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Business Formation

Business Formation

A Law Firm to Help Your Medical Marijuana Business in California

We Have the Experience to Guide You Through the Business Formation Process

With the recent passage of laws allowing for state licensing for both medical and recreational marijuana, in addition to the push for the decriminalization of marijuana throughout the country, there are unique opportunities for entrepreneurs to start new businesses related to marijuana. To understand the complicated regulations associated with this industry, however, you need an experienced lawyer. At Shevin Law Group in Los Angeles, we have the experience required in this area. We deliver a full suite of services that help you get your marijuana-related business off the ground. With our team behind you, your new business venture starts here.

Medical Marijuana Business Formation Rules and Conditions

There are many new business opportunities in and around the expanding medical marijuana industry.  In order to obtain a state license once they become avaialble in 2018, a business must first obtain a local operating permit.  While many businesses have been operating in a grey area over the past decade, once state licenses are issued, businesses will be 100% illegal if they don't operate according to the Medical Cannabis Regulations and Safety Act ("MCRSA"). Shevin Law Group asssists businesses in obtaining permits and licenses while navigating the pitfalls and misunderstandings that lead to both civil and criminal penalties. We help you identify business opportunities in and around the medical marijuana industry, as well as evaluate whether or not these business opportunities are right for you.

Room For National Growth and Expansion

Large, publicly-traded companies have stocks on national exchanges that relate to the medical marijuana industry without ever touching medical marijuana as a product. If you have a business idea related to the medical marijuana industry and you need advice on how to implement that idea without breaking the law, your first step should to be to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced attorneys who understands all the issues surrounding marijuana nationally.  We will help protect you and your business from both the criminal and civil penalties that are associated with working in the medical marijuana industry, and do everything in our power to help make your business a success. 

A law firm with experience in marijuana business formation

Work with a firm that has become a national authority on marijuana law. Call Shevin Law Group today at 818.784.2700 or contact us online to set up your free initial consultation. Our team offers flexible office hours for your convenience and accepts payment by credit card. We’re proud to serve entrepreneurs throughout California and the country.

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Medical Marijuana

Medical Marijuana

Reputable California cannabis Attorneys Counsel Individuals, Businesses and New Ventures

For Many Years, Advocating for Patients’ Rights to Access Medical Marijuana in Los Angeles

Shevin Law Group is at the forefront of medical marijuana law. As a nationally recognized authority on medical marijuana laws, founder Eric D. Shevin has been representing the marijuana industry for more than 25 years. If you are considering establishing a new collective or dispensary or other business venture or cultivating/manufacturing your own medicine — or find yourself being arrested for marijuana sales, transportation, possession or use — you can trust us to represent you. We keep abreast of local, national and international laws and can provide up-to-date information to clients.

Providing Informative Guidance for Individuals

There are many misconceptions about marijuana laws. Under California law, medical marijuana is still illegal while adults can legally possess up to an ounce of cannabis flower and up to 4 grams of cannabis extract.  However, the voter-approved marijuana laws only provide patients with an “affirmative defense,” essentially providing valid patients with immunity from prosecution which only becomes relevant in a criminal proceeding. Federal law still considers marijuana a Schedule I controlled substance, with no medical use allowed.  Even if you have authorization from a physician for marijuana, you are still in violation of federal law purusant to 21 USC § 841. Our firm is actively involved in California medical marijuana organizations.

A Growing List of States with New Laws

The number of states that allow marijuana for medical purposes is growing. Currently, 28 states have laws permitting medicinal marijuana:

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Montana
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • Nevada
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
  • Washington
  • Florida
  • Pennsylvania
  • Ohio
  • Minnesota
  • Maryland
  • North Dakota

As laws change, more patients will be able to access marijuana for medicinal purposes. The country will need entrepreneurs who launch businesses. If you are beginning such a business, contact an experienced firm that stays at the forefront of medical marijuana laws.

