Blue Line Protection Group Inc. is reiterating its commitment to ensuring the legal cannabis industry operates in a safe, secure and compliant manner, in light of the recent memo issued by United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
On Jan. 4, Sessions issued a memorandum for all United States attorneys, rescinding guidance specific to marijuana enforcement that had previously been issued through several memorandums by the federal government since 2009.
“Our role in this industry has always been one primarily of compliance assurance,” said Dan Allen, Blue Line’s CEO. “Now, that role has become more important than ever as we navigate an industry that may face greater scrutiny from federal law enforcement agencies.”
While the guidance recommendations outlined in the 2013 Cole Memo have been officially rescinded, Blue Line’s compliance investigators will continue to educate state licensed cannabis businesses about the importance of adhering to the spirit of the priorities listed in that memo, as well as all other pertinent state and local laws regulating the industry.
“Cannabis businesses still need to enact procedures that prevent the distribution of marijuana to minors or intoxicated individuals, for instance,” added Allen. “We can also recommend reliable inventory methods to ensure marijuana products are not diverted to states where use or possession remains illegal, and we can advise our financial institution partners of suspicious business activities with our on-site compliance assessments of their clients.”
With more than 600 compliance investigations completed on behalf of financial institutions providing transparent banking services to the legal cannabis industry, Blue Line will continue to augment its compliance assessment strategies based on input from local regulatory agencies, financial services partners and the business community at large.
“We’re pleased with the statement from U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer of the District of Colorado, and we hope their enforcement efforts will continue to be governed by the same principles that have guided them thus far, focusing in particular on identifying and prosecuting those who create the greatest safety threats to our communities around the state.
“Our goal has always been to help ensure that state licensed cannabis businesses are operating with a strong sensitivity to the effect their presence has in and around their communities,” added Allen. “Any deviation from those best practices are addressed by our investigators and communicated to the business owners, along with recommendations for improved operational procedures and reasonable timelines for rectifying potential regulatory issues.”
As the industry continues to operate in a shifting legal landscape, Blue Line’s risk mitigation services will be crucial to the health and longevity of a compliant and responsible industry. “We developed our compliance standards based on state and local regulations and federal recommendations, with a strong sensitivity toward community quality-of-life expectations and crime prevention strategies of law enforcement agencies,” noted Allen.
Blue Line’s compliance investigations services are available to licensed financial institutions to assist with their “know your customer” regulatory requirements, or directly to business owners as part of a regulatory compliance development strategy.