Editors’ Note: This is the transcript version of the podcast. Please note that due to time and audio constraints, transcription may not be perfect. We encourage you to listen to the podcast, embedded below if you need any clarification. We hope you enjoy!
In this episode, Bryan Fields @bryanfields24 and Kellan Finney @Kellan_Finney sit down with Neil Juneja Founder and Managing Partner of Gleam Law to discuss…
- Legal issues on the horizon
- Global cannabis import/export opportunities
- Expected legalization date for interstate commerce and what it will mean for cannabis companies
- Trademarks & patents for the cannabis industry
- Enforcing domestic and international cannabis trade secrets
- Plant genetics and the current legal battle
- The origin of 280E
- Antitrust issues for the cannabis space
…and Kellan vs big pharma for the millionth time. As always, let us know what you think, and if you have any questions about what we discussed, email us at [email protected].
Neil Juneja is the founder and managing partner of Gleam Law. Neil has written numerous articles on cannabis law and intellectual property and spoken at events including in the National Mall in Washington DC, Seattle Hempfest, Continuing Legal Education seminars, and many cannabis industry events. Neil also appeared in Newsweek, Time Magazine, and on several documentaries for his work in the cannabis legal industry. He has been awarded numerous accolades including selection as one of the 40 under 40 most influential people in the cannabis industry, five SuperLawyer’s Rising Star awards, and the National Law Journal Cannabis Trailblazer award.
Gleam Law is a cannabis-focused law firm made up of top cannabis lawyers who do not take themselves too seriously. We take pride in our commitment to our clients and our deep understanding of how the CBD, hemp, and legal marijuana industry works. From business law and cannabis banking to intellectual property law and civil litigation, we cover a range of expertise and are ready for any challenge you throw our way. We are not a big firm with a cannabis practice. We are a full-service cannabis law firm. We offer a wide array of cannabis-related legal services, including licensing, litigation and intellectual property.
[00:00:00] Bryan: [00:00:00] This is the dime a 10 minute dive into the cannabis and hemp industry through trends, insights, predictions, and tangents
[00:00:12] guys. Welcome back to the dime as always. I’ve got my right-hand man Kellen Finney here with me. And this week we’ve got a very special guest Neil Juneja managing partner of gleam law, Neil
[00:00:22] thanks for taking the time. How are you doing today? I’m
[00:00:24] Neil: [00:00:24] doing great. How are you guys today? Doing well?
[00:00:27] Bryan: [00:00:27] Doing well, beautiful day here. The end of April.
[00:00:29] How about you,
[00:00:29]Kellan: [00:00:29] I’m doing well, just enjoying a kind of a nice spring day out here in Colorado. It snowed and then it rained and now it’s kind of sunny.
[00:00:36] So we got it all in one day, you know?
[00:00:39] Neil: [00:00:39] So
[00:00:40] Bryan: [00:00:40] Neil, thanks for taking the time. I mean, let’s dive into your background and kind of learn a little bit about, you know, your. Experience prior to
[00:00:48] Neil: [00:00:48] the cannabis market. So I went to law school. I actually used to live in Colorado, try to be a snow more bomb. Went to law school in Seattle, did a physics degree at the same time.
[00:00:58] So I could become a patent. Attorney [00:01:00] came out of school, was working on intellectual property. But really when you get started, you do what’s called door law. So whoever comes in the door, that’s the law you do that day. So I would do anything from the patents and trademarks to helping waxing salons to what have you probates and just anything.
[00:01:17] And one of my clients that turned out to be a very good friend of mine, ended up getting the first cannabis shop that opened in Seattle. So that morning we were on CNN and then we cut the ribbon. We did Do not cross police tape as the ribbon got giant scissors and cut the ribbon. And then I was in Newsweek and time magazine for it.
[00:01:37] And the first bag of weed sold is now in the museum of MOHAI the museum of history and industry. So I, as far as I know, it’s the first cannabis in a museum in the us. So after that you know, I come from a background of cannabis and I mean, really who doesn’t, that was early in the, in this world. So I just pivoted the firm into working with cannabis specifically.
