By Colette Thomas
As February has come and gone, I am amazed at all of the projects that have been transpiring since CannaCon in Seattle. It’s refreshing to know that after a year and a half of being enrolled at the “University of I-502,” I am still able to bring value to the industry.
There are more applicants and licensees that require assistance now than I could ever imagine. I have conquered several milestones with my clients and I am always eager to take on new challenges. One of these challenges was being asked by Chris Crew, of THC Law Firm, to testify as an expert witness in an administrative hearing. It was between the Washington State Liquor Control Board and a retail applicant who was disqualified prior to the lottery, due to a DocuSign error. Imagine that! If you have ever dealt with DocuSign, you probably already know the system is sporadically flawed. Sometimes it works perfectly, and other times important documents are not received.
The same uneasiness and fear of the unknown set in. Just like it did in the days leading up to the retail lottery, or before our first final inspection for a retail store, or the first retail grand opening. It was a bit awkward and uncomfortable, not knowing what to expect. I had spent the last 18 months dedicating my entire being to assisting I-502 applicants, before fighting against the Liquor Control Board in a court of law, for a complete stranger. When asked if I was being paid for my services, I said yes, but said I would have done it for free and I expressed that. The reason is that I passionately believe the system is flawed for several valid reasons. Many applicants were disqualified, without merit. The Liquor Control Board should take ownership for this and accommodate accordingly. The judge did not make a ruling from the bench, but we are anticipating a victory.
Colette Thomas is an advisor for Recreational Marijuana Management, which provides consulting services for I-502 retailers on licensing and compliance. RMM has assisted multiple retailers open for business.