Qualifying for Marijuana Use

California statutes give qualified patients who have a medical marijuana recommendation the right to access and use marijuana for medical purposes as prescribed by their physician. County-issued medical marijuana ID cards can also be obtained in each county in California, making possession and cultivation of certain amounts of marijuana a non-arrestable offense for patients. State law allows various ailments to be treated with marijuana to benefit patients. These medical conditions include the following in addition to any condition where medical marijuana provides relief:

  • AIDS
  • Anorexia
  • Arthritis
  • Cachexia
  • Cancer
  • Chronic pain
  • Glaucoma
  • Migraine
  • Persistent muscle spasms
  • Seizures
  • Severe nausea
  • Pain
  • Chronic or persistent medical symptoms that:
    • May cause serious harm to the patient’s safety or physical or mental health
    • Limit the ability to conduct major life activities as defined in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990

If you suffer from an illness or condition that warrants medical marijuana use and you have been arrested for drug-related charges, our experienced team can help.

Cultivating and Distributing Medical Marijuana

Federal law prohibits cultivating, distributing or selling marijuana as a drug. Except for Colorado, Washington, Oregon, California, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, and Washington DC, all states' laws forbid sales of marijuana for recreational or other purposes, even if they allow it for medicinal purposes. California is no exception. 

One of the most contested issues in California is the fact that police departments and law enforcement organizations, along with District Attorneys' Offices statewide, continue to take the position that any and all group marijuana activity is illegal. This means that law enforcement can and will arrest you, and the District Attorney has the option to prosecute you. Once you are charged, it is up to you to present your defense and establish immunity under the law. We can help you do that. Additionally, if we are involved early enough in the process, we can communicate with law enforcement agents and prosecutors to prevent unnecessary prosecutions from proceeding forward.

Starting a Medical Marijuana Business

Our firm handles all legal aspects of establishing a collective, dispensary or other cannabis business venture, including:

  • Business licenses
  • Corporate representation
  • Business structure and formation
  • Compliance counsel
  • Financial planning
  • Taxation
  • Local and state permits
  • Real estate matters
  • Business disputes
  • Operating agreements
  • State guidelines
  • Litigation

As your plans come to fruition, your needs may change. We offer comprehensive services to meet your evolving legal challenges.

For information and representation, call seasoned medical marijuana attorneys today

Shevin Law Group offers representation for individuals, organizations and businesses regarding medical marijuana. Our office is open weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and outside regular hours by appointment. To schedule a free initial consultation, call 818.784.2700 or contact us online.


Marijuana Uses

Marijuana Uses

An Introduction to the Medical Uses of Marijuana

Guidance from Medical Marijuana Lawyers in Los Angeles, California

Over the past several years, the medical benefits of marijuana have become more widely accepted, both in the medical community and in the country as a whole. Hundreds of thousands of people in the United States use medical marijuana to treat a variety of illnesses and conditions, and dispensaries and related businesses are opening up across the country. Shevin Law Group has years of experience in this unique area of the law, and has become an authority on the various issues related medical use and legal cannabis business operations. Our Los Angeles legal team can answer your questions about medical marijuana.

Therapeutic Medical Marijuana Uses

Medical marijuana is cannabis used specifically to treat pain or other symptoms associated with chronic health conditions. Cannabis is known to provide therapeutic effects, including pain relief, nausea control, appetite stimulation, anxiety reduction, muscle spasticity, seizures and any condition where cannabis provides relief.

Over time, many therapeutic uses for medical marijuana have been accepted, and it is most commonly recommended for the following conditions:

  • Autoimmune disorders. Some autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, cause muscle spasms and nerve pain that can be alleviated by medical marijuana. In addition, some sufferers of Crohn’s disease have found that marijuana use relieves their chronic abdominal pain.
  • Cancer and HIV/AIDS. Medical marijuana’s appetite-stimulating properties can be helpful for cancer and HIV/AIDS patients who suffer from poor appetite and weight loss. In addition, the nausea commonly associated with chemotherapy treatments may be alleviated with medical marijuana use.
  • Glaucoma, migraines and arthritis. Marijuana has been found to reduce the intraocular pressure (IOP) in the eyes of glaucoma sufferers. Those who suffer from chronic pain associated with migraines and arthritis have also reported relief through medical marijuana use.
  • Seizure disorders. Many people with seizure disorders have reported reduced seizure activity with the use of medical marijuana.

Approval for Medical Marijuana Use

In Los Angeles and throughout the state of California, seriously ill residents are permitted to use medical marijuana as a result of the Compassionate Use Act of 1996. In 2003, the Medical Marijuana Program Act was passed by the state legislature, expanding medical marijuana uses in collective and cooperative settings. This opened the doors for entrepreneurs to explore opportunities related to medical marijuana business formation.

