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The Problem with Legal Weed Getting Californian Dogs High

California dogs are increasingly getting high. While this may sound harmless or even amusing at first, it’s imperative that pet owners become aware of the dangers associated with marijuana exposure to animals, so that beloved fur family members can be kept out of harm’s way. As territory across the country allowing the legal use of […]

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Dazed-dog-300x208California dogs are increasingly getting high. While this may sound harmless or even amusing at first, it’s imperative that pet owners become aware of the dangers associated with marijuana exposure to animals, so that beloved fur family members can be kept out of harm’s way.

As territory across the country allowing the legal use of marijuana has quickly grown – currently, medical marijuana is legal in 33 states, recreational marijuana in 11, and the District of Columbia permits both varieties – it should come as little surprise that more and more pets are inadvertently becoming exposed to cannabis too.

Interestingly, a correlation exists between states legally allowing the use of marijuana, and the rate at which pets in those states are ingesting the drug. This year the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center reported a significant rise in the number of inquiries it received regarding animal ingestion of cannabis. So much so that in the earlier part of 2019, the APCC saw a 765 percent increase in calls on how to treat cannabis ingestion in pets, when compared to the same period in 2018.

In California, vets are also noting a change in the potency of the drugs dogs have been consuming. They tell us that since the introduction of medical grade marijuana across two thirds of the country, canines are increasingly arriving at veterinary clinics requiring treatment for heavier cannabis toxicities.

So How Are Pets Getting High?

We know that dogs love to eat just about anything. And this includes ingesting marijuana in the way of the remainder of a discarded joint, or by gobbling up an unsuspecting owner’s ganga stash. Both within private homes, and out in public parks or on the streets. Knowing too that dogs are attracted to all things particularly pungent, vets even note canines coming in high after probably ingesting human feces tainted with marijuana.

While cats are less likely to eat dried marijuana, some do like to chew on plants. And this can become problematic for cat owners who either themselves, or have neighbors nearby, growing their own cannabis where a kitty might like to roam.

What Telltale Signs Indicate A Pet is Stoned?

Vets tell us the following symptoms can indicate marijuana toxicity in animals:

  • Wobbly movements – similar to those exhibited by an intoxicated person;
  • Dribbling urine – or unusual lack of bladder control;
  • Looking dazed or having a glazed look in their eyes;
  • Lower body temperature; and
  • Increased nervousness or anxiety.

What Makes Marijuana Dangerous to Animals?

Even though marijuana is a natural drug, it is no friend to pets, and should be kept away from them. There is nothing about cannabis itself that can specifically kill or cause organ failure, but the drug can sedate an animal so fully that they may inhale their own vomit, which can be deadly. An additional point of concern lies in the type of ingredients often found in edible marijuana-infused food products – those being butter and dark chocolate. Both of which are toxic to dogs. To be on the safe side, vets advise pet owners who see any kind of unusual signs or symptoms listed above in their pets, to take a trip straight to the vet for an assessment.

How Do Vets Treat Animals Who Are Stoned?

Once a vet determines that marijuana toxicity is the cause of a dog’s state, to help remove marijuana from the dog’s system, a vet will either:

  • Induce vomiting;
  • Pump the dog’s stomach; or
  • Give the dog activated charcoal.

In terms of recovery time, it usually takes up to 24 hours for a pet to return to its normal state. Obviously this timeframe may vary, depending largely on the size of the pet, as well as the amount and strength of the cannabis consumed.

Need Legal Help For Cannabis Possession?

Our Southern California marijuana defense lawyers can help answer any questions you may have.

The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers dispensaries, ancillary companies, patients and those facing criminal marijuana charges. Call us at 714-937-2050.

