Articles Tagged with Los Angeles marijuana lawyer

Recreational marijuana use has been legal in California now for little more than a year, but access to the drug remains scarce in some regions. That’s why some – including those who seek non-psychoactive CBD oil – are relying on a technology app called Weedmaps to help them locate the nearest provider. Our Los Angeles marijuana attorneys are aware this has generated a few problems stemming from the fact that a number of the providers listed on the platform aren’t legally allowed to operate by the state and have not been subjected to the same rigorous quality assurance regulations as legal marijuana businesses.marijuana lawyer

From a patient’s perspective, that means the product they are receiving may not be 100 percent safe or accurately-labeled with proper potency levels. From the perspective of marijuana businesses, these other companies have carved an unfair advantage over them because they operate in regions they do not and/or have not had to pay the mountains of fees for taxes, licensing, workers’ compensation and quality assurance testing. From the state’s perspective, these businesses are flouting the regulatory framework of the law.

As reported by Wired.com, marijuana businesses can list their services on the site for free, but top billing requires an advertising fee. Some companies pay as much as $20,000-a-month for top-level billing on the site, which doesn’t vet firms to see which are technically legal and does not indicate those pot shops that pop up first on the site have paid for that placement.

The California marijuana industry and those who advocate on its behalf have fought tooth and nail for every inch of its legitimacy. Now, our Los Angeles marijuana lawyers know we may be facing the biggest hurdle yet: Getting legal buyers in the door. Los Angeles marijuana lawyer

The New York Times recently reported anticipated tax revenue drawn in by the California legal pot market were disappointing. Although the industry generated more than $2.5 billion last year, the state still overshot its anticipated take by more than $100 million. Even worse – that figure was half a billion less than sales in 2017 – when recreational marijuana wasn’t even legal in California yet.

It’s not that pot shops don’t want to pay the piper. The problem is that at rates that high ($150 per pound on cultivators and 15 percent by recreational retail buyers) it creates incentive for consumers to buy their buds from elsewhere. It also doesn’t help that the regulatory requirements laid out by the Bureau of Cannabis Control require extensive testing of products, which also costs a pretty penny. This two combined are taking a financial toll that has meant that buyers of recreational marijuana are paying significantly more for legal cannabis – and most would rather not if there is an alternative.  Continue reading

As marijuana legalization continues throughout North America, there is still significant public and private interest resistance to its proliferation. One of the legal ground on which these cases have been tested throughout the country is a federal law known as the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act of 1970, also known as RICO. As our Los Angeles marijuana defense lawyers can explain, this was a law intended to battle organized crime and the mafia. However, it’s been used in several recent federal cases to intervene with legal marijuana businesses and users – one of the most recent in Petaluma, California, marking what is believed to be the first time this legal argument has been used against marijuana businesses in the state. marijuana RICO attorney

But in that case, as in many of the cannabis company RICO civil lawsuits pursued nationally, a federal judge has ruled against the plaintiffs.

According to The Argus Courier, a U.S. District Judge held that neighbors of a cannabis company and its lead grower can’t be sued under RICO anti-corruption laws because nuisances related to noise and bad smells don’t cause the same kind of tangible financial losses intended to be addressed under RICO. Continue reading

Hopes of a public bank to serve California cannabis companies appear to have fizzled with an extensive marijuana banking report from the state Treasury Department explaining that as long as marijuana remains a Schedule I narcotic per U.S. Code, any publicly-funded banking intended for companies that sell it would put tax money at risk.Los Angeles cannabis banking attorney

When you’re working with a Los Angeles marijuana business lawyer to get your cannabis business plan, licensing, permits, insurance and quality compliance in order, inevitably, one issue that will arise is how you plan to manage your money. Cannabis companies can’t just open a business checking or savings account like any other because technically, selling marijuana is still against federal law, thus proceeds are “dirty money,” and any banker who works with these firms knowing what they do could be found guilty of money laundering. That would cost the financial firms their banking charters and effectively put them out of business.

