Seattle City Attorney Holmes And WSLCB Member Chris Marr Keynote “Canna Business & The Law”

WASHINGTON: Sometime in July, the first recreational marijuana retail stores will open their doors in Washington State.  In anticipation hundreds of  I-502 applicants are scrambling to get all their ducks in a row, so they can attain their license in time for the market debut.

The impending deadline has put tremendous stress on these mainly small legal “canna businesses,” all of whom share the traditional pressing needs of any startup – business planning, financing, real estate, HR, branding, marketing, and sales — with the additional burden of adhering to the strict compliance regulations set by the Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB).

In an effort to get all key players in one room, Marijuana Business Association (MJBA), the leading trade organization serving the emerging legal cannabis, medical marijuana and hemp industries, has teamed with Canna Law Group – the nascent industry’s leading legal firm – to present, “Canna Business and the Law: A Must Attend B2B Seminar for I-502 Licensees, and Professional Service Providers,” at the Westin Seattle, Thursday May 22nd, from 9:00-4:20.

Screenshot 2014-05-20 13.20.04Canna Business and the LawSeattle City Attorney Pete Holmes, who famously sponsored I-502, will deliver a keynote address at lunch, as will WSLCB Member Chris Marr.  Salal Credit Union, the first credit union in Western Washington to announce it would begin accepting some I-502 accounts will make news by sending its Chief Lending Officer, Bob Schweigert, to participate on the “Managing Your Marijuana Money” panel.  Patrick Vo, COO of BioTrackTHC, the official software of I-502, will be a featured panelist, as will Redmond’s #1 Pot Lottery retail winner, the Grass Is Always Greener’s Jenny Carbon. The rest of the featured participants on the day’s 5 panels reads like a Who’s Who of Washington’s legal marijuana business, including representatives from the top attorneys, CPAs, business leaders and governmental officials.

“It is the mission of the MJBA to provide the reliable business intelligence, professional community and best ethical practices necessary to create a viable, sustainable and profitable marketplace,” said MJBA CEO David Rheins. “We are honored to have both Seattle City Attorney Holmes and WSLCB Member Marr address this historic I-502 Seminar. Together their two speeches will signal the ‘ringing of the market bell’ ushering in not only a new legal industry for Washington, but a new era of economic re-invigoration and job creation for our local communities.”

Canna Law Group Practice Leader Hilary Bricken, Dope Magazine’s “Marijuana Attorney of the Year” in 2013, will deliver the breakfast keynote, and CNBC Senior Editor Al Olson will be the exclusive event’s master of ceremonies.

Tickets are $199 for MJBA members, $250 non-members, and include a continental breakfast, boxed lunch and invitation to a 4:20 Happy Hour. Buy your tickets here:

Marijuana Banking: Secretive But Poised To Grow

WASHINGTON: Many marijuana business owners say they have bank accounts, but aren’t completely forthright with their bankers about the nature of their businesses. They claim to be in “consulting” or “medical research.”  And they know they could lose those bank accounts suddenly, at any time, since federal law prohibits banks from holding any funds associated with illegal drugs.

Now in the wake of Initiative 502, which legalized marijuana in Washington state, some banks and credit unions may be ready to officially open accounts for marijuana businesses. Numerica, a Spokane Valley-based credit union, has announced it will accept state-licensed businesses as clients.

Seattle attorney Robert McVay with the Canna Law Group said there are more to come.

“Small banks, especially the community banks, are certainly looking into it if only because it’s a new industry and whoever takes that first plunge, whoever takes the risk, is going to get lots and lots and lots of business,” McVay said. “We’re working with a couple financial institutions here in the state that are likely going to do this.”

MMJ Now Illegal In Washington State. Yes, Washington State.

WASHINGTON:  The Washington State Court of Appeals just held that medical marijuana activity (even patient cultivation in the home) is illegal under current State law.

The long road to this disappointing decision began a couple of years ago when an access point (essentially a medical outlet for medical marijuana patients) and an advocacy group sued the city of Kent in an effort to block the city from implementing a zoning ordinance that would essentially prohibit collective gardens, both commercial and home grows. The case made its way through King County Superior Court (which upheld Kent’s ban) and eventually reached the Washington State Supreme Court. The Supreme Court issued an emergency stay of the Kent ban but ultimately decided to send it back down to the Court of Appeals for a full decision on the merits.

The Court of Appeals’ 26-page decision in the case has sent shockwaves through the medical marijuana community statewide, though the media has barely covered it.