[00:01:59] Bryan: [00:01:59] Awesome. [00:02:00] And then to kind of dive in a little farther, Your go-to meal when you’ve consumed
[00:02:06] Neil: [00:02:06] cannabinoids? Nothing, because most of them, I can have annoyed consumption as a tincture to go to bed. So I guess it would be a tincture. We’ll press you a
[00:02:17] Bryan: [00:02:17] little harder next time. People looking for some food recommendations with their cannabinoids.
[00:02:21] So. Continuing on gleam law, like take us through, you know, what that specializes in. So our listeners who are hearing this for the first time can kind of understand exactly how you can sit in and add that into the chain for them.
[00:02:33] Neil: [00:02:33] So what we did with glean laws, we really aimed to be a one-stop shop for cannabis.
[00:02:37] Whether you touch a plant or ancillary businesses and any aspect of the plan from him to, you know CBD products to THC products, retail market, medical market lesser known cannabinoids, things of that nature. So as we’ve grown, we have six offices in five States and we will do anything from litigation administrative.
[00:02:56]We’ve got a number of firsts in our trademark department from the first cannabis [00:03:00] trademark in Mexico. First canvas, trademark, and Alaska. We’re working on some special stuff there. Real estate law, securities law. We work in Canada as well. It’s a pretty broad area of what we do here. It’s just, it’s a one-stop shop and we have six offices in five States.
[00:03:15] We’ve got clients in 40 States and on five continents. Wow.
[00:03:20] Bryan: [00:03:20] Okay. As the industry continues to explode, what is the number one conversation that gleam law is taking?
[00:03:26] Neil: [00:03:26] From a client standpoint. Well, as it explodes, I think what’s going on right now. And what we’re going to see over the next number of years is consolidation, mergers and acquisitions.
[00:03:36] When it goes legal federally, it’s going to allow public markets to come in. I mean, it could be the mall bros or what have you, the beer companies, but Four to 6 billion into the Canadian market years ago. So now they’re going to come in and buy market share the same way as the beer companies would buy a craft breweries in order to increase their market share, and then keep the craft breweries, but they would start making the beer and other [00:04:00] locations, same with liquor.
[00:04:01] So I think we’re going to see a lot of consolidation wherever possible, a lot of. Huge influx of money. That’s going to raise the value of these facilities and these ancillary markets. Lotta marketing is going to go in and do it in terms of intelligent marketing banking loss. So we do banking law as well.
[00:04:18] So we work with credit unions and similar companies in order to allow them to take cannabis money under federal law. And we’re going to. See that just completely opened up and now there’s no more cash on the street. There’s no more worries about that visa and MasterCard can be used. So that’ll be quite interesting.
[00:04:34] Yeah. A couple of those hit home pretty hard for our O M international markets. We’re going to start seeing import and export, which has a huge effect on the U S market because high-end cannabis like high-end wine is always going to go for quite a bit. But what about that basic wine? What about that Argentinian wine?
[00:04:51] You know, what about cheap liquor? We’re going to be able to produce cannabis at less than 10 cents a gram in South America and ship it up. So that’s [00:05:00] going to wipe out some of our homegrown, larger facilities, I think. Yeah.
[00:05:05] Bryan: [00:05:05] Like that’s, I mean, that’s an incredible topic to dive into. So like, is that something that they’re, they’re laying the groundwork for now?
[00:05:12] Is that something you see? Six to 12 months? Just from a perspective standpoint, where are we from a timeframe?
[00:05:17]Neil: [00:05:17] It’s going to be one it’s federally legal, but it’s already occurring. I mean, Columbia, you can go ahead and grow cannabis. And at least last time we were working down there it’s for export only same as the SUFU in South Africa, which we worked on some of that.
[00:05:29]So they export it to Canada, which then exports it over to Germany. So, you know, these things are occurring. The U S has left out of it. I think that’s a good thing for our markets here. I mean, We voted for it. It’s of all of, if we want to call it a drug, let’s say we do for today of all of the crazy drugs that get imported or exported.
[00:05:48] It’s a very much a US-based drug. We’re not shipping cannabis from Mexico anymore. You know, black market we’re the best in the world at it here. I think it’s good, but once it does [00:06:00] legalize, Oregon already put laws into place and said, they’re ready to export to other States. As soon as it’s legal federally, they already have the laws, even though it’s not legal to do so.
