When Can Cannabis Lawyers Help?

Stephen Andrews
13 Aug 2023

There are many instances in which cannabis-related activities such as using, selling or growing is highly criminalized and it may require the attention of a lawyer. The law can be especially hard in places where there is no state-level legalization. Beyond that, and now that the legal cannabis industry has taken hold, services from lawyers are also necessary for smooth running of business. Business owners increasingly seek legal assistance, either to set up a venture or to comply with regulators and stay operational.

The justice system has been busy in the last few years with sealing the records of people with eligible, usually non-violent, small cannabis offenses such as simple possession of marijuana. Legal states also set up special boards to review other, more serious offenses. Convicts under the old drug laws are able to petition courts and see for example if their sentence can be changed. Often this would require consulting and using the services of a cannabis lawyer. 

Cannabis lawyers can help in many other situations. Even with advancing state-level legalization, there are various limitations in place. For users it could be how much weed they can legally possess or where they can consume cannabis products. For retailers, it’s who they can sell weed to or what happens if they fail to meet some of the label and package requirements. So these are some of the many instances where a helping hand from a legal expert is more than welcome. 

When Lawyers Can Help?

Cannabis attorneys can help with various angles of defense. Prosecutors often try to make cases with drug users, even when the substance is as common as marijuana. There are numerous defenses to cannabis-related charges, so those charged do not have to immediately accept the harshest penalties. An experienced cannabis attorney can help a client develop a proper defense strategy and address the prosecution’s accusations. 

Some of the most common cases where a person is involved in cannabis offense are as seen below. 

Cannabis Sales

By law, you are not supposed to give weed to another person. Even situations where you sell only a few chunks of pot to a friend can have legal consequences. Bigger amounts of weed involved means more trouble, and it can carry the risk of people facing felony and misdemeanor. 

Cannabis possession

Simple possession charges can result in various penalties, including jail time, fines and having your driver’s license revoked. Even legal states have a limit on how much you can have on your person. Being caught with more than you are supposed to have on you may require the attention of a cannabis attorney. 

Cannabis growing

Cultivating marijuana for your personal use where it is not regulated by law can result in serious criminal charges. Even a relatively small amount of cannabis plants or just seeds can cause problems with authorities. 

Vehicle search

Traffic stops are common practice where police search your vehicle for illegal substances. Cannabis attorneys have the knowledge to determine if police officers have taken advantage of the search and seizure laws and whether the evidence has been obtained illegally. 

Minors caught with weed

Minors are not allowed to use or possess any kind of substance, including cannabis. It doesn’t matter if the state is legal or not. Cases with minors are often treated as criminal offenses, similarly like for adults but with the penalties usually less severe. 

How Cannabis Business Lawyers Can Assist? 

Criminal defendants who face cannabis-related charges are not the only ones who have rights that need to be protected. Cannabis businesses may also need a legal professional to act in their best interest. Legal businesses that abide by state laws should not fear federal prosecution, but there are many places in the business that need to be handled regarding state government rules and compliance. And this is the most common reason why businesses reach out for legal help. 

Setting up a business, whether it’s a dispensary, delivery service or a cannabis farm, requires compliance with a lot of regulations. Failure to meet any of the requirements can result in unwanted outcomes such as rejected application or revoking a work license.

Business lawyers can help with various aspects of maintaining the business, including business structuring, licensing, real estate issues, transactional agreements, tax and banking matters, and much more. 

Is There Interest for Cannabis among Legal Professionals?

With the start of legalization in Colorado and Washington D.C. more than a decade ago, marijuana laws have become a hot topic in law schools. Legalization actually opened the pathway for legal professionals to start to profile themselves as cannabis lawyers. 

Some view marijuana as the most difficult legal market and one of the most intriguing points for the legal profession in the nation’s history. It’s certainly something that requires knowledge and foundation in various aspects of the law, in particular business law, and profound understanding of difficult tax and criminal liability. So legal professionals who focus on cannabis are trained, or it’s good to be trained in this multi-faceted way. And fortunately today we have them in much bigger numbers to support the sector as it transitions from an illegal underground market into a legal and fully-regulated industry. 

Also read on Soft Secrets:

- Who's California Top Cannabis Attorney?

- American Teacher Jailed in Russia for Cannabis Smuggling

- Clint Eastwood Wins Multi-million Lawsuit over CBD Scam Content 

Stephen Andrews