Drafting CA’s Permanent Cannabis Laws

cannabis

It’s been almost two years since cannabis was legalized for recreational use in California – and the business, economic and legal implications are profound.

Last Friday, California regulators published the first draft of permanent adult-use and medical cannabis laws.

This kicks off the process of hearings and public comment that will conclude at the end of 2018 with a final set of regulations governing the emerging industry.

Proposed laws fill the 315-page document, sent out by the Bureau of Cannabis Control, the Department of Food and Agriculture, and the Department of Public Health.

A few permanent regulations proposed in the document include:

  • Allowing licensed marijuana deliveries in any city or county in CA
  • Expanded restrictions on marijuana advertising which may appeal to children
  • Requiring marijuana event hosts to be more explicit about where:
    • licensed retailers will be set up
    • attendees can smoke or consume cannabis
    • sales will occur

Lori Ajax, chief of the Bureau of Cannabis Control, said, “The regulations we now propose include changes that make it easier for businesses to operate and strengthen public health and safety policies.” State agencies will hold ten public meetings around California through August to collect public comments on the proposed permanent laws. Comments may also be submitted by letter or email.

At our upcoming Recreational and Medical Marijuana Law and Business in California conference on November 1st-2nd, we’ll go in-depth on a variety of issues in this burgeoning industry for attorneys, investors and business operators. For those who serve clients in the cannabis industry and those attorneys who want to move into this space, our program will help you navigate the rules, regulations, and legal ramifications of legalized marijuana in California (and federal issues affecting the state’s cannabis industry as well). For investors and business people in the market (or thinking about entering the market) what do you need to know? What are the difficulties businesses face – from retail to growing and distribution? By the end of our conference you will be well-versed in most of the critical legal, business, and investment-related aspects of this rapidly expanding industry.

Legalizing Recreational Marijuana in New York

marijuana

Last Friday, the New York State Department of Health recommended the state legalize the use of recreational marijuana.

This would mean a new area of law for attorneys in New York who have not yet practiced in this emerging industry.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo commissioned the report this month that found, “the positive effects of a regulated marijuana market in NYS outweigh the potential negative impacts.” Among the positive effects? Lowered marijuana-related arrests in low-income neighborhoods. In 2017, 86% of those arrested for marijuana possession in New York were people of color, according to the state Division of Criminal Justice Services.

New York state expects the sales tax revenue to range between $248.1 million to $677.7 million each year, creating an opportunity for residents to start their own marijuana businesses. However, it’s not as easy as one might think, at least from a legal standpoint, said Daniel Shortt, a cannabis attorney with Harris Bricken. Attorneys will need to seek some sort of ethics guidance on working with marijuana clients.

Harris Bricken has plenty of experience dealing with the legal marijuana industry. Partner at the Seattle firm is Hilary Bricken, who has earned a reputation as a fearless advocate for local businesses. Hilary will be speaking at our Recreational and Medical Marijuana Law and Business in California conference on November 1 and 2, 2018. Over the course of two days we’ll go in-depth into a variety of issues in this burgeoning industry for attorneys, investors and business operators.

For those who serve clients in the cannabis industry and those attorneys who want to move into this space, our program will help you navigate the rules, regulations, and legal ramifications of legalized marijuana in California (and federal issues affecting the state’s cannabis industry as well). For investors and business people in the market – or thinking about entering the market – what do you need to know? What are the difficulties businesses face – from retail to growing and distribution?

By the end of our conference you will be well-versed in most of the critical legal, business, and investment-related aspects of this rapidly expanding industry.

Cannabis Legal Expert & Pincus Seminar Speaker Expands Law Firm to NorCal

cannabis

Ariel Clark’s law firm are experts in Cannabis law – in Washington, California and elsewhere. She spoke at our June 2017 Marijuana Law 101 seminar (where she received great evaluations) and is expanding her practice to Northern California!

We wanted to pass on the Recorder’s article about her firm’s expansion, Women-Owned Cannabis Law Firm Expands in Northern California by Xiumei Dong.

After hiring three new associates to accommodate increased demand for legal services in the recreational cannabis businesses, Clark Neubert has opened offices in Sacramento and Santa Cruz. Congratulations Ariel!

Associate Joanna Hossack will head the firm’s office in Sacramento, while senior associate Nicole Laggner will head the firm’s Santa Cruz office.

Hossack specializes in the recently-passed Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act, and California’s evolving regulatory processes for cannabis. Laggner’s expertise is on cannabis business formation and compliance.

“Demand for legal services is skyrocketing as cannabis businesses get licensed and enter the adult use market,” said Ariel Clark. “This is an exciting but complex time for business owners. We’re growing to ensure our clients have every resource they need.”

We will be diving into the laws on the Marijuana business at our upcoming two-day conference on November 1st and 2nd in Los Angeles.

American Indian Tribes and the Pot Com

American Indian tribes want in on the booming Pot Com industry.

Tribes have proposed establishing marijuana businesses outside the new California state-regulated system. Currently, tribes are required to be licensed by the state to sell pot, which would strip them of their authority over their own lands and right to self-govern. This possibility of breaking away from the California-run system is a challenge for the state as it tries to transform its medicinal (and illegal) marijuana markets into a unified, multibillion-dollar industry.

The New Pot Com.

As most everyone in California knows, beginning January 1, recreational marijuana is available for purchase by anyone 21 years or older.

According to The Recorder, a study from the University of California Agricultural Issues Center at UC Davis, estimated the state’s recreational marijuana sales could reach $5 billion a year, though other studies are estimating $100,000 million for the first year. Either way – it is going to be a huge economic boom. We’re calling it the new Pot Com.

Companies are also prepping for the inevitable regulations that will come with legalized marijuana and marijuana is about to become big business. That comes with large legal departments and legal services provided by attorneys at all sizes of firms and in a variety of legal specialties, as we have said before.

You can get the latest story from The Recorder here.

Also, if you are interested in learning more about the legal aspects of the cannabis industry, be sure to check out our recorded seminar Marijuana Law and Practice 101 held in California in 2017.

Now you can get a college degree in Marijuana Studies

Northern Michigan University is now offering a Marijuana Studies degree. This work intensive course of study also covers other aspects of plant chemistry. According to Brandon Canfield, Associate Chemistry Professor, this program, while it may speak to a certain crowd, involves serious work and commitment on the part of the student to be successful.

And with the exponential growth of the cannabis industry, it’s right on time. We would be surprised if other universities, especially in California and Nevada, didn’t go down this road soon as well.

It’s a serious industry worth teaching and studying – both the science of cultivation and the business and marketing side of it as well. In fact, plants are being patented left and right – just like roses.

Currently, about a dozen students are enrolled in the program. In addition to courses in chemistry, biology, botany and horticulture, students will also study marketing and finance. You can find the full article here.

With changing laws surrounding cannabis this may be a degree perfectly suited to jobs in the future. It was recently reported that 2016 saw a 30% increase in sales from the prior year, growing to an astounding 6.7 billion in North American sales.

And, as more and more states legalize marijuana for both medicinal and legal adult use, the Cannabis industry is the new dot.com – and probably without the bubble.

Currently, at Pincus Pro Ed, we have several programs focused on marijuana law for attorneys who are interested in expanding their practice into this area of law. In June we held our first cannabis focused program in California and it is available as an audio package.

Just this month we held a fantastic program in Chicago, focusing on the recent changes in the state of Illinois (where it is legal for medicinal use only, but adult use legislation has been introduced). You can find more information on the audio package, as well as testimonials, here.

There are updated programs in the works for 2018 as well. Be sure to stay tuned for more information on that.