Short bio: We are cannabis lawyers in Washington and Oregon at Gleam Law. We primarily practice business and intellectual property law with regards to marijuana. We help businesses form, comply, and thrive in the new cannabis industry. Our clients include farms, processors, retailers, dispensaries, and ancillary business such as publicly traded companies and international celebrities.

In the emerging cannabis system, regulatory bodies are struggling to grasp the subject matter. We also help the government offices interpret the laws in regards to the practical application and use of medical and recreational marijuana.

We are also long, long time lurkers, but first time posters.

Neil Juneja
I am the founder of Gleam Law and practice business and intellectual property law. I focus on trademark and patent law in cannabis.

Representative Roger Goodman
I am a 5 term Washington state representative and a long-time drug policy reform advocate.

Mike Herron
I am the managing attorney of the Oregon office and the primary corporate attorney.

Rachel Kurtz
I have been involved with drug policy reform for over fifteen years. I am also a policy wonk and help draft rules for the regulation of cannabis.

Ammon Ford
I am a clerk at the firm and a JD/MBA student. I started the Cannabis Law Society (CLAW) at Seattle University School of Law.

My Proof:

Edit: Just realized you guys annihilated our inbox. We will try to get to these in the future.

Edit2: We realize some of our replies are short. We apologize. There is so much more we want to articulate. We may be going back and trying to go more in-depth on some answers in the future. Reddit - You Rock!

Edit3: We're slowing down right now and have to do some legal work (although this is far more fun). We will continue answering questions at a slower pace for at least a week. There a couple of great questions we did not answer because they will take some time to answer properly. We intend to get to these as well. Upvote the questions you want answered sooner.

Comments: 1776 • Responses: 57  • Date: 

kupatel892 karma

I for some stupid reason read the title as Cannibal attorneys.. so I dont have any questions at the moment except.. how are you doing today?

GleamLaw1467 karma


goletasb309 karma

How are you advising clients with regard to trademark registration?

I practice IP law in California, and I have a client in the cannabis industry that is developing a brand and product lines. But with the USPTO not currently amenable to federal registrations for cannabis related G/S, we've had to get creative.

I'm curious to hear your strategies!

GleamLaw277 karma

Neil: This is very fact-specific, so it depends upon the mark and which classes of goods and services are used in commerce. It is also dependent upon which USPTO examiner is assigned to the application. I would be happy to discuss it with you over email or by phone for a more in-depth answer.

nymph_maniac237 karma

What are your thoughts on Toronto's current situation, where dozens of (illegal? legalish? apparently police don't care? thanks Trudeau?) dispensaries are opening all over the city and local politicians and police are becoming publicly concerned?

What do you think is the best way to move forward in this case, before the federal government hopefully presents new policy next spring? Simply regulate their location in regards to children's areas, as has been suggested?

Should we be concerned about further action due to the large number of people getting perceived 'easy' cannabis at clubs and dispensaries with the help of the club's doctors, or is that not a predicted problem?

GleamLaw235 karma

Ammon: Washington had a somewhat similar situation for many years. We passed medical marijuana back in 2011, but our Governor was worried about state employees being prosecuted as co-conspirators to produce and distribute a federally controlled substance. She sought guidance from the Federal government, who told her that yes, state employees could be charged with drug crimes if they participated in the licensing, regulating, inspection, and sale of marijuana. As a result, the Governor vetoed all portions of the law that would have regulated the industry.

What this left us with was an unregulated industry that had no quality control, no safety inspections, no required pesticide testing, no legal protection for patients, no significant state tax benefits, and no way of knowing about problems until after they were already serious problems. Regulation can be a burden, but a lot of regulations exist to protect consumers and ensure the long-term interests of the industry, but there is a right way and a wrong way.

Washington and Colorado have had our battles on how to effectively write our regulations, but at every step the state was invested in making this industry as strong as possible while also protecting patients and keeping federal law enforcement at bay.

Compare that to Montana's approach. They passed a ballot initiative by a majority vote of their populace legalizing medical marijuana. In response, the state legislature passed regulations so harsh that they effectively made it impossible for the industry to exist. It was clearly by design.

With any luck, Canada's (and Toronto's) leaders will take a more economically business friendly approach that balances the interests of the state, the country, the user, and the stakeholders.

