MJBA and NWMJ Law Rollout “MBA Bootcamps” For Portland Cannabis Professionals

OREGON: Beginning on Wednesday, August 17th, 2016 and continuing through January, 2017, leading cannabis industry attorneys NWMJ Law and the Marijuana Business Association (MJBA) will present a series of “MBA Bootcamps” designed to improve the core business competencies of Oregon’s new crop of legal cannabis entrepreneurs.

With offices in Portland’s historic Custom House, NWMJ Law has been on the front lines of the legal cannabis industry from the beginning. The Seattle-based company was instrumental in helping to shape Washington’s regulated cannabis marketplace, and is taking hard-learned lessons to the Oregon market.  “We made it through the initial volatile launching of this industry, nurturing companies in the highly regulated environment.” NWMJ Law’s Anne Van Leynseele told MJ News Network, “Through this unique experience, NWMJ Law discovered that business owners have need to understand more clearly how to operate efficiently and effectively. We put together a team of qualified professionals who will teach you the basics on the wide range of topics you need to be well-versed on how to run a successful and profitable business.”

The company is “paying it forward” by making this essential knowledge available to the industry at large in an effort to establish best practices. Each session will be two hours, and include short presentations with supporting materials, real world examples, and audience questions.  A handout with key learnings will be distributed to all attendees.

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You have the will, now get the skill.  Increase your business literacy.

NWMJLaw & MJBA “MBA Bootcamps For Cannabis Professionals”
NWMJ Law, PLLC – Portland Customs House, 220 NW 8th Ave, Portland, OR 97209

BOOTCAMP SCHEDULE 2016

Managing Your Legal Cannabis Business
Wednesday, August 17 | 4:00-6:00 PM | Event Space 1st Floor

Avoid the Audit and Accounting 101: Understand What You Need to Know
Wednesday, September 14 | 6:00-8:00 PM | Event Space 1st Floor
 
Employee Management and Conflict Resolution
Wednesday, October 12 | 6:00-8:00 PM | Event Space 1st Floor
 
Smart Investing: Choosing a Partner, Profit Sharing, Finding Funding, Developing a Working Business Plan, and Implementing It
Wednesday, November 9 | 6:00-8:00 PM | Event Space 1st Floor

Advertising, Marketing, Trademark, and IP Issues
Wednesday, January 11 | 6:00-8:00 PM | Event Space 1st Floor

MJBA Portland Meetups are FREE to paid MJBA Members, $10 to qualified industry professionals. Join the MJBA here:

 

 

NWMJLaw Bootcamp Series: Employee Management And Conflict Resolution

WASHINGTON: As the industry evolves and businesses get past the initial pressures of getting licensed and through the first few months of operations, we see two issues emerge that are worth an in-depth exploration.

This week in Seattle, Aaron Pelley and Anne van Leynseele of NWMJ Law will lead an open discussion with stories from the frontline about employees and conflicts. This event, held Tuesday, June 21st at the MJBA Seattle June monthly meetup.

The third in a business bootcamp  for Washington’s licensed cannabis business owners, the discussion will cover a wide range of situations that arise in these areas including: hiring and firing; how to set employee performance standards; NDA and non-compete contracts; AVN risks; and partnership disputes. Do not miss these two seasoned cannabis attorneys as they share real world situations and offer their sound advice on how to avoid troubles and tips on solving problems before they cause damage to your company.

 

VIP Speaker And Sponsor Lineup Announced For HOTBOX: The Best In Marijuana Design And Packaging 2016

WASHINGTON:  The Marijuana Business Association (MJBA) and Online Marijuana Design (OMD) have teamed up to present HOT BOX: The Best In Marijuana Design & Packaging 2016, at the historic Union Bank of California Building, 1011 Pacific Avenue, in Tacoma WA,  Thursday, June 2nd, 2016 10-4:20PM.

