Claire Mitchell

Claire Mitchell

Claire Mitchell, is a  business transactional and regulatory compliance attorney for the food, beverage, and hospitality industries. Claire counsels companies at all levels of the food and beverage supply chain, including international, national, and regional producers, processors, and retailers, on a variety of regulatory compliance, risk management, and licensing issues. Claire advises clients on consumer product labeling, marketing, advertising, and packaging, product safety compliance strategies, state and federal liquor licensing matters, and commercial contract negotiation, including negotiation of brokerage, custom crush, sponsorship, concession, and contract manufacturing agreements.

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Compliance Checklist for Mandatory Quality Assurance Testing of Marijuana Products

To considerable fanfare – and the occasional stumble – the legal recreational marijuana industry opened for business in Washington state last week. So far, the Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) has issued the state’s first 24 marijuana retailer licenses, representing the first of 334 licenses allotted by the WSLCB for retail sales who have … Continue Reading

Doors Open for Business for Licensed Marijuana Retailers in Washington State

Hundreds of eager customers lined up outside of Washington’s newly licensed marijuana retailers on Tuesday to make history by participating in the first legal sales of recreational marijuana in the state. Earlier this week, the Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) issued the state’s first 24 marijuana retailer licenses. These businesses represent the first of … Continue Reading

WSLCB Approves Lottery to Rank Marijuana Retail License Applicants

The Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) has approved the use of a lottery system to select the apparent successful applicants for marijuana retail licenses. WSLCB staff recommended the independent, double-blind process in order to limit the number marijuana retail stores per county as directed by Initiative 502, the measure legalizing the recreational use of … Continue Reading

Colorado Amends Ethics Rules to Provide Safe Harbor for Lawyers Advising Marijuana Businesses

According to a new comment adopted by Colorado’s Supreme Court last week, Colorado lawyers who provide legal services to state-regulated medical and recreational marijuana businesses will not violate the state’s Rules of Professional Conduct. The rule change added the following comment to Rule 1.2 regarding the scope of representation and allocation of authority between the … Continue Reading

First Recreational Marijuana Licenses Issued in Washington

The Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) issued the state’s first licenses to produce and process recreational marijuana today. According to news reports, the licenses were issued to Spokane’s Sean Green who will operate his business under the trade name Kouchlock Productions. The WSLCB began processing applications for all three license types (producer, processor and … Continue Reading

Legal Marijuana Business Faces Increased Local Resistance in Wake of Recent Washington State AG Opinion

Despite the fact that implementation of Initiative 502 (I-502), a measure legalizing the recreational use of marijuana that was approved by Washington voters in 2012, is in full swing, and other states such as Florida and New York are loosening their laws on the use of medical marijuana, there is growing resistance to legal marijuana … Continue Reading

Initiative 522 Defeated in Washington

Based on preliminary results from Tuesday’s election, it appears that Washington State’s hotly debated Initiative 522 (I-522) concerning the labeling of genetically-engineered foods has gone the way of California’s Proposition 37. Washington officials reported on Wednesday, November 6, 2013 that voters had rejected the measure, 54% to 46%. California’s similar labeling measure, Proposition 37, was … Continue Reading

Ethical Challenges for Lawyers in the Face of State Marijuana Legalization

UPDATE: Although the RPC proposal mentioned below is still under consideration by the Washington State Supreme Court, the KCBA Board of Trustees has adopted an ethics advisory opinion to assist the bar in the interim as attorneys consider practice issues under the existing RPCs. The full text of the KCBA Ethics Advisory Opinion on I-502 & Rules of … Continue Reading

Washington Liquor Control Board Announces Marijuana Licensing Educational Seminars

Over the next few weeks, the Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) Marijuana Licensing staff will be conducting a series of educational seminars across Washington State. During the seminars, WSLCB staff will be advising potential licensees of the license application process under Initiative 502 and will be available to answer any additional questions. Those interested … Continue Reading

Senate Judiciary Committee Holds Federal Marijuana Policy Hearing

With several states now moving forward with legalized medical or recreational marijuana regulatory schemes, how to obtain business financing remains a hurdle legal marijuana growers and distributers have yet to solve. As noted in a recent New York Times article, “financial institutions, security providers and landlords that serve marijuana businesses can be prosecuted for racketeering, … Continue Reading

DEA Raids Seattle Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Months After Passage of I-502

Several news sources reported on Wednesday, July 24, 2013, that U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents raided a number of medical marijuana dispensaries in the Puget Sound area. However, DEA Spokesperson Jodie Underwood did not provide details about how many dispensaries were being targeted or how many search warrants were being executed. These raids come … Continue Reading

WSLCB Holds Work Session on I-502 Draft Rules and Comments

About a month ago, the Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) issued initial draft rules implementing Initiative 502 (I-502)(PDF), Washington state’s recently enacted marijuana reform law. You can read more about those draft rules here in one of our previous blog posts on the subject. Since mid-May, WSLCB has been accepting public comment regarding the … Continue Reading

Marijuana Experts Host Live Chat to Discuss New I-502 Rules

With the initial draft rules implementing Initiative 502 (I-502) (PDF) issued just last week and still fresh on the public’s mind, Seattle Times reporter Bob Young and three I-502 experts held a live chat today to answer specific questions about the new rules. State Liquor Control Board Deputy Director Rick Garza, ACLU of Washington drug-policy director … Continue Reading

Washington Liquor Control Board Releases Draft I-502 Rules: what you need to know

Watch for our I-502 draft rules cheat sheet, coming soon! The wait is officially over, folks. Yesterday, the Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) met its projected mid-May deadline to issue initial draft rules implementing Initiative 502 (I-502) (PDF), Washington state’s recently enacted marijuana reform law. The 46-page proposed addition to the Washington Administrative Code … Continue Reading

I-502 Draft Rules Expected Next Week

It looks like the Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) is on track to meet the first of several milestones in the implementation of Initiative 502 (I-502), Washington State’s recently passed marijuana reform law. According to a tweet earlier today from I-502 Implementation (@I502implement), we can expect to see the first draft of I-502 implementing … Continue Reading

Stoel Rives Opens Office in Washington, D.C.

We are pleased to announce that we have opened a satellite office in Washington, D.C. Our new address, effective immediately: Stoel Rives LLP 1020 19th Street NW, Suite 375 Washington, DC 20036 Phone: (202) 398-1795 / Fax: (202) 621-6394 The new office is headed by firm partner Greg Jenner, a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of … Continue Reading

Washington State Liquor Control Board Announces Timeline for Implementing I-502

The Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) announced its tentative timeline for implementation of Initiative 502 (I-502) yesterday. WSLCB developed this timeline in order to keep the public informed and to identify significant milestones in the implementation process. Rulemaking began in early December with the filing of CR101 for the Producer License, a notice of proposed rulemaking. WSLCB is still accepting public … Continue Reading

Update From the Washington Liquor Control Board on I-502

Today, the Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) issued a few updates on the implementation process for Initiative 502 (I-502), the marijuana reform law that recently passed in November 2012. Specifically, WSLCB announced that it plans to hold evening forums in six locations across Washington. These forums present an opportunity for the public to meet … Continue Reading
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