GleamLaw55 karma

Neil: I do not know much about Canada's situation (outside of being jealous of your cool PM). Are you America's hat?

GleamLaw88 karma

Roger Goodman: Trudeau's election in Canada will help move the entire world toward legalization. His political machine is already moving Canada quickly toward a full-scale regulated market for all adults (only a federal medical market is in place now). There's already a lot of cross-border communication and cooperation here in Washington with British Columbia players. We have lots of contacts!

TheWanton123223 karma

What does the future look like for office drug testing in the states where it has been legalized? Can people looking to get a job still be penalized for using a recreational and legal substance?

GleamLaw323 karma

Neil: While it is federally illegal, an employer can still discriminate against cannabis users, even if it is permitted by state law.

PopeLeoX123 karma

What do you think the most difficult obstacle will be in making cannabis into a commodity that is comparable with alcohol in terms of ease of distribution and regulation?

GleamLaw180 karma

Neil: The current issue is that the agencies are trying to adapt alcohol regulation to cannabis. It is not an easy application for numerous reasons. Unlike alcohol, which is based upon one (-OH) group with predictable effects, we don't understand how or why different strains and different administration methods have different effects. Commodification is much more difficult with such a wide variation in the product/medicine.

SzaboZicon107 karma

Hello, Canadian here. I am a mid 30's average family man with a mortgage and a job in the health care field. I have been a cannabis reform supporter my entire life. I look at cannabis for what it is, its not perfect, it can be abused, but it can be so beneficial and is very under utilized.

People like you men (and women) are my heroes. My only question would be, do you know any Canadian counterparts?

Keep up the great work! Thanks so much on behalf of all reasonable people!

GleamLaw50 karma

Neil: Thanks, SzaboZicon! I do not know of our counterparts in Canada. If you meet some good ones, introduce us!

Xalibu298 karma

Do you see federal legalization for recreational or medical purposes on the horizon? If so what sort of timeline for it happening do you approximate?

Thanks for doing this.

GleamLaw145 karma

Neil: It is definitely coming. It will be determined by the next president. We have an inter-office betting pool on when it will occur. There are few bets on less than 12 months.

wolfbananabear49 karma

Ever get mistaken for cannibal attorneys?

GleamLaw96 karma

Including today?

holyfuckingtits36 karma

How does patenting strains work? Is that a possibility, or can you copyright a name for your strain?

GleamLaw58 karma

Neil: Technically it is possible. Plant patents have two main requirements: Novel and Non-obvious. The hurdle to overcome here is the obviousness rejection. Simply crossing two known strains is obvious. One would want to find a variation that is substantially different and not an obvious variation to already existing strains.

compaqle2202x11 karma

Could you get copyright protection on the DNA of a strain you created?

GleamLaw32 karma

Neil: Copyright law protects works of art. Patent law protects inventions - "anything under the sun that is made by man." Diamond v. Chakrabarty. A utility patent can protect genetic engineered strains. There are also plant patents and the PVPA (Plant Variety Protection Act).

GnomishProtozoa35 karma

Bulbasaur, Charmander, or Squirtle?

GleamLaw65 karma


excaliboor34 karma

Are you high right now? Be honest.

GleamLaw110 karma

Mike: Yes - 93' above sea level at the Portland office.

paradoxfish33 karma

Why did you decide to specifically deal with cannabis, as opposed to other subjects?

GleamLaw104 karma

Neil: I have always been interested in decriminalization, but I never thought I would see it in my lifetime. Then one of my clients opened up the first retail cannabis shop in Seattle (Cannabis City). It was the most exciting area of law to practice in because I was able to mold and influence whole area of law.

Roger:As pioneers in the world's first regulated cannabis market (along with Colorado), it is very exciting to blaze a new trail in this burgeoning industry. I've been a drug policy reformer for more than 15 years now and helped lay the groundwork for legalization here in Washington State, so the subject matter and policy questions come as second nature to me. Further - and more important - I want to make sure we do it right here in Washington, because we are literally setting an example for the whole world as to how the cannabis market should be regulated. As an attorney in the field, therefore, it is actually quite a responsibility - and certainly more fun than most legal practice, which would be drafting mind-numbing legal memoranda and racking up billable hours for some faceless corporation that rapes the land, exploits workers, etc.

