Every Friday, our comedic take on the current in cannabis.

Dust off Erin Brockovich, Find Your Phillis and Have a Damn Cup of Coffee Ed

https://cannabislaw.report/ 


January 12, 2018


If you haven’t seen Erin Brockovich, you are not doing the required research on how things sometimes work, in what only appears to be cannabis friendly small towns, that maybe aren’t exactly as cannabis crazy as you think – Maybe the only reason the small town has a cannabis ordinance is because the owner of the local dispensary – Teddy, grew up there and was the local football star in 2001, the year the city made it to the CIF championship for the first and only time.  The city council trusts Teddy and well, that’s why they have a cannabis ordinance allowing a dispensary –  Because he is from there and part of the community. 


Teddy’s daddy went to school with the mayor’s daddy, his mother was the nurse for the town doctor for 25 years. And Phyllis? She is the lady who works part time at the city clerking and doing oddball small town tasks, and is one of only 8 employees.  Well she also covers for her niece Mandy, who works weekends bud tending at the dispensary when Mandy’s children are sick. Phillis is also married to Joe, the county Sheriff, who comes by from time to time when Phyllis is bud tending to check up on security and give his bride a kiss on her cheek.  He always brings her a hot coco with cinnamon from Shirley’s Coffee Shack and Nail Salon down the street. 


Shirley? Well, she has a story … a few ex- husbands, no one knows how many for sure, but she was once engaged to Phyllis’s brother Samuel, but he left her after he caught her two timing him with some fast talker from New Jersey who was passing on through that really hot summer of 1962.  Let’s just say that she makes a mean cup of coco and leave it at that.  After all, if we can’t say anything nice, we shouldn’t say anything at all. 

 

Well Ted’s selling his dispensary, and the city is not too sure about anyone unfamiliar with their ways coming into their tight knit community. They actually are sure – that they don’t want strangers coming in from out of state to change up the way things work in those parts. In fact, for Phyllis’s family, outsiders have always been the enemy, just ask her brother, Samuel! Shirley on the other hand, well she wouldn’t mind seeing some new blood…errr I mean some fresh meat…um I mean meeting someone new.


The best attorneys are the best researchers.  And in Cannabis, that often means your research task is not always just in the regulatory code or case law, but instead it is in the ethnology of the local people.  People can make or break your day, especially when navigating small town governments, their requirements and approvals.   Sometimes you can’t even get a phone to pick up, let alone a site plan to be reviewed.  Your timing maybe one thing, but in small municipalities, they will make you wait just to show you they can, if you rub them the wrong way, and sometimes even if you don’t.  They can also take their time, just because that’s just maybe how things work around those parts. 


A skilled attorney will go beyond the written laws and codes, and will take a deep look into the community they serve. And yes, even if not required, arrange for your clients to go out and meet the key players controlling the approval of the local permit.   Let us never underestimate the power of looking someone in the eyes and speaking to them in person.  Skilled attorney’s will also never blink an eye when repeating those familiar words derived from that infamous letter by St. Augustine in 390AD “When in Rome, do as the Romans.” If that means chucking out those fabulous, and oh so brand new black velvet Christian Louboutin boots for a pair of Birkenstocks…well then so be it! It also means, as Ed learned in Erin Brokovich, “Sit down and have a fu*king cup of coffee Ed” when offered.

 

So, reach out to those Phyllis’s-the Mama’s of those small towns. Connect with the people.  Break Bread.  The  Phyllis’s not only hold the psyche of the community, they also influence the impressions of your clients among critical members of the community on a daily basis, like the City Manager and the City Attorney. So go and find your Phyllis and remember to be polite, be sincere, have a cup of coffee and most importantly-be ROMAN!!!

Buckle Up Butter Cup – Its Going to Be a Bumpy Ride

https://cannabislaw.report/buckle-up-butter-cup-its-going-to-be-a-bumpy-ride/


January 20, 2018


Sometimes you can’t make this shit up. In the land of the Wild, Wild West, California’s top shelf tincture of undocumented entrepreneurs, lawyers, brokers and other glorious unique and out of the box souls combusted for another ordinary week of chaos in the newly regulated adult use cannabis mega market.

