Category: Current Topics

Going Green: The past, present and future of cannabis law in California

By Michael Cindrich

The green rush is on in California. The State already holds the lion’s share of the $5.7 billion cannabis industry, and the market is primed for unprecedented growth with the recent legalization of recreational use for adults. Cannabis law has come a long way since California became the first state to legalize medical cannabis use over 20 years ago. However, there is still a long road ahead to create a fully operational and legitimate market. Read More

No BK for You! Cannabis Enterprise Kicked Out of Ch. 11 Line

By Tyler McQuillan

‘Those familiar with the blossoming cannabis industry are readily familiar with certain limitations imposed upon the “legal” cannabis business. From tax inefficiencies spurred by Internal Revenue Code 280E to limitations on change in ownership (i.e., M&A), navigating the capital markets can be an exercise of corporate and securities gymnastics. And through In re Healing Nature, LLC,1 the United States Bankruptcy Court has confirmed that ancillary companies may also lose their place in the Chapter 11 line. Read More

IRS Properly Reconstructs Attorney’s Income: The Importance of Trust Fund Accounting Through the Lens of Tax Litigation

By Shawn Spaulding

As attorneys, we are all familiar with the trust fund accounting requirements found in Rule 4-100 of the State Bar of California Rules of Professional Conduct. Failure to follow Rule 4-100 can result in significant disciplinary action. But, the importance of proper trust fund accounting is not limited to the Rules of Professional Conduct. As discussed below, failure to maintain accurate trust fund records can end up costing you thousands in additional taxes and penalties. Read More

What Attorneys Need to Know About the Drager 5000

By Eric Ganci

Police have a new addition to try and fight the war on impaired driving: the Drager 5000. This device swabs the person’s mouth/cheek area to screen saliva for non-alcoholic intoxicating substances, including amphetamines, cocaine, marijuana and prescription drugs. This test is given before arrest, and acts as a field sobriety test. For attorneys who may provide guidance on this new device, there are a few important things to note, both scientifically and legally: Read More

Trademark Strategies in the Cannabis Industry

By Khanh “Kenny” Glatzel

Trademarks are essential assets of any business. Customers identify products by trademarks. Historically, trademark law has been a federal issue. Trademarks are registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), and as a result, trademark litigation typically takes place in federal courts. That is, until cannabis commerce blooms. Read More

Don’t Get Caught by a Phishing Scam: Basic Ways to Protect Yourself

Implementing small precautionary steps can help protect you against the potentially enormous consequences of getting caught by a phishing scam. Phishing is the malicious practice of gathering personal information, such as bank account and credit card details, passwords and more, through deceptive emails, texts, phone calls or websites.[1] In a recent blog post by CaseyGerry attorney Alyssa Williams, she outlines a few basic ways to protect yourself, and what to do if your information has been phished: Read More

The Marijuana Dilemma: Ethical Implications of Advising Business that Operates in Violation of Federal Law

By Kelly Knepper-Stephens

Providing legal counsel to a California marijuana dispensary is a tricky business given the existing conflict between state and federal law.[1] The issues facing the marijuana industry require the same type of legal advice any business seeks: corporate law issues such as incorporation or partnership formation, contract law issues such as leases and purchase agreements, employment law issues, as well as criminal law considerations, to name a few.[2] Can an attorney ethically provide any of this needed advice, when the conduct of the business is illegal under federal law? Read More