Rachel: I went to law school for drug policy reform.

Ammon: I have never seen an area of law to take such a 180 - from putting children behind bars to regulation and taxation. This is the most exciting area to practice in.

LCalrissian26 karma

I've heard anecdotally that states are struggling with marijuana from the legal market being diverted to the black market, where it can be sold while avoiding taxes or regulation. Do you actually see this a lot in your business, and do you think it is a major unaddressed problem with legalization?

GleamLaw45 karma

Mike: Diversion into the black market is always a concern for legitimate cannabis business. What gets talked about less is the concern for diversion into the legal market from the black market. If you are going to break the law either way, which makes more sense: produce at a lower cost in an unregulated/unlicensed grow, and then try to sell for much higher prices into the regulated market, or produce at a much higher cost on the regulated market and sell at a much lower cost on the black market?

But to say either type of diversion is unaddressed is a vast understatement. The Department of Justice issued the Cole Memorandum in 2014, outlining the key factors any state's regulatory system needs to address in order for the DOJ to take a less "hands on" approach to enforcing federal drug laws in that state as they apply to marijuana. Oregon's regulatory framework was created with these factors in mind. Seed-to-sale tracking is an important element of that system, but it is not the be-all, end-all of anti-diversion measures. At some point a self-policing element will enter the industry and those who are set on operating a legitimate, law abiding business will have a lot of incentive to ensure their competition is playing by the same rules. Prices will also continue to drop in the regulated market, placing additional competitive pressure on black market operations, but we have to give these things time to work.

Neil: In WA and OR, there are traceability systems in place to track the plant from seed-to-sale. This mitigates some of the risks. My worry is that if we overtax and over-regulate it, closet grows will persist and undermine the new regulatory system. To use the alcohol system as an analogy, we do not see basement distilleries causing any major issues.

In addition, legal regulated marijuana provides some benefits that black market does not - proper testing, proper labeling showing cannabinoid content, proof that the product is made without harmful chemicals, and infused products created in sanitary conditions, to name a few.

Sweaty_thumbs24 karma

Have you ever thought about changing the company name to "Green Law?"

GleamLaw54 karma

Neil: No. From a trademark perspective, it lacks distinctiveness.

wallsis224 karma

Hi and thank you for doing this. There was a study recently done by some group on how hard it is to determine how much THC is in one's blood stream and how the effects of the THC vary from person to person. In your opinion, does this hinder or help the Canabis community, and what would the laws on the amounts look like in the future?

GleamLaw49 karma

Ammon: The difficulty of determining the THC content in the blood is coupled with the difficulty of determining how much THC renders the user "high," for different people it is different.

This comes into play most in drugged driving cases. Here in Washington, it is illegal to drive while under the influence or affected by an intoxicating substance. Statutorily, this is satisfied if the driver has a blood THC content of 5 nanograms per milliliter or greater. In order to determine this, the police need to take a blood sample at the station and then present that evidence in court.

These can be very difficult to beat, but we know trial lawyers who have successfully beat these cases by relying on the weak science. 5ng in the blood doesn't tell you when the driver smoked. It doesn't tell you whether they were high while driving. it doesn't tell you that they were impaired or affected by the drug. If there was no affect by the drug, then arguably the act was not illegal.

What does this mean the future of the industry? It means that the science will continue to get better and law enforcement will continue to get smarter. Hopefully, as everyone gets smarter we will also get safer.

If you are involved in a drugged-driving case in Washington or Oregon, let us know so we can refer you to an attorney who knows how to deal with these complex scientific loopholes in a trial setting.

Bill_Cosby_Rapist18 karma

Can I take a cannibus vape pen on a plane from CA to NV? I have a CA prescription. I don't plan on bringing it home with me on the return flight. Just wondering if it ok to take with me on the flight from CA or will law enforcement be waiting for me when I land in NV.

GleamLaw62 karma

Roger Goodman: You can certainly take a vape pen on a flight - but only WITHOUT the cannabis oil cartridge. Transporting cannabis in any form across state lines, as well as in airspace, is a federal crime. It is not likely that you will be federally prosecuted, especially for traveling between two cannabis-friendly states, but it's still illegal at this point. Your vape pen, if detected, would probably just be confiscated - but there's no guarantee...

