Real Property Law

Cal. Real. Prop. Journal 2020, VOL. 38, NO. 4

Cannabis, Politics, and Land Use

Julia Sylva

Julia Sylva has been a real estate/land use lawyer her entire career. She graduated from Loyola Law School, 1983, started as city attorney—where she drafted initiatives and ordinances regulating commercial cannabis—and is now in private practice. She is a former mayor and is very familiar with the politics-of-it-all. She is also an Adjunct Law Professor at Southwestern School of Law, Los Angeles, where she teaches Cannabis Law 101. Ms. Sylva also serves as a mediator and as an expert witness in real estate/land use and commercial cannabis disputes.*

Commercial cannabis activity and its regulation have evolved tremendously since America’s founding, especially during the last fifty years. This evolution affects the ways of producing, manufacturing, transporting, dispensing, and even ingesting cannabis. Cannabis has generated enormous business opportunities for states and cities, and investors and operators. The cannabis industry now boasts professional certifications and endless resources for research and development—including scholarly books and articles.

Commercial cannabis was legal in the United States until the 20th century. The federal government still deems cannabis illegal, though its regulation falls to local governments with state-by-state variation. Sometimes cannabis regulations conflict.

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