Articles Tagged with Los Angeles marijuana 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

Complaints made to California state officials and federal authorities allege that online cannabis advertising behemoth Weedmaps is once again promoting marijuana retailers and products that are unlicensed and illegal.Los Angeles marijuana lawyer

As our Los Angeles cannabis lawyers understand it, the complaints, filed a few months ago with the state’s Department of Cannabis Control and the federal Securities and Exchange Commission, assert that the executives at Weedmaps has opened to the door to black market marijuana purveyors, giving them a platform where customers can find them, as well as products that exceed safe, legal THC levels. The complaints assert that Weedmaps is aware that they are facilitating black market business and sales through their website, but has failed time and again to take action to stop it.

Black market activity, of course, directly harms legal, licensed businesses. This is well-established. The complaint alleges that Weedmaps is giving underground operators an edge competitively by allowing them to advertise on the platform. Inevitably, they’re going to be able to sell their product (which isn’t heavily taxed and hasn’t undergone rigorous testing) at much lower rates. Although Weedmaps purports to serve the legal market, this practice ends up undercutting that stated objective.

You may recall, it’s been a little over four years now that Weedmaps caught the ire of state authorities over allegations of illegal advertisements. The company, based in California, took down some of its online advertising two years ago, prior to going public last year. Continue reading

A California bill that would ban discrimination of employees who use cannabis off-the-clock has passed the State Assembly and is now on its way to the State Senate. employee cannabis discrimination

Assembly Bill No. 2188 calls for revision of the state’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) – specifically the provision that deals with employment antidiscrimination. It would make it unlawful for employers to take adverse employment action against adult applicants or employees based on the individual’s use of cannabis off the jobsite and while not working. Employees who test positive for non-psychoactive cannabis metabolites in their urine, blood, hair, or bodily fluids could not be discriminated against.

However, the law would not allow workers to be impaired by cannabis, use it at work, or violate employer rules in accordance with maintaining a drug-free and alcohol-free workplace, as outlined in California Health and Safety Code Section 11362.45. There would also be an exception for federal contractors, federal funding recipients, federal licensees required to maintain drug-free workplaces, and those who work in the building and construction trades. Any employer required by state or federal law to test employees for controlled substances would also be exempt.

As our Los Angeles marijuana lawyers can explain, if this bill passes, it would be the first California workplace law protecting cannabis users. When voters legalized the use of medicinal marijuana in 1996, there was no baked in provision to protect off-duty, off-premises medical marijuana use. Further, even after recreational marijuana was legalized in the state in 2016, a 2018 California Supreme court ruling in Ross v. RagingWire Telecommunications, Inc. held that a person with disabilities who used medical marijuana was NOT protected under FEHA. AB 2188 would represent a marked shift from that position – and protect not just medical marijuana users, but also those who use recreationally. Continue reading

A recent lawsuit the maker of Skittles candy against a California-based cannabis company is indicative of a trend our Los Angeles cannabis attorneys expect to continue if marijuana business brands continue to copycat big-name candies. Los Angeles cannabis lawyer

In Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company v. Terphogz, LLC, the Chicago-based candymaker of Skittles launched an advertising campaign that involved the slogan, “Taste the Rainbow.” The advertising and packaging for their fruit-flavored candy shows the slogan with a large S logo. The company alleges that a cannabis company in Medocino is selling merchandize under the name Zkittlez, with illustrations of its goods advertised as looking very similar to the Skittles candy. On its website, which sells cannabis-related items and goods nationally (as well as to residents of Illinois, where plaintiff is based), it sells goods under the brand name Zkittlez, with the similar logo.

The defendants say they do not engage in cannabis sales, but rather license the intellectual property rights to cannabis companies in California nd Oregon. Defendants say they don’t engage in business in Illinois, run targeted advertising there, or run any companies or have professional contacts there. Three of the board members have never been to Illinois. Plaintiffs say, however, that prior to the website being shut down in May 2021, the Zkittlez branded goods were available for shipment to the entire U.S., with recorded gross proceeds somewhere around $32,000. The Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company is seeking treble (triple) damages for the alleged copyright infringement.

The defendants have tried to get the case dismissed. However in November, a judge rejected their motion to dismiss, meaning the case is continuing through the courts. 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

Our Los Angeles marijuana business lawyers know it’s not only companies selling cannabis that are being caught up in the regulatory quagmire of state and federal marijuana laws. Los Angeles cannabis company attorney

In recent months, there have been numerous reports of technology software companies servicing the cannabis industry facing financial consequences for that partnership. Firms have been dumped by payment processors, classified as “high risk” by credit card brands and banks (requiring higher fees to handle payments), and overall faced difficulty in the course of day-to-day businesses.

As the legalized cannabis market continues to mature, we’re seeing regulatory headaches continue for ancillary businesses like tech companies, particularly when it comes to handling banking and payment processing. This is true even for companies that never touch a single marijuana plant or product. Businesses working with cannabis growers, producers, and retailers at every leg of the supply chain have found themselves suddenly grappling with growing red tape.

