Vince Sliwoski

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Vince manages Harris Bricken’s Portland office and is a professor of Cannabis Law and Policy at Lewis & Clark Law School. He is a well-rounded attorney with expertise in a wide range of transactional law.

Latest Articles

Last week, we explored whether the addition of hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) to food and beverages is actually unlawful, notwithstanding FDA policy. In that article we explained that we hadn’t seen much in the way of FDA enforcement, and that we “believe that FDA will likely continue to act where people make health claims that violate the Food Drug & Cosmetic Act” and not much more. A few days later, outgoing FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb…
We advise some of the largest companies in the U.S. on hemp-derived cannabidiol (hemp-CBD) products. Those companies are filled with lawyers, and the lawyers have many specializations. Most of them, however, have little or no familiarity with hemp-CBD, and that is why they reach out and hire us. In the preliminary emails and phone calls, a very common question those lawyers ask is this: “The FDA has stated that it is ‘not legal’ to introduce…
Recently, the concept of “supervoting shares” in U.S. public companies has surfaced again in the news. Supervoting shares are created where founders wish to dilute themselves in an economic sense (in exchange for transformative capital), but retain outsized control in management and governance. This is different than your typical “class A and B shares” setup, where the former class of stock features robust voting rights, and the latter claims marginal or no voting rights.…
Back in 2015, I wrote on this blog that we were never not litigating cannabis business disputes. That is still true today, although the forums have changed: matters are now resolved through the court system more frequently than before, when private arbitration was preferred. This is partly because the prevailing view among cannabis business attorneys is no longer to require arbitration in marijuana-related contracts, or to attempt to shepherd marijuana-related disputes into arbitration. These…
The Oregon legislature has been grappling with cannabis for five consecutive years. Talking with those in Salem trenches, one senses some fatigue. At this point, over a month into the 2019 session, a preponderance of legislators appear vaguely inclined to “let it ride” and drop the big ideas when it comes to cannabis. This means we are unlikely to see a full-scale merger of the medical and recreational cannabis programs in 2019 (too bad), and…
Last week, I covered the Oregon Secretary of State’s audit report of Oregon marijuana regulation. On January 31, the same day the audit was released, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) submitted its 2019 Recreational Marijuana Supply and Demand Legislative Report (“Report”). The Report’s key finding is nothing new: supply exceeds demand within Oregon’s recreational market. The impressive part, however, is by how much. The Report specifies that “the recreational market has 6.5 years’…
On January 31, the Oregon Secretary of State released an audit of Oregon marijuana regulation. The audit is a hefty 37 pages, but its core findings are listed right there on the cover sheet: “Oregon’s framework for regulating marijuana should be strengthened to better mitigate diversion risk and improve laboratory testing.” Now: we would all like to see less diversion and better testing, but those findings are not exactly surprising. And no one should expect…
On February 1, it was reported that the World Health Organization (WHO) made some significant and long overdue recommendations with respect to cannabis. Those recommendations have not been formally released, but we expect that to happen soon. If adopted wholesale by the United Nations (UN), the recommendations will have a significant impact globally as to controls placed on cannabis and its constituent parts. It is important to note that the WHO is not recommending the…
Happy MLK Day! For our international readers, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a federal U.S. holiday marking the birthday of its eponymous civil rights hero. Dr. King was the chief spokesperson for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law. Dr. King was assassinated in 1968, four years after the passage of one of the great U.S. laws of the 20th century, the Civil Rights Act…
We have spilled a lot of ink on this blog related to the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized hemp at the federal level. It’s huge news. And there are so many ramifications, from food law to trademarks to the financial services environment. This blog post is going to cover financial institutions and hemp at about 10,000 feet. Since late December, we’ve had many clients come to us with frustrations about the ongoing lack of…