When it comes to regulating marijuana, can we ever count on Los Angeles to do the right thing?

By Robin Abcarian // LA Times

I felt kind of sorry for the guy sitting next to me Monday at the “Future of Cannabis” event at the Los Angeles Athletic Club.

He’s a commercial real estate broker who knows nothing about the marijuana business. But a friend of his who works in the trade suggested that now would be a good time to move into this burgeoning industry.

After all, California voters legalized recreational marijuana in November. The city of Los Angeles is projected to be the biggest marijuana market in the biggest marijuana state. People are salivating at the chance to leap into this brave new world.

All they have to do is figure out the regulations. Which are, in a word, confusing. Read more ›

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EVENT: Recreational Marijuana Business Law in California

Michael will be speaking at this event, so register now. His presentation will cover California Marijuana Taxation Laws.



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Police Raids of Marijuana Businesses Continue to Worry the Pot Industry

By Alex Halperin // LA Weekly

One morning this spring about two dozen L.A. cops arrived at a large marijuana grow facility with a battering ram. Without knocking, and armed with what the business owner called “full on assault rifles, like something from a movie,” the owner said. Police proceeded to bash on the entrance.

The facility’s owner recounted the event to L.A. Weekly on condition of anonymity, for fear of attracting more law enforcement activity. The incident was also referenced at a May 19 City Council meeting by Seth Hilsabeck, a board member of the Southern California Coalition, a cannabis industry group.

The police arrived at 7:30 a.m., and only 15 of the 35 workers were on site, according to the owner. Those who were present, including an apparently very pregnant woman and a man with cancer, were handcuffed and “literally paraded up and down the street” for at least 20 minutes before they were released with a court date and misdemeanor charges that could carry fines or jail time, the owner said. One employee, a security guard, was arrested because he had a gun, according to the owner, and then released without charge.

The police confiscated equipment and 3,000 plants that would be worth about $900,000 at harvest, the owner said. The power remains out at the facility and the staff are out of work. Read more ›

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Marijuana and California Real Estate Presentation – Los Angeles County Bar Association

Michael Chernis of Chernis Law Group spoke at the Los Angeles County Bar Association Real Property Section on May 10, 2017 concerning marijuana law and federal policy.

Laurence Hummer, of Laurence Hummer Law Corporation, said of the event:

“The Land Use Planning and Environmental subsection (LUPE) sponsored a lunchtime seminar on Marijuana and California Real Estate at LACBA’s offices on May 10, 2017.  Each of panelists Lauren Langer, Michael Chernis and Julia Sylva has had extensive experience in advising clients about marijuana laws, while serving as counsel to municipalities or private parties.  The seminar provided their expert analysis and up-to-date information on the legal status of medicinal or recreational use of marijuana, including the different treatment of marijuana under federal criminal law and still-evolving California law and regulations.  They explained the challenges and time deadlines municipalities currently face in developing land use and licensing requirements to implement California’s new approach.  The presentation made clear that persons and companies who are interested in getting into the marijuana business, and their landlords, will need lawyers who are knowledgeable about the complicated and still-unsettled legal environment.  The seminar was organized by LUPE members Brant Dveirin, former Chair of the Real Property Section, and Stephen Weaver, who in addition to being a LUPE member currently is President of the Santa Monica Bar Association.  Pictured, seated from left to right are Brant Dveirin, Julia Sylva, Michael Chernis and Lauren Langer, and standing is Stephen Weaver.”

Posted in Community, Events

Former Yuba narcotics officer convicted in interstate pot trafficking scheme

by Peter Hecht // Sacramento Bee

A former Yuba County narcotics officer was convicted Wednesday on federal charges involving trafficking nearly 250 pounds of marijuana to Pennsylvania.

Yuba County Deputy Christopher Heath, 37, was a lead investigator who filed numerous search warrants and directed raids in marijuana, methamphetamine and other drug cases for a five-agency Narcotics Enforcement Team in Yuba and Sutter counties. Read more ›

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Rohrabacher says he’ll take medical marijuana fight with Jeff Sessions to Supreme Court

by Brooke Staggs // OC Register

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher said he hopes to convince Attorney General Jeff Sessions that good people do indeed sometimes smoke pot. But if he can’t, the Republican congressman from Costa Mesa said he’ll see his longtime friend in court.

“Marijuana laws in this country have violated every basic principle this country stands for over the last 75 years. It’s time to stop,” Rohrabacher said during a roundtable talk on cannabis at UC Irvine on Friday, May 5.

“If we have to take it all the way to the Supreme Court, we will win on this.” Read more ›

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