[00:06:07]So it’s going to really, really change the market rapidly. And then what it’s gonna come down to is your branding or your really top quality products or unique strains from a cultivation standpoint, we’re creating strains that provide other types of avenues that isn’t just high THC. Yeah. Over a hundred that are super interesting.
[00:06:27] Right. And we only started testing what half a dozen to see what its effect is. So that’ll be interesting. Value added products will be certainly interesting. We’ve see the best branding of cannabis products in the U S. Versus anywhere else on the world. We’re just, we just have that much competition that much R and D which is fantastic.
[00:06:48] And so, and I mean, I’m in the Seattle area right now, and there’s no vertical integration here, which means there’s so much competition for shelf space and there’s so much research and development on products. The branding’s [00:07:00] amazing. The product quality is amazing. I will put our value added products against anyone in the world, just because we worked so hard at it.
[00:07:07] I was operating up in
[00:07:08] Kellan: [00:07:08] Washington and it is very, very different than say, Colorado, just from how they drafted the laws in terms of a free for all. And I mean, it’s re really drafted for innovation, right? That was the mindset behind how they designed Washington’s laws, right. Is competition breeds innovation.
[00:07:24] And so there’s like, you can go to some Spencer’s it’s like 2,500 different brands. In a dispensary, you know what I mean? So I completely agree with, with that thought process. And I mean, there are some absolutely incredible products up in the Washington area.
[00:07:37] Neil: [00:07:37] Yeah, it’s just that type of competition. I don’t think it was designed for innovation.
[00:07:41] It’s it’s a result. It was designed to allow a cottage industry to, to thrive. And it was designed based on old laws from the undoing of prohibition where they didn’t want it. Somebody to be able to muscle retailers or cultivators just by being Walmart or the 10,000 pound gorilla in the corner and tied house laws.
[00:08:00] [00:07:59] So, you know, it’s, it’s a hold over from prohibition, but yeah, I agree with you. It definitely works. And I would hold our cannabis up against anybody else, but California Barry strongly disagrees with me, so that Emerald triangle. I know, right.
[00:08:15] Kellan: [00:08:15] There’s a little chip on
[00:08:17] Neil: [00:08:17] their shoulder do make fantastic products and they grow.
[00:08:21] Kellan: [00:08:21] I mean, talk to our perspective. I don’t know if you could really compare any high-end humble outdoor cannabis to anyone else in the world. In my opinion, from an outdoor perspective, indoor, I think it’s a different conversation, but outdoor cannabis. I mean, they know they’ve been doing that for a really long time.
[00:08:37] Neil: [00:08:37] Yeah. Perfect area for it. I have, I’ve never seen anything real with that tall that well,
[00:08:45] Bryan: [00:08:45] Agreed. Agreed. So Oregon has interstate laws that are, they’re already kind of working through. I mean, obviously they are way in front of the rest of the crowd, right? Like New York kind of just took those steps than other East coast are kind of going forward.
[00:08:57] How do we as a, let’s call it the [00:09:00] United States, get on the same page and kind of get cohesion between, you know, how to protect the different markets and then kind of make those next steps.
[00:09:07] Neil: [00:09:07] I mean, it depends where you are in the industry, but wherever you are, if you’re already in the industry, that knowledge base, that thought leadership is useful in these other States getting off the ground.
[00:09:18] So if you’re a cultivator, well, you know, you could work in other areas and teach them how to do it, or set up your own facilities. If you’re a value added product like vaporizer products or food items where you can license those into other. Basis and increase your market, share across border, or you could just prepare for federal legalization, but who knows when that’s going to happen?
[00:09:38] Anyway, I mean, it could be, this year could be in 20, 29. Biden’s not going to sign it. He’s not going to veto it. Do we have the votes? I just don’t even know anymore. I don’t know, man. Would vote for it. So Biden could probably do it without the house. And Saturday, if it just goes to the DOJ and says, you’ve got to tell the da to, to D less this or D schedule this, which he won’t.
[00:09:59] So, [00:10:00] I mean, there’s a couple of ways to do it, but I don’t know if we’ll have the votes this year to do it. So if
[00:10:04] Bryan: [00:10:04] you were going to take, you know, let’s say the collective at gleam law and make one statement saying that this is the number one issue that we take on the most, or that we hear from our clients the most.
