Articles Tagged with Riverside marijuana lawyer

Heading into the new year, California cannabis company tax compliance and banking will continue to be challenges. Marijuana retailers, growers, product makers and others in the industry would be wise to work closely with an experienced Los Angeles cannabis business attorney to help them navigate these ongoing difficulties. Los Angeles marijuana banking and tax attorney

Recently, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued tips for cannabis compliance. The federal agency noted that while it’s outside of the agency’s power to resolve many of the unique business predicaments that arise from federal prohibition, it wants to help support cannabis companies in becoming tax compliant. Even though marijuana continues to be classified as a Schedule I narcotic by federal authorities, these businesses are still required to shell out federal taxes.

In September, the agency released tips for tax compliance for cannabis businesses. Among those:

  • Know your investors. Thousands of people are fighting to get into the industry, but working with investors may have some tax implications and repercussions for cannabis companies. Unregistered and “silent” financing and ownership arrangements, with investors sometimes being referred to as “beneficial owners,” get the benefits of ownership but avoid having the property title or activity in their name. That creates numerous challenges for the IRS, and it may result in issues for proper tax filing and accurate reporting of gross receipts. Also, cannabis business owners should be wary of nefarious investors who attempt to put their funds into a business like this, but jeopardize the entire operation with allegations of money laundering.
  • Make sure you’re licensed. You can’t get federal licensing, but make sure you have proper state and local licensing for your operation.
  • Timely file and pay your taxes. Even if your business operates with cash, you’re still responsible to file and pay your taxes on time. IRS code doesn’t parse out which income stems from legal vs. illegal sources. All income must be reported. Note that because you’re dealing with a Schedule I narcotic, you must abide by Section 280E – even if your business is 100 percent state legal. That section doesn’t bar you from reducing gross receipts by properly calculating the cost of goods sold to ascertain gross income, though you may not be able to deduct things like selling or advertising expenses. There aren’t any exemptions from employment tax. It may be beneficial to make quarterly payments. Late payments can result in interest and penalties. Non-filers are a priority enforcement for the IRS. So too are those who use cryptocurrency; it’s imperative to use a reputable exchanger.
  • Report cash transactions. Your business may not use traditional banking, but you still need to report all cash transactions. Any company receiving $10,000 or more in cash (which is most California marijuana businesses) need to file Form 8300 within 15 days of receiving that payment. Failure to be diligent about this can cause major headaches for your business.
  • Maintain good records. This is mission critical for a cannabis business. Keeping meticulous records – all receipts, canceled checks, any shred of documentation that can support income, deduction, or credit should be kept in some form. Keep these records even for expenses that aren’t legally deductible because it’s going to make it easier to prepare your returns and also answer a question quickly if one arises.

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Cannabis could end up back on the California ballot if some marijuana advocates have their way. An increasingly vocal faction argues that in the five years since voters approved legalization of adult recreational use, access to legal supply for consumers has been limited, thanks to unchecked taxes and fractious local governments. A booming black market has overshadowed legal proprietors, who are struggling to make ends meet – all of which was not the voters’ vision when they passed Prop. 64, the advocates argue. Los Angeles cannabis business lawyer

The California Cannabis Reform Project and Weed for Warriors organizations are working together to hammer out a ballot initiative that would, among other things, deprive local governments of the power to approve or deny licenses for cannabis business operators. They allege local governments have failed to wield that power effectively, in turn causing more harm than good, giving illegal operators a leg-up while making it harder for many law-abiding consumers in massive swaths of the state to obtain safe, legal cannabis.

