Daily Archives: October 6, 2017

First Things First: Design Ethics and Responsibility

Rorie McIntosh, Designer at web design agency NetConstruct, discusses ethics in design. The Attention Economy Image Source:www.youtube.com We are living in an ‘Attention Economy’, where advertising-fuelled technology companies are fighting to grab your attention and maximise their engagement. This is nothing new. Post-war advertising has boomed into a global industry, and over the years the […]

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Everything You Need to Know About Cannabis Law

cannabis law

Regardless of where you stand on the issue, it’s no secret that the legalization of cannabis is becoming more and more prevalent in the United States. As the industry grows, so does the need for lawyers who practice cannabis law. We spoke with Christopher J. Davis, the executive director of the National Cannabis Bar Association (NCBA) to learn more about this exploding field. Here’s what he had to say:

Why did you get involved with cannabis law and the NCBA?
For me, practicing in cannabis became unavoidable. I got to the point where I had so many people approaching me for advice about how to become a legal operator in the industry, it just didn’t make sense for me to continue to turn them away. Around the same time, I became aware of the National Cannabis Bar Association, and I began to do some volunteer work for them as a way to become more involved in the industry. Now I’m the executive director, and  I couldn’t be happier with where I have ended up.

What steps should lawyers considering practicing cannabis law take to make sure they don’t break any ethics rules within their states?
Each state has different ethics rules governing how attorneys can service the cannabis industry. A lawyer that is considering serving this industry should consult their own state’s ethical rules and consult with an ethics attorney about the correct way to engage in this practice.

The unethical practice of law is always grounds for censure or, in some cases, disbarment. The federal prohibition on cannabis creates an environment where business advice for a cannabis entity could certainly be considered furthering a criminal conspiracy, which can get you in trouble on multiple levels.

On the other hand, offering strictly legal advice on how to comply with a state’s regulatory regime is generally less controversial. From what I have seen, as long as you are offering purely legal advice on how a client can comply with the regulatory requirements of a given state, state bars are less likely to engage in disciplinary action.

The most dangerous thing is a lack of knowledge of the risks involved in this industry. We should know the risks to our own professional lives, and we should certainly be able to convey the legal risks to our clients of engaging in this industry. That being said, as the social perception of cannabis evolves, I think that we will continue to see more receptivity to ancillary services providers (tax, accounting, law, etc.) serving this industry.

Where do we stand in terms of cannabis legalization on both state and federal levels?
At this point, “most” states (more than half) have already recognized the medical benefits of cannabis in one form or another. Most people in the industry believe its just a matter of time before the federal prohibition falls away. Some will tell you its two years off. However, some have been saying it has been two years off since the first medical laws were passed in California in 1996. Others say it is closer to four or five with the current administration.

Sessions has quite a bit to deal with, including a real drug crisis in the opioid epidemic. The Rohrabacher-Farr amendment remains in effect to block federal dollars from being used to prosecute state-legal enterprises. And the tax dollars in places like Colorado, Washington, and Oregon have become integral parts of those state budgets, adding a layer of political difficulty to a federal crackdown.

So, while the specter of of federal enforcement remains, most in the industry believe that cannabis will continue to be low on their priority list.

What are the various practice areas in relation to cannabis law?
This question actually sheds light on a common misconception. When I have conversations with people outside of the cannabis industry, they have the perception that “weed lawyers” exist. They don’t.

Instead, there are the areas of law that exist in any other business. There are corporate lawyers that deal with formation and structuring your business. There are real estate lawyers, tax lawyers, securities lawyers, and intellectual property lawyers. We have every type of lawyer that you would find in any other industry.

We just happen to practice in one of the most highly regulated industries in the country. We deal with extra sets of regulation from the cities, counties, and states in which our clients operate. We do everything that a normal lawyer would do for your normal business – but we have to lay these extra sets of regulation on top of our normal practice.