According to the event’s organizers, the design and packaging of cannabis product packaging is of paramount importance to marijuana marketers trying to distinguish themselves in a crowded marketplace.  “Your packaging communicates product quality, brand personality and value,” MJBA Executive Director David Rheins told MJNN. “We’re excited to show off examples of the best design and packaging work being done in the legal cannabis industry today.”

hotboxhighergtvpostcardsmallMJBA and OMD have today announced the lineup of featured speakers and VIP Sponsors.  Washington’s top cannabis marketers, brand creatives and packaging professionals will explore industry best practices and showcase the best examples of brand, design and packaging on the legal market today participate in a full-day of panel discussions and featured presentations.

HOT BOX VIP SPEAKERS AND PANELISTS

CREATIVE PANEL

Michael Guttsen, Guts & Glory; Jared Mirksy, Online Marijuana Design; Patrick Bennett, Bennett Photo/Motion; Michael Stusser, Higher Ground TV

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS CASE STUDY

Madhu Singh, Foundry Law & Myles Kahn, Buddy’s 

“Visual Madness: From the Devil’s Harvest to Cannabis Connoisseur”

 Michael Stusser, Higher Ground TV

PHOTO GALLEY EXHIBITION

 Patrick Bennett Photo/Motion Gallery Show

BRAND MARKETER PANEL

Adam Smith, Avitas; Graham Sorkin, Mary’s Medicinals; Kevin Oliver, Washington’s Finest Cannabis; Tom Lauerman, Farmer Tom Organics; Kimberly Ott, Green Lion Industries; Michael O’Malley, Curved Papers

PRINT & PACKAGING PANEL: Linda Kepper, DCG One; Jason Lammers, 420WholesalePack.com; Phillip Parrish, PrintWest; Rob Griswold, Trysk Print Solutions

COMPLIANCE LAW REVIEW

Anne Van Leynseele and Aaron Pelley, NWMJ Law

MODERATION: David Rheins, MJBA

SPONSORS: Online Marijuana Design (Presenting) Great Pacific Packaging, NWMJ Law, Trysk Print Solutions, DCG One, PrintWest, Foundry Law Group, 420WholesalePack.com, Curved Papers, Farmer Tom Lauerman

MEDIA PARTNERS: Ganjapreneur, Higher Ground TV, 420MEDIA, Cannabis Daily Record, MJNewsNetwork

Advance Tix on sale now:

 

Legal Cannabis Marketers Carefully Sell Their Wares

WASHINGTON:  While marketing quality cannabis to eager consumers may seem like simple stuff, licensed cannabis marketers are tasked with operating under strict regulatory guidelines, and must stay diligent or risk the wrath of both federal and state regulators.  The Federal Trade Commission is the overseer of advertising in the US, and that includes Washington State’s I-502 legal cannabis industry, while the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) and the Attorney General are the industry enforcers. Advertising is one of the few areas of regulation that is stricter in Washington State than in other recreational cannabis states.

The WSLCB has increasingly been focusing it’s actions on product packaging and internet marketing, and in response the Marijuana Business Association has invited leading cannabis industry attorneys Aaron Pelley and Anne van Leynseele of NWMJ Law to present ‘the dos and don’ts of marketing, advertising, packaging’ to an audience of producers, processors, retailers, and a diverse group of ancillary business owners at the HOT BOX: The Best in Marijuana Design and Packaging 2016  seminar on June 2nd in Tacoma, Washington.

“We will start with an overview of the constitutional rights; making the important distinction that advertising is not considered free speech so it can be regulated,” Anne van Leynseele told MJNN. “Building the foundation that the principle concepts of advertising and marketing law include truth in advertising and avoiding unfair trade practices. The Constitution is also the basis for Intellectual Property laws and the often misunderstood difference between assets that can be protected and those that cannot.”

NWMJ Law’s featured presentation will include advice that every business marketing cannabis brands on the internet and social media needs to know.  including Encouraging each business owner to carefully assess their compliance with for example: compliant packaging, proper signage on retail premises, displaying their valid license, and including mandatory warnings on ads.an update on the pending changes on labeling, as well the general principles, protective strategies, and our insights about what is happening in this critical and subjective aspect of the cannabis industry.

Advance Tickets on sale here:

I-502 Accounting Basics: Avoid the Audit

By Anne Van Leynseele, NWMJ Law

WHO’S STANDING NOW; WHO’S STANDING TOMORROW

We keep getting the same questions over and over from different clients so to save everyone’s time; we decided to share the answers with all of you MJBA members.