[00:10:15] How, how would you select that one? Or what would you call that one?
[00:10:18] Neil: [00:10:18] That’s a tough question. I mean, it really is not a one size fits all, but usually, I mean, it’s setting up their company is extremely important. Getting into the market and then ongoing work branding. You’re getting trademark protection.
[00:10:32]Patent protection for your strains can be somewhat useful. It just depends who they are. Right. Getting banking can matter quite a bit, especially in these new States. I mean, Virginia for Jamie just rushed it through the legislature, to the governor’s desk. I can’t believe it. I mean, we’re seeing this quick, but they don’t have banking.
[00:10:49] So that means you got cash on the street. You have crime, you’ve got all these dangers associated with it, to the community. That’s not even directly tied. To the markets and how do we make it legal in the [00:11:00] first place? Not just because it’s harmless, but because we want to keep the cash off the street, we want to reduce crime.
[00:11:06] It’s about community. It’s not just people who want to consume. Yeah. There’s, there’s so many
[00:11:10] Bryan: [00:11:10] variables there, right? Like there’s the, the reduce the crime. It’s let the people out of jail that have been wrongly imprisoned. And then it’s just trying to organize things. It’s, there’s so many variables. So. To continue on that.
[00:11:20] Kellen, what do you think from an IP standpoint? I know this is a common conversation that we have about protection and things like that. So where do you go when clients come to us and ask for
[00:11:31] Neil: [00:11:31] that stuff? It’s a tough
[00:11:32] Kellan: [00:11:32] conversation, right? It’s because right now it’s not federally legal. So you could go through the entire process and develop a patent on your.
[00:11:42] Current method say it’s an extraction method or a manufacturing method. You have some niche and you go through and develop a patent and go through the steps. I mean, it’s going to be really, really hard to enforce it right now as the law stands. I mean, correct me if I’m wrong, Neil, but it you’re not the [00:12:00] is a federal court going to.
[00:12:01] Here a patent case, a patent infringement case right now, I was
[00:12:05] Neil: [00:12:05] certainly. And let me tell you why. So the both patents and trademarks are under the same office at the federal level United States patent and trademark office, although they derive their powers from two different parts of the constitution, trademarks from the commerce clause patents from section eight.
[00:12:20] What does that. Article one section eight closets or you know, everybody at home. Go ahead and just Google that anyways, the copyright claim or copyright rights come from the same part. There’s a patent rights in the constitution. But with patents, you’re not actually given a right to do anything.
[00:12:37] You are given an what’s called an exclusionary, right. To stop others from making, selling. Offering for sale or importing that invention. So when you go ahead and Sue somebody for patent infringement, you’re not saying, well, I’m practicing this. You’re not even admitted to doing anything illegal. You’re just saying that person’s practicing this and they need to stop that violates my patent.
[00:12:56] So that’s totally fine. Trademarks. On the other [00:13:00] hand, And getting trademarks for cannabis is extremely difficult, but there’s certain ways to get around it or to work with the U S PTO and other scenarios. You can get it for similar items that you can enforce as long as you’re actually using them in interstate commerce.
[00:13:14] And those scenarios, if you Sue somebody for trademark infringement and you have a legal use and they don’t, well, they shouldn’t be an issue, but if your used isn’t legal, well, there’s certainly many counterclaims. The infringer can make including trying to cancel it or that you’re, you know, you don’t have unclean hands.
[00:13:30] A lot of this just hasn’t seen the light of day as far as, you know courts haven’t gone that far into turn question, not cheap to litigate. Unfortunately, if both parties are well-funded. We were talking
[00:13:41] Kellan: [00:13:41] about protecting market share and the us kind of being the best at cultivating cannabis right now in the world and the best at marketing as well.
[00:13:50] And so is that something that if I’m cam right, I’m Kim rivers truly, and I’m standing there trying to protect my market, share and protect the us cannabis market. Am I [00:14:00] actively out pursuing these kinds of patents as a means to protect it from the, the, the global marketplace. Is, is that something that you would, you would advise, how would you kind of approach that?
