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Whitney Hodges is a partner in the Real Estate, Land Use and Natural Resources Practice Group in the firm's San Diego office and leader of the firm’s Cannabis Industry Team

In Granny Purps v. County of Santa Cruz, the Sixth District Court of Appeal green-lit a medical cannabis cultivator’s ability to pursue damages – to the tune of potentially $3.5M – from the County of Santa Cruz when it determined the County cannot rely on zoning ordinance to seize the cultivator’s plants grown in violation of local regulation. Specifically, the Sixth District found that, while the County is not compelled to return seized property if the property is illegal, the local ordinance at issue “ultimately regulates land use within the County; it does not (nor could it) render illegal a substance that is legal under state law.”
Continue Reading County Zoning Ordinance Cannot be Used to Justify Cannabis Plant Seizure

The viability of California’s cannabis delivery businesses continues to hang in the balance as trial in the landmark litigation between the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) and over two dozen local municipalities was postponed at the eleventh hour. In her tentative ruling, issued the afternoon before the much-anticipated bench trial in County of Santa Cruz v. BCC (County of Fresno Super Court, Case No. 19CECG01224), Judge Rosemary McGuire questioned the ripeness of certain municipalities claims challenging implementation of California Code of Regulations, Title 16, section 5416(d) (Regulation 5416(d)), which allows delivery of cannabis to any jurisdiction within the state.
Continue Reading Long-Awaited Trial in Cannabis Delivery Litigation is Again Postponed Until November

As the novel coronavirus (COVID or COVID-19) continues to ravage the United States, the cannabis industry is feeling the pandemic’s negative impacts despite an initial spike in sales after cannabis operations were deemed essential under various state “stay-at-home” orders.[1]  This article details the most recent state-level responses activated in California and Illinois.
Continue Reading COVID-19’s Continued Impacts on Cannabis Operators

In an effort to stem the tide of COVID-19 transmission, many state and local governments have enacted “shelter-in-place” or “stay-at-home” orders to protect the health and well-being of citizens, and
Continue Reading Continued Cannabis Operation Deemed “Essential” In Many COVID-19 Stay-at-Home Orders

The California Legislature has passed Assembly Bill 1482 – Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (“AB 1482”), providing for comprehensive statewide residential rent control and eviction protections.  Signed by
Continue Reading Tenant Protection Act of 2019 May Have Unintended Consequences in the Cannabis Space

California has positioned itself as a leader on emerging cannabis policy. While federal law still prohibits cannabis-related activities within the State’s borders, several largely progressive laws in California permit the
Continue Reading Cannabis Regulation is the New Frontier in Real Estate and Land Use Control