For patients to be approved for medical marijuana use, a physician must give an appropriate examination and verify they have a a condition where medical marijuana provides relief. The physician must also develop a treatment plan with clear objectives, discuss medical marijuana’s possible side effects with the patient and conduct periodic checkups to ensure the treatment is effective. To avoid possible legal complications or investigations, the physician should also keep detailed records that support the decision to recommend medical marijuana use.

Speak with a skilled Los Angeles County attorney today

Do you have more questions about the legal issues related to medical marijuana in California? Don’t hesitate to call Shevin Law Group at 818.784.2700, or contact us online. We offer free initial consultations and flexible office hours for your convenience. Our office is easily accessible from all major freeways in the Los Angeles area.


Marijuana Trends

Marijuana Trends

Marijuana Legal Trends in california and throughout the country 

Commentary from an Experienced Marijuana Law Firm in Southern California

Marijuana, once a major target of the war on drugs, has seen greater acceptance across California and the rest of the country over the past decade, with an increasing number of states legalizing or decriminalizing possession of the drug. The legal implications and trends related to marijuana law have been interesting to watch, and we can expect more significant changes in the near future. At Shevin Law Group, our Los Angeles attorneys have made a name for themselves as true authorities on this area of the law, serving individuals and entrepreneurs throughout the region since 1993.

Laws Related to Medical Marijuana and Decriminalization

In 1996, California passed Proposition 215, otherwise known as the Compassionate Use Act, the first law regulating the medical uses of marijuana. The act granted citizens the right to obtain and use marijuana for medical purposes, namely to treat symptoms associated with cancer, HIV/AIDS, anorexia, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain and any condition where medical marijuana provides relief.

In 2003, California's state legislature passed SB 420, also known as the Medical Marijuana Program Act, after statewide reports showed that police officers were having a difficult time enforcing some of the provisions of the Compassionate Use Act.  Because law enforcement officers were sometimes unable to determine if a person was a legal medical marijuana user, some patients and caregivers were being unnecessarily arrested. SB 420 accomplished several things:

  • Application and identification rules. The state’s Department of Health Services created a voluntary medical marijuana program to issue prompt identification and assign primary caregivers to legal users to avoid unnecessary arrest and prosecution. Although the Compassionate Use Act offered protection from undue prosecution, SB 420’s voluntary program created an extra layer.
  • Verification protocols and record keeping. The Department of Health Services also developed protocols for confirming the accuracy of application information and protecting confidentiality.
  • Extended caregiver and state rights. SB 420 extended the power of medical marijuana recommendation and approval to osteopaths, and also allowed caregivers to have multiple patients in different counties.
  • Creating laws that protect collectives and cooperatives where qualified patients associate together to cultivate and obtain medical cannabis through retail dispensary locations.

From Federal- to State-based Regulation

In 2013, the U.S. Department of Justice, through the Cole Memo, announced an update to its marijuana enforcement policy. In light of recent ballot initiatives in several states legalizing recreational marijuana use, the agency stated that while under federal law marijuana remains an illegal drug, it would continue to allow state and local authorities to address marijuana activity through their own laws. States must still implement their own strict enforcement systems upholding the Justice Department’s interests to prevent:

  • Distribution to minors
  • Marijuana-related revenue going to gangs or cartels
  • Marijuana transportation into states where it is illegal under state laws
  • Legal marijuana activity from acting as a cover for illegal activity
  • Violence related to marijuana distribution
  • Drugged driving
  • Illegal marijuana growth
  • Marijuana possession or use on federal property

If you have further questions, visit our medical marijuana FAQ page or speak with a marijuana law attorney.

Learn more about marijuana law by speaking with a dedicated lawyer

Do you have questions about marijuana legal trends and how they might impact you? Do not hesitate to call Shevin Law Group at 818.784.2700, or contact us online. We offer free initial consultations, and our office is conveniently accessible from all major freeways in the Los Angeles area. Our office is open from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on weekdays, but we’re happy to meet with you after hours or on weekends if needed.