Ammon: The vape pen itself is not illegal to transport across state lines because vape pens are not only used for cannabis, they're also used for tobacco products. If it were used only for cannabis then it would qualify as prohibited "paraphernalia" under the Controlled Substances Act. Your CA prescription will not apply in NV unless NV law specifically honors MMJ authorizations from other states. Since we do not currently practice in NV we cannot definitively say what NV law permits. The cannabis oil/wax/shatter inside it is the controlled substance that should not be transported across state lines. Doing so is a federal felony that could result in serious and long-lasting legal problems for you.

jimmydil14 karma

Thanks for the AMA, guys. I'm a fellow IP attorney here. My question is regarding ethical constraints on your work in this area.

While the sale and use of cannabis is legal in Oregon & Washington where you practice, it (of course) remains illegal under federal law. Do you have concerns about advocating for clients for what is an illegal (federally) activity? Have you worked with your states' ethical boards to define the parameters of your engagements in this regard?

GleamLaw38 karma

Mike: The Oregon Bar Association amended Rule of Professional Conduct 1.2 to allow an Oregon attorney to assist a client with Oregon's marijuana-related laws, but that we also have a duty to advise our clients where Oregon law conflicts with federal or tribal law.

DnBDeafNBlind14 karma

Did you hear about the "cheese" strain being trademarked by big Buddha? Thoughts?

GleamLaw10 karma

Neil: I have not. Do you have an application number?

not_a_droid14 karma

do y'all blaze? and can you come to TX and get mj decriminalized?

GleamLaw101 karma

Neil: We do not do drug testing at this firm.

CannaChef12 karma

I live in Seattle and had a part if my business (I travel to people's homes and teach cooking well as teach at ny apartment) as cannabis cooking classes. You learn the science of it, how to dose, how to infuse...etc. I never provide/sell the cannabis for class. Each student was told what to bring. There was no sharing and everyone took home all of their product/edibles at the end. There were some fairly recent changes to 502 apparently making my classes a possible felony on 2 counts concerning classes at my apartment being considered a "marijuana club" & possibly illegally processing cannabis because I don't have a license to srll edibles. I was told by my lawyer (who I think is a bit of a hack and didn't do his research) that I needed to stop immediately. I did as a precaution, but I couldn't get additional questions answered. Does this apply to people's private homes? Could I teach the same classes if I bought the cannabis to show the procedure but didn't share with anyone? Could people still bring their own if there was no consumption in class? This was becoming a large part if my biz & I got a lot if press for it, so I'd like to pen them back up again...but can't risk a felony. Thank you for being here today!

GleamLaw9 karma

Neil: This is really a complicated question. The felony statute was slipped into the budget bill HB2136 after a revision and most of the representatives didn't even know it was there. It was not drafted to directly apply to you. If you look at Section 1401, you may see that there is some gray area in the terms. I would like to refrain from making any legal opinion on this matter on a public forum.

idontgrowweed12 karma

Good morning! Will Washingtonians ever be able to grow weed for personal use?! Thanks;)

GleamLaw19 karma

Roger Goodman: I've always supported policy allowing personal home growing in small amounts, as it is now in Colorado, as a good way to take pressure off the black/gray market. Here in the Washington State Legislature, however, we face continual opposition from law enforcement, who want "certainty" in the law, which means no home growing at all right now (but we do allow small patient "co-ops"). We'll keep trying, though.

GleamLaw14 karma

Neil: This is a real problem. Currently, small medical grows are still permitted, although with some serious restrictions. Eventually, I believe it will be allowed when we can get the proper bill through the legislature (I'm looking at you, Roger).

fiveamtuesday12 karma

Who and how are dosage sizes determined and is that something that accounts nationally or just regionally?

GleamLaw11 karma

Neil: It is almost arbitrary. In Washington state, the dosage is 10mg, which is about right for most users. In Oregon, the dosage was just set at 5mg, which is probably a little low. We need more research into proper dosage sizes, which is difficult with the Controlled Substances Act.

Ammon: Dosages in Washington were determined by state law. A single dose is 10mg of THC. They determined this amount with the unwitting user in mind...they don't anybody to suffer through a Maureen Dowd incident.

