If you haven’t seen Erin Brockovich, you are not doing the required research on how things sometimes work, in what only appears to be cannabis friendly small towns, that maybe aren’t exactly as cannabis crazy as you think – Maybe the only reason the small town has a cannabis ordinance is because the owner of the local dispensary – Teddy, grew up there and was the local football star in 2001, the year the city made it to the CIF championship for the first and only time. The city council trusts Teddy and well, that’s why they have a cannabis ordinance allowing a dispensary – Because he is from there and part of the community.
Teddy’s daddy went to school with the mayor’s daddy, his mother was the nurse for the town doctor for 25 years. And Phyllis? She is the lady who works part time at the city clerking and doing oddball small town tasks, and is one of only 8 employees. Well she also covers for her niece Mandy, who works weekends bud tending at the dispensary when Mandy’s children are sick. Phillis is also married to Joe, the county Sheriff, who comes by from time to time when Phyllis is bud tending to check up on security and give his bride a kiss on her cheek. He always brings her a hot coco with cinnamon from Shirley’s Coffee Shack and Nail Salon down the street.
Shirley? Well, she has a story … a few ex- husbands, no one knows how many for sure, but she was once engaged to Phyllis’s brother Samuel, but he left her after he caught her two timing him with some fast talker from New Jersey who was passing on through that really hot summer of 1962. Let’s just say that she makes a mean cup of coco and leave it at that. After all, if we can’t say anything nice, we shouldn’t say anything at all.
Well Ted’s selling his dispensary, and the city is not too sure about anyone unfamiliar with their ways coming into their tight knit community. They actually are sure – that they don’t want strangers coming in from out of state to change up the way things work in those parts. In fact, for Phyllis’s family, outsiders have always been the enemy, just ask her brother, Samuel! Shirley on the other hand, well she wouldn’t mind seeing some new blood…errr I mean some fresh meat…um I mean meeting someone new.
The best attorneys are the best researchers. And in Cannabis, that often means your research task is not always just in the regulatory code or case law, but instead it is in the ethnology of the local people. People can make or break your day, especially when navigating small town governments, their requirements and approvals. Sometimes you can’t even get a phone to pick up, let alone a site plan to be reviewed. Your timing maybe one thing, but in small municipalities, they will make you wait just to show you they can, if you rub them the wrong way, and sometimes even if you don’t. They can also take their time, just because that’s just maybe how things work around those parts.
A skilled attorney will go beyond the written laws and codes, and will take a deep look into the community they serve. And yes, even if not required, arrange for your clients to go out and meet the key players controlling the approval of the local permit. Let us never underestimate the power of looking someone in the eyes and speaking to them in person. Skilled attorney’s will also never blink an eye when repeating those familiar words derived from that infamous letter by St. Augustine in 390AD “When in Rome, do as the Romans.” If that means chucking out those fabulous, and oh so brand new black velvet Christian Louboutin boots for a pair of Birkenstocks…well then so be it! It also means, as Ed learned in Erin Brokovich, “Sit down and have a fu*king cup of coffee Ed” when offered.
So, reach out to those Phyllis’s-the Mama’s of those small towns. Connect with the people. Break Bread. The Phyllis’s not only hold the psyche of the community, they also influence the impressions of your clients among critical members of the community on a daily basis, like the City Manager and the City Attorney. So go and find your Phyllis and remember to be polite, be sincere, have a cup of coffee and most importantly-be ROMAN!!!
New Game Compliance
Silvia San Nicolas, Esq is the founder and CEO of New Game Compliance. New Game Compliance focuses on assisting operators in navigating cannabis regulations, providing compliance due diligence services for cannabis M&A buyers and sellers and providing compliance oversight. Silvia is licensed to practice law in Washington, California, and Oregon. Silvia has worked within the highly regulated markets of baking and insurance most of her career and has a keen sense of how complex regulatory systems work and don’t work. Erin Woodmas is VP or Operations and holds a bachelor’s degree in American Studies from CSUF.
Her focus is communities and communication. Erin spent several years working in both Education and the Non-Profit sector. She understands how daunting navigating local governments can seem, and enjoys helping others succeed with local governments.
Together, Silvia and Erin have taken their expertise into the cannabis industry and have built a team of professional service providers, legal professionals and seasoned business people with proven track records in highly regulated markets.
Phone :- 714.627.2612
2400 E Katella Ave, Suite 800 Anaheim, California 92806, United States