Cannabis practice leader Emily Gant was featured in Ganjapreneur, a leading marijuana industry publication, in an interview on the evolution of cannabis industry regulations. Emily, who has been practicing alcohol law in Washington since before the state’s cannabis laws were drafted, is now well versed in the legal landscape of both industries. Her interview offers insight into her work advising cannabis clients, the complications of regulating cannabis from a policymaker’s point of view, her advice for students and new lawyers pursuing a career in cannabis law, and more.
Emily shared that she enjoys being a “consigliere” for wineries, distilleries, breweries and cannabis companies – getting to know their company and its dynamics, understanding their challenges, becoming a trusted advisor and using her knowledge of the industry to help them achieve their goals. Of the similarities between her alcohol and work, Emily said, “Those drafting I-502 leaned heavily on Washington state’s alcohol laws as a model. Much of the language is virtually identical – some of the regulation numbers even match.”
She added, “The same agency oversees both cannabis and alcohol in the state, meaning the agency understands the regulatory context and can lean on its depth of knowledge from the alcohol space as it enacts cannabis regulations.”
Emily also emphasized the importance of a dedicated focus to alcohol and cannabis law. She reflected on the advice of a mentor who urged her not to “dabble in the industry. She said, “To find success, you need to identify a great mentor, expand your substantive skills, develop your industry knowledge, and build regulatory contacts.”
To read the full interview, please visit the Ganjapreneur website.