There has been a lot of controversy over how they determined this dosage. Many, especially MMJ patients, take much more than 10mg. How your body processes it depends on many factors, including how often you use, your body chemistry, weight, etc. But for the average user, limiting the doses limits the risk of overconsumption.

GleamLaw3 karma

Mike: The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) determines dosage and concentration limits for both the medical and adult use markets in Oregon. As was mentioned, current edibles dose limits for the adult use market are set at 5mg, but the OHA is working on proposed changes to the rules that will increase those limits and others, should they be adopted.

postmodest12 karma

...Are you a cop?

But, seriously: Considering the seemingly-inevitable monopolization of the alcohol industry into four or five key players, and the inevitable lobbying / media juggernaut that creates: Is there a way to keep "Big Business" out of the Marijuana industry, or are we eventually going to see "Las Zetas--a division of Pfizer/InBev, presents 'Corona Dank'"?

GleamLaw21 karma

Mike: See my response above. I have also worked in the alcohol industry, and while the Bud/Miller/Coors oligarchy seems all powerful, it hasn't stopped smaller craft producers from starting and thriving. Big guys focus on big markets, which opens doors to provide for underserved constituencies, like people who like sour beers.

tri_wine9 karma

Hello! Oregon tax consultant here. There has been some fear in our industry that preparing marijuana tax returns could conceivably be considered aiding an illegal activity by the feds. Have you heard of this or seen any useful info one way or the other?


GleamLaw3 karma

Neil: 280(E) is the big one. Next, close association should be considered.

JiveTurkeyMFer9 karma

Can people with Christian beliefs fight Marijuana charges? In the bible there's a verse genesis 1:29 "Then God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you;"
Isn't a Marijuana arrest going against 1st amendment rights?

GleamLaw15 karma

Ammon: That would be a very interesting 1st Amendment Free Exercise of Religion case. You have a constitutional right to freely practice your religion, but that right is not absolute. The government may pass laws that limit religious practice only if that law is religiously neutral, applies generally to everyone, the government has a compelling purpose/interest for imposing the law, and the restrictions of that law are as narrow as feasibly possible to achieve that governmental purpose. If they satisfy this test then their reasoning only needs to be rational, even if you and I think it is BS.

Marijuana prohibition is not specific to any religion and applies uniformly to all people. Its purpose, to protect the public health from this "dangerous" drug, is legally rational even if it is factually wrong.

For comparison, take a look at the Supreme Court Case Employment Division v. Smith where the court held that the state could deny unemployment benefits to a person because they tested positive for smoking peyote, despite the fact that they only smoked peyote as part of a religious ceremony.

My best guess is that courts would extend this reasoning to include marijuana prohibition even if it infringed on your free exercise of religion.

Grandaddy258 karma

How do you feel about the federal govt and how they have basically not addressed this at all? Do you expect the govt to begin rescheduling before the next election? I have to assume its annoying working with current and state laws, while its still a schedule 1 narcotic according to the fed.

GleamLaw11 karma

Roger: Roger Goodman ([email protected]) I predict the wall of federal marijuana prohibition will come down in 2019 or 2020. Rachel and I helped form an international reform coalition, along with the British thinktank Transform (check out their website) about ten years ago called the "2020 Group" as we saw prohibition ending around then.

aManHasSaid7 karma

What is your expectation for the small growers when it's fully legal and Phillip Morris moves into the space?

GleamLaw21 karma

Neil: Most of our client's endgame is to sell their company to large corporations when legalization occurs. This is why solid trademark protection is key.

I do not believe that the cannabis industry is like the cigarette industry. It is much more analogous to alcohol. Even with large players, there are still numerous batch distilleries, small vineyards, and crafter brewers. We will see many small and local growers even after large business gets involved.

GleamLaw17 karma

Mike: I get torched often for this perspective, but small growers will see some tremendous benefits out of large players coming into the industry. Not least of which is an acceleration of the normalization of cannabis use in the U.S. Another advantage will be a much larger political presence in Washington D.C., allowing the industry to have a larger voice in how it will be regulated. This isn't to say there won't be downsides, but there will definitely be some big upsides for those who decide to stay in as craft producers.

ubert3k7 karma

Are you allowed to take a boat out and smoke a blunt on the water without repercussion?