With California on pace to issue 10,000 licenses by year’s end and thousands of local pending applications across 482 cities and 58 counties patiently awaiting sign offs from multiple local government departments, there is no lack of LMAO OG in the day to day moments of an unregulated world crashing head on into a highly regulated unchartered reality that quite frankly, no one is really prepared to navigate.

Of notable potency this week is a certain strain of honesty and purity that is, if nothing else, organic and funny as f*&k.

So cheers on this Friday! Here’s to the glory of the rise of the regulated. Buckle up buttercup. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

Best Due Diligence Responses by Cannabis Operators Across the West Coast 

Week of 1/20/2018

Question: Provide / describe your operational policies and procedures on preventing access of cannabis to minors.

Response: Don’t let em in.

(this is a great answer)

Question: Provide / describe your Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for sanitation.

Response: Wear Gloves.

Question: Provide / describe the operation protocols, security procedures and policies and how you prevent theft at your operation.

Response: We have em.

Question: Provide proof of payment of your federal income taxes.

Response: We do everything in cash, we don’t keep receipts.

Question: Provide a copy of your permit, license or other local authorization from the city or county allowing your business operation type.

Response: The city doesn’t know about our operation. They ban it.

(of course the Broker pitch sheet boasted “fully licensed operation, 100% compliant”)

The best is left to last…..

Question: Provide copies of your utility bills for water, electric, sewer and trash at the leased location.

Response: We get our water from hooking up to the grocery store main water line. We get electricity from the music store and we put our trash in the CVS dumpster. So, it’s free to us. We also use the WiFi from the nail place next door.

The BS Factor is High The Strain of M&A (With “Billboard” Chart of M&A Lies of The Week!)

https://cannabislaw.report/the-bs-factor-is-high-the-strain-of-ma-with-billboard-chart-of-ma-lies-of-the-week/


January 26, 2018


2 weeks into the newly legalized adult use California, hustlers and brokers and mid-night tokers combine in a perfect storm of frenzy, greed and green fever. Cannabis is not new to the perils of M&A, but the highs of the big payouts for sellers and early ins for buyers turn quick to buzz kill trimmed with lies and crop flies. Caveat emptor people!

In the new environment of transparency the BS factor is higher than ever and It’s not a very pleasant strain. Making this week extra special were a handful of a certain breed of Fucci (fake Gucci) wearing double dealing hustler brokers out there who you know are lying because their lips are moving. You have outdone yourself. And to the ethical brokers, wherever you are,(and no its not an oxymoron) this is not about you.

Top M&A Lies of the Week

  • You can buy this license for one million dollars
  • This business is 100% compliant
  • I don’t smoke pot
  • We already have our permit, well 98% of it
  • the books are 100% perfect
  • if you don’t buy today its gone, all cash offer or else
  • I have an exclusive over these clients on any deal
  • Wholesale flower will be $1750 consistently for 36 months
  • Oregon has a cannabis supply problem. Really.
  • We have a CA license but no location, buy today or its gone.
  • Sessions smokes pot and is afraid to come out
  • Trump smokes pot and isn’t afraid to come out
  • My best friends brother is going to be Mayor here next year, we’re in.
  • My grow is the best
  • Doesn’t matter its not in a green zone, we know the sheriff and he’s cool
  • We pay all our people what we 1099 them
  • I only smoke a little bit of pot – the correct amount.

This is a time of transparency, but not in this strain of M&A. The lies continue and the flies are annoying. Eyes wide open, and as my mom used to say, “Believe none of what you hear and only ½ of what you see.”

Check Yo Self ! How to Navigate the CA Live Scan System

https://cannabislaw.report/check-yo-self-how-to-navigate-the-ca-live-scan-system/


February 2, 2018


Everyone in this game knows that if you want to become an owner of a dispensary, grow operation or manufacturing plant in beautiful California, you are eventually going to have to complete a CA DOJ Live Scan & Background Check. First step, get the BCIA form from the requesting agency.