The main difference I see between lawyers that serve the cannabis industry and those that don’t is a willingness to be more agile in their practice and to tackle some of the most difficult legal problems that exist today. The group of lawyers that I know that serve cannabis clients are incredibly collaborative problem solvers that take pride in shaping this industry, and we are always open to welcoming new great minds into our ranks.

When it comes to choosing clients, are there important considerations when it comes to cannabis law?
Absolutely. Clients can get you into trouble, as we all know. If a client isn’t up front with you about their business practices or compliance, you can quickly find yourself in an ethical conundrum. I think here, more than most other industries, lawyers should be careful about who they choose to represent. For me, trust is always the biggest consideration.

If a lawyer is interested in getting involved with cannabis law, what’s your advice?
Learn. A lot. As I mentioned earlier, this is just like any other practice, but with multiple additional layers of regulation. You need to know your underlying concentration, and then you can begin to parse out the other levels of cannabis-specific regulation. But you have to always be willing to learn more, adapt, and adjust.

The dispensaries are often cash only. Does that mean that lawyers serving this industry will likely be paid in cash, too?
Yes, lawyers will often be paid in cash. Any individual, lawyer or not, that receives more than $10,000 in cash must submit a Form 8300. When bank transfers are made, amounts in excess of $10,000 are flagged by suspicious activity reports. When these are made outside of the banking system, they still must be tracked. However,  the same mechanism does not exist, so the recipient must instead file a Form 8300. Failure to file these forms can get you in a lot of trouble, especially when your client goes to file their taxes and their documents don’t match up with the forms you might have forgotten to file.

As cannabis becomes more legal, some people are worried that it’ll become a slippery slope and that harder, more harmful drugs will become legal next. What do you say about that?
That’s a lazy argument. Much more harmful drugs are already legal in our society. We don’t lump these together because the argument is more nuanced than that.

Withdrawal from alcohol, benzodiazepines, and opiates can cause death. Alcohol is this country’s favorite recreational drug, and benzodiazepines (xanax, valium) and opiates (oxycodone, morphine) are legal with a prescription. If we are on a slippery slope, cannabis did not put us there.

But more importantly, cannabis has incredibly positive effects for many people. Ask the parents of the child who no longer has seizures because they are able to take a non-psychoactive tincture derived from cannabis. Ask the veteran that has finally found a way to ween their dependence on opiates while dealing with sever phantom pain or PTSD. Ask the cancer patient that has found relief from the nausea caused by their chemotherapy.

There is a real discussion here about the relative costs and benefits of legalizing cannabis. Ways that we are trying to eliminate the black market by pushing cannabis into a transparent marketplace with consumer protections and age restrictions equivalent to any other highly regulated industry. I would invite our “slippery slope” friends to join this conversation.

The post Everything You Need to Know About Cannabis Law appeared first on Rocket Matter.

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Margot Robbie Shows Off Her Effortless Beauty on W Magazine’s November Cover

Serious question: who doesn’t love seeing Margot Robbie on magazine covers? Rarely does the actress ever disappoint, having photographed beautifully for the likes of Vogue, Vanity Fair and Marie Claire. Margot currently appears on W Magazine‘s November 2017 issue, captured by Craig McDean and styled by Melanie Ward. The Aussie beauty oozes effortless charm throughout W‘s entire cover story, shot in the back of a vintage car and wearing a brown suede Calvin Klein shirt in the gorgeous cover image.

W Magazine November 2017 : Margot Robbie by Craig McDean

IMAGE: WMAGAZINE.COM

Most of our forum members approved of the cover. “Oh wow, this actually looks promising! Love the change. Their studio covers got a bit stale and stifled. I’m keen to see more and perhaps even get this issue (haven’t bought W in ages),” voiced Benn98.

“Love it. She’s so beautiful that it’s ridiculous,” admired SallyAlbright.

“Perfect cover for me, nonchalant, chic and it displays Margot’s beauty in the best way possible,” commented YohjiAddict.