GOALS OF THIS SERIES:

  1. To increase your business literacy.
  2. To help ensure that you fulfill all of the responsibilities of a small business owner.
  3. To clarify why outside professionals are essential to your survival and how to find and use the best fit for your business.

As a small business owner you are responsible for every part of the business. Understanding the stages of development can help clarify what is important at each stage of growth.

In small business offices around the country sits shoeboxes or file folders full of business receipts, invoices, and accounting data. As the months roll by and the data accumulates, your business is sitting on a growing problem. Learn before it is too late why your accounting system can cost your business and more.

For many start-ups and sole-proprietors, the shoebox or file box was a temporary fix prior to setting up an accounting system. But with procrastination the box can become the nemesis of your small business.

What is an Accounting System?

An accounting system for your business is not as simple as a shoebox or file folder. These items will collect and organize your important business information but you need to look at what the numbers are telling your business. An accounting system will take your business beyond record keeping and provide important financial indictors. An accounting system will have the following parts:

  • Data Collection: Includes business transactions and operations data.
  • Data Organization: A method of sorting data by date and transaction type.
  • Accounting Database: Data entry into a spreadsheet or accounting software program will form the basis of accounting information.
  • Financial Statements and Reports: Balance sheets, income statements, budgets, and timetables comparisons will aid in running your business.
  • Analysis: Regular review of main controls to avoid problems and capitalize on opportunities.

If your small business accounting system is focused only on collection and organization until year end than discover why you need to change over to a complete system.

8 Reasons for Accounting System Upgrade

  1. Expense Creep: It starts off innocently as you begin to add more regular expenses to your operations. Without monthly tracking of expenses and costs, you cash flow can quickly dry up.
  2. Overdue Accounts: Ignoring the need for an accounting system can make tracking accounts receivables a guessing game. Don’t be in the business of bank lending. Misplacing a 90-day overdue account is costing you money.
  3. Cash Flow Crunch: Every business will experience the highs and lows of cash cycles. To overcome periods of cash shortages or to get needed funding, an accounting system will help you identify who owes you money and places for expense cuts. Create a full financial summary every quarter.
  4. Lack of Data Security: How safe is your shoebox? Is it reinforced steel, fireproof and waterproof against major disasters? Important financial information needs to be stored on a removable disk and on a secured offsite location. Never take a chance assuming it can’t happen to you.
  5. Added Costs: Having an accountant or bookkeeper organize and compile your accounting data at year end can be costly. Organize your invoicing, accounts payable, accounts receivable and most important know your cash flow.
  6. Audit Risks: Surviving an IRS audit can be easier if all financial matters of your small business are in order. Providing an auditor with financial statements, organized files, and well tracked transactions will make everything easier for all parties involved.
  7. Bankruptcy is NOT an option in legal cannabis: With the majority of businesses failing in the first 5 years, poor financial management remains one of the top reasons for failure. It is your responsibility as a small business owner to maintain and regularly assess your financials. Not putting an accounting system in place early during your startup can mean the end of business. Proper accounting can help you see money losing strategies before it is too late.
  8. Financing Difficulty: Do not bring a shoebox of invoices and receipts to your banker or investor meeting. The professional appearance of your company’s books is part of a winning strategy to financing.

The price of business ownership comes with the responsibility of establishing an accounting system. On the plus side you feel more control over your business, less stress, and better profitability.

 

WHERE DO YOU STAND?

The accounting cycle for a small business begins with establishing the chart of accounts for that business and ends with closing the books for that business at the end of the accounting time period. The accounting cycle is a series of steps that the firm takes every accounting time period in order to take account of its financial transactions.

Here are the steps in the accounting cycle for a small business:

  1. Develop the Chart of Accounts for your Small Business
  2. Understand The Source Document in an Accounting Transaction
  3. Accounting Journal Entries
  4. Construct the General Ledger for your Small Business
  5. How to Prepare a Trial Balance
  6. How to Make Adjusting Entries in your Accounting Journals
  7. Prepare the Financial Statements
  8. Closing Entries as Part of the Accounting Cycle

Washington State Business Entities

You may operate your business under any one of several business structures in Washington State. Each type of structure has advantages and disadvantages that should be considered. The descriptions of the structures below are provided to assist applicants and are not intended to be legal definitions with the force of law. You should contact an attorney, accountant, financial advisor, banker, or other business or legal advisors to determine which form is most suitable for your business or organization.

