kicks into high gear, the price per pound could reach somewhere between $30 or $45. That’s because even in Colorado, there has to be some consideration of the fact that the drug is still illegal for recreational purposes in most other places in the country. This drives marijuana tourism in Colorado, which will likely drop off if and when the drug becomes more readily available in other states.  Continue reading

Leaders in California and Massachusetts are asking the federal government to ease up on rules that keep banks from doing business with those in the marijuana industry.bank money

Specifically, California’s state Treasurer John Chiang formulated a group of 16 bankers, marijuana industry leaders and elected officials to define the problem as it relates to banking and work on hammering out some type of solution. Meanwhile, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) penned a correspondence with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, asking for rules and guidance for banks and dealing with cannabis businesses.

The majority of banks, financial institutions and credit unions won’t work with the cannabis industry – even those who work in businesses that are ancillary to the industry, such as product testers or product suppliers. Growers and distributors function almost entirely on cash-based models. Meanwhile, California’s first recreational marijuana businesses are slated to open sometime in 2018, per the recently-approved Proposition 64, which legalized marijuana use for and distribution to adults over the age of 21. The state now has one year to work out some kind of banking services model that is going to be workable in the legal framework. The big issue, of course, is the federal law that outlaws marijuana for any purpose. It doesn’t appear federal officials are likely to budge on this issue anytime soon, as the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has steadfastly refused to reclassify marijuana from its Schedule I status – maintaining it in the same danger class as heroin. Continue reading

Some locations call them, “budtenders.” Others refer to them as “patient liaisons” or “compassion care technicians” or “dispensary agents.” Although there is no single formal title or degree, these individuals are responsible for working behind the counters of California’s marijuana dispensaries. class

Our L.A. marijuana dispensary attorneys are often asked about the required training for those in these roles. Although there is no legal requirement or state-approved course that budtenders have to pass, it can be a smart move for a business to seek advanced education for their dispensary workers. A new study published in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research revealed 55 percent of dispensary staff (medical and non-medical) had some type of formal training for their position. Twenty percent had some form of medical or scientific training. Meanwhile, approximately 94 percent reported they provide specific cannabis advice to patients. Many of these patients are seeking advice on specific strains that can help them with a variety of ailments, form post-traumatic stress disorder to chronic pain to seizures. It helps if the staff knows what they are selling, not just from a customer service standpoint but potentially from a liability standpoint.

California was the first state to allow medicinal marijuana and recently joined a growing number of states that now allow recreational marijuana (though detailed regulations are still being ironed out). On Jan. 1st, 2018, a bill signed by Gov. Jerry Brown will go into effect that has a number of requirements that could make training even more valuable. Among those requirements include tracing requirements, record-keeping, streamlined systems for transportation, quality assurance testing standards and robust labeling/ packaging/ product handling and security.  Continue reading

Marijuana is likely only going to increase in price. The question for many becomes: Should I grow it myself or buy it in a dispensary? cannabis

There are pros and cons to each, of course. Understanding what those are can help you make an informed decision.

Traditionally, cannabis has been produced on a small scale for purposes of flying under the radar of law enforcement. That means a lot of people have some knowledge of how to grow the plant. However, with a burgeoning legal market, people now (or will soon) have the option of choosing an array of products with specific chemical make-up and purpose – similar to what we would find in a grocery store produce aisle. And just like grocery stores, marijuana dispensaries are going to receive their supply cultivated from farmers who carefully produce the product and make it available for a reasonable price.  Continue reading

The Eighteenth Amendment in the U.S. was coined, “the noble experiment” because the goals were lofty. The purpose of the amendment, enacted in 1920 and spanning all the way through 1933, was to eradicate crime and corruption, solve social problems, reduce the prison and “poorhouse” induced tax burdens and bolster health and hygiene in the U.S. As we now know, it failed miserably on all accounts.bar

We can take into account these same lessons with regard to our “War on Drugs” and specifically marijuana prohibition. Alcohol prohibition did initially result in a decline of alcohol consumption. But later, there was an uptick. The alcohol that was available was more dangerous. The crime became “organized” and gave rise to the power and wealth of mobsters. Otherwise ordinary citizens became criminals and our courts and prisons became overwhelmed. There were no marked gains in workplace productivity or reduction in absenteeism. It also removed a substantial tax revenue source, and led users in many cases to turn to more dangerous substances, such as cocaine, opium or prescription drugs.

Sound familiar?  Continue reading

It’s been six years since a law that would have legalized recreational marijuana was shot down. It’s also almost a month until California voters consider it once again. There is strong evidence to suggest this time, the outcome will be different. That’s because if polls are to be believed, voter attitudes are significantly different. votehere

A new USC Dornsife/ Los Angeles Times poll reveals that California voter support for Proposition 64, the measure that would legalize recreational marijuana for personal use in this state, is at nearly 60 percent. What’s especially interesting is that support stretches across lines of race, gender, ethnicity and income. Even those from the two warring political parties generally agree on this issue.

The law would grant over-21 Californians the right to buy, keep and use a maximum of 1 ounce of cannabis for recreational purposes. It would also allow a person to grow up to six cannabis plants. The law would also require a 15 percent retail tax on the substance. Of the nearly 1,900 respondents, only a third said they outright would refuse to support the ballot measure if the election were today. Another 8 percent said they had no opinion one way or the other.  Continue reading