Articles Tagged with Orange County marijuana lawyer

marijuana dispensariesAs California’s legal marijuana industry continues to bloom, so too does a well-stocked black market, comprised of unlicensed, locally grown cannabis, and a plethora of counterfeit cannabis products.

Fake THC Cartridges Are Flooding California
Of all counterfeit cannabis products, refillable THC cartridges used inside vaping pens are currently most common. Surprisingly, states like California – where recreational cannabis use is legal – appear to be most flooded with counterfeit products. Big brands like Kingpen and Rove have tried to get ahead of counterfeits by repackaging their products, but counterfeits have shown they can keep pace, often reproducing new packaging almost as quickly as the legitimate brands.

And industry insiders unanimously agree, the fakes are getting better all the time. Many knockoff THC vape pens are comprised of illegally but locally grown cannabis, which producers then stuff into refillable cartridge pens, before attaching counterfeit labeling they’ve purchased online, and selling the finished counterfeit pens at discounted prices to illegal pop up shops. To most consumers and law enforcement officials alike, it’s very difficult to tell a real pen from a fake one.
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cannabis lawyerCalifornia’s unlicensed farmers in Humboldt County are on notice, with a new crackdown on cannabis growing now in effect. After issuing 1,500 provisional cannabis licenses, state and local authorities are increasingly pursuing farmers for operating without permits.

And it’s not what we’ve seen in years past. Growers need not fear raids from Sheriffs in Humboldt, as much as they should civil action. That’s right, fines are now being issued in the amount of $10,000 per day, for each violation, capping out only at $900,000. And if that isn’t deterrent enough, next comes property liens and forfeitures.
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California marijuana farmers are facing a crisis. Currently, all 9,464 state issued temporary cannabis cultivation licenses, have expired. Meant to be replacing those, for businesses continuing to meet the required regulations, are either provisional or permanent annual cannabis business licenses.

The catch though, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is yet to show its ability to approve those provisional or permanent licenses, at the same pace applications are being lodged.

California Cannabis License Attorney

The backlog on approvals may be due to the complexity of the licensing application process itself. Tellingly, by mid July 2019, only 2,053 provisional licenses and 230 permanent licenses had been granted. As it stands, when applying for prospective licenses, cannabis farmers are expected to demonstrate compliance with the stringent California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), as well as submit:

  • Background checks;
  • Surety bonds;
  • Real property documents;
  • Detailed site plans;
  • Farm management practices;
  • Waste management protocols;
  • Security procedures; and
  • Pesticide measures.

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marijuana dispensariesCalifornia has kicked off a multi-lingual public awareness campaign, urging cannabis users throughout the state to ensure they’re purchasing from legal dispensaries.

Amid growing calls from licensed cannabis dispensaries, The California Bureau of Cannabis Control’s “Get#weedwise” program aims to educate consumers on the risks they face when buying from unlicensed retailers. It also advises that safest pot purchases are made with licensed dispensaries and warns illegal business operators of consequences they can expect if they continue to trade without a license.
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Dozens of bipartisan Congressional leaders signed onto a letter pressing top law enforcement agencies for faster action in approving marijuana cultivation for government research. The Associated Press reports the letter advocated for more analysis of the medicinal properties, benefits and potential risks of the drug.marijuanaresearch-300x200

Orange County marijuana farming lawyers know this would be a substantial first step to decriminalizing cannabis at the national level, a move that could have significant implications for state-legal dispensaries. Because cannabis remains illegal under the U.S. Controlled Substances Act – especially in the highest-risk classification – California marijuana farms, production centers, labs, landlords and ancillary businesses know the Cole Memo is little more than a tenuous truce. They are largely at the mercy of political whims, and while it seems certain legalization (or at least lower classification) will be inevitable, the question is: When?

A Schedule I narcotic like marijuana is considered by law to be extremely dangerous, highly addictive and have no medicinal value. Even those opposed to federal legalization for recreation know this description is absurd. The problem is its classification has prevented reputable study for decades. Yet the government has argued it doesn’t have enough data to eschew the Schedule I categorization – so it becomes a catch-22. Continue reading

When California voters approved legalized marijuana for recreational purposes, one of the most important impacts of that was the fact that criminal prosecutions for many cannabis crimes would no longer be an issue. But that didn’t necessarily help the hundreds of thousands with the stain of a criminal offense on their record. Orange County marijuana lawyers understand Assembly Bill 1793 should help address this. However, the impact won’t necessarily be immediate, and those with criminal records due to marijuana may still want to seek the advice of attorney for purposes of expediency and fairness.Orange County marijuana lawyer

