Articles Tagged with Los Angeles cannabis lawyer

California cannabis businesses should steel themselves for the reality of an unannounced inspection by state Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) compliance officers – some of whom have been showing up armed at inspection sites. California cannabis company inspections

As our Los Angeles marijuana business lawyers can explain, it’s not the first time pot shops have been subject to inspections. It’s just that officials handling it in the past typically gave companies a heads-up – often several days of notice – before showing up. But according to recent reports, there has been a surge of drop-in, no-notice inspections. The 24-to-48-hour heads-up is no longer something your company can count on.

Given that even minor transgressions or oversights might compromise your ability to keep your doors open, it’s imperative that licensed California cannabis businesses be ready for a DCC inspection out of the clear blue sky.

Prime Targets of California DCC Inspections

If a company isn’t following state marijuana law and guidelines to the letter, DCC can issue citations, fines, and even license revocation. As this new aggressive inspection campaign is under way, it’s unclear how nit-picky inspectors are going to be, but we do know the agency has expressly stated there are a few major compliance rules on which they’ll be devoting a heavy focus. Those include: Continue reading

Few sectors in recent memory have been poised to grow as exponentially as the cannabis industry. By some estimates, we’ll be seeing $45 billion by 2025. And yet, until federal marijuana law aligns with the reality of state law, the status of marijuana as as a Schedule I narcotic under the Controlled Substances Act stands as a considerable barrier to the enforcement of any business contract involving a cannabis company.Los Angeles cannabis lawyer

As our Los Angeles cannabis business lawyers can explain, the illegality defense has been used (with varying success) to invalidate business contracts that would be strongly enforceable in any other industry.

The illegality defense essentially holds that any contract requiring one party to engage in illegal conduct is not enforceable. It’s been employed by cannabis companies, vendors, distributors, etc. to avoid being held to their prior agreement.

We saw an example of this just last year in Sensoria et al v. Kaweske et al, before the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado. In this case, a group of plaintiffs wanted to recover their investment from a cannabis company it said engaged in breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, civil theft, and fraud. Plaintiffs say the invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in a cannabis enterprise, only for the company to essentially cut them off from communications and ultimately, shut down after opening up a rival firm. Investors not only were deprived of a return on investment – they didn’t receive back their initial investment.

The defense responded with the illegality-based defense as a bar to recovery. The federal court noted that the overarching issue was the cannabis company’s direct involvement in the growing and selling of marijuana – legal under Colorado law, but not under the federal SCA. The court held that the plaintiffs’ failure to explain how relief could be obtained without endorsing or requiring illegal activity or how it would be paid from an asset source independent of marijuana. Continue reading

A California church that distributes cannabis and psychedelic mushrooms as sacrament has filed a lawsuit against the local city government and police department over a drug raid in which authorities seized more than $200,000 of these substances. cannabis church

The civil rights litigation filed by the Zide Door Church of Entheogenic Plants explains that worshippers at the congregation gather and consume the mind-altering plants as a means of having a direct experience with God. The church is interfaith, non-denominational, and openly supports the safe access and use of all entheogenic plants, though its particular focus is on cannabis and so-called “magic mushrooms.”

Approximately 60,000 members of the church pay $5 each month, as well as give donations, in exchange for participation in the sacraments. The church grows its own cannabis and mushrooms. The founder of the church explained to Vice Magazine that consuming these substances allows parishioners to experience spiritual visions, interact with powerful spiritual entities with lessons to teach, and sometimes even engage in a direct experience with God.

But none of that seemed to matter to the Oakland Police when they launched a raid of the facility back in 2020, seizing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of mushrooms and cannabis. No arrests were made and no charges were filed, but the substances were never returned and the church was not provided any compensation for its value.

As our Los Angeles cannabis lawyers can explain, the actions of police may run afoul of the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act. This, along with the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, are federal laws that serve as a shield against improper government actions against certain church groups and religious services. It may well provide protections for churches who use religious services.

The RFRA of 1993 bars the federal government from applying/enforcing laws and rules that may burden a person’s exercise of religion – even if the burden results from laws/rules of general applicability. It requires strict scrutiny – the highest level of review – of any federal law that may burden the religious exercises of organizations/groups/individuals.

These laws extend beyond federal government intervention, and assert that local and state government agencies can’t discriminate against religious groups either in areas of zoning and land use restrictions.

It’s our belief at the Cannabis Law Group that churches that treat cannabis as a sacrament are improperly and illegally targeted by government agencies taking action against them for this reason. That said, the law on this front is still unsettled, so it may still be possible for cannabis churches to be shut down, cannabis seized, fines imposed, evictions upheld and criminal charges filed. For those fighting back and taking civil action, it’s imperative to work with a law firm with extensive experience in California cannabis law and a track record of success on behalf of cannabis churches and other organizations. Continue reading

The popularity of Delta-8 in California and beyond has soared in recent years. However, the legality of the substance has been called into question, with 21 states restricting it or even banning it altogether as of April 2022, sparking outcry from companies, customers, manufacturers, and distributors. delta 8 legalization Los Angeles

In California, despite having some of the most liberal cannabis laws in the country, delta-8 is still regulated and restricted. State law regulates using, possessing, selling, distributing, or producing hemp and marijuana-derived delta-8 products – similar to the way it regulates high-THC marijuana. Unlicensed distributors (either online or with brick-and-mortar stores) aren’t allowed to sell any hemp-derived products (including Delta-8) with more than 0.3 percent THC. Licensed dispensaries, on the other hand, can. They can also sell delta-8 that is derived from marijuana. State law also regulates and restricts delta-10, THC-O and HHC products that contain more than 0.3% THC.

