Digital marketing agency 420MEDIA and the Marijuana Business Association (MJBA) have joined forces to create a series highlighting entrepreneurs trailblazing the cannabis scene. Each Tuesday, we profile a noteworthy business pioneer, and ask each 5 questions. This week’s featured trailblazers are Rosemarie Moyeno Matos and Jessica F. Gonzalez, Founding Partners at Moyeno Gonzalez & Associates PC.
Tell us about your Company
Moyeno Gonzalez & Associates PC is a Latina owned law firm based in New Jersey with a primary focus on cannabis. Earlier this year, Founding Partners Rosemarie Moyeno Matos and Jessica F. Gonzalez joined their respective corporate and intellectual property law practices to provide access to quality legal services for groups that have been largely marginalized in the cannabis industry, particularly women and people of color.
As women of color, we have witnessed firsthand the detrimental effects of the high barriers to entry. Consequently, our firm strives to lower those barriers of entry for those looking to enter the cannabis space who would not otherwise be able to afford to by offering discounted introductory rates for all start-up companies for their first year.
We currently represent clients looking to apply for different classes of adult use cannabis licenses in New Jersey and New York, clients in the cannabis educational space and cannabis and non-cannabis clients across the United States looking to protect their intellectual property. Last year, Rosemarie served as counsel to a client who submitted two applications for a vertically integrated alternative treatment center license in New Jersey.
The cannabis industry is unique from other industries in that there is a social justice component that must be recognized, met and talked about constantly. As Latinas who grew up in or around inner cities, social justice is personal. The cannabis industry allows us to not only be attorneys in the space but advocates as well for women and people of color. The backbone of our firm is inclusion and we take great pride in providing our communities with cannabis education, resources and of course legal guidance.
What change will your firm address in the industry? Does it address an unmet need?
Our firm levels the playing field for those looking to enter the cannabis space by offering discounted introductory rates, and flat fee packages when possible. High legal costs often preclude certain communities from moving forward with their goals and so in order to include those communities and bring them into the conversation, we have made it our mission to offer flexible rates and packages. We have already seen firsthand that everything in the cannabis industry is more expensive for the simple fact that it can be. Federal prohibition coupled with “green rush” forecasts allows companies to increase prices from real estate to banking fees to legal fees. We could not stand by on the sidelines and see women and people of color excluded from a conversation they have every right to be a part of.
What has been the reaction to your product/service/technology?
Extremely positive. We have been able to represent clients from different backgrounds, cultures and professions and help them find their footing in the cannabis space. By fully immersing ourselves in the NJ/NY cannabis market, we’ve been able to forge strong relationships with other professionals who share our same ideals regarding equality and social justice and who can assist our clients in different capacities such as business consulting services, accounting, and insurance just to name a few. Connecting our clients with different professionals lets our clients know that we care about being more than their attorneys, but a part of their team, helping them every step of the way. This service that we provide is especially helpful to women and people of color who may not otherwise have access to those types of individuals or services.
Are there any upcoming milestones for your company?
Both of us will be speaking at the JC Tech Meetup “Green Rush Volume 2” in Jessica’s hometown of Jersey City presenting on legislation and intellectual property. Additionally, we have also teamed up with the Hudson County Chamber of Commerce—an organization that provides resources to over 650 businesses in Hudson County—to put on an event in May called the Cannabis Business Summit 2019. Both of us grew up in Hudson County so it is a privilege to be able to give back to our community in the form of cannabis education and resources. To make big changes, we must always start with our community and when given the opportunity and the platform, we must always give back.
Where can readers learn more?