[00:14:09] You know,
[00:14:10] Neil: [00:14:10] patents? I mean, let’s say you have a grow method that you really think is unique. There’s two options, trade secrets. Just don’t tell me one, but if somebody develops it independently, there’s not much you can do about it. You can only go after somebody if they steal it, or if somebody receives it knows it was taken improperly.
[00:14:26] The deal here is a patent says, look, instead of making a trade secret, I’m going to share this information and it’s going to be owned by the public after my women monopoly goes away or 20 years. So in that scenario now everybody knows it. So if anybody’s infringing, you’ve got to go find them and then Sue them.
[00:14:44] That’s a problem. And if you want to do it internationally, well, now you want to file another countries through the patent cooperation treaty, and now you’ve got. White a bit of fees if you’re going to try to hit every country. And that usually needs to be figured out within 12 months center. Other countries are 30 months.
[00:14:59] So [00:15:00] that’s one method of going about it. It just depends what the invention is. If we’re talking about strains and there’s a couple of different ways to protect it, but part of the reason to get Pat and some part of the reason to do that for strains or other inventions, Is not just enforceability, but patent portfolio, raising funds, marketing aspects.
[00:15:18] So there’s other benefits of it. With strains, you can get plant patents on cannabis and on him, you can get utility patents, although you’d need to make a tissue deposit of some kind. And the first utility patent for this, the deposit was made in Ireland. And I’m not sure how it got from the U S to Ireland.
[00:15:36] And that question has never been answered, but. I mean, if it was moved there, I guess that would be quite illegal. So that’s an outstanding question. And there’s another type of protection called the plant variety protection act, the PVP that you can use for him. And that requires a seed deposit. So the plant patents are for asexually reproduce plan.
[00:15:54] So. It’s going to be the same genetics. And the first one of those is Ecuadorian sativa, by the way. And plant [00:16:00] variety protection act requires a few thousand seeds to be done. Okay.
[00:16:04] Kellan: [00:16:04] I have a follow-up question that, so I have heard through my art, I’ve learned through my reading and hopefully you can clear this up is that technically you’re not allowed to patent nature, right.
[00:16:14] Which is why kind of big pharma has avoided a lot of medicinal. Plant medicines, right. That are kind of the cocktail, multiple chemicals, because you really can’t patent a plant. Is that, could you kind of clear that up for me? Is that exactly how that’s kind of what’s the line in that sand, you know, not being able to
[00:16:32] Neil: [00:16:32] patent nature.
[00:16:33] So when it comes down to it utility patents, what we mentioned about 94 and 95% of patents and patents are extremely, yeah. Plant patents are extremely rare. Utility patents can cover F1 hybrids as well. So let’s talk about where that line is. And they say anything under the sun made by man is patentable.
[00:16:53] And this case came from Shaka Bharti. I hope I got that pronounced. Right. And what it was is a guy went in and. Adjusted a small [00:17:00] life form of might have been a bacteria in order to eat oil years ago. So he goes to patent it and obviously has no, they fight the case. And in the end they said it had enough of a hand of man from God’s creation in order to be patentable.
[00:17:14] So in that scenario, you shouldn’t be able to get a plan patent for a utility pattern. I’m sorry, utility patent on a plant, but one did occur recently for cannabis. And the argument was that their crossbreeding was such enough of a hand of man in order to make it not a product of nature. I don’t know if I agree with that, but plant patents on the other hand really are just, this is my new tomato plant.
[00:17:36] I crossbred. Yeah, what can you do with it? I mean, everyone’s going to be unique. So it’s only if you’re licensing that exact genetics to somebody else. Can you go after them for infringement if they violate like that, or if somebody else steals the genetics, you can’t independently create that exact same tomato plant or that exact same cannabis.
[00:17:53] Every single one is different unless it’s the same genetics. Exactly.
[00:17:57] Bryan: [00:17:57] So I want to ask a follow-up to that.
[00:18:00] [00:17:59] Neil: [00:17:59] How is
[00:18:00] Bryan: [00:18:00] someone going to prove that I was the first one to cross these two genetics to make this. Unique strain.
[00:18:08] Neil: [00:18:08] How’s that going to go down? They aren’t every person who crosses those two genetics actually results in a different plant with different genetics.
