Articles Tagged with Orange County marijuana business lawyers

Orange County marijuana lawyerA lawsuit filed against owners of Santa Ana’s 420 Central – a high profile cannabis store in Southern California – accuses CEO Robert Taft, and executives Jorge Burtin and Jeff Holocomb, of defrauding investors. Among the laundry list of claims made, the complaint alleges:

  • Breach of Contract;
  • Fraud;
  • Breach of Fiduciary Duty;
  • Conspiracy to Commit Breach of Fiduciary Duty
  • Dissolution of Partnership and Corporations;
  • Turnover of Corporate Books and Records; and
  • Injunctive Relief.

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In January, the state of California kicked off an online rollout of its marijuana inventory tracking system. At a glance, marijuana businesses across the Golden State appear to be successfully reporting product inventory each day, via the California Cannabis Track-and-Trace (CCTT) system. But not without some growing pains.

To start, the idea of tracking marijuana traveling throughout the supply chain sounds simple enough. In theory, all cannabis products would be given unique identification numbers, noting from which ‘batch’ or ‘lot’ they were born. Products would then be sent to labs for testing. Next, approved products would be passed from producer to distributor, and finally to retailers for sale. At each step, the state should be able to track each piece of marijuana as it moves through the chain, making sure nothing is being redirected out of state, and ensuring everybody is paying their required taxes.

California Cannabis Lawyers

But in practice, a few hiccups quickly come to light. First up, only businesses holding ‘provisional’ or ‘annual’ licenses are required to subscribe to the track-and-trace system. And until last month, there were more than 600 marijuana businesses operating on ‘temporary licenses,’ who would not have had to track-and-trace. This means, there was no way regulators could comprehensively account for every legal product moving about the state.

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As the black market for pot sales shows little sign of slowing, Californian authorities have notably increased enforcement action against illegal cannabis traders. Over the last 12 months, raids by law enforcement on black market pot businesses have increased threefold, when compared with similar activity conducted in the year prior. As a result, unlicensed pot growers and sellers have seen a total of $30 million worth of cannabis products seized. But even amid this additional ramp up, cannabis industry insiders say even more activity is needed to curb illegal pot sales across the Golden State.

For context, in 2018 local law enforcement worked in conjunction with the state Bureau of Cannabis Control, and together they served six unlicensed cannabis businesses with search warrants. These raids resulted in the seizure of more than 1,500 pounds of marijuana, said to carry a street value of $13.5 million.

Calilfornia Cannabis Business Licensing Lawyers

Comparatively, according to data release in July, within the first half of 2019 alone, the bureau had already served 19 search warrants to unlicensed sellers. Those raids were successful, and saw more than $16.5 million worth, or about 2,500 pounds of illicit marijuana, confiscated. Just shy of $220,000 cash was also seized from cannabis businesses operating illegally during this time.

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cannabis defense lawyersEver since cannabis was legalized in California in January 2018, a flood of marijuana businesses have opened, hoping to take their share of the pot market. But it’s no secret that many industry stakeholders are unhappy with the current state of affairs.

Today there are 182 licensed marijuana dispensaries operating throughout Los Angeles, and many of those business have paid well into the tens of thousands of dollars to operate legally. First by registering their companies and covering licensing fees, then paying city taxes and continually meeting strict safety standards imposed by the state.

Meanwhile, there are countless other outfits operating slightly more under the radar. They are able to skip paying licensing fees and, as predominantly cash run businesses, also avoid paying taxes. To the frustration of legal business owners, rouge pot shops attract a slew of customers with undercut pot prices, prices that legal outfits have a hard time matching given their higher operating costs.

While regulation of cannabis use and sale continues to undergo assessment and tweaking in the state of California, many licensed cannabis business owners have reached boiling point. The biggest reason, illegal pot shops continuing to operate comfortably, with little pressure from state authorities requiring them to toe the line.
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Situated right between the two biggest cannabis consumer hubs of Los Angeles and San Francisco, the Central Coast of California is poised to become potentially one of the core producers of the plant statewide (or nationally, though interstate sales are barred). This fertile region has long been ripe with vineyards, renowned for producing some of the country’s best wine. Orange County marijuana business lawyers understand that as cannabis cultivators have been cropping up in the spaces between, many farmers are beginning to see it not so much as competition but as a chance to reinvigorate the agricultural traditions that have lagged in recent decades. From Santa Barbara County to Monterey, more marijuana farmers have been licensed in the last year than anywhere else in the nation. Still, this promise is tempered by concerns that explosive unchecked growth could lead to serious problems.California marijuana business attorney

To be sure, the Emerald Triangle region of Northern California (comprised of Trinity, Mendocino and Humboldt Counties) grows the most marijuana by volume, hence the nod to greenery in its new moniker. However, if the pace of cannabis farming keeps up at the current clip, the Central Coast could soon surpass the northern neighbor region. And the region has a unique advantage over the Emerald Coast: No deep roots in the gray or black market.

