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California Appellate Court Rules “Concentrated Cannabis” Counts As Marijuana Under The Compassionate Use Act

Law Office of Amy Chapman

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Earlier last year in December, a California appellate court reversed a lower court’s decision holding that concentrated cannabis was not considered “marijuana” under the Compassionate Use Act of 1996. According to one local news source out of Sacramento, the appellate court determined that “marijuana” under the Act included all parts of the cannabis plant, including oils derived thereof.

The facts that gave rise to the case are as follows: A man’s probation was revoked after he was found to be in possession of concentrated cannabis in the form of “honey oil” and “dabs.” While the probation officer revoked the man’s probation, he did so under a very general term, concluding that the man “failed to obey all laws.” The man attempted to make a defense based on the Compassionate Use Act, but the judge prevented him from doing so, holding that concentrated cannabis was not covered under the Act.

The judge revoked the man’s sentence of probation and ordered him to start a new sentence of probation, effectively extending the amount of time he was to be supervised by two years. The man appealed, and the judge suspended his sentence until the conclusion of the appeal.

The Case on Appeal

The appellate court disagreed with the lower court and reversed its decision. The court noted that the man was legally prescribed to possess and use marijuana for migraine headaches and acid reflux. The court then narrowed the issue down to whether the concentrated cannabis the man possessed was covered under the Compassionate Use Act.

The court determined that it was, noting that the Act does not explicitly define what is to be included in the term “marijuana.” Therefore, the court had to look elsewhere for a definition under California law, and it found one defining marijuana as “all parts of the plant Cannabis sativa L.,whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of the plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant, its seeds or resin.”

The appellate court then reversed the decision of the lower court and ordered that the case be heard again under its interpretation of the statute. The likely result is that the man will not be found to have been in violation of his probation sentence.

Have You Been Charged with a Marijuana Offense?

If you have recently been charged with a marijuana offense in Sonoma County, you should seek the counsel of a dedicated marijuana defense attorney to help you fight the charges. Attorney Amy Chapman has years of experience litigating, researching, and successfully defending against all different kinds of marijuana cases, ranging from mere possession to large-scale distribution. To speak with her about your case, call 707-636-3207 to set up a free initial consultation to discuss your case and what you can do to defend against the charges you are facing.


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