Some agencies like Oakland, very proudly offer their Live Scan forms to be downloaded and printed conveniently from their website whenever and at whatever time needed. Even when it is during that 2:00am munchie mission to the kitchen that induces fantasies of owning a dispensary, or winning next year’s Cannabis Cup Honors…awe. Other cities however, guard their offerings and will only supply once you have completed their scavenger hunt, answered their questions and/or bugged them beyond their wits end!

So, what else is there to know about navigating the CA Live Scan process? You just go to any Certified Live Scan provider and complete the process, right? One and done, bam!

Yeah right? If only it were that easy!

In fact, for every location of every operation you may be interested in, you must complete the Live Scan process. For every location of every operation you may be interested in, there will be a different set of rules. For every location of every operation you may be interested in, there will also be a different Live Scan request form with a unique BCIA Number on it. So, start doing your research early and be prepared to go that extra mile, to conquer fears, and take new risks!

What about interested parties located outside of CA? Hope you like to travel!

Interested parties will definitely have to visit this beautifully sunny surfside to complete a Live Scan. More specifically, they will have to travel to the approved Certified Live Scan location required by the requesting agency. Many times, this means flying into a CA town big enough to have an airport and then, if necessary, driving into the yonder of a super rural town. Traveling along winding roads or through butt loads of our awesome traffic. And then to top it all off… having them completed at the local police department or sheriff’s office.

SAY WHAT?

Although historically, the players in this game have generally tried to stay away from these places, it has now become a necessary evil. Polar opposites are now forced to play nice in the “green sandbox.” So, in conclusion, check with yo local agency, if necessary-check yo bags, and come on out to check yo self!

Cali House Rules are no Dank Deal. Ashed and Cashed just 7 Weeks In

https://cannabislaw.report/cali-house-rules-are-no-dank-deal-ashed-and-cashed-just-7-weeks-in/

February 22, 2018


With 482 cities and 58 counties that are each its own bong master, dictating if and how local cannabis activities are conducted (if at all).

Never mind the alphabet soup of regulatory bodies like the CDFA, BCC, MCSB, CDPH, Water Board, CDFW, CDTFA, OSHA with their endless layers of regulatory requirements; oh, and we almost forgot, you also have local building, fire codes and local tax ordinance requirements.

Don’t forget, just for good measure, there are over 100 new cannabis bills in the California legislature now pending. With new deadlines and evolving requirements, the pipe dream of lawful operations and regulatory compliance have left operators high and dry amidst an onslaught of impending enforcement action.

7 weeks in Cali – 11 facts of notable interest ….

  • California produces more than 15 million pounds of cannabis per year. The state consumes less than 3 million. Where is all that cannabis going?
  • As of February 7th, only 0.78 percent (534 unique licensees) out of 68,150 growers in the state are state licensed.
  • Kern County and City of Bakersfield officials are accused of corruption and taking bribes for influence over who gets cannabis licenses. Last year two Kern County sheriff deputies were sentenced for stealing seized cannabis from evidence storage and selling it themselves.
  • Cannabis farms alone employ approximately 258,000 people, yet many farms unable to get licensed due to zoning issues, confusion on the rules and the high costs of compliance.
  • The Bureau issued 300 ‘Cease and Desist’ letters to unlicensed operators warning them to get licensed, but the lip burner is that the State seems to be backlogged on processing.
  • The HOT TIP line at the Bureau for licensed operators to report unlicensed operators received 304 tips about unlicensed activity to authorities. Rat out the competition is the new code. Business and Professions code that is.
  • 40-60% effective tax rates for Medical and Recreational Cannabis, causing operators to feel choked out and creating a headache for stoners who like the $20 pre-rolled, that used to cost $10.
  • Weed is illegal in the City of Weed. (This still kills me.)
  • According to the Cannabis Marketplace Report 5.3 million people out of 13.7 million adults over the age of 21 in the Los Angeles Greater Metropolitan Area smoka-da-bowl, have an average income of over $61k, 49% own a home worth more than $450k, and average 46 years old and almost half are employed full time.
  • And lastly, only 11% of federal employees have consumed legal cannabis, clearly – not enough.

For the Love of God and Ganja. Think Before You Light up That Pre-Roll-it isn't legal everywhere

This is supposed to be a humor column, but there is nothing funny about being in the wrong place at the wrong time when cannabis is concerned, especially considering 20 grams can get you 20 years or a death sentence in some countries. Cali cannabis casual should be kept in Cali folks. As legal and business professionals it is incumbent upon us to help the people in the industry stay out of trouble and it starts with common sense.


