Category Archives: Case Law

Physicians’ First Amendment right to recommend cannabis

medical marijuana dispensaryConant v. Walters: Physicians have a First Amendment right to discuss cannabis with patients — not to help them obtain it.

The order enjoins the federal government from either revoking a physician’s license to prescribe controlled substances or conducting an investigation of a physician that might lead to such revocation, where the basis for the government’s action is solely the physician’s professional “recommendation” of the use of medical marijuana.  Continue reading Physicians’ First Amendment right to recommend cannabis

Luna: Hash oil manufacturing case needs all components

People v Luna: “while the [chemical extraction] manufacturing process need not be complete, it must at least be started.”

“[W]hile the [solvent extraction] manufacturing process need not be complete, it must at least be started.” … “At the time appellant was arrested, he had no ability to begin manufacturing hashish, which expert opinion established is an instantaneous as opposed to an incremental process. In order to begin manufacturing hashish, appellant still had numerous steps to accomplish, including assembling the components of the manufacturing device… ”  Continue reading Luna: Hash oil manufacturing case needs all components

SB 420: Patient collectives get defense for sales

People v. Urziceanu: While Prop 215 did not protect collective medical marijuana gardens or sales, SB420 HS 11362.775 did (ending in 2019).

NOTICE: The California Legislature voted to terminate the legal defenses for Collective gardens and sales in January 2019 via AB 266 (MMRSA / MCRSA) 

“As we shall demonstrate, the [Prop. 215] Compassionate Use Act, alone, does not authorize collective growing and distribution of marijuana by a group of qualified patients and caregivers.” .. “This new law [HS11362.775] represents a dramatic change in the prohibitions on the use, distribution, and cultivation of marijuana for persons who are qualified patients or primary caregivers and fits the defense defendant attempted to present at trial. Its specific itemization of the marijuana sales law indicates it contemplates the formation and operation of medicinal marijuana cooperatives that would receive reimbursement for marijuana and the services provided in conjunction with the provision of that marijuana. ” Continue reading SB 420: Patient collectives get defense for sales

Medical marijuana collective and extraction defenses

SB 420 / Senate Bill 420 Cannabis collective defense;
AB266 / 243 Collective defense ends in 2019

SB 2679 Interim extraction licenses through 2019

Summary: In 2003 the California legislature (SB420) created a limited collective defense allowing patients to grow, furnish or sell medical marijuana to one another in HS 11362.775. In 2015, it amended the program (AB243), creating a legal licensing scheme and terminating that defense effective in 2019.

In 2008 the courts (People v Bergen) ruled that this defense does not apply to the use of chemical extraction in HS 11379. In 2016, the legislature (AB2679) amended to HS11362.775, adding a provision to allow local governments to license collectives to make chemical extracts.

Continue reading Medical marijuana collective and extraction defenses

BHO and chemical extraction of cannabinoids / concentrates

People v. Bergen: Medical use is not a defense against charge, use of chemical extraction to manufacture a controlled substance

Note: Because marijuana and extracts are in the controlled substance list, because the HS 11379.6(a) chemical extraction ban is a general intent offense and because the medical marijuana laws do not list a specific protection from the chemical extraction charge, there was no defense. In 2015 the legislature passed the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act creating a dual state and local license for this activity.

“We conclude that when, as here, the method used to extract the marijuana resin was by means of a chemical such as butane, section 11379.6(a) applies over the more general statute punishing marijuana cultivation, harvesting or processing.” Continue reading BHO and chemical extraction of cannabinoids / concentrates

Medical marijuana optional during probation

People v Tilehkooh

Qualified medical use is allowed during probation: “The people of California and a growing number of other states have recently enacted compassionate use laws. Congress should consider the wisdom of accommodating the people of these states.” — Concurring opinion of Judge J. Morrison

Continue reading Medical marijuana optional during probation

Medical approvals may not expire

People v Windus

“[W]e see nothing in the statute that requires a patient to periodically renew a doctor’s recommendation regarding medical marijuana use. The statute does not provide, as the Attorney General asserts, that a recommendation “expires” after a certain period of time. As for Dr. Eidleman’s suggestion that appellant see him annually, there was no evidence appellant’s failure to do so invalidated the doctor’s medical marijuana recommendation.”

Continue reading Medical approvals may not expire

Local ordinances do not pre-empt medical immunity

Kirby v Fresno

“We conclude that the provision in the ordinance that classifies the cultivation of medical marijuana as a misdemeanor is preempted by California’s extensive statutory scheme addressing crimes, defenses and immunities relating to marijuana. Among other things, the attempt to criminalize possession and cultivation is not consistent with the obligation section 11362.71, subdivision (e) imposes on local officials not to arrest certain persons possessing or cultivating marijuana. ” 242Cal.App4th940

Continue reading Local ordinances do not pre-empt medical immunity

State laws do not shield patients from federal prosecution

Gonzalez v. Raich

The text of the 2005 US Supreme Court decision reversing the 2003 Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that the Interstate Commerce Clause of the US Constitution does not reach medical marijuana when it is cultivated and used within a state where it is legal and for purposes of non-commercial personal use.

More information on the Supreme Court decision Continue reading State laws do not shield patients from federal prosecution