GleamLaw15 karma

Roger Goodman: We have an "open container" law in Washington which disallows smoking cannabis or possessing an opened package in the passenger compartment (I sponsored that bill - sorry). However, it does NOT apply to boats, so it is permitted to use cannabis while boating - as long as law enforcement does not believe you are impaired - which can get tricky.

Neil: Also, it depends on which waterways you are on. The Coast Guard enforces federal law.

GrowContractorsORG7 karma


GleamLaw11 karma

Ammon: I don't think that the feds will start producing cannabis. It would be a very unusual thing for the federal government to become a market participant in an emerging industry. I'm not sure what they would have to gain from producing cannabis.

Even right now, the only federally licensed facility that produces cannabis is a private facility in Mississippi. The DEA will only allow their product to be used in medical trials and other studies. If there is any reason why the Feds need bud, they will probably continue this contractor model.

texlex4 karma

What sort of marketing activities do you do to generate leads for your law practice?

GleamLaw11 karma

Neil: I am often asked by new attorneys how to properly market one's practice. My advice is to do everything. Meet with other attorneys, create a blog, put up a website, do webinars, go to industry events, look into advertising, write articles, consider a reddit AMA, etc.

Practicing law and running a business are very separate skills. I personally put half of my day into practicing law and half of my day into running the business.

Char104 karma

How soon can we be expecting federal legalization?

GleamLaw8 karma

Roger: I predict the wall of federal marijuana prohibition will come down in 2019 or 2020. Rachel and I helped form an international reform coalition, along with the British thinktank Transform (check out their website) about ten years ago called the "2020 Group" as we saw prohibition ending around then.

SirOyik3 karma

I don't know if yiu know much about California Medical Law and Licensing, but do you know what it takes to become legally able to distribute? Is that DEA, ATF, or another agency? Thanks so much!

GleamLaw3 karma

Mike: Cannabis law in California is set to change dramatically over the next couple of years as new laws are implemented (MMRSA) and stilll others are decided by voters (AUMA). For now, local law controls. Look to your county or city ordinances for rules regulating marijuana business in that municipality. And as always, hire a good lawyer experienced in this area of law before you decide to put any money into starting an operation.

Ammon: The DEA and ATF are both federal agencies that are bound by federal law...meaning that they are not going to authorize anyone to produce or distribute marijuana for medical or recreational purposes because marijuana is defined by the federal Controlled Substances Act as 1) dangerous, 2) highly addictive, and 3) completely lacking in any accepted medical use.

State law may be more permissive depending on the state. California has a very robust MMJ industry, but since we do not currently practice in CA we cannot speak to the particulars.

Neil: We have one CA attorney at the firm but we are not yet experts on California marijuana law. Email me and I will give you some referral of excellent cannabis attorneys in your state.

GleamLaw1 karma

Ammon: The DEA and ATF are both federal agencies that are bound by federal law...meaning that they are not going to authorize anyone to produce or distribute marijuana for medical or recreational purposes because marijuana is defined by the federal Controlled Substances Act as 1) dangerous, 2) highly addictive, and 3) completely lacking in any accepted medical use.

State law may be more permissive depending on the state. California has a very robust MMJ industry, but since we do not currently practice in CA we cannot speak to the particulars.

F0rdPrefect3 karma

What do you know about Ohio's legalization efforts? With such overwhelming support for medical marijuana in Ohio and a good amount of support for complete legalization, do you see things moving forward soon?

Also, how would one go about getting involved in owning dispensaries and/or grow sites?

GleamLaw3 karma

Ammon: IMHO, Ohio would have legalized via ballot initiative if that initiative had not been bungled so badly. The main proponents wrote the law in such a way that it would only allow a few wealthy individuals to have a stake in the industry. This goes against the entire history of the legalization movement.

How to get involved? Check out industry organizations like NORML, NCIA, Women's Grow, and others. They have local chapters around the country that lobby and organize to keep progress moving in the right direction.

Fikes4772 karma

What do you think will happen to commercialized strains with intellectual property names such as "master yoda"?

Bonus question. How legally safe do you think it is to invest or work in this budding industry?

GleamLaw1 karma

Neil: This will depend on the particular strain name. "Master Yoda" will almost certainly be served by Disney for trademark infringement and/or dilution by tarnishment because it is a registered and famous trademark.