As noted by analysis in the New York Times, roughly 8 in 10 of the state’s local governments have outlawed the sale of marijuana within their borders, effectively creating marijuana retail deserts. Local governments’ loss of control is effectively evidenced by the huge – and growing – illicit marijuana market. Continue reading

The Medical Board of California has revoked the medical license of a physician alleged to have violated the standard of care in prescribing medical marijuana to a 4-year-old child. In the case of The Medical Board of California v. Eidelman, the case was opened seven years ago, but the board revoked his license in December. Last month, the Superior Court of California, County of San Francisco, issued an order barring the physician from treating patients under the age of 18. San Bernardino medical marijuana attorneys understand the order also barred the physician from issuing any recommendations for cannabis as a treatment for minors. medical marijuana attorney

As San Bernardino medical marijuana attorneys at The Cannabis Law Firm can explain, a medical marijuana prescription is the only means by which a person under 21 can lawfully obtain cannabis in California. HS 11361 prohibits anyone over 18 from “furnishing, administering or giving any cannabis to a minor” under the age of 14, with conviction warranting a state prison sentence of 3-5 years. Both parents of children considering pursuing a medical marijuana prescription for their child as well as doctors need to be aware of how the law is applied, under what conditions an adult can be considered in violation of the law and what steps are needed to ensure your legal protection.

The state medical board issued medical marijuana prescription guidelines last April for doctors. Continue reading

Californians have led the charge on marijuana legalization for decades, but even though both medical and marijuana lawrecreational cannabis are legal in the state, the fight is not yet over. What can you do to help further marijuana legalization? As it turns out, quite a lot.

The passage of Proposition 64 and its predecessor, The Compassionate Use Act of 1996, were both clear examples of how civic participation could change the narrative for marijuana in California and the rest of the country. Many thought after those laws were passed, their work would be done. After all, California now has some of the most robust marijuana legalization efforts in the whole country.

For many in the state, however, it might barely feel like it’s legal at all. As our skilled attorneys can explain, that is because of parameters built into state law that allow local jurisdictions to enforce their own regulations or bans. Cities are not allowed to ban personal use or small personal grows in residents’ own homes, but everything else is pretty much fair game. Many cities have no sales and no cultivation … they won’t even allow testing labs or processing facilities within city lines. In fact, 40 percent of Californians have to drive at least 60 miles to find a legal dispensary. This simply is not a reflection of the will of the people. Continue reading

The country of Georgia has made it legal to consume marijuana, though it is still illegal to cultivate or sell. Georgia is marijuana lawyersnow officially the first former-Soviet Union nation to lift such a ban, according to a report from Newsweek. The change came down from a decision from the country’s constitutional court, which determined punishment for consuming marijuana is only applicable if a third party is at risk. By revoking the right of officials to punish individuals for consumption of marijuana, the court in essence made it legal.

The court did not appear to take a stance one way or another as to whether marijuana was dangerous or not. At the heart of the ruling, in fact, is the idea that it is not up to the law to punish people who are not hurting others. If the only person potentially experiencing harm by the use of cannabis is the user, then the government has no business interfering. The court deemed this to be a restriction of individual freedom. While this ruling still implies that there is harm that one could do to oneself by using marijuana, it does get to the heart of one of the many arguments in favor of legalization: Shouldn’t people be able to make personal decisions so long as they are not harming others?

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Now that adults are starting to gain a better understanding of cannabis and itsmarijuana attorneys benefits, many parents and teachers are facing their next challenge: How do I talk to kids about marijuana? California has been tasked with establishing new education programs to effectively prevent children from consuming cannabis, while making them aware of the choices they will have to make as an adult in a post-legalization world. As such, we are seeing the classic “Just Say No” campaigns shift to a new message: “Delay.” According to an article from Brit + Co, the new strategies focus on lifelong health and good decision making.

