MJBizMag February 2021 - 8

FromtheEditor | Kate Lavin
Getting the Law on Your Side
I
n a highly regulated field such as marijuana, nearly
every job requires a degree of experience unique to
the industry. Even entry-level cultivation and retail
employees need to know about seed-to-sale tracking, how
to legally dispose of products and, in some places, hold a
state-issued license.
When it comes to liability issues specific to the cannabis
industry, specialized advice can mean the difference
between changing a few words on your website or socialmedia
accounts and owing federal regulators $85,000
in fines (yes, this is a real example). Luckily, a growing
number of attorneys are starting marijuana practices, and
some firms are focused exclusively on cannabis clients.
In this issue dedicated to protecting yourself and your
company against liability, we take a step-by-step approach
to preventing and fending off the many claims that might
come your way as a marijuana business executive.
In a Q&A with attorney Lara DeCaro, Marijuana Business
Daily reporter John Schroyer learned that under California's
Proposition 65 rules, product manufacturers can push
liability onto retailers through wording in purchase orders.
And while Prop 65 penalties are not incredibly expensive, the
legal fees defendants are ordered to pay can top $200,000
or more. Turn to page 10 to read more of DeCaro's advice for
marijuana companies operating in California.
Marijuana Business Magazine staff writer Omar Sacirbey
spoke with eight attorneys whose areas of expertise range
from product liability to employment law and partnership
disputes for this month's cover story. Among his findings:
Marijuana operators who once worked in the illicit market
might have been conditioned to avoid business contracts
for fear of leaving a paper trail. But this practice can create
major problems in the state-legal marijuana market when
investors have expectations but no shareholder agreements
have been signed. Turn to page 38 to start reading the
cover package, " Limiting Your Liability. "
On page 42, Asa Waldstein, a longtime dietary supplements
executive, shares the hard-won knowledge that many
CBD companies are starting to learn the hard way: Unless
the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has classified your
specific product as a drug, you cannot make health claims.
That includes using words such as " inflammation " or " anxiety "
to describe conditions your product addresses. Finding
yourself on the wrong side of this regulation can cost tens of
thousands of dollars in fines, require you to notify customers
of the error and-in some cases-reimburse them for their
purchases. It's an important lesson you won't want to miss.
Jeff Smith, Marijuana Business Daily's legal and
government reporter, revisits the topic of RICO lawsuits on
page 44. While the number of cases has declined since we
first broached the topic in 2018, courts have made clear
that marijuana businesses are susceptible to these claims
by their very nature as a federally illegal business. The good
news is: There are steps businesses can take to avoid ever
having to deal with RICO suits, and the simplest is setting
up shop in a cannabis-friendly area.
Speaking of cannabis-friendly locations, MJBizDaily
International reporter Solomon Israel's first installment of
the Best Practices in Retail series begins on page 68, and
this month he addresses finding the right spot to open a
marijuana retail business. Throughout the year, this new
feature will touch on topics including retail design, hiring,
product selection and sales tactics.
We hope the stories in this issue will give you the tools
you need to protect your personal interests and your
business now and in the future.
Sincerely,
Kate Lavin
Marijuana Business
Magazine Editor
8 Marijuana Business Magazine | February 2021

MJBizMag February 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of MJBizMag February 2021

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