There is always some risk in trafficking and/or money laundering in a schedule one controlled substance. We currently believe that it is an acceptable risk. How you invest and what you invest will determine the level of risk.

spookydoom2 karma

Within the next 10 years, my buddy and I plan on opening a pot shop here in rural MT. assuming 10 years from now it'll be federally legal and a lot of the people who still thinks its the devils lettuce (rural MT is notoriously republican and filled with old school farmers) will have died out. What precautions, measures, services, etc should we be looking into even now to prepare for some sort of back lash from the community? I know its far out, but this is a very serious dream of ours and we want to be ready.

GleamLaw4 karma

Mike: This is a bit of an odd question, but I'll take a stab at an answer. If you want to avoid potential community backlash 10 years from now, then start today by being good, upstanding citizens in your community. Join non-profit organizations that are focused on building up your community. Spend freely of your time on these causes and contribute funds when you can. Run for local office. If you are in a business already, don't cheat your customers or vendors. Provide amazing customer service. Always follow the rules.

Being a good human today, and trying to continue to be a good human every day for the next 10 years and beyond, will probably go a long ways towards avoiding community outrage and backlash at your potential future endeavor. Good luck!

xProperlyBakedx2 karma

I'm a communications major in a non-legal state, my dream is to become involved with up and coming marijuana based companies in marketing or branding. What would be a good way to break into this industry?

GleamLaw4 karma

1) Join an industry (NORML, NCIA, there are literally hundreds to choose from).
2) Attend industry events and meet people. At this stage of your career the focus should be on asking what you can do for them.
3) Study and get good grades. There will come a time in the not too distant future when marijuana based businesses will be on campus competing for top students just like every other big company. Just because you liked to smoke a lot of weed and happened to be a marketing major will not be good enough. Be a good marketing major first.

Stolle542 karma

Do you believe cannabis should be legal nation wide? (obviously regulated) Also do you dive into the medicinal properties of it? Meaning do you defend people being prosecuted for using on their kids for specific reasons? I have a family member who uses it on his child and his daughters seizures went from 300+ a day down to less than 15 a day. with results like that it is hard to refute. She looks so much better as well.

GleamLaw4 karma

Neil: At the very least, it should be legal for medicinal use. How can anyone legically refute the benefits to your family member?

All of the members of this firm believe that drug policy in this country has a devastating effect on families and communities, and society as a whole. We should be investing in education, not prisons. Drugs should be classified as a public health issue, not a criminal issue.

compaqle2202x1 karma

Do you see much vertical integration going on in the industry? Are growers beginning to form or buy distribution businesses?

GleamLaw2 karma

Roger Goodman: Regarding vertical integration of the industry, in Washington State there is a long-standing approach, since the state Liquor Control Board was established in 1934, NOT to allow vertical integration. We've called it the "tied-house" rule, whereby you can only be "tied" to one sector of the business, whether it's manufacturing, distributing or retailing. There have been some public safety benefits to this approach, with "tied-house" states experiencing less alcohol-related mayhem than the relatively unregulated states. Not permitting vertical integration also allows smaller, mom-and-pop businesses to flourish without getting squashed by the big players - which has already happened in Colorado to some extent.

GleamLaw1 karma

Mike: A lot of this is driven by the rules and regulations within each state. Oregon's licensing structure allows for vertical integration and there are many applicants who are planning to go that route to one extent or another. The privileges of each license are different, so exactly how you want to run your business, or what you exit strategy or dream organization looks like will drive whether and to what extent vertical integration works for you.

From my experience, a lot of the grower applicants for the adult use market in Oregon are also adding either a wholesale or processor license, or both, on to their producer license. A few of the more well funded applicants I've seen are applying for all license types and will have complete vertical integration.

But my general advice to clients is that if you have never worked in a retail environment and have no idea how they operate, or if you don't have the capital to invest in a team that has the experience you lack, why would you risk your time and treasure on it?

Neil: In Washington, we have the industry broken into three types of licenses: Producer, Processor, and Retailer. A person or entity can own a Producer license and a Processor license, but not a Retailer license. A Retailer can not own any interest in a Producer or Processor license. No vertical integration permitted here.

yomumsux1 karma

Now that you have had success with helping the first cannabis shop open in Seattle, would the process be similar for someone who is attempting to do the same in Texas? I want to have all paperwork, all fees, and everything else ready so that when it gets legalized in Texas (although it may be a few years) we can be one of the first companies to open and operate. What advice would you give in regards to becoming a successful first mover?