Approved by the majority in the California legislature and the governor on Sept. 30, the law (which creates creates Section 11361.9 to the California Health and Safety Code) is in direct response to the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act, and requires the Department of Justice by July 2019 to review state records and identify those prior convictions that may possibly be eligible for recall, dismissal of sentence, dismissal, sealing or redesignation under the new law. The state Justice Department will then be required to notify prosecutors of all cases in their jurisdiction that meet this requirement. Then prosecutors must, by July 2020, review all those cases to ascertain whether they wish to challenge the DOJ’s recommendation. If there is no challenge, the bill requires the department to modify the criminal history information in its database in accordance with the bill within 30 days (by July 31, 2020), and to update the post on its website. The state will be required to reimburse local agencies and school districts for whatever costs are incurred by the state as a result of putting this law into effect.

The state will prioritize cases of those individuals currently serving a sentence or who proactively petition for recall or dismissal of sentence, dismissal and sealing or redesignation (emphasis added). That means that if you take matters into your own hands to ask the state to make your case a priority – and complete the process sooner – you may well have your record cleared before the July 2020 deadline. That could be major for many people with existing criminal records, who may be prevented from important educational, career and housing opportunities, as well as those who may be in the midst of a child custody dispute during which a drug conviction could adversely impact the outcome. Continue reading

Since marijuana became lawful in California for medicinal purposes, small-scale possession has been largely decriminalized in most local communities. This is especially true now that marijuana has legalized recreational use of the drug as of this year with Prop. 64. However, cannabis possession remains unlawful as far as federal law is concerned and California’s new law doesn’t legalize every cannabis crime. As Orange County marijuana criminal defense attorneys know, reported arrests are still falling fast. The Orange County Register indicated that from 2016 to 2017, those in California facing jail or prison, serious fines and permanent criminal records dropped by nearly 8,000, according to information from the California Attorney General’s Office. However, a recent report printed by the Philadelphia Inquirer (republished by PoliceOne.com), marijuana arrests may be inflated in Federal Bureau of Investigation statistics. Orange County marijuana criminal defense attorneys

Let’s note firstly that Pennsylvania legalized medicinal marijuana in April 2016, and the drug is only available for those suffering from certain medical conditions. Unlike California, and numerous other states, it is not available for recreational sale, possession or use. Even with medicinal use being legal, the Philadelphia area has reported that marijuana arrests in the area have markedly increased in recent years. And yet, the spike being reported by the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program. The analysis reveals marijuana arrests as reflected in federal data may be inflated by as much as 70 percent.

Why the disparity? As our Orange County marijuana criminal defense attorneys understand it, it’s a result of local police agencies reporting every single situation in which people are caught with pot in – even if they aren’t ultimately arrested for that offense. Continue reading

In late June, the Food & Drug Administration for the first time approved a cannabis-derived drug, and it could marijuana lawchange the landscape of marijuana in the United States, possibly within the next month. Epidiolex contains an active ingredient of CBD found in marijuana, and was approved to treat severe forms of epilepsy in children. 

According to a report from The Philadelphia Inquirer, the CEO of the company responsible for Epidiolex said before the drug can be prescribed, it must be reclassified to be lower than it’s current Schedule I status, Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812. He said he expects this to happen within 90 days of the FDA approval. This means marijuana could very well be reclassified by late September. It doesn’t mean that there will be a total free-for-all on cannabis use, but a lower scheduling will mean that the federal government will finally acknowledge the plant has medicinal benefits, and medical marijuana programs across the country can be released from the grips of the federal ban. 

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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

In 2013, Deputy Attorney General James Cole issued what was known as The Cole Memo, a directive during the Obama administration that toldmarijuana business lawyers federal officials to back off of prosecuting those selling, distributing, growing, or using marijuana, so long as the offenders were following state laws. The memo was issued to reconcile the federal Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812, which classifies marijuana as a Schedule I narcotic, with the wave of state laws that allow cannabis sales and use, either medically or recreationally. The move gave hope to the growing number of Americans in favor of full cannabis legalization nationwide.

However, the U.S. recently took a big step backward when current Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the directive, re-opening the door for federal prosecutors to allocate resources at their discretion for cracking down on marijuana operations.

Leaders in states that have legalized marijuana have no intention of going down without a fight, though. With many more making moves to legalize cannabis in state legislatures or on ballots this year, they might have even more allies by their side. Continue reading

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