Additional resources:
ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center

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California cannabis attorney

Expectations for California Cannabis Law in 2021

Trying to predict the California cannabis market was problematic even prior to an international pandemic that threw everything off course. Part of it is that this is the largest legal marijuana market in the world. Part of it is that it’s so new, being legalized for adult recreational use just three years ago. And part […]

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Trying to predict the California cannabis market was problematic even prior to an international pandemic that threw everything off course. Part of it is that this is the largest legal marijuana market in the world. Part of it is that it’s so new, being legalized for adult recreational use just three years ago. And part of it is the industry’s ongoing and fierce competition with a huge illegal market – all while the drug is considered illegal and highly addictive by the federal government.marijuana business lawyer

That said, our Los Angeles marijuana business lawyers have been fierce defenders of those involved in cultivating, manufacturing, selling, using, prescribing and advertising marijuana for more than a decade. We have become deft at examining the trends as we advise our clients, many of whom were better off than some other businesses due to their designation by the state as “essential.”

In looking at the year ahead, our marijuana lawyers see a handful of factors that will likely impact the future of the industry and the clients we serve.

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California cannabis attorney

California Proposes Regulations for Appellations of Origin for Cannabis

Regulations were proposed by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) last month, suggesting that appellations of origin are established for cannabis. As such, February 20 marked the beginning of the 45-day period required by Californian law, where the public can submit any comments it may have on the matter. The CDFA has continued […]

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Los Angeles marijuana tax lawyerRegulations were proposed by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) last month, suggesting that appellations of origin are established for cannabis. As such, February 20 marked the beginning of the 45-day period required by Californian law, where the public can submit any comments it may have on the matter. The CDFA has continued to welcome and encourage all interested to submit their thoughts. The deadline to do so is April 6, 2020.

Background
Under Section 26063 of the Business and Professions Code, The Medical and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA), requires that the CDFA Cultivation Licensing Division, also known as CalCannabis:

  • Forms standards that allow licensed cannabis growers to elect a county of origin for their cannabis; and
  • Establishes a process that licensed cannabis growers can use to establish appellations.

The department has until January 1, 2021 to form the process of appellations of origin. In order to meet this statutory obligation and to fulfill MAUCRSA mandated responsibilities, the department has created what is now know as, the Cannabis Appellations Program (CAP).

Back in 2018, to kick start the gathering of input and feedback from industry stakeholders, the CDFA hosted six public participation sessions right across the state. During each session, the members of the public were given time to contribute their thoughts. And as CAP has continued to develop, the department has also kept lines open with industry experts and associates, throughout.

What is an appellation of origin?
An appellation of origin is a description that both distinguishes and protects the place in which a product originated, as well as the process by which that product was made.

There are two major aims of the CDFA’s Cannabis Appellations Program:

  • To promote cannabis products and local businesses within a particular region; and
  • To improve overall consumer confidence, achieved via offering assurances related to a cannabis’ specific traits, quality and place of origin.

Once complete, the process should clearly outline all practices, standards and specific cannabis varieties produced by selective breeding in select areas of California.

What changes are being proposed?
Within Title 3 of the California Code of Regulations, the CDFA has suggested the state amends Chapter 1 and adopts Chapter 2. These changes aim to establish a protocol for creating cannabis appellations of origin, as well as add clarity for cultivators on how they can use the county of origin to help promote their products.

Our Orange County marijuana business lawyers also encourage anyone within the cannabis community to share their comments on the proposed regulations. They can do so either:

  • Via email to CDFA.CalCannabis_Appellations@cdfa.ca.gov;
  • Verbally or in writing during the public hearing Tuesday, April14, 2020 from 1-3pm at 1220 N Street, Sacramento, CA, in the CDFA Auditorium; or
  • By mail to the California Department of Food and Agriculture, Attn: Kristi Armstrong, CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing, Proposed Appellations Regulations, P.O. Box 942871, Sacramento, CA, 94271.

Implications
Following concern surrounding product safety that emerged amid the vaping crisis last summer, consumers have rightfully become increasingly concerned about product quality. By establishing a process within the system that clearly signals to consumers where cannabis is grown, and how it was cultivated in any one particular area, will certainly bring an added level of consumer confidence. Initiatives such as these are big positives for licensed cannabis growers and sellers across the board.

