From DEA to Legal Cannabis: Charles Feldmann Weighs In
Our guest CannaTech blogger today is none other than Charles Feldmann, Esq., a managing partner at Denver-headquartered Feldmann Nagel Cantafio, PLLC, where he serves as an adviser to the cannabis industry’s largest and most profitable businesses. From corporate operations, licensing, intellectual property, joint venture, transaction documentation, private placements/investor relations, licensing, rules and regulation, IPO’s, statutory authority, compliance, legislative and governmental relations, litigation, partnership and enforcement appeal, Charles offers a wide range of legal services for cannabis businesses. In the CannaTech ecosystem, Charles is famous for sponsoring a much-loved donut wall – a nod to his law enforcement background.
As a Marine Corps federal prosecutor, DEA Drug Task Force Commander and state narcotics prosecutor, Charles spent many years engaged in the War on Drugs. In 2009 as the regulatory framework began to shift in Colorado, Charles recognized the need for his niche expertise in assisting cannabis entrepreneurs to comply with strict regulatory compliance protocol.
In the decade since he became a first-mover in the nascent American cannabis industry, Charles has worked with cannabis and hemp clients across US states where cannabis is legal and is currently widening his firm’s footprint in the expanding global hemp market place.
A Former DEA Prosecutor’s Journey into the Global Cannabis Industry
“Doveryai, no proveryai (доверять, но проверить)”
– Famous Russian proverb
I was fourteen when Ronald Reagan was first elected President of the United States. I was one of those kids who, growing up in middle-class America, was taught to “Just Say No!” to drugs. I never did drugs and never dated girls who did – I was a true believer just like President Reagan was.
I spent the early part of my legal career on the front lines of the War on Drugs. I served my country as a United States Marine, prosecuting marijuana drug runners in Southern California and commanded a DEA Drug Task Force sending many young people to prison for their illicit business with the “Devil’s Weed.”
When I made the transition from law enforcement to providing legal assistance to top cannabis companies, President Reagan helped guide me with his favorite Russian proverb: “Trust, but verify”. He adopted this phrase at the signing of a nuclear arms treaty with the Soviet Union. Both countries had something to gain and everything to lose, but that’s where the trust came in. And what resulted in this mutual trust? The Fall of the Soviet Union.
I have witnessed first-hand the promising world of cannabis and hemp, and the prosperity that cannabis has generated for Colorado. I have watched CBD and hemp markets bring in new tax revenue on a never before seen scale. I have learned of real medicines being discovered and tested in hospitals and universities with positive clinical results. Veterans suffering from PTSD are finding legitimate relief from a plant that has been used as a medicine for over 3,000 years.
Big weed earned my trust. I tossed my badge and gun to the side (but kept my Colorado DEA cowboy hat, of course) and began speaking all over the globe on the ever-evolving world of cannabis and hemp. I guide my law firm’s clients through the maze of regulation to foster secure, profitable businesses. My clients make millions of dollars, profiting from an industry that I once would have sent them to prison for.
According to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc., the value of the legal cannabis market is expected to reach one hundred and fifty billion dollars by 2025: the Green Rush is on and here to stay. My advice from years of involvement in the cannabis industry is that if you are looking to profit from the Green Rush, remember what Ronald Reagan was famous for saying: “Trust, but verify”.
There are cannabis villains out there – that is the “verify” part of the idiom. Beware of promises that are impossible to keep. Watch out for penny stock predators and CBD snake oil cultivators and unsavoury extractors. Be wary of evangelical Canadian business valuations. Think twice of unicorns claiming to have a secret sauce or a way to water plants that no one in the history of mankind has thought of. Seriously evaluate partnering with former black markets operators of the cannabis world. Verifying everything in this industry is a must, as is surrounding yourself with an experienced, professional team.
Regardless of the United States’ failed War on Drugs, cannabis is a valuable international commodity. The market grows, evolves and shifts – seemingly on a daily basis. Weed is here to stay. My advice, in the words of President Reagan: “Doveryai, no proveryai (Trust, but verify)”.
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