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Even Whoopi Goldberg Isn’t Exempt From Cannabis Industry Challenges

Mar 06 2020, by Jessica McElfresh in Marijuana Business, Marijuana Business

California’s rocky transition from medical to adult use cannabis is taking its toll. Companies that once thrived under the medical use rules are now shutting their doors as they face new licensing and packaging requirements.

One of the highest profile cannabis companies to recently go under is Whoopi & Maya, a joint venture between Om Edibles founder Maya Elisabeth and Hollywood star Whoopi Goldberg.

California cannabis businesses need to navigate a complex regulatory environment. State licensing, local permitting, and compliance can be a challenge to cannabis businesses of any size. At McElfresh Law, our goal is to provide sound legal advice and vigorous advocacy that can help your business grow.

To schedule a consultation with a California cannabis business lawyer, call (858) 756-7107 today.

Compliance Issues Bring Down Established Cannabis Businesses

In 2016, Whoopi & Maya set out to offer medical cannabis products geared toward the relief of menstrual pain. This niche market was largely overlooked by other players in the industry, and Goldberg’s notoriety helped their products gain wide recognition. For a time, the company operated profitably and legally under the medical cannabis rules in California.

With the passage of Proposition 64, which legalized cannabis sales to all adults over 21 years of age, California completely overhauled the rules and regulations for cannabis businesses. Some businesses like Whoopi & Maya were unable to remain profitable while adapting to the new rules, which require all products to be distributed in tamper evident, child resistant, resealable, opaque, and appropriately labeled packages.

In an interview with CNN, Whoopi & Maya board member Rick Cusick reported that they were “jumping through hoops like every other company in California,” while fighting to remain cash-flow positive. They had to change their packaging twice to conform, incurring significant costs associated with the redesign–all while their products remained off store shelves.

Cusick also hinted that, in addition to these compliance issues, differences between Goldberg and Elisabeth’s visions brought down the company. “It became clear to everybody that Whoopi and Maya wanted a divorce,” Cusick told CNN. Since both women’s names were on the product, it was unclear how the company could proceed after their partnership ended.

A California Cannabis Business Lawyer Can Help

To succeed in the California cannabis industry, your business needs a plan to stay on top of the state’s constantly changing regulations. An experienced lawyer can help you remain in compliance with existing rules, and help anticipate future changes that may affect your business.

At McElfresh Law, we closely monitor any cannabis related legislation or regulations that may affect our clients’ interests.

A compliance issue can prevent you from selling your products, all while fighting a protracted legal battle. While our first goal is to help you avoid legal issues in the first place, if they do arise, we will defend your interests at every stage. Whether you are going through criminal, legal, or administrative proceedings, we can fight back and give your business a real chance.

McElfresh Law built its reputation on providing legal counsel that works for San Diego cannabis businesses. From obtaining your state license to applying for a local permit, you can rely on us to help you face your legal challenges so that you can focus on growing your business. If your business is ready to take control of its legal and compliance issues, call (858) 756-7107 today to schedule a consultation with Attorney Jessica McElfresh.