I would like to say that we all know better than to travel to the likes of North Korea, the Philippines or Indonesia where possessing a few grams of herb wouldn’t even raise an eye brow in California but could catch you a long stint in the pokey, but I can’t because it still happens. And when I say ‘we’ I mean lawyers, consultants, our clients, their operators, our clients travel companions and anyone else in the food chain of a case, a deal, operation or transaction. (hereinafter “We”)


Before you dismiss this because you think the collective ‘We’ know better or because you think this is just applicable to another country, for the love of God and great Ganja please I beg you to THINK AGAIN and have a common sense chat with your collective We. And even if you are certain that ‘We’ know better, its easy to forget what ‘We’ know, make an error in judgment and catch a nasty case overseas where the fines are hefty, the jail time long and the risk of a death sentence is very real if a light version of your usual personal stash is considered enough for trafficking in another country.

But this isn’t just about other countries, it’s also about simple possession right here in the US. Everyone needs a strong reminder that there are still states that consider possession of cannabis a felony. There are still counties and cities that aren’t cannabis friendly (yes even within cannabis friendly states) and it is not a distinction without a difference because anyone who has had a run in with local police who aren’t cannabis friendly can tell you, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

So while it may ‘seem’ OK to smoke that oil drenched pre-roll in your front yard in Cali, it most certainly IS NOT OK to smoke that same pre-roll on your balcony at a hotel in Arizona where possession of ANY amount is considered a felony.

It’s also not OK in Florida if you possess over 20 grams – it’s a 3rd degree felony and carries a 5 year prison term. That’s less than an ounce folks, and guess what, some folks can smoke up that ounce in less than a day – it ain’t that much.

A 25 year old lady was sentenced to 12 years in prison for selling just $39 worth of marijuana to an undercover informant in Oklahoma. In Texas, almost ½ of the arrests made are for possession of cannabis. 91 percent of annual pot busts in Louisiana are for simple possession and can come with lengthy prison sentences. And don’t thing for a minute that someone wont rat you out.

Common sense can keep all of us safer and smarter. So please, for the love of God and Ganja, remind your collective “We” to check the laws of their respective travel destinations before you pack that bud for the trip, make good choices, and get back to Cali safe.

Find out more

Continued Comedy

Top M&A Lies of the Week


You can buy this license for one million dollars


This business is 100% compliant


I don’t smoke pot


We already have our permit, well 98% of it

The books are 100% perfect


If you don’t buy today its gone, all cash offer or else


I have an exclusive over these clients on any deal


Wholesale flower will be $1750 consistently for 36 months


Oregon has a cannabis supply problem. Really.


We have a CA license but no location, buy today or its gone.


Sessions smokes pot and is afraid to come out


Trump smokes pot and isn’t afraid to come out


My best friends brother is going to be 


Mayor here next year, we’re in.


My grow is the best


Doesn’t matter its not in a green zone, we know the sheriff and he’s cool


We pay all our people what we 1099 them


I only smoke a little bit of pot – the correct amount.

To Take the High Road or Not to Take the High Road Regulatory Resistance in the Green Lime Light

https://cannabislaw.report/to-take-the-high-road-or-not-to-take-the-high-road-regulatory-resistance-in-the-green-lime-light/


March 17, 2018


Two online cannabis platform and dispensary locators, Weedmaps and Leafly have found themselves at the wrong end of the regulatory spectrum and each is taking a very different position to Cease and Desist Orders issued by the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) demanding that they stop displaying advertisements from unlicensed cannabis operations and also claiming that the companies are aiding and abetting in violations of California state cannabis laws.

In a response letter to BCC chief Lori Ajax and the agency, issued this week. Weedmaps claims that they are not subject to the BCC’s regulatory oversight because they are a “technology company and an interactive computer service,” and thus they are protected under Section 230 of the USC Title 47, a 1996 law which states that such internet service providers (ISPs) should not be treated as the publisher of information provided by 3rd party sources but also states that criminal claims are an exception.

