Wednesday, December 15 | 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Before the Application: Preparation, Team Building, Business Structure, and Capitalization
Many clients believe that the first step in starting a successful cannabis business is licensing. But a massive amount of work must be dedicated to the preparation necessary to submit a successful application, whether it’s the application to transition from a provisional license or de novo permanent one.
While licensing applications and operating requirements will vary to some degree from state to state, there are a variety of common issues that will present themselves in every state cannabis market. Join us for a set of topics that need to be addressed with any new client who wishes to obtain a license, including, but not limited to team building, funding, corporate structure, and real estate.
Drafting the Application: Technical Writing from Narrative to Compliance
Writing a state licensing application involves crafting creative and compelling narratives about an applicant’s business and operations, while also making sure to weave in necessary regulatory language and appropriate technical descriptions. Indeed, such writing is common to all state cannabis licensing applications, but particularly so during the course of a merit-based selection process. There will be several narratives that will need to be drafted, including, but not limited to: capitalization; security; transportation; community engagement; odor mitigation; waste disposal; environmental concerns such as public art, parks, green initiatives and space; and compliance. This course will teach practitioners proven techniques for crafting these narratives compelling and persuasive while checking off the technical boxes.
As the Dust Settles: Special Considerations, Social Equity, Advocacy, and Back-End Litigation
A number of states that have legalized adult-use cannabis have created programs intended to benefit communities of color and those most impacted and harmed by the War on Drugs. Whether referring to these programs as “Social Equity,” “Economic Empowerment,” or such other similar names, the general goal of these programs is to remedy the harms of prohibition by providing an assortment of benefits to eligible applicants including priority consideration of applications, an allocation of a certain number of licenses to select groups, waivers of licensing and application fees, loans or grants, and/or training programs to assist novice applicants in running their own cannabis business. However, the road to eligibility for these programs is often complex and unclear, leaving practitioners and their clients scrambling to make sense of the often-confusing criteria imposed by the state, including what it means to even be a “social equity applicant” in the first place.
It is no surprise then that social equity advocates have been highly critical of a number of these programs which often fail to live up to their promises, leading to litigation disputes with the state agencies overseeing these programs. This course will give practitioners a general overview of some of the most prominent social equity programs across the country and the eligibility requirements for each, explore ways in which these social equity programs can be improved through effective advocacy, and will discuss litigation disputes that have arisen as a result of mediocre social equity programs.