2019 Words of Wisdom: Activism, Risk & Security

A look back at some of the most important pieces of advice published in the pages of Marijuana Venture in 2019


“It’s important to keep your company’s objectives and needs ahead of the strong social and competitive pressures of doing things the way everyone else does them. Don’t give up your kingdom for a crown!”

Helen Cho, formerly Aloha Green Apothecary

June 2019

“I think it’s extremely consequential that both cannabis business owners and consumers really understand both short- and long-term implications of current policy and are propelled to action.”

Christopher Coggan, Therapy Tonics & Provisions

September 2019

“I say this so many times that it’s become a cliché in my head: People say prohibition is over, but prohibition’s attitudes are rampant.”

Ruben Honig, United Cannabis Business Association

September 2019

“Every cannabis business really needs to be part of an organization that is fighting for the industry’s interests in a strategic, organized and, ideally, united fashion.”

Casey Houlihan, Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Association

December 2019

“Politicians often espouse their commitment to criminal justice reform, but talk is cheap.”

Bob Morgan, Benesch

August 2019

“A lot of these laws are tricky … but we’ve got to create them. And if the laws are wrong, we’ve got to break them first.”

Erich Pearson, SPARC

March 2019

“For those of you whose state is just getting off the ground, try to enact rules to allow children of owners and employees onto the licensed premises from the get-go.”

Danielle Rosellison, Trail Blazin’ Productions

May 2019

“Waiting for explicit permission from the federal government in cannabis has never been a winning strategy.”

Adam Smith, Craft Cannabis Alliance

March 2019

“I don’t think we focus enough on equity inclusion from minority groups and that’s where the real change will come from. People who are stakeholders in the company, those are the people who make the real change.”

Hope Wiseman, Mary & Main

July 2019

Risk and Security

“What will tomorrow bring? I cannot tell. I threw away my crystal ball and just take it one day at a time.”

Shawn DeNae, Washington Bud Company

June 2019

“Only provide employees with access to the platforms and databases on your network that they need to perform their responsibilities.”

Matthew Dunn, Kroll

October 2019

“It is far cheaper to buy the right (security) equipment upfront than to risk non-compliance or worse, loss of video due to an under-powered system.”

Ethan Maxon and Blake Albertsen, Salient Systems

February 2019

“Cybersecurity threats loom large and menacing, as they do over all modern business. Yet in the cannabis industry, states’ insatiable appetite for collecting all available data in third-party systems poses additional risks.”

Anthony Phillips, Gordon & Rees

September 2019

“It is an important reminder that no business in the cannabis industry should just walk away from potential (insurance) coverage, especially in light of what appear to be staggering losses as a result of natural disasters.”

Mike Sampson, Reed Smith LLP

January 2019

“If you take risk management seriously and get a solid plan in place to manage your risks, you will be able to sleep better at night, have fewer nightmares about ‘what if?’ and spend more good days enjoying the fruits of your labor.”

Brenda Wells, Ph.D., Risk Education Strategies

January 2019

“While the transition from an underground industry to a legitimate one has provided great opportunity to many in this industry, these opportunities come at a cost.”

Tom Zuber, Zuber Lawler

April 2019


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