The letter also says that, with regards to licensed dispensaries, Weedmaps is compliant with state law; and that if the BCC is so concerned about unlicensed dispensaries, the bureau should focus on fixing the broader institutional problems surrounding the issue instead of trying to go after individual persons or companies.

Leafly on the other hand has announced that it intends to update its listings to exclude unlicensed dispensaries. “Leafly’s mission is to help consumers make informed choices about cannabis and where to find it,” reads a statement issued by Leafly. “The California state government has made clear that only licensed retailers and delivery services may advertise via technology platforms.”

Two very different directions on a not so uncomplicated issue.

Breaking it down, what are we looking at?

In its simplest form, it’s a high profile illustration of how the majority of stakeholders in the cannabis industry will sooner rather than later find themselves at the fork in the road and faced with making a decision to choose a path that ends on either the right or the wrong side of the new regulatory mandates, and in California the line dividing the sides isn’t always clearly defined.

It’s never pleasant to face the fork, so it’s important to know what you stand for and where your lines are.

Here’s the deal. We have a lot of competing laws coming into play in California’s transitioning cannabis market(s); the sunsetting of the Compassionate Use Act (CUA), mandatory under Medical and Adult Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA), the Business and Professions Code, the California Penal Code, the UCSA and now Section 230 of Title 47 just to get us started.

We also have a lot of competing interests at stake like the survival of the medical arm of MAUCRSA and access to affordable medicine, mitigating unfair competition by unlicensed operators and ensuring a path to compliance and licensure for those stakeholders that have forged this industry in decades past.

But interests aside, Chief Ajax’ is focused on California’s aiding and abetting law, Penal Code 31, which in relevant part states:

“All persons concerned in the commission of a crime…whether they directly commit the act constituting the offense, or aid and abet in its commission, or, not being present, have advised and encouraged its commission…are principals in any crime so committed.” Thus, those persons who are commonly referred to as “accessories” or “accomplices” as well as those who actually perpetrate the offense, are to be prosecuted, tried and punished as principals in California. (Penal Code Section 971) Essentially Ajax is arguing that by advertising unlicensed dispensaries, which are violation of state cannabis laws, Weedmaps is aiding and abetting those dispensaries in breaking the law.

Weedmaps is not the only cannabis company running afoul of the BCC. According to 420Intel, the BCC has issued over 900 cease-and-desist letters to unlicensed cannabis companies since Jan. 1, 2018.

Will the BCC levy fines or file charges against Weedmaps or its owners?

Will the DOJ take interest in the appearance of regulatory defiance?

Will the 230 defense insulate Weedmaps from action?

Maybe. Maybe not. But what is clear is that this issue serves to highlight the need for those participating in the cannabis industry to be prepared to know where they stand when faced with a fork in the road, even if it is merely whether you buy your cannabis from an unlicensed or licensed operation as a consumer.

While the regulatory system in California is daunting and  far from where it needs to be, it is critical that we support the existing regulatory mandates while we work to improve the regulations to better accommodate the interests of all stakeholders.

So about taking the high road and supporting legal cannabis operations acting in good faith such as Leafly? I think the path to take is clear – to do otherwise would only weaken the legal cannabis industry and strengthen arguments in favor of federal interference.

Being a Cannabis Attorney – The Highs, the Lows Worse than Family Law? Oh, Hell Yes.

https://cannabislaw.report/being-a-cannabis-attorney-the-highs-the-lows-worse-than-family-law-oh-hell-yes/


March 30, 2018


When I first started in this business I would listen to attorneys go on about how their last few years had aged them ten and how the ups and downs were so extreme their heads were always spinning, they never sleep and the stress was off the charts.

There was this ‘road hard and put away wet’ air amongst those having the longest tenure, a level of etheric exhaustion that had left the most viral and courageous weathered and worn but somehow still standing ready to take another beating. Sounds like family law I thought, a practice area I ran from 18 years ago that was riddled with ½ true restraining orders, toddlers with PTSD from seeing their parents go at it and trials fueled on pride, revenge and who gets the Elmo bedding set.

How much worse could cannabis law be than that I wondered?

