- Posts by Joseph WestPrincipal
Joe has practiced in the areas of real estate, business and banking law in Oregon for more than 30 years. Joe’s real estate practice includes representation of owners, developers, tenants and lenders in a wide variety of matters ...
The Executive Director of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission is spreading good cheer this holiday season by issuing a “Winter Holiday Checklist” to all recreational marijuana licensees. The Checklist includes a list of regulatory violations that the OLCC is seeing on a regular basis, and a reminder of the OLCC’s enforcement authority to address these violations. One might criticize the Director for being a bit of a Scrooge by warning licensees that they are subject to investigation and enforcement action (which can include license revocation) for violations of OLCC rules. However, the Director is actually providing an early holiday gift with this Checklist, because he is providing all licensees with advance notice of those areas where the OLCC is going to pay particular attention to confirm compliance. Those areas include the following
A fundamental rule of contract law is that “illegal” contracts are not enforceable. But what constitutes an “illegal contract”? Generally speaking, an illegal contract is one where the performance of the contract results in an illegal act. Illegal contracts are considered “void and unenforceable,” meaning neither party can sue the other party for nonperformance of the contract.
What if a tenant enters into a commercial lease that contemplates illegal activities by the tenant on the property? This is the situation for many tenants who are leasing property for cannabis operations. In many cases, the activity may be properly licensed and permitted under state recreational marijuana laws, but the activity is illegal under federal law (such as the Controlled Substances Act). A recent Arizona Court of Appeals case addressed this issue directly.
Foster Garvey’s Cannabis practice group comprises a premier legal counsel team who provides a full range of legal services such as regulatory compliance, marijuana licensing, business finance, contracts, labor and employment, health care, real estate, intellectual property, litigation and dispute resolution, technology and tax. Our team possesses deep and diverse industry experience and has counseled clients across virtually all industry sectors. We understand the inherent challenges that licensed marijuana and ancillary businesses in Washington state, Oregon and Alaska are burdened with in this highly regulated industry as they deal with onerous state and local regulations as well as uncertainty resulting from federal law.
We are committed to helping our clients achieve their business goals while navigating the intricacies in this rapidly changing area of law. We prize innovation and entrepreneurship, and closely monitoring industry trends.