Dale Schafer Law News – 6/21/22

#cannabisindustry – “The analysis determined that “medical cannabis legalization has reduced auto insurance premiums by $1.5 billion in all states that have currently legalized, with the potential to reduce premiums by an additional $900 million if the remaining states were to legalize”—a combined total of $2.4 billion in potential payment reductions for drivers under nationwide medical cannabis access.

“Because auto insurance premiums are directly tied to property damage and health outcomes, we find evidence of a positive social impact of medical cannabis on auto safety,” the study said.”

https://www.marijuanamoment.net/medical-marijuana-legalization-linked-to-reduced-drunk-driving-and-safer-roads-study-on-auto-insurance-data-suggests/

Dale Schafer Law News – 6/14/22

#cannabispolitics – “In an email with the subject line “Employee Obligations Regarding a Drug-free Workplace” that was sent out on Thursday and obtained by Marijuana Moment, EPA’s acting assistant administrator in the Office of Mission Support said that the agency wanted to reiterate the federal cannabis ban in light of updated guidance from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI)…..

“Despite changes in state laws and social norms, the use of marijuana is illegal under Federal law, even when obtained through prescription or when used in a jurisdiction where such use is permitted,” it says.

EPA said that employees who use marijuana off-duty or on-duty marijuana could be subject to “disciplinary action, a negative suitability determination, and may be determined ineligible for access to classified information or to hold a sensitive position, as applicable.”

Additionally, the agency said that employees who work in “designated security positions” or who are “directly investing in stocks or business ventures pertaining to marijuana growers or retailers” could lose their ability to access sensitive materials or be rendered ineligible for such roles.”

https://www.marijuanamoment.net/epa-warns-workers-theyre-banned-from-using-marijuana-or-investing-in-the-industry-in-new-memo/

#californiacannabis – Sacramento – “Researchers assessed the impact of licensed cannabis businesses in the city of Sacramento.

Consistent with prior studies, investigators reported that homes in close proximity to marijuana outlets experienced a greater rise in value than did other residences in the city. Authors also rebuffed the allegation that marijuana retailers were associated with any elevated risk of criminal activity. Between 2018 and 2021, fewer than one percent of all robberies and burglaries reported to the Sacramento Police Department were associated with cannabis business, the report found.”

https://norml.org/blog/2022/06/13/analysis-cannabis-retailers-drive-economic-growth-are-not-magnets-for-crime/

Dale Schafer Law News – 6/14/22

#cannabispolitics – “In an email with the subject line “Employee Obligations Regarding a Drug-free Workplace” that was sent out on Thursday and obtained by Marijuana Moment, EPA’s acting assistant administrator in the Office of Mission Support said that the agency wanted to reiterate the federal cannabis ban in light of updated guidance from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI)…..

“Despite changes in state laws and social norms, the use of marijuana is illegal under Federal law, even when obtained through prescription or when used in a jurisdiction where such use is permitted,” it says.

EPA said that employees who use marijuana off-duty or on-duty marijuana could be subject to “disciplinary action, a negative suitability determination, and may be determined ineligible for access to classified information or to hold a sensitive position, as applicable.”

Additionally, the agency said that employees who work in “designated security positions” or who are “directly investing in stocks or business ventures pertaining to marijuana growers or retailers” could lose their ability to access sensitive materials or be rendered ineligible for such roles.”

https://www.marijuanamoment.net/epa-warns-workers-theyre-banned-from-using-marijuana-or-investing-in-the-industry-in-new-memo/

#californiacannabis – Sacramento – “Researchers assessed the impact of licensed cannabis businesses in the city of Sacramento.

Consistent with prior studies, investigators reported that homes in close proximity to marijuana outlets experienced a greater rise in value than did other residences in the city. Authors also rebuffed the allegation that marijuana retailers were associated with any elevated risk of criminal activity. Between 2018 and 2021, fewer than one percent of all robberies and burglaries reported to the Sacramento Police Department were associated with cannabis business, the report found.”

https://norml.org/blog/2022/06/13/analysis-cannabis-retailers-drive-economic-growth-are-not-magnets-for-crime/

Dale Schafer Law News – 6/11/22

#californiacannabis – “The county is sponsoring Assembly Bill 2728, introduced by Assemblymember Thurston Smith, and Senate Bill 1426, introduced by Senator Anna Caballero, to tackle these concerns.