Oh … the glory of wonder. It’s not easy to explain without really experiencing it. Here is a sample morning in the life of a cannabis attorney and you be the judge.

6:00 AM – Skip work out, catch up on last 24 hours of regulatory news updates;

6:30 AM – Cease and Desist served on client A; wait we just got licensed last week. WTF?

6:45 AM – Glitch in the State licensing system, kicking app out; no one at the BCC available.

7:00 AM – 147 emails: 32 news updates, 14 upcoming cannabis events, 9 seminars; 31 compliance questions, mostly from non-clients; 9 emergencies; …haven’t gotten to the rest yet.

7:15 AM – Review A/R balance, send emails to get paid out. Cash, grass or ass people.

7:18 AM – Permits in Anytown, CA on hold because the State hasn’t approved bond language;

7:22 AM – Skip breakfast, skip shower, use dry shampoo. More coffee.

7:24 AM – Employee of client B refuses to allow access to records on random inspection; $30k fine.

8:00 AM – Package courier refuses to deliver package, assumes you are shipping weed.

It’s a vendor check for the love of God and ganja.

8:10 AM – Investor client has 3 new M&A deals, wants closed in 5 days. Yeah, this happens.

8:30 AM – Operator client insists that they can skip social equity requirements and still get priority.

8:45 AM – Clients location is within 600 feet of a school, actually it’s next door to a pre-school.

9:00 AM – Landlord for Client D calls, smell of Mary Jane bothering other tenants, 2nd warning.

9:05 AM – Client D says his mom was in town visiting his location, blames her for the pot smell. /:

9:15 AM – That speaking engagement you wanted to do? Yeah, you got it and it is on Mother’s Day.

9:45 AM – Bank calls, they KYCC’d your deposits and are terminating your accounts; But your bankerwants to know if you can take them to a dispensary and recommend some good edibles.

10 AM – Dad calls, “Why are you representing drug dealers”? Dad, it’s not like that.

10:15AM – Client consult, wants licensure in banned jurisdiction, was raided last night. No money.

10:45 AM – Broker on Deal X demanding more money or he will kill deal; Only deal that will close this week.

11:00 AM – Cancel lunch with mom, eat chips and salsa while reviewing cannabis leases;

11:25 PM – Title report back on purchase of green zone building, not owed by sellers, WTF?

11:30 PM – new consult, bought a LA tax certification from a guy who knew a guy for $30k, sayshe was told he can now open any operation he wants in Los Angeles. OMG.

12:00 PM Your star attorney quits, says he is going to work for Sessions.

PS We love every minute, but make no mistake, this is not for the faint of heart.

Things that make you go Hmmmm………..

https://cannabislaw.report/things-that-make-you-go-hmmmm/


April 5, 2018


Herzberg is an Irvine resident with shared ownership of two dispensaries in Santa Ana and he owns the cannabis real estate company CalCann Holdings. Like many Americans, Herzberg is a frequent flier and several years ago joined the Department of Homeland Security’s Global Entry Program, which allows “low risk” passengers to circumvent traditional airport security screenings.

Despite being legal in more than half of US states, in one form or another, most people are surprised to learn that cannabis use or being associated with cannabis in general can preclude individuals from many of the rights and privileges that most of us take for granted.

For example, in states where medical cannabis is legal, many are often at risk of losing their jobs because of their status as medical cannabis patients. The most notable example of this in the case Coates v. Dish Network, LLC., in which a quadriplegic employee of Dish Network was fired for his off-hours use of medical cannabis.

The case ended up going all the way to the Colorado Supreme Court, but ultimately Coates lost his case. This is primarily because Colorado did not write into its medical cannabis laws patient protections for employees and, most importantly, because cannabis is still illegal under federal law.

Using similar arguments, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials defended the revocation of Herzberg’s security clearance by saying that they are simply abiding by their zero tolerance policy on drugs. But Herzberg is less than convinced.

“I really don’t think they have a basis for their decision,” Herzberg told the Orange County Register. “I have absolutely no risk factors other than owning a marijuana business.”

Although Herzberg is the only cannabis business owner known to have lost his flight security clearance based, which is at best a minor inconvenience, this just the latest incident in a long line of disturbing event that may hint at a looming crackdown of California cannabis.