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Mike: Join an association like NCIA or whichever local group in TX is working towards legalization. In the beginning, your connections within the industry will be invaluable. But until there is a rule or law on the books, your preparation is advocacy.

Neil: This will be highly dependent on how the regulations are drafted in your state. Until this is evident, there is not a clear path to licensure.

LawdGiveMeLulz1 karma

Do you believe AAA's recent study, on THC content in the body being a poor measure of how intoxicated a person is, will have any sway in DUI/DWI cases in the near future? Is that something that will be respected by the courts?

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Roger Goodman: The recent AAA study showing no scientific basis of the "per se" impairment standard for cannabis and driving is already reverberating in the state capitals. I serve as Chair of the House Public Safety Committee in the Washington State Legislature and I plan to hold hearings and entertain proposals to shift our impaired driving standard for cannabis from the current "per se" level of 5 nanograms per milliliter of whole blood (a blood test is required, which is already hampering law enforcement practice, so there are actually VERY few cannabis-only DUIs) to what is called the "effect" standard, whereby trained law enforcement "Drug Recognition Experts" would be able to detect impairment in general, not just from a particular drug. European and Canadian law enforcement already look for impairment, not for some specific drug usage. NORML has done a great job researching this issue and informing public officials like myself. The political/legislative process on this issue will take a while, though, as we continue to normalize cannabis in our culture.

droptrooper1 karma

Do you have a San Francisco Office? And if not, can I open the new SF branch for you guys? Currently in civ. litigation

GleamLaw2 karma

Neil: Email me.

suaveitguy1 karma

What types of answers/questions on here do you have to be the most cautious about answering?

GleamLaw7 karma

Neil: Ones about my mom.

Also, giving specific legal advice.

Zwill7111 karma

You say you're Cannabis do you actually smoke cannabis?
I also believe the legalization of marijuana is good for the economy. What do you think?

GleamLaw2 karma

Neil: It is absolutely good for the economy. This is a multi-billion dollar industry with incredible tax revenues and legal jobs.

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Mike: Johnny Cochrane, Alan Dershowvitz, and Robert Shapiro were OJ Simpson's murder defense team. I'm pretty sure OJ was acquitted of his murder charges. How many murders did those guys have to commit to competently defend him?

I am an attorney first. I also happen to focus on cannabis law and how it impacts and intersects with general business and corporate law. I do not smoke cannabis. I support the cannabis industry from a social justice and political position. Hopefully that is good enough for you. It certainly seems to be for my clients.

CitizenTed1 karma

Washingtonian here who has been a legalization advocate for 30 years. Although we now have legal recreational sales, I don't smoke anymore, but I am very happy about it. My question:

Do you sense any potential problems with the sudden uptick in "dabs" and other unnaturally potent marijuana derivatives? Shouldn't we be taking it slow? Is it wise to end prohibition and immediately start popularizing the pot equivalent of moonshine?

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Neil: I think dabs, from an optics perspective, look bad. In some applications, it looks like the user is smoking crack. However, I believe we must provide all products that consumers desire or the black market will provide it. For this system to work, we need to supplant the black market with a regulated and safe product for consumption.

On a semi-related matter, this is the problem with all drugs. We can't stamp out supply completely. We need to regulate the product so users are safe. Demand will always drive sales.

thejpn1 karma

How high are you right now?

GleamLaw4 karma

392 feet above sea level at the Seattle office.

Frajer0 karma

How do you deal with the stigmas about cannabis?

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Mike: That isn't necessarily our job, but the work we do has an indirect impact on public stigma. Ensuring clients are properly organized, licensed, and operating is as good a demonstration as any against the stigmas associated with cannabis.

From a professional standpoint, most other lawyers seem a little bit jealous because it is exciting to work in a newly developing area of law, where so many questions have not been answered or even asked, and where there is so much conflict between local, state, and federal law. That, and client meetings never start before 10:30am.

SixPockets0 karma

My mom gets mad at me for smoking in my room when I come visit her.

Do I have any legal recourse?

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Mike: Some rules transcend the laws of man. Mom's house, mom's rules.