AB-2728 would increase the fines for illegal cultivation to $1,000 for each day of violation, and $2,500 for each acre-foot of water diverted (and if that measurement isn’t specified, $500 per plant). These stipulations would only take place in a “critically dry year immediately preceded by two or more consecutive below normal, dry, or critical dry years” in the event that the California state governor has issued a state of emergency. “Our state is dealing with an unprecedented number of illegal cannabis grows, particularly in the rural desert communities that I represent in the legislature. Because of this, our laws need to require compliance and ensure that illegal activity is punished,” said Smith about the bill. Most recently, AB-2728 was referred to a committee on June 1.

SB-1426 would punish “unauthorized tapping into a water conveyance or storage infrastructure or digging or extracting groundwater from an unpermitted well.” “Illegal cannabis farming is killing wildlife and wreaking environmental damage across the state,” Caballero said in a San Bernardino press release in March. “This bill will help stop the pollution of our groundwater supply and the theft of water, which are all the more important during an ongoing multi-year drought.” Currently, as of May 19 the bill is “Held in committee and under submission” for the time being.”

https://hightimes.com/news/california-drought-prompts-legislation-to-increase-fines-for-water-pollution-for-illegal-grows/

#cannabispolitics – “Reps. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) and Dave Joyce (R-OH) first publicly disclosed that there were discussions about crafting a bipartisan cannabis package at an International Cannabis Bar Association conference on Thursday, with Joyce revealing a recent meeting he had about the idea with Schumer.

Perlmutter, sponsor of the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, said that his legislation to safeguard financial institutions that work with state-legal marijuana businesses would be part of the package under consideration, but he also said at the time that members are interested in including Joyce’s Harnessing Opportunities by Pursuing Expungement (HOPE) Act to incentive state and local governments to expunge prior marijuana records, as well as proposals to provide veterans with access to medical cannabis and expand marijuana research.

But those four issues—banking, expungements, research and veterans—noted earlier by Law360, are only part of what’s on the table, sources who have been involved in the negotiations but requested anonymity, told Marijuana Moment on Friday. They stressed, however, that a deal has not yet been reached and talks are tentative at this point.”

https://www.marijuanamoment.net/new-details-on-congressional-marijuana-omnibus-bill-emerge-as-lawmakers-work-for-60-senate-votes/

#californiacannabis – “DCC says water-conscious growers and other cannabis licensees impacted by California’s ongoing drought emergency should seek disaster relief.

According to DCC, licensees can submit a Form DCC-8108 to disasterrelief@cannabis.ca.gov to request disaster relief and a temporary exemption from regulations.

DCC says eligible licensees may receive licensing if they cannot comply with California’s drought emergency.

To receive relief, DCC says licensees may need to follow specific guidelines.”

https://candidchronicle.com/dcc-urges-licensees-to-seek-disaster-relief-for-coming-drought/

Dale Schafer Law News – 6/6/22

#californiacannabis – “Even though cannabis production and distribution is legal in California, it remains illegally federally. But it was not cannabis that put the authorities on the scent. It was because Dayspring acted “corruptly” by using money, cannabis and free food, to influence a local public office holder. Not understood by some, the feds have broad jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute cases at the local and state level—so long as there is a “federal interest.” Bribery of a state or local official is a federal crime where the locality or the state has received in excess of $10,000 for any federal program (which could be food stamps or even highway reconstruction money). San Luis Obispo’s budget includes federal program funds, hence the interest.”

https://www.cannabisbusinesstimes.com/article/helios-dayspring-sentenced-cannabis-corruption-scandal-california/

Dale Schafer Law News – 6/6/22

#californiacannabis – “Even though cannabis production and distribution is legal in California, it remains illegally federally. But it was not cannabis that put the authorities on the scent. It was because Dayspring acted “corruptly” by using money, cannabis and free food, to influence a local public office holder. Not understood by some, the feds have broad jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute cases at the local and state level—so long as there is a “federal interest.” Bribery of a state or local official is a federal crime where the locality or the state has received in excess of $10,000 for any federal program (which could be food stamps or even highway reconstruction money). San Luis Obispo’s budget includes federal program funds, hence the interest.”

https://www.cannabisbusinesstimes.com/article/helios-dayspring-sentenced-cannabis-corruption-scandal-california/

Dale Schafer Law News – 6/3/22

#californiacannabis – “California’s business tax collector is ramping up enforcement against unlicensed and licensed cannabis companies, which owe the state nearly $200 million in unpaid taxes….