The irony for some of these tech companies is that a primary part of the service they provide to the cannabis industry is the ability to more easily maintain and track regulatory compliance. Some of those who are working high up the compliance chain for these firms have literally helped to write the laws for cities across California. And even they are struggling to maintain operations and meet compliance standards. Continue reading

Our California cannabis business attorneys know this is a field that this is an area of law that is constantly evolving. Case-in-point, two bills that could have a significant impact were advanced. One involves a bill now on the governor’s desk that allows for sales of hemp-derived CBD and ending prohibition on sales of smokable hemp products. The second, a measure to mandate hospitals allow medical marijuana use by certain patients, has advanced in the state legislature. marijuana laws California

Our dedicated cannabis lawyers in Los Angeles are committed to assisting marijuana and hemp farmers, producers, retailers, and ancillary firms navigate the changing legal landscape.

Hemp Regulations

The first, Assembly Bill 45, passed easily in both the state House and Senate. The measure is the result of years of advocacy to update the laws for hemp companies in California. Continue reading

California law prohibits children (under 21) from possessing, using, or buying cannabis. Marketing for marijuana must be tailored in a such a way that it’s less likely to reach them. Proposition 64 (California’s recreational marijuana law) requires a default buffer to keep dispensaries at least 600 feet away from schools, day cares, and youth centers; local ordinances be even more stringent in their requirements. Yet pot shops apparently aren’t doing a great job of keeping cannabis away from kids, according to new research.Los Angeles cannabis lawyer

A new study published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics took a look at how well state regulations intended to keep marijuana out of the hands of minors have been working. The analysis examined the practices of 700 licensed marijuana dispensaries in the state. Researchers discovered that kids can be exposed to both marketing and products, in spite of the restrictions on both.

Dispensaries are required by law to screen out customers who are underage. Many do this with blatant signage, having a checkpoint with mandatory ID (inside or outside), and tailoring marketing efforts where ads are unlikely to reach those under 21.

For this study, researchers close to the legal age cutoff (between the ages of 21 and 23) went into hundreds of dispensaries throughout California to document their screening process. Of the shops they entered, 97 percent were compliant with ID checks. However, only 12 percent verified customers’ ages outside the shop, and nearly 70 percent did not comply in having signs indicating age limits. For the most part, dispensaries were only requiring proof of age once the person was already inside, where both products and marketing materials were in plain view. Continue reading

Inmates in prison are not allowed to possess recreational marijuana while incarcerated, according to a new ruling by the California Supreme Court. The court overturned a lower court’s decision that held prisoners were allowed to have the drug, so long as they didn’t use it. Los Angeles marijuana lawyer

The case, California v. Raybon, involves five inmates in a California state prison who were convicted on felony charges after being found with marijuana in their cells. The men appealed to the 3rd District Court of Appeal in Sacramento, which overturned their convictions after determining that while they could not legally eat or smoke pot in prison, possession of marijuana is no longer a criminal offense. As our Los Angeles marijuana defense lawyers can explain, this ruling conflicted with those of other appellate courts.

The state supreme court weighed in after a challenge from the state attorney general. In a split 5-2 ruling, the high court held that Prop 64, which legalized recreational marijuana in California, was not applicable to prison inmates. The majority opinion held that there as nothing in the ballot materials for the law that indicated voters had considered or were even aware of how this might impact possession of the drug in prison. The court stated, “it seems implausible that the voters intended to essentially decriminalize marijuana in prison.”

Had the public intended to alter the laws and policies regarding possession of cannabis in prison settings, they would have stated so explicitly, the court ruled. Further, it would make no sense that voters would wish to continue to criminalize the consumption of cannabis in prison, yet allow inmates to legally posses it. Continue reading

Measuring one’s degree of marijuana impairment has long been an interest of not only scientists, but law enforcement prosecutors and some employers. Many thought there could be a parallel to alcohol testing; but instead of measuring one’s blood-alcohol concentration they could measure the amount of THC (the primary psychoactive component of cannabis) in one’s blood. The big problem with this, of course, is that THC doesn’t behave in the body the same way alcohol does. It isn’t processed as quickly. Thus, it’s not an accurate measure of one’s degree of impairment. Los Angeles marijuana dui lawyer

This is something our Los Angeles marijuana DUI attorneys have argued for years. Now, this same conclusion was backed by a federally-funded study. Backed by a grant from the National Institute of Justice, researchers tested the THC levels of 20 individuals who either vaporized or ate varying levels of THC. They were then subjected to numerous cognitive and field sobriety tests, similar to what are used by law enforcement.

The groups that received higher doses of THC (above 5 mg) were adversely impacted in terms of their sobriety – their psychomotor skills were visibly impaired – the level of THC in their blood and other biofluids didn’t reliably reflect that. Thus, the amount of THC in one’s blood was not a good indicator of marijuana intoxication. Continue reading

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