At the beginning of this year, on January 4th, United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the Obama-era Cole Memo, which stated that the Justice Department would not interfere with states that have legalized cannabis, provided that business owners act in accordance with state cannabis laws.

Fast forward three months later, and Sessions attacks California for its sanctuary policies and immigration laws. Soon thereafter, Herzberg’s security clearance is revoked. Does this mean that Sessions is gearing up for a cannabis crackdown in California? It’s difficult to say.

Given his precarious placement in the Trump Administration, it is unlikely that Sessions will risk making politically damaging moves, such as a nationwide crackdown on cannabis. However that does not mean he would be unwilling to punish California in an attempt to please the president and his base, and that opportunity may present itself in the form of the cannabis industry.

A federal cannabis crackdown may not be imminent, but the risk of operating a legal cannabis has not been this high since Colorado first legalized cannabis in 2014, underscoring the need for cannabis business owners to remain vigilant, cautious, and most importantly compliant with state cannabis laws.

In a tweet that rivaled Trumps tweets for shock value and an impressive strategy all the way around, former republican Speaker of the House John Boehner tweeted “I’m joining the board of #AcreageHoldings because my thinking on cannabis has evolved.” And added, “I’m convinced de-scheduling the drug is needed so we can do research, help our veterans, and reverse the opioid epidemic ravaging our communities.”

Former Speaker had in the not so distant past (2009) openly and notably was “unalterably opposed” to cannabis legalization – and voted against legalization in 1999. So this new leaf is one to pay close very close attention to.

Bohners’ bold move and appointment was timed with the appointment of former Governor of the State of Massachusetts, libertarian Bill Weld to Acerage Holdings Board of Advisors. Acreage Holdings is a multi-state enterprise that promotes safe and reliable access to cannabis for patients and consumers.

In a joint statement issued by both Weld and Bohner, they cite 20 years of increasing state support for cannabis legalization under the 10thamendment, overwhelming public support of 94% for some type of access and mounting medical evidence of the applications of cannabis as why they chosen to serve Acerage Holdings. Focusing strongly on the need of millions of veterans need for cannabis to treat PTSD and opposition to the refusal of the VA to offer it as an alternative to opioids, this new pair of advisors formal announcement is a clear signal of things to come.

With Trump being a strong supporter of our Veterans, especially when it comes to access to health care, and Sessions on his short list, Bohner’s move may have just been the unofficial signal that the tide has turned green for go.

Boehner gets hard on pot, in a good way! Here’s to the Altered State of the ‘Unalterably Opposed..."

https://cannabislaw.report/boehner-gets-hard-on-pot-in-a-good-way-heres-to-the-altered-state-of-the-unalterably-opposed-check-mate-sessions/


April 13, 2018


In a tweet that rivaled Trumps tweets for shock value and an impressive strategy all the way around, former republican Speaker of the House John Boehner tweeted “I’m joining the board of #AcreageHoldings because my thinking on cannabis has evolved.” And added, “I’m convinced de-scheduling the drug is needed so we can do research, help our veterans, and reverse the opioid epidemic ravaging our communities.”

Former Speaker had in the not so distant past (2009) openly and notably was “unalterably opposed” to cannabis legalization – and voted against legalization in 1999. So this new leaf is one to pay close very close attention to.

Bohners’ bold move and appointment was timed with the appointment of former Governor of the State of Massachusetts, libertarian Bill Weld to Acerage Holdings Board of Advisors. Acreage Holdings is a multi-state enterprise that promotes safe and reliable access to cannabis for patients and consumers.

In a joint statement issued by both Weld and Bohner, they cite 20 years of increasing state support for cannabis legalization under the 10thamendment, overwhelming public support of 94% for some type of access and mounting medical evidence of the applications of cannabis as why they chosen to serve Acerage Holdings. Focusing strongly on the need of millions of veterans need for cannabis to treat PTSD and opposition to the refusal of the VA to offer it as an alternative to opioids, this new pair of advisors formal announcement is a clear signal of things to come.

With Trump being a strong supporter of our Veterans, especially when it comes to access to health care, and Sessions on his short list, Bohner’s move may have just been the unofficial signal that the tide has turned green for go.

