Articles Tagged with Los Angeles marijuana business 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

With the state substantially altering its cannabis tax structure, the California cannabis industry is expected to get a substantial tax break, which lawmakers are hoping will boost the legal industry left lagging by competition with illicit sales, extensive bureaucracy, and heavy taxation. cannabis tax lawyer

If the effort is successful, there is a potential for its impact to be global, given that California’s marijuana market is not only the oldest but the largest in the world. Thus, its influence across the industry is oversized.

The taxation changes will effectively erase a tax on cultivation of marijuana (which had been the source of about 15 percent of state marijuana taxes – roughly $166 million as of last year). The changes were part of a larger state budget agreement, which is also going to carve out some tax credits for certain marijuana companies, as well as expand labor rights in the industry and switch collection of a state excise tax from distributors to retailers. The tax will be paused at 15 percent for three years, at which point the state will have the option to raise it again to make up for revenue lost by ending the tax on growers.

Programs that benefit from marijuana taxes include youth and environmental programs, and the state says it must balance out these needs with those of marijuana cultivators and shops that are burdened by heavy taxes and tight regulations. As our Los Angeles marijuana business lawyers are aware, many companies are treading water – if they aren’t drowning – because they’re in direct competition for sales with black market dealers that can sell their products more cheaply because they aren’t taxed or responsible for screening their supply for harmful contaminants. This year especially has been tough, given last year’s bumper crop contributing to oversupply.

Many smaller operators are likely to fail or consolidate before the tax credit goes into effect, but it’s nonetheless a welcome windfall for those in the industry. It’s been largely recognized as an operational burden, as it was paid out by growers prior to obtaining any revenue for sales. So even if that product never sold, cultivators were still getting taxed. Continue reading

Residency requirements attached to state cannabis laws may not withstand challenges to constitutionality. The first precedential opinion on this issue is expected sometime in the next few months by the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal in Maine. Los Angeles cannabis lawyer

The case, Northeast Patients Group et al. v. Figueroa, involves a challenge to the law in Maine (existing in many other states) that contains an in-state residency requirement for license applicants and operators. California doesn’t have a residency requirement law, but operators here may be barred from expanding into other regions due to their state residency requirements. This ruling could impact that barrier.

Last year, the District Court of Maine struck down the state’s residency requirement, finding that it was a violation of the U.S. Constitution’s Dormant Commerce Clause, a measure intended to block discrimination against interstate commerce. However, attorneys for the State of Maine appealed that decision, finding the federal law isn’t applicable to the cannabis industry, as trade remains technically unlawful under U.S. law.

Similar challenges have been brought before in other courts, but as our Los Angeles marijuana business lawyers can explain, this is the first to reach a federal appellate court. A ruling by the First Circuit could have a substantial impact for the cannabis industry throughout the country. Continue reading

Research dedicated to federal marijuana regulation models is being funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Of course, this isn’t the first time NIDA pushed to study marijuana, particularly as more states have been enacting legalization laws. However, this one specifically expressed interest in the various regulatory models in place across the U.S. cannabis lawyer Los Angeles

The study solicitation encouraged study applicants to have a focus on the evolution of cannabis law and policy in the U.S., as well as globally, and the impact that has on public health. In particular, it’s looking for researchers who can help analyze the quality of various regulatory schemes for cannabis product sales, with a special focus on which elements or combos are concretely shown to minimize potential harm to public health.

It’s worth pointing out that this seems to indicate the agency is no longer fighting against an end to prohibition, but rather leaning in to the general consensus that is likely inevitable at some point. The agency outright conceded that cannabis product policies and legislation in the U.S. and around the world have outpaced the public health knowledge we have on the subject.

It doesn’t help that because of marijuana’s status as a Schedule I narcotic, the process for conducting studies on it is onerous. All researchers must comply with the standard 5 milligrams of THC per unit when conducting studies on human subjects. (That rule was put in place last year.) 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

The state has issued $100 million in funding assistance to help bolster legal marijuana businesses in California, an effort aimed to speed up license permitting in areas where it’s stalled. Los Angeles marijuana business attorney

The Department of Cannabis Control, managed by state officials, designated the funds be sent to 17 cities and counties where there are a disparate number of provisional marijuana business licenses (as opposed to full year licenses). As our Los Angeles marijuana business lawyers can explain, those provision licenses were intended to help quickly prop up the adult-use market, but the entire category was set to expire Jan. 1, 2022. That deadline has since been extended, allowing more municipalities time to kick-start the permitting process, while also meeting stringent environmental requirements.

The $100 million in grant money is intended to further accelerate progress – in turn squeezing out black market operators. The thinking goes that the more competitive, state-legal operations there are in a district, the fewer opportunities there will be for underground pot purveyors.