Marijuana legalization has had major effects on the lives of adults across the country, with 30 states and the District of Columbia allowing for medical marijuana, and about a third of those states permitting recreational use. Many of the results of this legalization have been expected, including relief for debilitating medical conditions, such as chronic pain, epilepsy, and PTSD. Cannabis also has become an alternative to alcohol in social situations, without the same negative long-term health effects as alcohol. Also expected has been the boost for government coffers with an influx of marijuana tax revenue. The way legalization would come to effect the way we educate children was a bit unexpected. It makes a lot of sense, though, considering the way marijuana functions in our lives is entirely different than it was even 10 years ago. Continue reading

Riverside City Council has made its temporary moratorium on marijuana businesses officialmarijuana business with a recent 4-3 vote that put a nail in the coffin for residents hoping to one day be able to legally purchase cannabis in their city. According to The Press-Enterprise, council’s decision effectively bans dispensaries, commercial cultivation, and any outdoor grow sites. Medical marijuana dispensaries were already banned by the city in 2007, and an intensive law enforcement strategy has kept illegal dispensaries at bay. Cannabis testing will, however, be permitted.

The tight vote is illustrative of how divided the city is over the issue. Riverside County was one that supported Proposition 64 by about 42,000 votes. Yet the county has banned cultivation, manufacturing, and retail, with individual cities also enforcing their own similar bans. When residents vote one way and their representatives vote in the opposite manner, it truly flies in the face of the will of the people. Try as they might, the city and county governments do not have the power to ban everything, though, no matter how many scare tactics they use to justify their agenda.
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The American people have known for years that times are changing when it comes to marijuana. Now, it seems somecannabis business politicians at the federal level are starting to wise up and take this issue seriously as well. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) is introducing a bill to remove marijuana from the list of Schedule I narcotics as part of Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812. He said he also wants to leverage this issue as a way to bolster women and minority cannabis business owners.

Politicians have been slow to take a stance in favor of cannabis, even though most of us know it can be a life-changing, medically useful drug. Some have supported passive measures here and there trying to give states some freedom without themselves taking a stand. For example, the Rohrenbacher-Blumenauer Amendment, which has to be renewed annually by Congress into the spending bill, prevents the Department of Justice from using federal funds to seek action against medical marijuana activity that has been legalized in that state. Some have tried to inaccurately portray cannabis as a partisan liberal issue, but even democrats have been shy to give full support. However, as The Washington Post reported, Sen. Schumer has acknowledged that the American people have evolved on this issue and it’s time for a big change. Continue reading

If you are a marijuana cultivator in California, you might be reluctant to buy insurance on your business. But our experienced cannabis business cannabis businessattorneys know there are many good reasons to invest in insurance.

A recent article from Santa Barbara Independent reveals a big payout one cannabis farmer in Carpinteria received due to losses caused by the Thomas Fire in December, the largest wildfire in the state in recent history. The farm got more than $1 million dollars from their insurance company after thousands of marijuana plants on property were destroyed. This equated to about market value for the plants. While the farm’s crops did not burn in the fire, white ash blew into the greenhouses and tainted the plants. The plants tested positive for lead, arsenic, asbestos, and magnesium. This type of damage was covered under the policy’s clause covering changes in atmospheric conditions.

Meanwhile, most of the other cannabis farms in Northern California were not so fortunate. Many opted out of insurance policies to keep costs low. This money-saving tactic is typical among farmers of all kinds, who often skip this expense to keep profit margins higher. But this is a big gamble, particularly in an area so prone to fires. Continue reading

We all know the importance of keeping Sparky away from the pot brownies. But is it possible your pet could receive medical marijuana as a recommendedmedical marijuana treatment from their vet?

A vast majority of rational Americans agree that the use of marijuana as a treatment for medical purposes is a decision that should be made between and doctor and patient. Recent polls show more than 90 percent of respondents favor medical marijuana with a doctor’s recommendation. And California has long been a defender of patient rights by leading the nation in medical marijuana legalization with the Compassionate Use Act of 1996.

So why should the decision be any different when it comes to animals and veterinary professionals?

As it stands, California law does not extend to veterinarians the ability to recommend marijuana as a treatment for animals. But AB-2215, introduced by Assemblymember Ash Kalra (D-27), is looking to change that. The bill would put the power in the hands of the Veterinary Medical Board by calling on them to set the standards for state-licensed veterinarians to discuss marijuana treatment for animal patient clients, and it would also prevent veterinarians from being punished for having such discussions.

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