That said, back in may a federal appellate court in California held that delta-8 THC and other hemp-derived substances are legal under the 2018 Farm Bill. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled this was true even if the products contained properties that were psychoactive.

The three justices unanimously held that goods made with delta-8 THC are legal under U.S. law. The Farm Bill establishes hemp as any part of the cannabis plant – including all cannibinoids, extracts, and derivatives – that contain less than 0.3 percent delta-9 THC by weight. However, the federal law says nothing about delta-8. The court said that while the wisdom of legalizing delta-8 products could be up for debate, it would not substitute its own policy judgment for that of the United States Congress. Continue reading

Online sales of hemp products – specifically delta-9 THC products that are derived from hemp – are likely to see a federal regulatory crackdown in the coming months. Los Angeles marijuana lawyer

Congress is currently mulling the 2023 Farm Bill, while state lawmakers across the country are slated to hold their yearly sessions. Many are expecting hemp extract sales and shipments – particularly those happening online and across state lines – are likely to get attention from both federal and state lawmakers.

As our Los Angeles marijuana business lawyers can explain, the concern with delta-9 products is that they possess intoxicated properties, yet aren’t being taxed, overseen by safety regulators, and are being shipped across state lines with little oversight.

For those who may be unfamiliar, delta-9 products are different than delta-8. Delta-8 THC products are manufactured in labs. Lawmakers have set limits on delta-8 products. So now, some hemp manufacturers have concentrated the delta-9 THC that already exists in hemp plants, allowing them to make tinctures, edibles, and vapes that are intoxicating – and then sell those online. Delta-9 is the THC compound created when raw hemp is heated, but in smaller amounts than what one might find in a cannabis extract. Continue reading

Our Southern California cannabis lawyers have been carefully eyeing the legal developments happening at the federal level, with Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer of New York recently releasing draft legislation that would legalize marijuana in the U.S. Los Angeles marijuana lawyer

It’s called the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act. It’s similar to a bill passed by the House in December. The House’s approval of such a measure isn’t surprising, given its political makeup. The Senate, however, is much more conservative and a different story. How good of a chance does a measure like this actually have of becoming reality?

A poll conducted last year by the Pew Research Center reveals 6 in 10 Americans favor legalizing pot for both medicinal and recreational use. However, the majority party in the Senate has a lot on its plate, with presidential priorities being immigration, policing and infrastructure. Cannabis isn’t on that list, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t have forward momentum. Continue reading

A bill that would allow veterinarians to recommend cannabis products for pet is being considered by California lawmakers. Assembly Bill 384 is a follow-up to a law passed three years ago allowing veterinarians to discuss marijuana with pet owners without facing penalties. Numerous product, such as CBD-infused treats, capsules and oils, are now available for pet owner purchase. Vets can legally talk about them, but they can’t recommend them. canine cannabis

The bill reportedly has unanimous, bipartisan support in the Assembly Business and Professions Committee, and is supported not only by organizations like NORML but also the California Veterinary Medical Association.

As our Los Angeles cannabis business attorneys understand that animal owners are essentially being left in the dark about how much or what type of cannabis they should be giving their animals for various ailments. Veterinarians cannot discuss the possible impact of a certain product on a specific animal or offer a suggestion for how much would be a safe yet effective dose. Absent this guidance, pet owners are essentially left to their own devices and research to guess or rely on a cannabis dispensary clerk’s take, even though these individuals know noting about the effects on animals. Continue reading

Marijuana is perhaps the most highly-regulated crop in the state. Earlier this year, the state added another complication in the form of regulations imposed by the State Water Resources Control Board, which sets rules (a veritable maze of them) for the cannabis cultivation industry. Los Angeles marijuana farmer attorney

Recently, the California Water Boards sent out some 270 letters to marijuana farmers operating in the Emerald Triangle, warning them to comply with state regulations or else face potential fines – or even loss of their licenses to grow the crop.

The compliance letters were sent to cultivation operations in Mendocino, Humboldt and Trinity counties, informing them of their lack of appropriate permitting for all their cannabis business operations. Continue reading

California cannabis vape cartridges will soon carry explicit labeling on its packages. The state announced a new rule in March that all vapor packaging for marijuana products will need to display the state-designed version of the industry-wide symbol, an action causing manufacturers to switch gears – and spend considerable money to do so.Los Angeles cannabis business lawyer

As Los Angeles cannabis lawyers can explain, the cost of non-compliance is likely to be considerably more. Those producing marijuana products need to get a move on fast – by the end of this month. Retailers will have a bit longer.

The symbol in question is a triangle that borders a bud leaf with a bold exclamation point and the letters “CA” (the widely-recognized abbreviation for California) below.

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