Chief Counsel Regulatory Law

Chicago, Illinois | Full-Time

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The Role

This newly created role has primary responsibility for representing the Company in all state and local (and, in the future, federal) cannabis regulatory law matters. The role builds, maintains and leads our internal regulatory law and cannabis compliance function. We move quickly here at Green Thumb – and so too do the applicable regulations! - so be ready and willing to work in a fast-paced environment and be prepared to build something new.

As a proactive leader, the Chief Counsel, Regulatory Law will build, lead and develop a team of Legal & Compliance associates with responsibility for executing the regulatory vision and strategy for the company across our 14+ states and 65+ local jurisdictions where we operate our cultivation, processing and dispensary facilities. The senior-level advisor will mostly interact with management at the senior level and our functional stakeholders and will serve as the primary point of contact with state cannabis regulators and local zoning and governmental officials on all regulatory matters, whether going from provisional licensure (license award) through the operational phase or obtaining state and local approval of a change in ownership or control of a license or business expansion, as supported by the broader internal team and team of external local counsel.

This role is based at the Company's Chicago HQ and reports to the Company's General Counsel & Secretary.


The Opportunity:

  • Provides leadership, direction, and integration of regulatory affairs and cannabis compliance activities to fulfill state and local (and, in the future, federal) regulations. Overall responsibility for the design, implementation and effectiveness of the regulatory framework and adherence to the Company's corporate compliance
  • Serves as the primary point of contact on regulatory and cannabis compliance matters for state cannabis regulators and local regulators and government officials. Supports the advocacy work of GTI's Government Relations team and assumes responsibility for legal advice and counsel to the business once laws or regulations are finalized, including interpreting new laws or regulations and developing a strategy to comply within the required regulatory timeframe.
  • Helps to identify and proactively solve regulatory challenges before they become issues, such as licensee change of control reporting and disclosure requirements. Coordinates outreach to state and local regulators/officials as needed for disclosure and/or approvals of changes in ownership or control of a license, expansion of a license or other changes to operations.
  • In collaboration with the Assistant General Counsel – Litigation & Regulatory Compliance, oversees coordination of GTI's response, and oversees internal investigations, in connection with state or local regulatory inquiries or licensing issues.
  • Because regulatory requirements vary significantly across the states and change frequently, coordinates with GTI's Permit and Compliance Specialist and an external team of legal advisors to provide timely and accurate advice and to appear on behalf of GTI, when requested, in state or local government or regulatory meetings and hearings, such as zoning board meetings.
  • Strategizes with Assistant General Counsel – Litigation & Regulatory Compliance and senior management on challenges to the appropriateness or lawfulness of new cannabis laws or denials of GTI's licensing pursuits, where appropriate.
  • In collaboration with the General Counsel, oversees periodic enterprise risk management evaluations related to regulatory affairs or cannabis compliance that are intended to identify, assess, monitor and mitigate risks that may affect GTI generally, so they are managed within acceptable risk tolerance levels.
  • Serves as a technical resource for business and other functions regarding regulatory and cannabis compliance matters.
  • Leading, developing and delegating to, as appropriate, a high performing regulatory law and cannabis compliance team that is execution focused and disciplined in approach and handles all licensing and cannabis compliance matters for GTI.
  • Is registered with the various state and local licensing agencies as the sole, or one of, GTI's key contacts, and completes all registration requirements, including background information and fingerprinting.
  • Mentors legal and compliance professionals on their work and management activities and their career development and goals.
  • Promotes a culture of compliance by fostering an environment of open and honest communication with all employees of all levels.
  • Reinforces the importance of conducting oneself in an ethical manner and in the best interests of the company.
  • Develops and drives the implementation of a proactive, strategic and modern regulatory compliance training program for the Retail and Consumer Packaged Goods business partners aimed at explaining the "why" behind the "what" of the requirements.
  • Prepares materials and makes presentations to GTI senior management as requested.

Who you are:

  • 12+ years of legal experience in regulatory law or compliance for highly regulated industry, preferably in the cannabis industry.
  • Experience leading/transforming a strong Compliance team and successfully managing and developing people
  • Maintain an active license to practice law in IL or satisfy Illinois Supreme Court Rule 716.

Preferred:

  • Extensive knowledge of federal and state laws and industry requirements affecting the "plant-touching" cannabis industry
  • Extensive experience implementing legislative changes into compliance program components
  • Proven track record of successfully building and leading a Compliance function in large, matrixed organizations that embeds Compliance as a competitive advantage and strategic business enabler of long-term growth
  • Sophisticated ability to apply a risk-based analysis to compliance issues and demonstrate creativity and flexibility in developing solutions that satisfy both business requirements and legal obligations
  • Specific experience presenting to and working directly with company CEO, CFO, Head of Operations and other C-suite members
  • Strong analytical and communication skills
  • Strong attention to detail. Pragmatic and practical approach. Decisive and direct
  • Appropriate level of assertiveness, maturity, self-awareness, courage, agility and guidance to effectively project the stature and importance of the compliance function across the organization
  • Excellent collaboration and influencing skills
  • Superior judgment and rigor in relation to problem solving and appropriate escalation of issues
  • Demonstrated ability to work efficiently and independently, prioritize workflow, meet demanding deadlines, and manage multi-faceted projects in a fast-moving environment
  • Willingness and ability to deliver a consistent message in the face of adversity
  • A demonstrated ability to establish and maintain open and trusting work relationships
  • Must be able to work quickly, respond to shifting demands and priorities and be comfortable in a "start-up" setting where processes and staffing are being built.

Additional Requirements

  • Must pass any and all required background checks
  • Must be and remain compliant with all legal or company regulations for working in the industry
  • Must be a minimum of 21 years of age
  • Must be approved by state badging agency to work in cannabis industry

Note: Green Thumb will be operating in accordance with the Biden Administration's Path Out of the Pandemic. The plan requires employees of all businesses with 100 or more employees to be fully vaccinated or require weekly testing for unvaccinated employees by January 4, 2022.

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