Nepenthes couldn’t have agreed more. “In love with this cover!” she praised, with forum member Handbag Queen echoing the same sentiments.

“Finally, a decent November cover,” jal718 applauded.

But the cover wasn’t appealing to everyone’s taste. “Man, yet again their cover is a total nonevent! And again, not even a good shot of such a beautiful woman!” Miss Dalloway complained.

“I used to be a big Melanie Ward fan but her work has not impressed me in a long time. Maybe it’s because she’s a freelancer now so It’s like she just styles clothes instead of constructing stories,” noted A.D.C.

W Magazine November 2017 : Margot Robbie by Craig McDean

IMAGE: WMAGAZINE.COM

Check out the rest of Margot’s cover story and share your own opinion here.

The post Margot Robbie Shows Off Her Effortless Beauty on W Magazine’s November Cover appeared first on theFashionSpot.

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How Can My Business Get Online Sales?

Advertising and selling products and services online is not just a ‘nice to have’ feature any more, it’s fundamental to the success of most businesses. Online sales is in the fast lane is sure to overtake retail sales. More sales transactions will occur online than in physical stores as more bricks and mortar businesses strive to broaden their customer base and grow their…

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BK Ready for Round of 12 Challenge

Brad Keselowski hardly broke a sweat, breezing through the Round of 16 relatively worry-free—but the points are now reset, and an entirely new animal emerges in the Round of 12.

Featuring two mile-and-a-half tracks sandwiched around a trip to the treacherous Talladega Superspeedway, the Round of 12 is sure to increase the playoff intensity. The first 1.5-mile track comes this weekend in Charlotte Motor Speedway’s Bank of America 500. While BK enters the Round of 12 in fourth place, he’s not taking lightly the challenge that lies ahead.

“I see those two mile-and-a-halves (Charlotte and Kansas) which is mostly about the aerodynamics, and that’s important to get all that right,” Brad said. “And then Talladega which is just…”

Brad boasts four career wins at Talladega, more than any other track, but he’s well aware that he can’t take the challenge lightly. The Team Penske driver believes that the restrictor-plate track’s unpredictable nature will be magnified in the current stage format.

“I felt like before the stages it was a little easier to control your destiny there. You could run up front and kind of stay away from it all,” BK said. “Then with the stages, you could run up front, somebody would short pit and cycle you to the back. … That just mixes up the field; it means there’s no safe place to be.”

With that in mind, up-front finishes and strong points days will be highly coveted this weekend at Charlotte as drivers look to pad their points going into Dega. BK knows that he and crew chief Paul Wolfe will have to be on their game, as the race for stage points will be fierce.

“Those stages are (crucial), as they were meant to be. They were meant to put an emphasis on running up front early in a race and not just riding around and cruising,” Brad said. “You can run fifth and not score any stage points and you’re not going to score the fifth-most points on the day, you’re going to score about the 10th-most points.”

Fortunately, BK has mustered up some magic in this playoff race at Charlotte before. Amid a 2012 Championship hangover in the 2013 season, Brad raced his way to his first career win at the 1.5-mile Carolina track—his only win of that down campaign.

He also has three XFINITY Series wins to his name at Charlotte, two of which came in the fall. He has a history of CMS consistency at NASCAR’s second level, finishing in the Top 10 in 14 of his 18 starts.

Brad was on a string of four straight Top 10 finishes at the Monster Energy Cup Series level before this season’s earlier trip to Charlotte. Kes hit an oil slick and smashed into a spinning Chase Elliott, ending his Coca-Cola 600 run just 19 laps in.

“We had a really fast Miller Lite Ford and I think we had a shot at winning tonight, but that’s how it goes,” Brad said after the wreck.

The Alliance 2 Crew will look to replicate that speed this weekend. First practice is set of 1:30 p.m. ET on Friday, followed by qualifying under the lights at 7:20 p.m. The final two practice sessions are set for 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Saturday. The Bank of America 500 is scheduled for a 2 p.m. ET start on Sunday and will air on NBC.

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