Articles Tagged with marijuana lawyer L.A.

The city of Fife in Washington state has a formal ban on marijuana sales – both recreational and medicinal – despite a statewide law that allows both types of businesses. marijuana

But now, as The News Tribune has reported, one man is determined to open a shop there anyway – making it one of two marijuana retail operations that will be legally up-and-running in city limits. The reason this is possible, as the reporter explained, is because the first location is run by the Puyallup Tribe. The Native American group’s shop, which opened in what used to be a cigar bar, is situated on tribal land and therefore isn’t bound by city rules.

The second store is slated to open in a former drug store. It’s within walking distance of the tribal shop. That location is within the boundaries of the city’s authority, but the shop will be allowed in spite of the ban following an out-of-court settlement reached late last year by the owner and the city in which the owner won an exemption against the ban.  Continue reading

When your business is legal, but you can’t access a bank for everyday functions, you have no choice but to become an all-cash venture. There is perhaps no industry that knows this woe better than those in the business of marijuana. But some are now finding that even those businesses that never actually touch marijuana may have banking headaches. money

The L.A. Times recently reported on a local businesswoman who alongside her partner launched a packaging company that caters to the cannabis industry. They produce containers, bags, logos, labels, custom-printed jars and boxes. They currently have about three workers and are preparing to bring on three more. They provide marketing and branding assistance to growers and distributors, and the owner describes it as “all very upscale.” The biggest problem, however, has been the banking.

She explained how she met with a single accountant last year who informed her she would likely only be paid in cash and that her workers and suppliers would need to be paid in cash as well. Payroll, sales and income taxes – all of it has to be done in cash. The accountant advised her to stash the cash under her mattress and then somewhere down the line find a time to make a large deposit into her bank account. When she told him that sounded illegal, he shrugged, saying that’s how everyone does it.  Continue reading

A Canadian company has tripled its production capacity by moving into an old chocolate factory, a long-time vacant facility that had posed the risk of blight and crime for the community in a suburb of Ottawa, Ontario for years.chocolate

According to Financial Post, this purchase could make Canopy Growth, the parent company, the owner of the biggest indoor marijuana production site in Canada, and possibly the world. The building was purchased with the help of a group of collective investors who backed Canopy. There was previously a medical marijuana facility of the site, but they were only a tenant and they only took up a third of the building’s space – a whopping 472,000 square feet.

This new space has the potential for add-ons of hundreds of thousands of square feet of production and processing space, which could include expanding the indoor facilities or creating greenhouse growing platforms. Even as there is a need for commercial processing of the drug, there is also space needed to convert the marijuana and cannabinoids into products that are higher margin means of profit, such as oils and edibles. Vaporizer pens and other medical delivery options too could be easily manufactured at this site.  Continue reading

Medical marijuana dispensaries have been a common sight in L.A. for years – more than two decades, to be exact. So it’s tough to remember that in many parts of the country, these facilities are still having to wade gingerly into their new markets, even as the public has shown overwhelming support for them at the polls.bud

One example is Florida.

Recently, media in The Sunshine State have been exploring the way in which marijuana businesses are carefully entering the market after the approval of Amendment 2, which took effect this month. As reported by one outlet, one 2,000-square-foot storefront in Tampa does not, the reporter noted, “evoke images of the seedy bong-filled pot shops of popular imagination.” Again, we have to remember that it’s still “imagination” to those who haven’t lived in or traveled to a state where this substance has been widely available for years. The writer describes a clean, spacious dispensary with a brightly-lit showroom and materials to help educate buyers on the drug’s merits. One customer, there to purchase products for her son with epilepsy, comments to the writer that in truth, she “didn’t know what to expect,” but was pleasantly surprised.  Continue reading

Of all the industries to crop up around marijuana legalization, surveillance systems are among those that are growing the fastest. surveillance

You have probably taken note if you have moseyed on into a marijuana grow operation in Colorado an array of colored bar codes. Every single plant is tagged with either a blue or a yellow bar code, either stuck in the soil or tied to the stalk. Each tag has a bar code and a Radio Frequency ID chip. Then, if you take a glance around, you’ll probably notice there are security cameras watching your every move at all times. The badges worn by workers allow the company to follow them from room-to-room. Inspectors may drop by without prior notice, just to make sure the amount being produced matches the records on file with the state, which tracks it all in real time.