Marijuana FAQ

Marijuana FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions About Marijuana Law in California

Knowledgeable Los Angeles Attorneys Provide Thorough Answers to Your Questions

Laws and regulations related to medical marijuana are constantly changing, and our Los Angeles legal team stays on top of the latest changes and trends so we can best serve our clients. This is a complex area of the law, and you need a lawyer who completely understands your rights and options. We’ve assembled answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we hear from our clients. If you have further questions, we invite you to immediately meet with a member of the Shevin Law Group team.

Common Questions about Marijuana Legal Issues

Is marijuana legal for adults in California?

Yes!  On November 9, 2016, following the passage of Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) became law.  Under AUMA, adults 21 and older may legally possess and give away up to 1 ounce of cannabis flower and up to 4 grams of concentrated cannabis.  Adults may also cultivate 6 mature plants on their property which cannot be denied by local authorities.  Beginning in 2018, state licenses will be issued to businesses for cultivation, extraction, distribution, transportation, testing and retail sales.  


Is medical marijuana legal in California?

No! This is the single biggest misconception in the world of medical marijuana law in California. Marijuana is NOT legal. Presently, medical marijuana laws only provide defenses to criminal prosecution. This means that law enforcement can arrest you, confiscate your property, incarcerate you, and give your case to the District Attorney for prosecution if you possess over an ounce of marijuana (see below). At this point you have to bail out of jail and prepare to fight your case. Our skilled criminal attorneys can get between you and a criminal prosecution. If the DA does choose to prosecute you, then it is your burden to prove that you have a legal defense as a qualified patient. If you encounter a problem, the first thing you should do is call an attorney who specializes in these issues.

Did the medical marijuana laws in California change following the passage of MCRSA?

Yes! California's state legislature recently passed the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MCRSA) which will provide for a state regulated licensing scheme for medical marijuana beginning in 2018.  While the vast majority of the new rules under MCRSA are expected in 2018, the rules effecting cultivation of medical cannabis for personal medical use have already changed.  Under Health & Safety Code 11362.777g, qualified patients may now cultivate up to 100 sq. ft. of plant canopy per premise and may additionally cultivate up to an additional 100 sq. ft for each patient that has designated the grower as their primary caregiver, up to a total of 500 sq. ft. per premise.  Unlike with AUMA, local authorities may prevent medical cultivation through local regulations. Obtaining a County-issued Medical Marijuana Identification Card is the best way for a qualified patient to secure his primary caregiver status in order to cultivate for other patients.


What is a Medical Marijuana Identification Card and how can it help me?

A medical marijuana county-issued identification card (MMIC) identifies qualified patients authorized by the State to use marijuana for medical purposes, pursuant to California’s medical marijuana statutes, the Compassionate Use Act and the Medical Marijuana Program Act. Qualified patients who have obtained a county-issued identification card may not be arrested by police or law enforcement for possessing marijuana, provided that they have less than 8 oz. with them at any given time. This is an added layer of protection over and above a doctor's recommendation, which provides only an affirmative defense from legal prosecution.  Additionally, individuals may obtain a MMIC card to establish their status as a designated primary caregiver thereby allowing the individual to possess, purchase and cultivate on behalf of up to 9 qualified medical marijuana patients.


How do I apply for an MMIC?

Although you do need the input of a physician to receive an MMIC, you must apply for one through your county's Department of Public Health. Your doctor must affirm your need for medical marijuana.


Is my personal information in a state database?

Yes and no. The state does maintain a Medical Marijuana Application System, but it does not keep records of your name, Social Security number or address. The only data kept are your unique ID number and the validity of your card. No employers can access this information.


What amount of processed marijuana can I have in my possession for both Medical and Recreational?

In California, medical marijuana patients may possess any amount of marijuana that is reasonably related to the patient’s medical use, but the burden is on the patient to demonstrate the necessity of the amount possessed. Patient’s with an MMIC are immune from arrest if they possess no more than 8 oz. he Following the passage of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, adults 21 and over may legally possess and give away up to 1 ounce of cannabis flower and up to 4 grams of concentrated cannabis.


Is there a fee for applying for an MMIC?

Most counties in California require an application fee during this process. In Los Angeles County, this fee is $153. Those who qualify for Medi-Cal may receive a discounted application fee rate of $75. Approval for an MMIC may take up to 35 days.


How many marijuana-attributed overdose deaths have there been in history?