Cannabis legalization has become widespread in the United States, with 11 states and Washington DC allowing its adult use.
Even further, 33 states approved medical marijuana – something which is groundbreaking for everyone.
Many different news agencies reporting on legalizations, but there is a level of unreported dilemma.
If you ask top criminal attorneys in Los Angeles, they will tell you how much federal laws clash with state laws.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a cannabis cultivator or a dispensary, some laws could give you problems.
Which marijuana sales laws are there? Which ones could put you in trouble? What should you do if you get under arrest? In this guide, we’ll help you move around the many legal conflicts about cannabis sales.
Understanding Marijuana Sales Laws
When it comes to marijuana sales laws, there are a few ironclad rules on the state level that Federal law leaves to states to handle.
These areas are common across many states. They tend to differ on some statutes, which depends if the state allows recreational use or medical use only.
Here are some of these details for these vital marijuana sales laws.
First, all states need the consumer to be at least 21 years of age. This information is verified via a government-issued non-expired ID card, which can either be:
- a passport
- a driver’s license
- a social security card
Anyone below this age is not a legal customer and should not be a patron.
If you are a cannabis cultivator, you need to have a valid legal license to manufacture, repack, and sell cannabis products.
The license is non-transferable, but there are legal issues that we need to address.
We’re talking about the conflicts between state and legal laws. Top criminal defense attorneys in Los Angeles will tell you that the rift is alive and well.
Even if California’s Proposition 215 legalized selling cannabis with proper licenses, for example, problems still exist on the federal level.
The federal law still sees marijuana as a Schedule 1 prohibited drug. They don’t see any medical value to it, and it has a high rate of abuse among users.
The Justice department still performs raids on the property, even for cannabis cultivators who are working towards a CEQA permit.
Even after 2016’s Proposition 64 in California legalized adult-use marijuana, raids still happen after legalization.
Criminal Penalties for Violating Marijuana Laws
Now that you know the law, we need to understand the punishments involved in the illegal sale of marijuana.
Under Health and Safety codes like 11360 HS, it prohibits the sale of any cannabis product without a license.
Any unlicensed sales of marijuana will result in a misdemeanor, with jail time of at least 6 months and a minimum fine of $1000.
California laws allow individuals 21 and above to grow and cultivate up to six plants’ worth of cannabis. Cultivating more than six plants will result in a misdemeanor charge as well.
As an extension, anyone who sells to minors will also receive harsher punishments.
If your business sells or has multiple counts of cannabis sales, the misdemeanor charge levels up to a felony charge.
A felony violation can land you up to four years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.
Anybody who gets a felony charge in California as well would need to disclose these details in their place of work.
Remember that in any state, the Controlled Substances Act or CSA still overrides local state laws.
They are unlikely to try and catch you if you have a legal license on the state level, however. The focus of much efforts from law enforcement goes into looking for big-time traffickers.
Selling on federal property can also get you into trouble. As long as you don’t sell without a license, a cannabis cultivator should be good to go without repercussions.
Remember that the simple act of transporting marijuana for the purpose of sale can also put you into trouble.
You Get An Arrest For Selling Marijuana. What Should You Do Next?
Let’s say you received an arrest, and the police sacked you. What’s next for you?
For starters, you want to make a plausible defense for yourself. You know you’re innocent, so don’t apologize, say sorry or admit to anything. Some legal defenses include:
- You don’t know about the marijuana they found
- You are a primary caregiver giving medical marijuana
- You were giving it away
- You were transporting it but not for sale
- The search and seizure was illegal
- The police were performing entrapment procedures
As long as you have the top criminal attorneys in Los Angeles by your side, you should not have much of a problem.
People who receive accusations for violating marijuana laws are strongly advised to hire a LA criminal defense attorney.
How Top Criminal Defense Attorneys in Los Angeles Can Help a Cannabis Cultivator
When it comes to cannabis sale, federal and state laws are in heavy conflict with each other.
While the federal government tends to steer clear of states that legalized marijuana, you might still experience unlawful arrest.
A cannabis cultivator might have such a problem, and you should address it as soon as possible.
Hire the top criminal defense attorneys in Los Angeles. Ask for advice to get you out of a pickle or how to avoid getting into one.