Our Orange County marijuana business lawyers have been at the forefront of this industry, which has ballooned to an estimated $4 billion-a-year, and climbing. It’s been beneficial to the local tax base and also presents a new wave of opportunity for agricultural entrepreneurs seeking a legally sound yet lucrative opportunity. While the new law hasn’t entirely erased the stigma surrounding marijuana, the Central Coast lacks the cumbersome challenge of working to bring into compliance well-established underground growers transitioning into above-board – but heavily-regulated -operations. The risk of government raids is much lower (though not erased completely), but so are the profits, whittled by expensive new mandates and taxes. Operational, financial and legal concerns also persist as long as the drug remains illegal in the eyes of the federal government. Continue reading

A clarification to state regulation regarding marijuana delivery services is offering hope to thousands of abandonedmarijuana business California cannabis users while stirring up the same old fear-based tropes from the anti-marijuana camp. The California Bureau of Cannabis Control is reviewing a set of proposed regulations that would allow licensed marijuana businesses to deliver cannabis products to any California private address, according to a report from Associated Press. The new regulation would cover even cities and local jurisdictions where sales have been banned.

According to the proposed amendment, CA Code of Regulations, Title 16, Div. 42, Ch. 3, Sec. 5146 (d), “A delivery employee may deliver to any jurisdiction within the State of California.” This is a slightly more clear direction than previous verbiage which stated that deliveries could be made using any public roads, which could be (and was) interpreted to mean that drivers could pass through, but not necessarily stop and make a delivery in a jurisdiction in which a sales ban was in place. Continue reading

Constellation Brands has made the biggest investment the marijuana industry has ever seen with a mighty $4 billionmedical marijuana going to Canopy Growth. Canopy Growth, a Canadian company, was already considered one of the giants of the cannabis industry, and this investment will only further their global footprint, according to a report from Esquire. Meanwhile, Constellation is diversifying its portfolio, which currently consists of major alcohol brands, such as Modelo and Corona.

The relationship between Constellation and Canopy Growth is not a new one. Last year, Constellation made an investment in the company of $191 million to develop a drink infused with cannabis. Now, with Canada passing full legalization of marijuana, Constellation executives are getting on board one of most anticipated industries in the world in a more substantial way; they now hold a 38 percent stake in Canopy Growth. The most recent investment won’t just go to beverage research, but also into edibles, new medical marijuana advancements, and worldwide growth. Continue reading

It’s becoming more clear that support of marijuana is politically marijuana businessadvantageous. Politicians across the country at all levels are stepping forward with pro-marijuana campaign platforms, and it’s paying off. Even here in California, where both medical and recreational marijuana are legal, it is clear voters want candidates who will continue to protect those laws, according to a report from Civilized. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) recently switched her stance to pro-marijuana and won her primary bid for re-election. It’s no surprise her change of heart came after her Democratic challenger Kevin de Leon came out swinging with strong support for cannabis last year. Because of California’s “top-two” primary system, both candidates will be on the ballot in November, even though they are from the same party.

These sudden “evolutions” in thinking about marijuana are springing up among political figures all over the country. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer recently had a similar change in thinking, and former Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner flipped on his previously staunch anti-marijuana views to join the board of directors of a cannabis company. Continue reading

Despite the passage of Proposition 64 that made recreational marijuana legal in California, there are still many residents of this state who do not have easy access to cannabis. State Sen. Ricardo Lara hopes to change that with Senate Bill 1302, which would give licensed cannabis businesses permission to deliver anywhere in the state.marijuana lawyer

While legalized possession and use of recreational marijuana throughout the state, it left a great deal of power to the local governments to dictate regulations and sales. As our marijuana business attorneys can explain, this meant even though citizens were allowed to carry and use cannabis, cities and counties had the right to ban various aspects of commercial cannabis activity, including sales.

While 57 percent of voters approved Prop. 64, local laws have made it so 75 percent of consumers cannot easily access marijuana, according to an article from SFGate. While it is important for local governments to maintain control over their jurisdictions, this disparity does not reflect the will of the people. A vast majority of Californians understand the benefits of cannabis. Many have seen its positive effects through medical use, which has been legal in California since 1996 through the Compassionate Use Act. Others have come to learn that it can be an alternative to alcohol in social situations, without many of the long-term health effects of drinking, particularly when it is consumed in ways other than smoking, such as edibles and vaping. This positive perception of the drug has led to big advancements in legislation. However some of the stigma of the past still lingers, causing local leaders to overly restrict out of fear and misunderstanding. Continue reading

Marijuana businesses have become a major competitor to beer and willmarijuana business lawyers continue to disrupt that industry for the foreseeable future.

An investment firm industry analyst, who specializes in beverages, tobacco, and adult-use marijuana, recently shared data with CNBC, and she established a clear correlation between increased use of marijuana and decreased use of alcohol. She said in states where recreational marijuana use is legal, binge drinking rates have dropped “significantly.” She identified both as “social lubricants.” In other words, both are used by adults in social situations to help unwind, de-stress, have a good time, and feel relaxed with new people or in new environments. 

In terms of stocks, the numbers are clear, as well. Her firm primarily valuates the Canadian market, with Canada on track to legalize adult-use marijuana nationwide by the end of summer. Several Canadian medical marijuana companies are seeing shares grow by up to 240 percent in the past year in anticipation. She said estimates from her firm put the U.S. cannabis industry as being worth $75 billion by 2030, assuming marijuana is removed as a Schedule I narcotic from the Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812. Continue reading