Applications to receive money through the Local Jurisdiction Assistance Grant Program, opened four months ago. Municipalities that were awarded the additional funding were those that had significant license processing backlogs. Funding is also available to implement social equity programs.

Goals for funding were outlined as followed:

  • Hire or designate additional staff to help wade through the sizable workloads necessary to transition businesses into a well-regulated local market.
  • Create streamlined license processing with dedicated IT systems.
  • Complete thorough environmental assessments to ensure water is protected and energy is renewable.

Continue reading

An agricultural research and commercial hemp company is attempting to bankroll a civil lawsuit against the state of California through crowdfunding, asking investors to purchase cryptocurrency. The lawsuit alleges state officials unlawfully destroyed more than $1 billion of the hemp crop belonging to Apothio LLC in 2019.Los Angeles marijuana business lawyer

As reported by Reuters, this approach breaks some ground on numerous fronts. Small investors, for the first time, can put up as little as $100 or as much as $500,000 to buy a stake in the outcome of the civil litigation. Although the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has long allowed individuals to invest in litigation finance deals, those individuals had to meet SEC accreditation criteria. This approach of sidestepping those rigorous requirements is allowed under an SEC provision that permits up to $5 million in litigation financing through crowdfunding. Furthermore, to the best of our Los Angeles cannabis attorneys’ knowledge, this is a first for tokenizing litigation funding through blockchain. What that means is if the firm ends up winning the case and getting paid, investors will be paid their share of the verdict in tokens from the company.

Within a day of the request going live, the company had raised more than $156,000 from 85 investors – more than 60 percent of the target minimum of $250,000.

This is an interesting approach that we imagine many California marijuana business lawyers are going to be watching closely, as it may allow a greater number of plaintiffs of all sizes to pursue civil litigation for unfair regulatory action, such as destroying crops or license revocation. Continue reading

Since the right of California cannabis delivery services was cemented late last year with the state supreme court’s ruling in County of Santa Cruz v. Bureau of Cannabis Control, the market seems poised for growth. Still, the clarity of some issues remains clouded. For example, when, where and under what conditions can a licensed retail operator in the state deliver goods to cannabis consumers in outside jurisdictions?Los Angeles cannabis delivery lawyer

As the cannabis delivery market represents a ripe post-pandemic opportunity, those companies considering adding cannabis delivery to their roster of services should have a Los Angeles marijuana business lawyer on retainer.

The mass shutdowns of the COVID-19 pandemic saw huge spikes in all kinds of delivery services, as the public was eager to avoid shopping center crowds. Grubhub, DoorDash, UberEats, Instacart and Drizly soared. Meanwhile on the cannabis front, the CA-based cannabis delivery app Eaze saw its customer base jump by 70 percent. In the last 12 months, Eaze execs estimate a California cannabis order was placed every eight seconds. Our state accounts for the lion’s share of the $17 billion in legal pot sold in the U.S. last year. Continue reading

Starting this summer and prompted by a new federal law, the U.S. Postal Service will begin prohibition of vape product shipments – a move that concerns some California cannabis companies. Los Angeles cannabis lawyer

As our Los Angeles marijuana business lawyers can explain, the measure was tucked quietly into an appropriations bill late last year that was passed to keep the government running.

Not a single mention of “marijuana” or “hemp” is contained in the Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children Act, but investors and entrepreneurs in both sectors are concerned – and rightly so. They will be expected to comply with it.

To the extent any industry is involved in selling vape products, it will apply to them. That includes manufacturers and retailers. Continue reading

California cannabis business operators are hopefully eyeing a newly-reintroduced Safe and Fair Enforcement Banking Act (SAFE) that appears to be gaining some steam in Congress. Last session, it died in the U.S. Senate, but with new members seated, a new president and a growing trend toward public acceptance of cannabis companies as legitimate, cannabis banking may be more than a pipe dream. Los Angeles cannabis lawyer

As our Los Angeles cannabis lawyers can explain, the goal is to establish a safe, legal means for banks and other financial companies to work with marijuana businesses that are state-legal. As it stands, 47 states plus Washington, D.C. have legalized the substance in some form or another.

Sponsors are optimistic that this is much less of a partisan issue than it was in the past, particularly in light of the tax revenue it produces.

Why Cannabis Banking Remains Burdensome

Banking is recognized as one of the most slippery slopes for cannabis companies. They’re cut off from traditional bank accounts, which is what provides many businesses safety, security and legitimacy. Unlike other companies, cannabis retailers and many ancillary companies have no choice but to haul bundles of cash around. Not only is that impractical, it’s dangerous. COVID-19 presented a whole new layer of danger with this prospect, and many customers didn’t want to deal in cash. Continue reading

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