[00:18:15] They may look like siblings, but they’re not the exact same child. They’re not clones. That’s just, that’s that’s, that’s the way it works. I mean, look at your brothers and stuff. Yeah, that’s a good point. Yeah. The flip side is, so you have a strain and everybody else crosses the same thing and everybody else has no strains.
[00:18:33] I mean, unless there’s the luck of the draw. Sure patent it. That’s great. You say it’s patent. Maybe you license it out. Maybe you get funds for it, but it’s not really worth all that much unless you really got a unique one. A good thing to think about this and I’m no botanist is with apples. You plant an Apple seed and man, every single one is different and most of them are not edible.
[00:18:53] That’s why Johnny Appleseed wasn’t actually helping people eat. He was helping people make liquor. Cause that was. All those seeds were good for. [00:19:00] Cause I go to those
[00:19:00] Bryan: [00:19:00] stories. So I’m going to take a quick quote for you from your website. And I want to ask your opinion on that courts. Typically hold product manufacturers, liable for placing unreasonable, dangerous products on the market.
[00:19:11] However, community standard and expectations play a role in what be can considered unreasonably dangerous. Neil. What does unreasonably dangerous mean? Is that high THC or is that more on like the pesticide mold
[00:19:24] Neil: [00:19:24] side? I mean, we’re going to see what that means. I think in cases we’re fighting a couple of product liability cases that complete BS some of them that STEM this, one’s interesting.
[00:19:34] This one stems from vitamin D acetate. This guy says lungs got injured. He sued every company that made a vaporizer that he smoked, but he also admitted to be, to smoking black market vapes. So I don’t know. I mean, it’s definitely a cash grab, but these are starting to come up unreasonably dangerous. It also can draw from causation.
[00:19:52] Right. So how do you draw the causation specifically? Let’s say from vitamin E acetate to death. That’s still, [00:20:00] we’re not a hundred percent certain. I mean, we all are, and I’m sure our listeners are, but that’s not a court of law and that’s not science specifically. So I’m not sure exactly where that line will be drawn yet.
[00:20:09]I think it will be things like these, some States, fortunately are banning some of these additives. What is it, Eagle 10 or Eagle 20. That just happens to turn into cyanide when you combust it. That’s really not a great thing to inhale, I think. But can we show causation to damage? Who knows a baby that explode, that seems unreasonably dangerous.
[00:20:26] So we’ll see, is this going to be up to
[00:20:28] Bryan: [00:20:28] the lawyer whose first con excuse me, the, the judge that’s going to set a precedent and then things are going to evolve. Like how, how do we take the first step going forward before we kind of go from
[00:20:38] Neil: [00:20:38] there? And other States will be influential the judge or the jury?
[00:20:42] And we’ll want a jury will matter, but you know, if it doesn’t get appeal that doesn’t become law. So each state, I mean the whole idea that 50 separate state laws exist in this country make it. So there’s lots of disparate rulings and lots of disparate laws. And I mean, clearly we see that with cannabis [00:21:00] or hidden the fun side of it, Oregon.
[00:21:02] That’s now legal and regulating psilocybin, which is just fantastic.
[00:21:07] Bryan: [00:21:07] What do you see as the next big obstacle from a
[00:21:09] Neil: [00:21:09] legal sense? It really will be when we bring down the borders, what does that mean? Gonna look like? And I think it’s going to very much look like liquor. We have federal law for liquor and for alcohol, and then we have state laws and County laws.
[00:21:22] So can you ship to certain States? Well, that’s really up to the state. What can you buy Pennsylvania? You can buy it. It only a government run store, a bar, which is a real problem. Oregon again, has you know, government stores, California is super cheap. Washington is super expensive, Utah. It’s very difficult to get licenses to open bars.
[00:21:41] So I think we’re going to see there’s dry counties in places. So I think we’re going to see a lot of that. As far as from a regulatory standpoint, from a legal standpoint, it’s really just going into hyper competitive markets. And we saw this early in each state. That didn’t have a limited license situation.
[00:21:58] And in those scenarios [00:22:00] you have hyper competitiveness because everybody thinks that you’re going to get rich off of it. Black market was 70% margins. Well, that’s not actually the way it works when you’re paying employees, LNI or employment insurance. When you’re playing taxes when you’re paying seed to sale software packages, the margins go down a lot further.
