• Gavin Kogan

For Entrepreneurs

Most cannabis entrepreneurs share three core desires: (a) to further compassionate care & patient marijuana access, (b) to pursue social justice goals, such as dismantling the violent Prison Industrial Complex, and (c) to play a meaningful part in building an entirely new American industry from scratch. All of us share these desires and each core desire shows up as primary at different times in our entrepreneurial lives, as well as at different times in the evolution of our industry.

It's critical to understand how our industry is decidedly different and why it attracts a different breed of entrepreneur. Our industry did not arise from the easily understood commercial desire for wealth or technological evolution. Rather our industry was born from the activism of the LGBT community’s response to the institutionally ignored AIDS epidemic of the 1980's and 90's. Medical Marijuana was and is instrumental in easing the suffering of Americans living with HIV and AIDS. This tragedy energized California's Prop 215 and became the catalyst to opening up the conversation on bringing an end to the long failed drug war waged against the American people. 

These roots characterize our emerging industry, inform how we treat each other and with compassionate intelligence guide our future endeavors. Few of us will again likely have an opportunity to build an entire industry from the ground up. Therefore, it is imperative we do so thoughtfully and with conviction. Along this path, we are fortunate to have business leaders and professionals to support this difficult effort and tremendous growth.


Criminal lawyers are different from Commercial Lawyers. Criminal lawyers assist individuals caught up in law enforcement actions. Commercial lawyers assist entrepreneurs build sound business structures to avoid personal liabilities. Due to the drug war, Criminal lawyers were the first on the scene and instrumental in carving out the court cases that defined the early shape of our California industry. Commercial lawyers came later, Gavin being one, and helped early entrepreneur's efforts survive law enforcement encounters and legitimize their commercial endeavors for the benefit of patient collectives. 


Again much like lawyers accountants are often specialists, and those who are well versed in the intricacies specific to our industry are better able to serve cannabis entrepreneur needs. First and foremost is circumventing the application of Internal Revenue Code Section 280(e), a left-over from the cocaine-high days of the 1980's. Section 280(e) essentially strips cannabis entrepreneurs from being able to write off their expenses, thus rendering such business endeavors in the red and leaving entrepreneurs financially crippled. IRS Code Section 280(e) and the Federal government's threat to banks willing to handle cannabis financial transactions are the two key weapons used to injure and inhibit the inevitable growth of the cannabis industry. Like commercial attorneys, accountants can manage your needs remotely. 


Consultants generally have expertise in specific areas of our industry and thus require a bit more care in selection. For example, an indoor cannabis grow expert may not be the best fit for an endeavor seeking to build out greenhouse operations. Similarly, a business start-up has different needs than an established company solving growth problems. We've assembled a team of consultants in different areas that commonly serve my client's needs: 


Indoor, outdoor and hybrid grow operations

Business plan development & implementation

New business financing

Edible development & production

Extraction business models

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