  • A Sole Proprietorship is one individual or married couple in business alone. Sole proprietorship’s are the most common form of business structure. This type of business is simple to form and operate, and may enjoy greater flexibility of management and fewer legal controls. However, the business owner is personally liable for all debts incurred by the business.
  • A General Partnership is composed of two or more persons (usually not a married couple) who agree to contribute money, labor, and/or skill to a business. Each partner shares the profits, losses, and management of the business and each partner is personally and equally liable for debts of the partnership. Formal terms of the partnership are usually contained in a written partnership agreement.
  • A Limited Partnership* is composed of one or more general partners and one or more limited partners. The general partners manage the business and share fully in its profits and losses. Limited partners share in the profits of the business, but their losses are limited to the extent of their investment. Limited partners are usually not involved in the day-to-day operations of the business. Note: A limited partnership may opt to become a Limited Liability Limited Partnership* by including a statement to that effect in its certificate of limited partnership. Status as a limited liability limited partnership provides general partners with a shield from liability for obligations of the limited liability limited partnership.
  • A Limited Liability Partnership* is similar to a General Partnership except that normally a partner does not have personal liability for the negligence of another partner. This business structure is used most commonly by professionals such as accountants and lawyers.
  • The Limited Liability Company (LLC)* An LLC is formed by one or more individuals or entities through a special written agreement. The agreement details the organization of the LLC, including: provisions for management, assignability of interests, and distribution of profits or losses. Limited liability companies are permitted to engage in any lawful, for profit business or activity other than banking or insurance. Doing business as an LLC may yield tax or financial benefits.
  • A Corporation* is a legal entity, a corporation has certain rights, privileges, and liabilities beyond those of an individual. Doing business as a corporation may yield tax or financial benefits, but these can be offset by other considerations, such as decreased personal control. Corporations may be formed for profit or nonprofit purpose.
  • A Nonprofit Corporation* A nonprofit corporation is a legal entity and is typically run to further some sort of ideal or goal, rather than in the interests of profit. Many nonprofits serve the public interest, but some do engage in private sector activities. If your nonprofit organization is or plans to fundraise from the public, it may also be required to register with the Charities Program of the Washington Secretary of State.

Items marked with * must register with the Secretary of State, Division of Corporations and Charities.

See table below

LESSONS:

Set-up your company in a way that minimizes your tax liability

Make sure you understand your tax obligations

Keep a schedule of filing and payment deadlines

Do not fall behind

It is not too late to clean up the past

Money flows through a company and someone must keep track of it. A budget is a basic tool to understand the flow. A budget will inform your decisions by helping you decide how to allocate resources, control spending, and provide a way to plan for the next year.

Within an operating budget there are two major categories: fixed costs and variable costs. Each industry is going to have different forms or types of fixed costs.  In some industries, salaries are paid even if no work is accomplished. In 502 world, the insurance company has to be paid as a legal requirement for you to be in business. The sooner you offset the fixed costs within the accounting period, the sooner you will generate a profit, but to know what that number is you must have a budget. The rest I will leave to the experts on April 19th.

DRAFT OPERATING BUDGET

FIXED COSTS – Fixed costs are those cash expenses that must be paid whether the business produces or sells a single product. Some of these costs have a variable element, but you know the business will need to pay for the line item.
Building/location rent  
Equipment rent  
Advertising  
Website hosting/maintenance  
Insurance  
Software licenses  
Taxes  
License fees  
Utilities  
Dues and subscriptions  
CPA fees  
Legal fees  
Bank fees  
Security  
 
VARIABLE COSTS – A variable cost is a cost that changes in relation to variations in an activity. In a business, the “activity” is frequently production volume, with sales volume being another triggering event that increases variable costs.
Payroll  
Payroll taxes  
Benefits  
Contract labor  
Production supplies  
Packaging  
Commissions  
Delivery costs  
 

DRAFT CAPITAL EXPENDITURES BUDGET

Property purchase  
Computers/printer  
Tenant Improvements  
Buildout  
Farm equipment  
Equipment upgrades  
Emergency fund  
 

 

Wink-In-Weed: Cannabis Class Is In Session

By David Rheins 

Class is in session for participants in Washington’s legal cannabis trade.  Coming off of the collegial CCC show in Portland, Team MJBA is back in Western Washington this week continuing our quest to provide professional education and promote best business practices for our nascent industry.