[00:22:19] And since it got so pro, so hyper-competitive with so many licenses, well that forces the cost of product down and now everybody’s suffering a little bit. And so I think we’re going to continue to see just this hyper competitiveness going forward until the market stabilized. Biggest
[00:22:34] Bryan: [00:22:34] misconception in the cannabinoid
[00:22:36] Neil: [00:22:36] industry that his dorm room stoners.
[00:22:38] And it really is interesting because there’s, there’s a lot of different groups in this market and you know, those, not the dorm room stoners, but the black market growers where the best to get in. But a lot of them didn’t know how to sell. Scale their, their closet grows into an acre of plants. So that was super interesting.
[00:22:58] Now another of the big ones was [00:23:00] these Dorman stoners, or these positive growers would join up with money men, and then everybody would fight and then everybody sues each other and you know, all these different partners would get in bed together. That wasn’t great. I would say that’s probably the biggest misconception I see now it’s pretty diverse.
[00:23:13] It’s going, we’re starting to lose diversity. You know, it used to be a more gender and racially diverse than it is now, but that’s what happens when markets grow and the hedge fund guys come in and, you know, it becomes a little bit white male dominated. Before we do
[00:23:27] Bryan: [00:23:27] predictions. We ask all of our guests two questions.
[00:23:30] If you could sum up your experience as a takeaway to the next generation or lesson learned,
[00:23:35] Neil: [00:23:35] what would that be? We’re talking about for a lawyers. Everybody wants to get into cannabis law and I call it cannabis law, but in the end, it isn’t, it’s just an industry like any other and you’re just doing real estate law and answer or administrative law or litigation or intellectual property, or, you know, mergers and acquisitions.
[00:23:51] And so when people want to get into this industry, whether it’s lawyers or non-lawyers. Don’t just go and start learning classes and getting [00:24:00] canvas certifications. Although that’s one method, use your background. If you’re a marketing guy just targeted towards cannabis. If you’re in HR, well, don’t go learn, bought me, go to HR and cannabis.
[00:24:11] It’s just an industry. We have all the same jobs with a little bit of a twist and you know, more and maybe the advertising and marketing will be popping up. The it target is great. Just the software developments we’re going to see is fantastic. The science developments are fantastic. It’s a great
[00:24:24] Bryan: [00:24:24] response.
[00:24:25] The last time you consumed
[00:24:27] Neil: [00:24:27] any cannabinoids, probably this weekend or last week, a one-to-one to one THC CBD, CBG, a tincture. It might have been this weekend just whenever I have trouble sleeping or I’m out of
[00:24:38] Bryan: [00:24:38] whiskey in time, five years from now the biggest lawsuit that you foresee that changes the cannabis game
[00:24:47] Neil: [00:24:47] forever.
[00:24:48] That’s interesting. Product liability, you brought up maybe one of them, but it’s going to be massive corporations suing each other, probably for some sort of market share false advertising or something [00:25:00] of that nature. By it, if we’re talking about the biggest one that’s going to change, the industry is probably going to be a suit against the federal government that may legalize it.
[00:25:08] People have been trying, I don’t see that happening with the onerous draconian tax law. A lawsuit could come from that. But when we legalize it federally, I think that goes away. And the IRS even said, we have an issue receiving these large quantities of cash, but we know we basically have non unconstitutional tax provisions here.
[00:25:26] We don’t care. We love the windfall from you guys. So that’s super interesting. I think we may see lawsuits on what age you can actually consume this from a recreational standpoint. I don’t mean THC. I mean the other cannabinoids, I think that’s going to be super interesting. Cannabinoids Delta aide to these other things that we’re going to be seeing right now.
[00:25:44] I mean, it’s constantly shifting, but with Delta eight or CBD, you could. Theoretically, sell it in a toy store to children to smoke. I mean, at least that was the case six months ago. So where that’s going to end up is going to be a fight. CBD is going to be a [00:26:00] lawsuit because I mean, Epidiolex has an FDA approved, which means all other CBD is technically not legal for consumption, but man, it’s in whole foods.
