Sun, Feb 23, 2020

I’ve talked a lot about how to be a good citizen with Cannabis. Long before I was a Cannabis attorney, I was a Cannabis activist. And I often get asked how to be an activist without being in the public eye.

I believe this includes being a good citizen. Don’t drive intoxicated.

Don’t flaunt a lit joint in front of children. Don’t over consume. Be respectful and responsible. Every day that we show the world how normalized Cannabis use can be, is another opportunity for us to change the minds of those against its use.

Don’t conform to the stoner stereotype – let Cannabis conform to your lifestyle. Be smart, be respectful, and be happy.

The best way to be a Cannabis activist is to set an example of how normal and respectful Cannabis use can be. I regularly engage in conversations with non-users about the effects of alcohol, cigarettes, and other legal stimulants versus Cannabis. I explain the medical benefits of Cannabis and how THC and CBD literally save lives. I challenge their perception of industrial hemp and ask them to provide one good reason why our American farmers should not be able to produce hemp. When non-users hear these compelling points from a calm and rational advocate, they are more likely to be receptive and change their minds.

The best way to be a Cannabis activist is to set an example of how normal and respectful Cannabis use can be.

I’ve recently thought a lot about how being a Cannabis activist has changed a lot since I entered the Cannabis scene about a decade ago. Back then, Cannabis was not legalized for recreational use and most the public was not openly supportive of Cannabis legalization. The challenge was getting people to talk about this divisive issue without being labeled a stoner or drug seeker.

Now the challenges I face as a Cannabis attorney are related to getting courts and the state to catch up to the realities of Cannabis legalization. Some courts still refuse to recognize the legal status of Cannabis, which has drastic effects on legal issues and rulings. My challenge these days is not convincing people Cannabis should be legal; it’s getting our legal system to catch up with the times.

To that end, I know there’s still so much work to do in the Cannabis field and although the plant is now legal, we are far from enjoying the rights and benefits of other industries. Here our duty remains the same: Be a good Cannabis citizen and keep pushing for full Cannabis freedom.


My Cannabis company produces and processes Cannabis products. Lately sales have been slow, so I would like to hire a team of sales consultants to help generate sales. What should I be careful of during this process and do you have any recommendations?

It’s not uncommon for producers or processors to seek help during a period of slow sales. The Cannabis market can be difficult for producer/processors with the limited amount of retail Cannabis licenses.

Getting outside help or guidance on sales can be a useful tool.

However, be sure to utilize your outside help in a way that is compliant with Cannabis regulations. First of all, “consultants” are now under a microscope with the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board. A party who is deemed a “True Party of Interest” is required to pass a WSLCB investigation, including a criminal background check, residency requirements, and a financial investigation. After many actors in the Cannabis field were attempting to avoid “True Party of Interest” issues by creating “Consultant” contracts, the term “Consultants” are specifically regulated.

Under WAC 314-55-010 (5) “Consultant” means an expert who provides advice or services in a particular field, whether a fee is charged or not.

A consultant who is in receipt of, or has the right to receive, a percentage of the gross or net profit from the licensed business during any full or partial calendar or fiscal year, is a true party of interest and subject to the requirements of WAC 314-55-035.

A consultant who exercises any control over an applicant’s or licensee’s business operations is also subject to the requirements of WAC 314-55-035(4). This means that you cannot compensate consultants with a percentage of profits, and the consultants cannot exercise any control over the business operations. If you share profits or give them control over your business, you may be required to go through a WSLCB investigation.

Failure to do so may cause a cancellation of license upon the first offense under WAC 314-55-530. Additionally, you may be required to disclose your contracts with those consultants.