The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, ancillary companies, patients, doctors and those facing marijuana charges. Call us at 714-937-2050.

Additional Resources:
The Medical and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act

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California cannabis attorney

California Allows Cannabis Donations to Qualified Medical Patients & Caregivers

As of March 1, 2020, California has allowed qualified medical marijuana patients and primary caregivers to receive free cannabis, donated by retailers. This welcomed update arose after the passing of Senate Bill 34, which is also responsible for exempting donated cannabis items from cultivation, sales and use, and excise taxes. The bill states licensed growers, […]

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medical marijuana attorneyAs of March 1, 2020, California has allowed qualified medical marijuana patients and primary caregivers to receive free cannabis, donated by retailers. This welcomed update arose after the passing of Senate Bill 34, which is also responsible for exempting donated cannabis items from cultivation, sales and use, and excise taxes.

The bill states licensed growers, distributors, manufacturers, retailers and micro-businesses may allocate any already available inventory of cannabis and related marijuana products, for donation. Products set aside for donation can only be given by licensed retailers either directly to a medical patient, or to their primary caregiver.

Donation Requirements
Our Los Angeles marijuana attorneys note that all cannabis and related products allocated for donation, are required to meet state marijuana regulations and provisions outlined in MAUCRSA. Those include:

  • All donated marijuana products must travel within the licensed supply chain and meet all requirements surrounding cultivation, laboratory testing, distributing, manufacturing, and labeling and packaging, etc.
  • Cannabis products that fail to meet regulatory testing and compliance standards are not permitted for donation.
  • Donated marijuana products may only be made to qualified medicinal patients, and may only be donated by licensees permitted for retail sales, or non-profit organizations working directly with such licensed retailers.

Additionally, any licensee allocating items for donation must record each allocation within the Track-and-Trace system, as well as on sales receipts and invoices. Once a donation designation has been made, it cannot be changed. Any licensee that does try to change a donation allocation will have to pay sales and use taxes, and may also suffer disciplinary action. Manufacturers wishing to donate cannabis products must also label products “FOR MEDICINAL USE ONLY.”

Retailer Requirements
Section 11362.7 of the Health and Safety Code states that retailers can only donate cannabis and related products to medical marijuana patients, or their primary caregivers, who possess a valid medical marijuana  ID card, or recommendation from an attending physician.

Should a medicinal patient not hold a valid ID card, before donating any marijuana, the retailer must first:

  • Verify the attending physician recommending the medical marijuana therapy is licensed, and in good standing, to practice osteopathy or medicine within the state of California. This must be verified with:
    • The Medical Board of California;
    • The Osteopathic Medical Board of California; and
    • The California Board of Podiatric Medicine.
  • Take a copy of a government issued identification for the patient or primary caregiver; and
  • Provide a written certificate stating the retailer has verified a physician’s medicinal marijuana recommendation, accordingly.

Daily Purchase and Possession Limits
The Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) has clearly outlined daily purchase (Section 5409) and possession limits (Section 11362.77) within the Health and Safety Code. It is important to note that these limits still apply, both to patients and caregivers who may be receiving, or carrying, donated medicinal marijuana.

Implications
Making marijuana donations to medical patients, and their caregivers, shows the industry’s compassion for those most in need. Offering cannabis business owners and operators tax incentives to get on board also helps to sweeten the act of donating. What will be interesting to watch is whether it will prove too cumbersome for retailers to jump through the hoops needed to get sign off to donate to those without a valid medical marijuana ID card, or whether they will do so gladly.

The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, ancillary companies, patients, doctors and those facing marijuana charges. Call us at 714-937-2050.

Additional Resources:
Senate Bill 34
The Medical and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act
Bureau of Cannabis Control – Health & Safety Code

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