Author: North Bay Business Journal

Cannabis ignites Sonoma Co. industrial real estate; Marin office market slows

The call of Santa Rosa as a hub for legalized cannabis commerce is forcing longtime players in Sonoma County industrial real estate to adjust to the rush. “If you have a business and it is in zoning that allows for cannabis, you may not know if you can renew your lease,” said Shawn Johnson, managing partner of Santa Rosa-based Keegan & Coppin Co. Inc./Oncor International, the North Bay’s largest commercial real estate brokerage. “If you’re trying to buy a building, you may be competing with a cannabis buyer.” That’s affecting properties not even zoned for cannabis use, he said....

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Top California regulator to present at North Coast Cannabis Industry Conference May 9

The Business Journal will present its inaugural North Coast Cannabis Industry Conference Tuesday, May 9 with keynote speaker Lori Ajax, chief of the Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation. “Just as with our other industry conferences in wine, construction or health care, the inaugural North Coast Cannabis Industry Conference will focus on the business of this developing segment of the economy,” said Business Journal Publisher Brad Bollinger. “Farella, Braun + Martel brings extensive legal expertise to this new industry,” Bollinger said, “and, along with the Journal, is able to bring in other experts in finance, access to capital, municipal regulation...

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Sonoma County cannabis taxes on ballot could heighten competition

On March 7, Sonoma County voters decide whether to hit local cannabis businesses in unincorporated pockets of the county with annual tax up to 10 percent of revenue. Santa Rosa plans a similar tax, slated for vote in June. Cannabis growers and other operators who morph from illegal to legal operations and absorb tax burdens at local, state and federal levels will potentially see other operators who stay in black-market shadows gaining competitive advantages. Will they turn in competitors who shirk taxes? That sticky business conundrum looms over the fast-growing cannabis industry now that statewide voters pushed it out...

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Marin County Bans Nonmedical Cannabis Businesses

Still pondering how many medical marijuana dispensaries to approve, Marin County has banned non-medical cannabis business activities in unincorporated areas. Action comes in anticipation of Jan. 1, 2018, when recreational use of cannabis would be legal under Prop. 64 passed by voters in November. It authorizes the sale, regulation, taxation and growth of cannabis but requires local agencies to set up controls, in addition to state rules now being written. Marin cannabis dispensary reviews start Marin County, which is holding hearings now on where to allow medical cannabis dispensaries, did not want to leave the county position on recreational...

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Sonoma State University To Offer Medical Cannabis Course

By Cynthia Sweeney After about a year of discussions with a medical cannabis education organization, Sonoma State University will finally be offering its first course in medical cannabis in March. But don’t go thinking about changing majors yet. The one-day program for those in the health care industry will only cover the use of cannabis in medical care. Now that municipalities are putting rules into place regarding medical cannabis—as mandated by the state—doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other health care professionals are catching up on their education about the drug, which has been legal medicinally since 1996. Bridging the gap...

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Workplace cannabis: What employers and employees need to know

Since the passage of Proposition 64 making recreational cannabis legal in California, there has been some confusion among employers as to whether they are required to accommodate an employee’s use or possession of the drug. What should an employer do, for instance, if a new employee tests positive for cannabis? Since use of cannabis for medicinal purposes has been legal since 1996, what if a worker presents a doctor’s note for it? Are employees now allowed to smoke, vape or nibble cannabis edibles while at work? What if an accident occurs and an employee subsequently tests positive for cannabis?...

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Top cannabis legal expert shares ways to avoid startup pitfalls

The Business Journal asked about hot-button legal issues seen these days by the key cannabis expert at one of the first U.S. law firms with a team for the growing cannabis industry. In November, California voters approved the recreational use of cannabis for adults, starting in 2018 with new state and local governments weighing in on regulating the industry. Farella Braun + Martel partner Ryan Lowther is chair of the San Francisco-based firm’s cannabis industry practice. Will each jurisdiction be able to write their own rules for selling marijuana products or will a business just have to follow one...

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