[00:26:08] It’s on Amazon. What are we looking at here? So that’ll have to be figured out, is it, is it generally considered safe? Or should it be FDA approved to take a natural product? People would be consuming per 12,000 years, at least. And now you need FDA approval that costs millions of dollars again, and nobody else can sell it without the approval that I think that that’ll probably be the biggest suit.
[00:26:30]It will be the FDA approval for things like CBD, CBG, CBN, et cetera.
[00:26:35] Kellan: [00:26:35] I think we’re going to see another two 80 E lawsuit. I know that Harbor side maybe last week lost that
[00:26:41] Neil: [00:26:41] really, really long. Yeah, that got drug
[00:26:44] Kellan: [00:26:44] out for it for a while. And do you think that that kind of. There’s set in stone now. And people are just like, corporations are not going to approach that in terms of deploying capital and trying to over, over turn
[00:26:56] Neil: [00:26:56] that, I mean, I’ve got clients that say two 80 [00:27:00] kills them, but look, it’s a level playing field, really.
[00:27:02] Everybody’s dealing with it, obviously. It’s not okay. I mean, you can be taxed over your profits, especially at a retail store, which is ridiculous, but it is a level playing field. And when it goes legal federally, that goes away. Because two 280E specifically says, you know illegal trafficking of schedule one, or schedule two drugs and the backstory of how that was created involved.
[00:27:22] A guy that was bringing in cocaine by submarine and was deducting business expenses and cost of goods sold. And they put that rule into play. Cause IRS went after him and he won and he won guy must’ve had an
[00:27:33] Bryan: [00:27:33] amazing lawyer and it could be like, this is the route we’re
[00:27:36] Neil: [00:27:36] going to take. Like, we’re going to go here. Yeah, those are all
[00:27:40] Bryan: [00:27:40] incredible things.
[00:27:40] And I wondered to piggyback off you calendar if you know, Cresco of truly with Columbia care. Clearly, if all those guys got together and said, like, We got to stop two 80, you know, I wonder if that would have more momentum behind that. And ultimately who knows
[00:27:53] Neil: [00:27:53] to go back and question the principal, another issue with antitrust, we may see some, one or two companies [00:28:00] taking over too much of this industry and they’ll have to be broken up, which would be super interesting.
[00:28:05] Yeah. Because if, if
[00:28:06] Bryan: [00:28:06] green thumbs and truly have merge, right. And then, you know, some of these outside industry players try to come in. What is too big, right? Like, how are you, how do you compare them? Are you comparing them against their peers or to outside industry? And then that becomes a whole nother issue of understanding.
[00:28:20] Kellan: [00:28:20] Yeah. I mean, there’s so many people have thrown the monopoly word around in Florida. That, I mean, it’s, it’s kind of almost just second nature. When you talk about Florida, the talk about the large amount of market share that truly has, and you call it what you will, but I mean, it definitely is more and more common.
[00:28:38] I hear that monopoly turn getting thrown around, at least in Florida.
[00:28:41] Neil: [00:28:41] And I could see that for a medical product is saying that, look, you have to be a certain size in order to properly regulate this or sell it and make it safe. And all of that, I could see that argument. I don’t agree with it, but I can see that argument, but once it goes, recreational or adult use is a better term that doesn’t work anymore.
[00:29:00] [00:29:00] Yeah,
[00:29:00] Bryan: [00:29:00] exactly. So the one main takeaway that I think I learned here is that everyone that asks Kellen and I, for our opinion guys, contact Neil, he can help you. And at the end of the day, it seems like we’ve got ourselves a bunch of issues that are going to be coming forward and. Having someone like yourself in their corner would make a huge difference for them.
[00:29:15] So Neil, where can people get in touch with you? Your social
[00:29:17] Neil: [00:29:17] media, things like that? Yeah. So the law firms called gleam law, like the gleam in your eye, but if you can’t remember that, just type in something like asshole, attorney.com, asshole attorneys.com, asshole, lawyer.com. Those all go to me. So it was an octopus law.com for some reason.
[00:29:32] And you can always email me with any questions. Gleam all like the gleam in your eye. And you can email me at Neil dot com or I mean, asshole, ugly mo.com. If you want it, that’ll probably go to me. We’ll link up all those in the show notes. So thank you so much for your time. We appreciate it. Absolutely.
[00:29:47] Thank you for having me. [00:30:00]
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