Category: Legal

White House statement sends shivers through industry

February 23rd, 2017

White House press secretary Sean Spicer sent ripples of concern through the recreational cannabis industry on Thursday when he said during his daily briefing that the Justice Department could potentially change its policy on enforcement of federal marijuana laws. “I do believe you’ll see greater enforcement,” Spicer said when asked…

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Weighing investments in an exploding industry

February 23rd, 2017

Early in 2016, industry leaders worried that too many marijuana ballot initiatives could spread resources too thin, leading to losses at the polls. November’s election, though, saw recreational or medicinal measures pass in eight of nine states. With multiple other states authorizing medical marijuana or new regulatory structures earlier in…

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Cannabis Industry Tax Tips

February 21st, 2017

Anybody involved in the cannabis industry has probably heard about Internal Revenue Code Section 280E, which was originally developed in response to a famous U.S. Tax Court case. Craig W. Smalley is the CEO and co-founder of CWSEAPA ( and Tax Crisis Center (, which both have locations in Florida,…

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The Inconsistency of Potency

February 15th, 2017

As more states legalize marijuana for both medical and recreational uses, laboratory testing has increasingly become a critical component of the industry — and in some cases, even more controversial than the plant itself. Washington state, in particular, has made headlines over the past year with issues of doctored THC…

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Did the federal government accidentally legalize marijuana?

February 14th, 2017

Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution gives Congress exclusive jurisdiction over the District of Columbia. In 1973, Congress began delegating municipal powers to elected officials, including a mayor and city council (Home Rule). However, as Washington, D.C.’s legislature, Congress retained the right to overturn, modify, repeal and impose local rules at will. In 1998,…

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Rick Garza Q&A

February 1st, 2017

Marijuana Venture: Several states have recently adopted legalization efforts either for recreational or medical purposes. Have you been involved in helping other states establish regulations?   Rick Garza: It’s kind of been a fascinating ride for the last couple years. We’ve probably met with 26 states, eight countries and in…

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Employment Law 101: Terminations

January 30th, 2017

The vast majority of employment-related lawsuits follow an employee’s involuntary termination, and the majority of fired employees who hire a lawyer do so because they felt their firing was not fair. While the default rule in most jurisdictions is employment at will, meaning businesses can fire an employee at any…

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12 Pitfalls to Avoid

January 26th, 2017

We all make mistakes. What we learn from them helps us grow as individuals and business owners. As a certified public accountant for the last 16 years, I have worked with hundreds of small businesses and there are many mistakes I see from startups, and the cannabis industry is no…

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New laws going into effect

January 19th, 2017

Although the November 2016 election set the country into a state of turmoil, it represented a huge victory for marijuana initiatives in several states. Four states — California, Massachusetts, Maine and Nevada — legalized cannabis for recreational use. Additionally, three typically conservative states — Arkansas, Florida and North Dakota —…

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Dual licensing sets the tone for California rules

January 17th, 2017

On Nov. 8, 2016, California voters passed the Adult Use Of Marijuana Act (AUMA), legalizing recreational cannabis and building upon the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MCRSA) signed by Governor Jerry Brown in 2015. Legalization in California alone doubled the number of Americans that can freely grow, sell and…

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