Of course, it’s utterly ridiculous given that the plant is legal now in most states in some form or another. Los Angeles marijuana lawyers suspect U.S. law will eventually catch up to the science and times. For now, though, California pot shop owners slog through major logistical hurdles of operating almost exclusively in cash, leaving them vulnerable to robbery, thwarting growth and denying additional tax revenue to both the state and local governments.  Continue reading

Los Angeles marijuana lawyers know the California Cannabis Equity Act of 2018 as an act of penance. It would never make up for the upended lives or communities torn asunder in a decades-long government failure that was the “War on Drugs.” It was an effort that cost untold billions, frequently sparked caustic tensions between police and the people and targeted mostly those in poor minority communities. But the programs meant to give a leg up to those unfairly affected appears to have hit many stalls and snags. Some wonder if that wasn’t intentional, given that the program has been controversial in some circles.Los Angeles marijuana lawyer

When California voters legalized recreational marijuana for adults in 2016, suddenly there were people getting rich doing the same thing that led to arrests, prosecution and harsh minimum mandatory prison term for tens of thousands. Even after their release from incarceration, the government’s civil seizure of  all assets even tenuously connected to drugs, plus the stigma of a permanent “felon” label blocked access to student loans (sometimes any loans),  job opportunities and housing options.  The racial disparity of the impact stunning. The ACLU reporting blacks were arrested at a rate of four-fold higher than whites, despite basically the same usage rates. It was way worse in some communities, like Oakland, where black residents accounted for 27 percent of the population but 77 percent of those arrested for marijuana.

The concept of “cannabis equity” is that those hit much harder by harsher marijuana laws should now be extended lower entry barriers into the legal California cannabis market. California earned a fair amount of applause for the initiative, one no other legal marijuana state has launched. Funded by $10 million in loans, grants and support services, there are currently just four local branches operating  – Los Angeles, Oakland, Sacramento and San Francisco. But some report it’s not going so smoothly. As reported by Pew Charitable Trusts, a number of local equity offices (funded by the state’s Department of Cannabis Control and Regulation) have had trouble with launch – potentially delivering yet another blow to applicants, giving other non-equity program cannabis companies a head start into those markets. Continue reading

The legalized marijuana market in California is booming with a rising number of investors (hoping for returns the next big thing), horticulturalists carving out regional and brand niches and more recreational pot shops and cannabis couriers than ever before. Still, many who have tried to launch a California small marijuana business – either from an exiting platform or from scratch – are finding themselves squeezed out.California marijuana small business lawyer

For the “mom-and-pot spot” owners either just starting out or wondering how their doors will stay open, it can be tempting to try trimming expenses and skimping on legal services. But even if expenses are tight, this isn’t a good idea. Cannabis law in California isn’t like writing up a simple contract or printing off a power of attorney form from a free site. It’s complex. It’s been changing fast. It varies from city-to-city. It’s got this complicated relationship with federal law. It’s really the type of legal insight you can only get from an attorney who not only practices California cannabis law, but has been doing it for decades.

California legal cannabis market isn’t just about capital. It’s about compliance. If you’re busy trying to cut through state bureaucracy or negotiate a commercial leases on your own, you are firstly  Our marijuana lawyers work with you to help you make sure you’re covered from a legal standpoint. We want to be sure your time, monetary investment and dream is protected. Continue reading

Many retailers extend promotional offers to drum up new business or garner awareness of a new product. However, just as with almost every other aspect of operation and sales, California cannabis companies must be especially careful about how they market and promote their product. Otherwise, as our California cannabis lawyers can explain, distributors may find their green business deep in the red – and themselves in handcuffs. marijuana lawyer

Recently, The Olympian reported recently that a pot shop owner in a Washington state suburb drew the attention and ire of state regulators for allegedly passing out free samples in violation of the state’s recreational marijuana laws. An undercover investigation was launched after officials received an anonymous tip about an alleged illegal marijuana club on site. Social media advertisements indicated free samples to the product were provided upstairs. Undercover officers began investigating the pot shop, and were offered free samples by an employee, who told them they could try it in another section of the building that wasn’t licensed. The officers reported that when they got to this portion of the building, they saw several individuals smoking marijuana.