So You Want to Deliver Cannabis in Cali ….. Are You High?

https://cannabislaw.report/so-you-want-to-deliver-cannabis-in-cali-are-you-high/


April 20, 2018


Navigating the Nasty Nuances – Danger! Danger! Will Robinson

The Delivery rules in Cali are guaranteed to spin you silly — As if the California dual licensing regulatory schema isn’t daunting enough with navigating 482 cities and 58 counties all with differing rules on what, when and how or even IF commercial cannabis activity is allowed at all – if you are or plan to ‘deliver’ cannabis, these localities also get to govern the if, when and how’s of whether or not you can deliver to the citizens in their county/city even if you are a permitted by another local jurisdiction.

California emergency rules under MAUCRSA allow for licensed delivery by both retail storefronts and non-storefront delivery only establishments, subject to the rules of the local jurisdiction in which the store or delivery service operates.

However, (and wait for it …. here is where the need for Advil and a double shot comes in) …. unlike all other Cali commercial cannabis license types, retail with delivery and delivery only operations are also subject to the local rules of each city and every county in which they wish to deliver cannabis, not just the jurisdiction that they are permitted in. So, if you are a store wishing to deliver or a delivery service, your inquiry into what is allowed and not allowed does not end with the city you are permitted and physically located in, that’s just where your analysis begins. So grab yourself a big bottle of Advil or Aleve, put on a pot of extra caffeinated coffee and settle in for one hell of a research ride that will never end as each ordinance is drafted differently, isn’t always or hardly ever clear on what it allows or doesn’t and what you know to be true today is changing weekly.

Here’s a taste of what you are in for if you want to deliver cannabis:

  1. Some cities/counties only allow delivery of medicinal cannabis, while others allow delivery of both medicinal and recreational cannabis.
  2. Some cities allow for both but haven’t updated their ordinance yet, or uploaded their ordinance to their web site, so you don’t know unless you call and speak to the right person. By the way, making sure you are speaking to someone who really knows the deal is a task in and or itself. Not unusual to get 3 different answers from the same city/county department.
  3. Some cities/counties ban commercial cannabis activity, but then deep in the ordinance there is a not so obvious exception made for delivery originating outside the city/county with a whole host of qualifiers.
  4. Some cities / counties only allow delivery from operators that have a brick and mortar in their jurisdiction, while others allow outsiders to deliver, again, with a whole host of conditions or qualifiers.
  5. Some cities/counties ban retail cannabis stores, but not sales, while others allow sales, but not delivery. Note if sales are banned, you probably are wise to not deliver there, unless there is a clear exception.
  6. Many cities /counties have specific hours for delivery and they all vary.
  7. Some cities/counties allow delivery but require you to obtain a permit from their jurisdiction.
  8. Some cities/counties use the words ‘transportation’ and ’delivery’ interchangeably in their ordinances, and even combine some state provisions for transportation with provisions pertaining to delivery.
  9. Some cities prohibit it outright but make narrow exceptions for caregivers.
  10. Some cities require a business license, but not a cannabis permit. Everyone wants their cut.

Make sure that each and every jurisdiction that is slotted for delivery is analyzed for the rules of that particular city or county related to delivery. Then analyze them again. Then call the city or county. Then check frequently for updates to each ordinance. Otherwise a delivery jaunt can turn into a big mess of violations, compliance failures and potential criminal charges for the delivering entity. Fun times and best of luck, you will need it my friends.

Is there an end in sight to this madness perhaps? Maybe but not likely. A bill introduced by State Senator Ricardo Lara from Senate District 33 (SB 1302, section 26090(e)) proposes to bring us salvation but not unless it picks up some co-sponsors.

SB 1302 would ensure that a licensed delivery service can provide cannabis anywhere in the state to a qualified patient, primary caregiver, or adult aged twenty-one and over.

That would be a simple and clean solution to an otherwise almost unmanageable task. Given that is not how California does things, my guess is it will die a lonely death like other simple solutions to otherwise complex regulatory California problems.

Keep Calm and Cannabis On. After all, who doesn’t enjoy a little (lot) of extra research?