These laws include revising possession penalties for minors and regulating social consumption sites.
The post Nevada: New Marijuana Laws Took Effect This Month appeared first on NORML.
be creating undue barriers of entry for those seeking to participate in the legal adult use marketplace,” she said. “This new rule will encourage more inclusiveness and diversity in Washington’s growing cannabis industry.”
The post Washington: New Rule Expands the Pool of Those Eligible for Marijuana Business Licenses appeared first on NORML.
Subcommittee members decided 6 to 4 to eliminate the ability for qualified patients to home-cultivate marijuana. Nearly 70 percent of voters decided in favor of the ballot Measure (Measure 26) last November, which allows patients to either obtain cannabis from state-licensed dispensaries or to grow it themselves.
The post South Dakota: Legislative Committee Votes to Rescind Home Grow Rights From State’s Medical Cannabis Access Law appeared first on NORML.
Patients who are registered with the state’s medical cannabis access program may now legally grow cannabis for their own personal use.
The post Connecticut: Medical Marijuana Home Grow Law Takes Effect appeared first on NORML.
Members of the House Judiciary Committee just advanced the HR 3617: The Marijuana, Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act of 2021. The Act repeals the long-standing federal prohibition of marijuana by removing it from the Controlled Substances Act — thereby ending the existing state/federal conflict in cannabis policies and providing state governments with greater authority to regulate marijuana-related activities, including retail sales.
The post Press Release: Key Congressional Committee Advances Bill To Repeal Federal Marijuana Prohibition appeared first on NORML.
For the second time in US history legislation to repeal the failed, unscientific, and racist policy of federal marijuana prohibition has passed the powerful House Judiciary Committee.
The post Bill to Repeal Marijuana Prohibition Passes Critical House Committee appeared first on NORML.
“This is a simple, yet critical, move that will provide relief, compassion and dignity to terminally-ill Californians.”
The post California: Governor Signs Measure into Law Allowing Medical Cannabis Use in Hospitals appeared first on NORML.
If the Governor agrees to convene a special session, it would likely begin on Friday October 1.
The post Mississippi: Lawmakers Request Special Session to Address Medical Marijuana Access appeared first on NORML.
The new cases consist of both felony and misdemeanor convictions dating back three decades.
The post Los Angeles: District Attorney to Vacate Some 60,000 Marijuana Convictions appeared first on NORML.
By: Attorney Lauren Vázquez
High Rise Law, Founder & Principal
For all the bad that came with the COVID pandemic, the cannabis industry has endured relatively well. There was a collective sigh of relief when California declared cannabis businesses to be essential early in lock down, something unimaginable just a few years ago. With the exception of the targeted robberies and looting last summer and the advent of social distancing precautions, it was mostly business as usual for the cannabis industry.
One welcomed change for cannabis business owners was the pause on state and local compliance inspections. With the shelter-in-place, government closures, and social distancing mandates, inspections have been noticeably absent. The CA Department of Public Health went so far as to institute self-inspections for manufacturers and some places like the City of Los Angeles set up virtual inspections.
However, now that the state is cautiously opening up we are already seeing an uptick in inspections and the news is not good. Earlier this year a colleague shared a story of a BCC raid that was reminiscent of the terrorizing police raids under Prop 215 and SB 420. Agents came in, property was seized, and the business shuttered. Interestingly, during a client’s recent CDFA farm inspection in Mendocino County the inspectors were from Los Angeles and Sacramento as part of a larger touring group of inspectors being cross-trained on cannabis farms. That week there were no less than a dozen sets of inspectors conducting at least two inspections per day throughout Northern California. It should be noted that at that time they were using outdated versions of the CDFA inspection forms. Through a California Public Records Request High Rise Law obtained the most recent version and it is 30 pages longer making the original look like child’s play. You can view a copy of it here along with the updated cultivation penalty matrix here.
The Department of Cannabis Control consolidation isn’t going to slow things down either. Initially scheduled for July 2020, the consolidation went into effect July 2021 giving the Bureau of Cannabis Control and other state agencies an extra year to get a handle on the transition. At this year’s Cal NORML Legal Seminar Acting BCC Chief Tamara Colson reported that all of the current staff at the agencies would remain on board at the new DCC in pretty much the same positions even staying in their current offices. They have set up one DCC coordinated enforcement unit that has been given top priority. Depending on the type of action, the unit will engage other government agencies including law enforcement. While management has been working on consolidation, all the state inspectors have had to do for the last year is practice and train for the coming reckoning.
If that weren’t enough, don’t forget about local inspections. They are often more detailed and cover more areas of regulation than the state agencies including things like disabled parking, signage, and security measures. Some local governments have contracted out their inspections to private companies which adds even more variables to the whole process.
So what’s the big deal? Are inspections really that serious? Yes, they are the primary method of licensing enforcement. The risks are huge and prior notice is not required. It is a violation in and of itself to not be prepared for an inspection. Some of the penalties are mind blowing. The failure to provide or maintain proper records on the premises alone can result in a $30,000 fine per violation. Due to the complicated nature of cannabis compliance, most inspections result in a Notice of Noncompliance. Generally the licensee is given a time frame to correct the violations and avoid the fines. Some major violations and subsequent offenses however are not treated lightly. Fines are not the only thing to worry about though. The state and local agencies are also authorized to issue administrative holds, confiscate products, and even force licensees to destroy inventory. Worst case scenario they can suspend and revoke the cannabis license which would spell the end for any business who can’t afford to fight it.
If you’ve already experienced an inspection, beware. The inspectors are not your friend. Repeat violations will get you in trouble. If they think a business is unsafe, they will take action. If you haven’t had an inspection yet, get ready – you are next. Fortunately, there are a few easy things you can do to prepare. Once you receive an inspection notice:
Prepare your staff to greet and escort the inspector
Have the visitor log ready
Make sure all the required licenses, permits, and signs are posted and current
Clean up. Clear all floors and walkways
Wrap up any pending METRC inputs
Prepare your sales records
Make sure the person meeting with the inspector has access to all required business records
While these steps won’t address all potential violations, some are red flags to inspectors that will cause them to look a little closer at everything else. By addressing these you will start the inspection with a good impression and motivate the inspector to work with, not against you. The inspections are coming, but instead of brushing things under the rug take this as an opportunity to test and improve your business and be the best you can be.
Compliance is complicated but High Rise Law is here to help. Our one-of-a kind Cannabis Inspection Protection℠ Services will ensure your business performs at its best when it matters most. Click here to learn more and sign up before it’s too late.
The post The Inspections are Coming appeared first on CaNorml.org.