In particular, the CDTFA has launched raids and auctioned off seized properties as part of heightened efforts to collect unpaid taxes and rein in underground operators….

The escalation, according to the department, signals a return to normalcy in state government functions as the economy rebounds from the pandemic-led downturn….

“CDTFA is committed to leveling the playing field for legal businesses by enforcing tax laws against illegal operations,” Adamek wrote.

“Because legal cannabis retailers and distributors are required to hold a permit with CDTFA, we know who they are, where they are, and if they are current on their taxes. Illegal operators can be more challenging since they are underground.””

https://mjbizdaily.com/california-targets-cannabis-businesses-over-unpaid-taxes/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&utm_campaign=MJD_20220603_NEWS_Daily

#californiacannabis – ““This latest round of awards will support the economic justice and well-being of communities across our state that have been disproportionately impacted by the War on Drugs,” Myers said.

The grants to local health departments and non-profit organizations will support initiatives such as job placement, legal services for community reentry and mental health and substance misuse treatment.

Among the grant recipients this year are community-based services like YMCA of San Diego County, United CORE Alliance, Bay Area Legal Aid, San Jose State University Research Foundation and Urban Association of Forestry and Fire Professionals.

The largest awards in this round are going to JobTrain, GRID Alternatives Greater Los Angele, Los Angeles Regional Reentry Partnership, Flintridge Center and Recovery Cafe San Jose, each of which will receive $900,000.”

https://www.marijuanamoment.net/california-awards-35-5-million-in-marijuana-tax-funded-grants-to-repair-harms-of-war-on-drugs/

This makes me sick. Even the consideration of a life sentence is unreasonable for a cannabis offense!

#cannabispolitics – “A Maryland man could spend the rest of his life behind bars following a federal cannabis conviction in a Baltimore court for conspiracy to distribute more than a ton of marijuana. Jonathan Wall was convicted on May 6 after a jury deliberated for only two hours to decide his fate….

Wall was convicted of leading a criminal conspiracy to smuggle marijuana from California, where recreational cannabis is legal under state law, to his home state of Maryland. Under federal sentencing laws, he faces a minimum of ten years to life in prison…..

Federal prosecutors relied on testimony from informants to convict Wall, who was indicted along with ten co-defendants for conspiracy to distribute marijuana. In the national marijuana trial court documents, prosecutors alleged that Wall knew the plan was against the law and that he earned hundreds of thousands of dollars from the operation that ran from 2016 to 2019. The prosecution alleged that Wall oversaw efforts to transport hundreds of pounds of cannabis at a time across the country to Maryland from Humboldt County, CA, where he moved to enter the cannabis industry at the age of 20…..

Wall hoped that the changing political climate would bode well for his case and that the federal cannabis conviction charges against him would be dropped. His attorney, Jason Flores-Williams, unsuccessfully attempted to have the case thrown out ​​“due to disparate and arbitrary enforcement” of the nation’s drug laws.

“A citizen’s ability to engage in this American market depends neither on talent nor [on] work ethic, but on the preferences of the local prosecutor,” he wrote in a motion to dismiss the charges.

“If you’re in LA and own several dispensaries, then you’re a successful businessperson. If you’re in Maryland, then you’re evidently a criminal.””

https://cannabisnow.com/man-faces-life-sentence-after-federal-cannabis-conviction/

Dale Schafer Law News – 6/1/22

#cannabisindustry – “Out-of-court workout checks the most boxes and does so at a moderate price. It is predicated on there being some sense of good faith between the debtor and the creditors, as it does not involve hiring a third party to arbitrate.

“A workout is [a] non-judicial process through which a financially distressed company can negotiate with its creditors to restructure the amount or repayment terms of debt,” according to the website of U.S. law firm Fox Rothschild, which has a cannabis practice. “A successful workout can enable a company to continue to operate with the same management.”

Receivership can accomplish everything that a workout can, but is also the most expensive option according to UnitedCMC, which acts as a receiver for distressed businesses. Typically, the court appoints a receiver at the request of the creditors.”

https://www.cannabisbusinesstimes.com/article/collateral-agreements-raising-funds-cannabis-companies/