The problem is marijuana retailers cannot, as Los Angeles cannabis business lawyers can explain, offer a ‘try it before you buy it” sort of deal for marijuana customers. This is largely owing to the fact marijuana business licensees in California, just as in Washington, are required to keep track of their product from seed to sale. By diverting products to be distributed as free samples, they are in violation of the law.  Continue reading

A couple from Minnesota was recently convicted on federal possession with intent to distribute charges after they were accused of hauling more than 1,000 pounds of California cannabis in their RV and were on their way home when they were stopped in Montana. They face between 5 and 40 years in prison for the charges, plus a $5 million fine and up to four years of supervised release. It’s not clear exactly how officers were tipped off to the pair, though Los Angeles marijuana business lawyers understand Montana authorities were notified via the Minnesota drug task force before they were stopped leaving a casino. Defendant reportedly told authorities he was paid $20,000.Los Angeles marijuana lawyer

Transport of marijuana across state lines has always been a federal crime, and the fact the drug can now be obtained legally by adults in states like California has not changed that. Even traveling from a state like Washington to California – where the drug is legal for recreational purposes in both states – is technically a crime in the eyes of federal law. It may even be considered trafficking, and you could face five years in prison for possession with intent to distribute as little as 50 grams.

Practically speaking, if you transport cannabis across state lines from one state to another where both have legalized cannabis for recreation, you may not incur any serious penalty. But if this is something you are thinking about or planning, take no action before first speaking with a Los Angeles marijuana attorney because technically, to do so IS a crime. Continue reading

Although cannabis has been legal in California for recreational use since the start of this year, Los Angeles marijuana lawyers know there continues to be much confusion as to what is allowable and what isn’t in the course of conducting business. One legal woe cropping up of late involves marijuana shipping and transport. Shipping out-of-state (or sometimes even in-state) is fraught with legal pitfalls. If you are not careful, you and/ or your associates could wind up facing serious criminal charges, not to mention hefty fines.Los Angeles marijuana business lawyer

Because the federal government considers marijuana to be a dangerous narcotic, it is a federal felony offense to transport it interstate. Because of the Supremacy Clause in the U.S. Constitution, the federal government can prosecute you for federal crimes, even if your actions are legal under state law. In-state transfers can be done lawfully, but it depends on the circumstances.

California’s Bureau of Cannabis Control lays the groundwork for the state’s digital track-and-trace system and is responsible for licensing every vehicle used to transport marijuana across the state. Continue reading

Almost 1 in 5 California marijuana products have failed tests for purity and potency by the state’s Bureau of Cannabis Control since the agency began mandating checks at the beginning of July. The Associated Press reported that some cannabis farmers and distributors are blaming the failure rate not on product quality but rather on standards that are unrealistic and aren’t aimed to protect the public. Technical glitches haven’t helped.marijuana lawyer

Cannabis-infused cookies, tinctures and candies have been especially hit hard, with approximately one-third of its product removed from store shelves.

Other problems revealed (albeit on a smaller scale) by state-licensed testing firms are finding too-high levels of solvents, pesticides and bacteria, including salmonella and E. coli.

Within just eight weeks of testing, some 2,000 samples failed out of more than 11,000 Our L.A. marijuana product attorneys understand that in some of those instances, the product had to be destroyed, but a lot of the problems arose from issues with labeling, which are able to be fixed. Just for example, if a label on a container indicates a product has a potency level different than what’s on the label, the product can simply be relabeled and then move to market. Continue reading