All of these security systems are high-tech – and costly. It’s budding into a multi-million dollar industry, and it’s one of the only reasons we’re able to safely shift this plant from the black market to a major commodity sold to the over-21 public on store shelves.  Continue reading

While a number of new states recently voted to expand marijuana rights, many did not realize that this could directly conflict with their Second Amendment right to purchase a firearm. gun

That’s because federal law – specifically 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(3), which is part of the Gun Control Act – criminalizes the possession or receipt of a firearm by an unlawful drug user or person addicted to a controlled substance. Of course, many states have now legalized the drug, but it still remains outlawed by federal statute. Those purchasing a new firearm are asked to fill out federal background check forms that specifically ask whether the purchaser uses marijuana for recreational or medicinal purposes. If they do, they are not allowed to purchase the gun.

This conflict was recently questioned by Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a Republican who says she didn’t vote in favor of marijuana, but now she is worried about its impact on the Second Amendment rights of citizens. Recently, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled in Wilson v. Lynch that the Second Amendment rights of a Nevada woman were not infringed by the federal government’s ban on sales of guns to medical marijuana card holders. The ruling is applicable to nine other states, including California.  Continue reading

The Second Amendment, which guarantees citizens’ right to keep and bear arms, is one of the more controversial in our U.S. Constitution. It’s been the source of much contention in our nation in recent years, but the fact remains: It is still considered a fundamental right. gavel211

Now, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has issued a ruling saying it is a right that should be denied to users of medical marijuana. In Wilson v. Lynch et al., the court ruled that a federal law that prohibits medical marijuana cardholders from buying firearms does not actually violate those patients’ Second Amendment rights because users of marijuana are prone to behavior that is “irrational” and “unpredictable.”

The case stemmed from a lawsuit filed by a Nevada woman who sought to buy a handgun five years ago. However, she was refused the sale after the owner of the store recognized her as being a medical marijuana patient. Plaintiff asserted that in fact, she didn’t really use marijuana, but obtained a medical marijuana card in order to make a political statement, saying she supports the liberalization of marijuana laws nationally.  Continue reading

What exactly is a marijuana plant? marijuanaplants

Seems a fairly straightforward question with a simple answer. However, the issue has been muddled in Michigan, where the Court of Appeals had to take on the issue in Michigan v. Ventura.

The issue was raised after police in Grand Rapids raided the home of the defendant in this case, who was a medical marijuana card holder. Once inside, authorities discovered 21 marijuana plants – plus an additional 22 “clones” of those plants. Either way, he was over the limit of 19 that he was allowed to grow under the state’s 2008 medical marijuana law. Still, the language of the law was a bit hazy to begin with. Beyond that, the difference between being three plants over and 25 plants over is significant in terms of charges and penalties.

Defendant argued the 22 clones – which were portions of the plant that had been transplanted to different pots – were simply leaves and cuttings. However, after referencing the dictionary, a federal case and decision handed down recently by the Idaho Court of Appeals, the three-judge panel all agreed the clones were in fact plants. That means defendant violated the law by owning 43 plants, meaning he’ll get no reprieve on the penalty that requires him to serve two years on probation and 120 hours on community service.  Continue reading

For years, the biggest threat for small-time marijuana dispensaries and collectives in California were the authorities – namely, the federal government. Now as that threat is waning, a new one has emerged: Big business.cashbriefcase1

California was the first to legalize the drug as medicine in 1996, but those who dispensed marijuana were never allowed to make a profit. Until now.

Well, actually, two years from now. That’s when the measure that will pull marijuana off the black market will fully go into effect, and the new California medical marijuana czar will initiate the licensing, product testing and tracking seed-to-sale of the drug. And for the first time, dispensaries will be allowed to make a profit.

The New York Times reported that last year, the California medical marijuana industry generated some $2.7 billion in sales. But all of that was funneled through non-profits. Now, companies will actually be allowed to profit from it, and there will be no limitation on how many plants farmers can grow. Continue reading

A proposed state assembly measure would give landlords the authority to ban tenants from smoking medical marijuana inside their residences. smoke

The measure was introduced by Assemblyman Jim Wood, the Democrat from Heraldsburg who pointed to a study by the University of California San Francisco indicating secondhand smoke from marijuana could result in damage to the cardiovascular system, similar to what has been identified with tobacco.

Although landlords already have the authority to prohibit smoking cigarettes or other tobacco products on their properties, this development is troubling for the fact that it involves medicine. Tobacco is not typically used for its medicinal properties. In fact, it has proven a massive public health threat. On the other hand, despite the fact marijuana is considered a Schedule I narcotic by the federal government, it has many known medicinal benefits.  Continue reading