Articles Tagged with L.A. marijuana business attorney

Despite legalization of recreational marijuana sales earlier this year, Fresno remains one of the communities wherein marijuana businesscannabis-related activity is still banned: No recreational sales, no medical sales, no commercial growing, no testing, no distribution, no manufacturing. Residents can grow indoors for personal use or if they are a caretaker, but that’s it.

Still, officials know of more than 70 unlicensed sales operations in the city. Law enforcement agencies are stretched thin, however, so they have to prioritize their time and resources.

They recently focused their efforts on one specific dispensary, according to High Times, which was reported to be selling high-potency cannabis candy wrapped in packaging that was appealing to children. Agents seized 150 pounds of the candy and more than $200,000 after a two-month investigation of the dispensary. Six dispensary operators were given misdemeanor marijuana citations.

When it comes to sales of marijuana, which is still considered an illegal Schedule I narcotic under the federal Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812, it wouldn’t seem like packaging would be the top priority for law enforcement. However, keeping cannabis out of the hands of children has been a prevalent and important theme for everyone in the legalization process. No one on either side of the issue wants to see cannabis in the hands of children. Relevant restrictions have included keeping cannabis retailers a certain distance from parks, schools, and places where children regularly frequent, as well as making sure tax money is allocated for education and prevention programs geared at students. Further, regulations dictate that “packages and labels shall not be made to be attractive to children,” according to Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act Sec. 74. Continue reading

cannabis businessOnline media giant YouTube has enacted a host of more stringent enforcement guidelines, seemingly at random, restricting and even shutting down many channels its representatives claim violate its policies. Gun-related channels in particular have come under scrutiny. A bit more perplexing, however, is the site’s more aggressive stance against cannabis-related videos recently, sending warnings, flagging content, and shutting down entire channels, particularly those that seek to educate and advocate. Even after complying with warnings, channel owners said they were suspended. Many of the channels had been around for years, some almost since the beginning of YouTube, according to a Leafly article.

In the early days of legalization, before marijuana reached the popularity it is enjoying today, the Internet was the best place for cannabis advocates, business owners, and medical practitioners to learn and to share information. YouTube has always played a big part in that. The highly visual platform was an ideal way to show growing methods and techniques to people on the other side of the country. Today, a bounty of resources exists, but these ground floor YouTube channels still have a wealth of experience to offer. Continue reading

There are many questions that have been answered with the legalization of recreational marijuana in California.cannabis business

  • What? Proposition 64 was approved by voters and made legal adult-use marijuana.
  • Who? Residents 21 years or older.
  • When? As of Jan. 1, 2018.
  • Where? Now, that’s a trickier matter.

Firstly, the state law did not automatically go into effect everywhere. From county to county, city to city, local governments have been making decisions about whether to maintain a ban on recreational cannabis or to legalize and set up regulations. Some of the big cities, like Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego have permitted recreational sales. Some areas, like Orange County, cultivation is allowed with restrictions, but manufacturing and retail are banned. Los Angeles took a different route, allowing retail but not cultivation or manufacturing. Other counties, like San Bernadino, don’t permit any recreational cannabis activity.

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While legal sales of recreational marijuana in California will be a reality in a matter of weeks, it’s also true that marijuana businesses face some major logistical hurdles. One of the most difficult among those challenges is being forced to do cash-only commerce.cannabis lawyer

Because marijuana is still illegal at the federal level (a fact that seems unlikely to change under the current administration), federally-backed banking institutions are vulnerable to potential seizure of funds by the FDIC if they accept money derived from criminal activity. Essentially, these financial firms can be prosecuted for money laundering. The result is that the majority of marijuana businesses – about 70 percent – don’t have a bank account. There are only a few banks that will accept marijuana business clients, and they rarely advertise it.

As an article in The Economist recently noted, this fact put some cannabis farmers in Northern California in serious financial jeopardy when the wildfires consumed not only their crops, but their cash. In one instance, a cannabis genetics consulting firm lost $250,000 that had been stashed in a cabinet. Another cannabis cooperative in Medicino County reported the loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars by some 20 members who buried their cash and gold stashes – only one of which was buried deep enough to survive destruction.

Although Proposition 64 broadened the legalized use and sale of marijuana in California, it did nothing to ease the federal banking regulations that have financial institutions reticent to take work with cannabis companies. The reality is unless there is some action on this front at the federal level, these kinds of issues will continue to occur. Continue reading

Marijuana business owners have many reasons to carefully manage their assets. Now, a recently-published article by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Executive Office for U.S. Trustees gives another: Marijuana businesses cannot expect help with liquidation or restructuring in the event of bankruptcy. The executive office for trustees is the watchdog agency over bankruptcy proceedings. marijuana business lawyer

Like so many complex legal issues for cannabis business owners, this comes down to the conflict between state and federal law. Although California voters approved the legalization of recreational marijuana with Proposition 64 last year (and medical marijuana more than 20 years prior), it is still an illegal Schedule I substance under 21 U.S.C. Section 811, the Controlled Substances Act.

Per the recent article Justice Department officials published in the ABI Journal, the bankruptcy system cannot be used by cannabis businesses because:

  • Bankruptcy cannot be used as an instrument in the ongoing commission of a crime, and thus reorganization plans that allow or require the continuation of illegal activity can’t be confirmed;
  • Bankruptcy trustees and other fiduciaries of estates cannot be made to administer asserts if the act of doing so would necessitate violation of federal criminal law.

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