Collaboration was the theme of CCC 2016

Collaboration was the theme of CCC 2016

On Tuesday, February 13th,  6-8:30 at the Factory Luxe  in Seattle, MJBA and NWMJ Law will present,“Managing Your 502 Business,” a 2-hour bootcamp designed to review essential business basics, tools and best practices that every I-502 licensed business should follow.  Attorney Anne Van Leynseele, NWMJ Law, will lead the this 2-hour interactive bootcamp, aided by a VIP Panel of cannabis business experts, including Norm Ives, Mosaic Insurance, CPA Dani Espinda, and business consultant Debbie Whitlock.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mshbd7MS3E&w=560&h=315]

Seating is limited, so reserve your place today!

Thursday, February 18 is the start of CannaCon,  a 3-day celebration of all things canna-business at Pier 91 on Seattle’s waterfront.  This year marks MJBA’s fourth CannaCon.   It has been truly amazing to witness as the show and the industry develop together. CannaCon founder Bob Smart was one of MJBA’s first business members, joining us back in the fall of 2013!

In preparation for the show, Bob, Dave Mesford and I paid a visit to KLAY 1180 AM last week, appearing on “The 411 on 420” talk show, hosted by Amy Ansel and Darrel Bowman.

The 411 on 420, hosted by Amy Ansel and Darrel Bowman

The 411 on 420, hosted by Amy Ansel and Darrel Bowman

Billed as “the world’s largest cannabis marketplace for products, services and ideas” the 2015 Seattle event claimed more than 11,000 attendees, over 200 exhibitors and 50 educational sessions, with over $6 million in business conducted on the floor.”  This year’s CannaCon promises to be even bigger, with a complete sell out of exhibitor booths, and an all-star lineup of speakers.  The event seminar schedule features three separate tracks: Cultivation, Technology and Business Development, and includes some of the industry’s top voices, including Ed RosenthalAh Warner, Megan Schwarting, Farmer Tom Lauerman, Aaron Pelley, Don Wirtshafter and Kyle Kushman

Canna Con 2016

I will have the honor of playing moderator for much of the Business Track sessions on Thursday and Friday.  We’ll cover a host of important topics. I’m particularly excited about our “Town Hall” session Thursday at 1PM with Washington’s top cannabis regulators: WSLCB Director Rick Garza, Washington Department of Agriculture’s Steve Fuller, and the Washington Department of Health’s Kristi Weeks.

MJBA’s Morgan will be moderating and participating on a Women in Cannabis Panel, along with Crystal Oliver, Danielle Rosellison, Sharon Whitson and Shawn DeNae.

Marijuana Channel One will be capturing all the excitement. Look for our live streaming and tweets, and our exclusive interviews with industry thought leaders here.

Managing Your I-502 Business Bootcamp is Feb 16th In Seattle

WASHINGTON: The Marijuana Business Association (MJBA) and Washington cannabis legal firm NWMJ Law have teamed up to present a series of business “bootcamps” tailored specifically to meet the needs of Washington’s licensed cannabis businesses.

The bi-monthly series kicks off February 16th, 6-8:30PM  at the Factory Luxe (Old Rainier Brewery) with the fundamentals of  “Managing Your 502 Business.”

Attorney Anne Van Leynseele will moderate the event. She has assembled a number of cannabis industry subject matter experts, including Norm Ives, Mosaic Insurance, CPA Dani Espinda, and business coach Debbie Whitlock , who will serve as VIP Panelists during this 2-hour interactive panel presentation.

There is a $10 cover charge for this event. Seating is limited, and RSVP’s are requested: