Many cities across America have been welcoming cannabis into their legal doorsteps. However, despite such welcome, there are still complexities you need to understand regarding the rules and regulations surrounding its use. In this episode, Anthony Frischknecht interviews Amanda Ostrowitz, who founded RegsTechnology and its current product, CannaRegs, as a tool to aid attorneys, business people, and governments with localized tracking of regulatory issues. As interesting as how a former Federal Reserve bank examiner got into the cannabis industry, Amanda points out the changes in regulations regarding cannabis use. She talks about its importance to business owners and to any cannabis user in Denver and other areas. Sharing some sad stories of establishments being fined for illegal cannabis, Amanda also touches on the California market and their enforcement, taxes, and policies in using the plant.
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What You Need To Know About Cannabis Laws And Regulations With Amanda Ostrowitz
Amanda Ostrowitz is a regulatory attorney and entrepreneur who has identified a need for a user-friendly scalable platform to research regulations and laws in the cannabis industry. She founded Regs Technology and its product, CannaRegs, as a tool to aid attorneys, business people and governments with localized tracking of regulatory issues. Although Regs Technology has its origin in covering the dynamics of cannabis regulation, Amanda has created an innovative framework that can be applied more broadly to other emerging hyper-localized regulatory issues. Prior to conceiving, developing and founding Regs Technology, she worked as a bank examiner in the Denver branch, a Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. She is a New England native who moved to Colorado in 2004 to attend Colorado College, where she earned a BA in Economics and went on to receive a Juris Doctor from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law in 2013. She is a pioneer in her field. Please let me welcome to you, Amanda Ostrowitz.
Amanda, how are you doing? I’m glad you were able to join me. How’s everything going?
Everything is going great. I’m gearing up for a very busy conference season ahead of us and taking the advantage of these last few days before the road series kicks off. I’m working away and excited to talk with you.
Thanks for taking the time out of your day and spending some time with me and my audience. I wanted to ask you how has a former Federal Reserve bank examiner get into the cannabis industry? How did you get your start?
It’s stiff when you would think the Federal Reserve and federally legality, but it was quite natural. I was always a better fit for cannabis probably than the Federal Reserve. How did that all start? When I was working at the Federal Reserve, it was at the same time that cannabis became legal. Now Federal Reserve employees can’t bring cannabis to work. We got an email one day that said, “Just because it’s legal in Colorado does not mean you can bring your cannabis to work.” I laughed because I thought anybody that needed that email probably shouldn’t be working at the fed.
How it all came to be was that this conversation of cannabis banking was an ever-present conversation and the banking issues are still an issue now. I was tasked with doing some very basic research on cannabis banking issues. What is supposed to be some basic research turned into me falling down a deep rabbit hole of research. The further I went down this rabbit hole, I realized we weren’t dealing with a federal law issue when we were dealing with cannabis. We were dealing with state and local laws.
While I had been working in banking law early on in my career, I always hated that the old guy attorneys had too many advantages on me. One was fair, they had a book of business but this other one they had was knowing where the laws were. To be frank, they’re hard things to find in banking as well. Granted there were only at the federal and state level. I always thought it should be easier to find this content, but I was determined to learn so I studied and I learned what I needed to take that out of play.
Meanwhile, while I’m doing this cannabis research, I ended up all the way down at the municipal level and it starts with Denver. I find that there are eight agencies involved in Denver in cannabis alone. I go to the next city over. I looked over at Boulder and they only had about tier-three agencies involved, but it’s entirely different laws. I had never before seen an industry that was so hyper-local. I’d only dealt with industries that had federal and state law. I’d always wanted to solve the research problem that I had on the banking side by making things easier to find based on what they were about rather than memorizing certain sections and citations.California is the strictest in everything when it comes to regulation as a whole. Click To Tweet
When I found this problem with cannabis at this super-local level, I said, “I can’t fix the banking problem here, but I want to tackle that information problem.” The information was so disparate, it changed from city to city. There were multiple agencies that weren’t even communicating with each other. The main agency in Denver didn’t even know that the fire department had put out guidance documents back then. The fire department was calling these things regulations, but they didn’t even have the regulatory authority to do it. To say the least, it was a total disaster. I thought, “I’m not particularly happy where I’m at anyway. I’m going to try this thing.” That is how I went down to do it.
The cannabis world for the business owner is challenging as it is. Picking out the regulations, you found your niche there. What’s important about a business owner especially in cannabis? Not only cannabis but businesses in general and understanding their regulations especially on their local side. What’s the most important part of that and why do they need to be on top of that?
A lot of business owners look at regulatory compliance as a cost center. That’s plain wrong. When you’re dealing in a highly regulated industry, business owners need to look at regulations as the heartbeat. You might not see somebody’s heart outside of their body. You might not think about your heart beating every single day, but if the heart stops, everything else goes away. A lot of people think of it as an expense but in reality, no compliance, no business. You can lose everything overnight. We’ve seen it dozens and dozens of times. It’s not about, “The owners screwed up.” It can be an employee or a manager that can cost a company an entire business or hundreds of thousands of dollars in fine. We often tried to preach to people. It’s about breeding that culture of compliance into your company and making sure that people understand from day one that if there is no compliance, there is no business.
Do you have a circumstance that maybe you could relay to the audience or a story of what happened to somebody that you’ve worked with or somebody that you’ve known side by side in the industry that you’ve seen? Do you have anything off the top of your head that you know of?
I can tell you many stories. Originally, Colorado is the first place that turns a lot of people down. While in California I tell people, you go, “I’m not so worried about this. No one’s gotten in trouble yet.” I tell them, “Look around at the five companies and name me five you think that can’t fail or that won’t ever get shut down.” I guarantee you in two years, at least two of those will be gone. I know you think right now it can’t happen. Let me tell you some stories from Colorado. For example, one enforcement action I saw in Boulder, Colorado. This effects the local government that initiated the revocation, but you always have to have a local license and a state license.
A history of some minor violations here and there over time and it’s a pattern. The thing that caused them to lose their license is the inspector showed up one day and the manager of the store was out on the front porch smoking a joint. You’re not allowed to smoke on-premises and it’s super easy to enforce. That was the one that caused them to lose their license. We’ve seen licensed get revoked where a company moved their location and they didn’t file a change of location form. They just did it. In a lot of businesses, you wouldn’t have to do that, but in cannabis you do. That license was revoked.
We’ve also seen massive fines. The thing is when we’re talking about moving without doing paperwork, that’s on the owner. There was a famous story most people know of the Denver County Fair a few years back where a bunch of people got dosed. They had a cannabis area, but everything was to be cannabis free. There was no cannabis distribution allowed whatsoever. LivWell had created a whole bunch of un-infused candy bars. They were giving out chocolate. They start chocolate, people like chocolate but a disgruntled employee swapped out the bars for infused bars.
The company hadn’t labeled them any differently. They just used the label that they had, which they subsequently made sure that any bars like that in the future say “Not infused with THC on them.” A bunch of people ended up in the hospital and I believe that was about $150,000 or $200,000 fine from the state. They also settled with a ton of people outside of court, who are doing civil suits. That was just the state agency’s fine. Who knows what the rest of those were? We also saw a huge one in Massachusetts. Curaleaf got whacked with close to $250,000 fine because they did a change of ownership when they were acquiring a business. They didn’t file the form until about four months after. They put out the press of their acquisition and everything like that. This is happening all over the place and people are excited to be buying up these companies, acquiring new stuff and forgetting that you can lose it all or take a huge monetary hit if you’re not extremely careful.
As a small business owner, you can’t afford to take that risk and to get that hit because you’re out of business.
Even small things like selling to someone under 21, that’s an easy one for them to enforce. For a little business, they might make you close shop for five days or pay a fine equal to your revenue over a certain course of days. That could be enough to put a company out of business. They’re not all giant mega-companies, but they’re also trying to make fines pretty much proportional to the size of the company. Talk about what your potential risk and processes because it’s true their car doesn’t run without an engine. Your body can’t operate without a heart. Even though you don’t think about those things all the time, they are critical and need to be at the forefront.
I know some of our audience is trying to get into the industry. These are key points that Amanda is making. Please follow these and understand how serious this is. When you talked about the heartbeat before, how is California market’s heartbeat working right now with the change in regulations? How are they dealing with everything?
California is an entirely different animal as a whole because California started with a pseudo-legal place in 1996. The state said, “Locals, you figure it out.” There’s been this patchwork of local law all over the state, but the majority of local jurisdiction is opting out. When the state figured out that adult-use was going to pass in 2016, they said, “We better get a program together for medical scale.” Now they’ve merged into one program, but the statutes require almost twenty agencies involved. For licensing alone, you’re dealing with three agencies, whereas in Colorado you’re dealing with the MED for licensing. It’s much more complex.
However, because Colorado started in 2010, 2009 with medical from the beginning with the state program, they were probably stricter than California has been. California is massive. They’ve spent the last couple of years trying to get everybody licensed and transitioned from the gray or illicit market into the open legal markets. They’ve taken a different approach initially than Colorado did. Colorado was a lot more catch people with their hands in the cookie jar. That’s the nature of new enforcement. When I was at the Federal Reserve, to become a certified examiner, it was an almost three-year course of training. They didn’t have that time for this. They take a lot of ex-cops and ex-cops are generally catch people with their hand in the cookie jar. California is going to have similar people in place, but they very much took the approach of, “In this first year, we’re going to come out and examine you to show you what you’re doing wrong and help you get into compliance.”
The first round of enforcement examinations has been very much educational based and pushing people towards compliance with the law as opposed to saying, “We’re going to shut you down on day one.” They are still taking pretty aggressive actions against those that are blatantly disregarding the regulations or doing things that are belligerent like falsifying results of tests. Those are companies that are being told to halt operations altogether right now. That should be the case in any industry that have blatant disregard. What we are about to see is a massive uptick. The Curaleaf fine in Massachusetts is a very good indication that Massachusetts is not playing around and that there will be robust enforcement. In California, we’re about to start seeing that as well.
There’s been a lot of transition and growing pains in California because we have a very different structure that we’re dealing with in California. The taxes in California have been so high because the locals were the only ones taxing before. Now there are state taxes on top of that. There’s still this massive illicit market. They’re working more right now on trying to eradicate the illicit market than actual enforcement against licensed entities because they’re already more compliant than the illicit market. They’re also not going to survive if the illicit market isn’t quelled.
The efforts of the state agencies in California are a bit more right now on educational enforcement in the illicit market. Without a question, they will probably become the strictest enforcement in the country because California is the strictest in everything when it comes to regulation as a whole. It’s the California way. I tried to fill up a prescription in California from a Colorado doctor. It’s unrelated to cannabis, but I have to be on a special pad in California. I wanted to be frustrated. I was like, “I deal with regulations for a living. If California wasn’t this complicated and difficult, I’ll probably wouldn’t have the job.” They do it because they want to protect the consumer to the best ability possible. We’re going to see it coming. It’s not here yet. I would love for you to ask me this question again in the next few months from now because we’ll be able to have an entire hour or conversation on that alone.Everyone has growing pains. It’s how you respond to them that matters. Click To Tweet
What would you say to the illicit market out in California where they’re at now? Because they’d been operating there for quite some time since 1996. If you were to be talking to a group of people, is their time numbered? Can they go somewhere else and maybe start a business? What makes sense for somebody in that area right now?
Naturally, my advice because it’s the right thing to do, would be to get licensed. The time span for forgiveness in transitioning is going to expire. However, that’s my advice because I want what’s right. Quite frankly, if we want to be real here, they should sell as much as they can now and stored away well. I don’t want them to do that ever. Let’s be frank, the amount of enforcement that there is right now to shut down the illicit market is de minimis compared to the size of the market. There have been some shutdowns and they’ve made a lot of press about it. For the most part, most people don’t have as much to fear except for jail time.
The fact is that they can go to prison still and that should be fearful. It’s like playing whack-a-mole. These people get shut down and they open up the next day down the road. They’re creative. The consumer is extremely confused because a lot of these looks like regular dispensaries. Even more so, you would go, “I’ve seen in a legal dispensary brass knuckles and this place has brass knuckles. It must be a legit dispensary. Why is the average consumer would know any different?” They’re knocking off these products.
We’ve seen heavy hitters. I saw them present at a legal conference. He showed us a binder of their tracking of the knockoffs of their brands. These companies in China are watching them so closely each time they make any change to show that they’re different than the last one. They’re right on their backs. It’s extremely hard to get this under control. If I was black market and doing super well, I didn’t have the money to go into the open as a legal one, there’s not that much incentive. The problem is the taxes are too high. The illicit market is more profitable. The cost of entry is exorbitantly high.
While they’re trying to create equity programs that would help certain people make that transition and theoretically, these equity programs are amazing, noble and important, they’re extremely hard to execute on in an effective manner. There are several people leading the charge, but it is tough. Once these local governments get to a stage where they know exactly who’s licensed in their cities, it’s very clear who is illicit and who’s not because they tend to know where they are. They’re working together with the DEA and the state AGs. They truly are doing coordinated busts. It happens in Denver about every six months. They basically knock on 40 doors all at once at the same time and take down a ton of people. Don’t doubt for a minute that they will be coming because they will.
You brought up taxes. Is California even concerned about the high taxes? California is known for its high taxes in general. Are the regulators looking at that and saying, “We need to be talking and be very conscious of this.” Are they paying attention to it? Are they making any moves towards it? What do you know about the taxes at all?
I know the conversation has happened quite a bit at the state level. There are a couple of issues. Without a question, taxes are the number one problem. The taxes need to be lower to attract that conversion from illicit to the legal market. We all know that. The problem is because there’s such a strong illicit market, the sales were much lower to kick-off in California than the estimate. They’re like, “We already got less revenue from taxes than we anticipated, so how could we lower it?” That said, bills were introduced through the legislature to try to wave a certain part of the taxes that are levied on the cultivator for an initial period, reduce it, wave it, etc., but the bill died.
It had a lot of support, but when that report came out that showed that they were much lower on the tax numbers than they expected, it died. There’ll be continued efforts through the legislature for the foreseeable future to reduce those rates. It’s going to have to be a joint effort. It’s going to have to be an effort from the state levels to reduce taxes and at the local level. In the past, remember it was local taxation. The state wasn’t overseeing these businesses. A local government was taxing them at 6% and granted that it was a retail store on top of the existing sales taxes that were there. It was still a lot but it was manageable.
When you file on the state taxes, suddenly those become prohibitively expensive. Some local governments have set their taxes so high on purpose to disincentivize people from doing business in their city because they don’t want it. A lot also seem to think that cannabis taxes are a way out of all their city’s financial problems. That’s simply not the case. These prohibitive tax rates are going to put these businesses out of business altogether. What needs to happen in addition to lowering the taxes or in order to enable the lowering of the taxes is there need to be a shift in mentality from these local governments as to the financial benefits that the cannabis businesses can provide them.
They can create new jobs in a depressed economy or even in a good one. They create new jobs for the local community. They can also bring back buildings and areas that previously had lights and were unattractive buildings that are great for use by cannabis businesses. Third, they are infusing capital into the community in different ways. One, property tax on their buildings. Two, all the people that they hire in the community are also going to go shop at the supermarkets. They’re going to go to restaurants and eat. Their kids are going to go to schools. They’re going to be infusing capital into the community in a multitude of ways, especially if they’re bringing high dollar talent into that community.
They have to look at how they can economically impact the community in ways other than taxes. Thankfully, we are seeing some local governments that are having that realization and are reducing their tax rates. We saw Coalinga reduced their cultivation tax rates. We saw Palm Springs reduced their tax rates. Adelanto has been reducing their tax rates. There’s a trend towards it because the governments are seeing this and seeing that having these businesses in the town alone has great benefits.
A lot of the purpose of getting medical in and recreational is to be taxed. It’s good to hear that these governments are open to understanding that there are a lot more economics behind all this. Especially going as a business owner going into some of these communities, it’s probably extremely important knowing your taxes and where they’re at and locally being involved with the regulators. I’m sure you’ve seen a lot of that in your business especially over the last several years.
Government affairs are critical. I would love to tell you a little anecdote about it. It requires education for the communities to understand this. While there has been some openness, the majority of governments aren’t seeing it, but I got to tell you a little story. We have a bunch of clients in the San Diego area. I had never met most of them. A few years ago, I was going to be in San Diego and I thought, “Let me go check out one of the local council meetings around here. There’s this little city called Lemon Grove and they had a city council meeting. It’s a teeny tiny little city, somewhat depressed economy, lots of close to or friends on the main road. I said, “I’m going to go to this council meeting if any of you all want to get together afterward, let’s grab a drink and meet each other.”
We all met at the one bar in town and the regular citizens sitting there had this a-ha moment because they were all the locals drinking $2 PBRs and we were drinking $8 cocktails. People are drinking vodka soda or craft beer or whatnot and there were eight of us. Probably our bill was probably more than double on the night for what all the other people had. It was funny because the patrons were talking to the bartenders and like, “These people are pretty cool.” That’s, “Who are you, guys? Why are you all in here in your fancy clothes and whatnot?” I said, “We’re professionals in the cannabis space.” They started going, “You wouldn’t spend money here. You might spend more money at my burrito shop down the street too.” It’s a simple evening in Lemon Grove where the citizens switched on what the economic impact would look like.
It’s great that you did that because I’ve been involved in the industry for a long time. At least, I have on my side the people that I work with, we’re trying to set a business atmosphere so that these people do understand that it’s not a bunch of potheads trying to grow weed. I’m trying to break that stereotype. It’s happened here in Colorado. I’m looking forward to seeing what’s going to happen in California. I wanted to change gears quickly because I was reading your Forbes article. I wanted to ask you how has that impacted you and your business? How are you feeling about it? It was The Fifteen Powerful and Innovative Women in Cannabis Right Now. I thought that was amazing and I’m super excited for you, but I was curious to hear how that’s changed your life.
It’s been super exciting. I’ve been fortunate to have been identified by a few publications of the level of Forbes. It’s been amazing because I’ve been working my butt off for a long time. I do it for my team first and foremost. As the business operator to run a successful business is number one. It is exciting to be gaining some recognition for that because we might not have the sexiest business, it’s regulations. It’s showing that there is importance to that. It’s been super valuable to me because it gives me a lot more credibility to reach out to the people I want to reach out to and to get in front of more of a mainstream audience with the recognized name like Forbes writing about us. It’s also nice because a couple of companies who we had been talking to have fallen off saw that article and it reminded them to reach back out to us. That sounds always great. Those articles are wonderful. The question is not about what the impact of one article is. It’s got to be the whole system of it and making sure that our story is getting out. People know where we’re going, what we’re building that and we can keep them engaged on our journey.It’s not the cannabis that's creating the crime. It's the cash that they are forced to hold onto. Click To Tweet
Speaking of stories, you brought up your team. Would you share with the audience how you came to find this team and they seem very experienced. Maybe tell us a little bit about how you put your team together. Would you mind sharing that with us?
It’s been extremely organic. In fact, the actual people that were brought into us by a pure recruiter is only one. To say the least, we’ve had super organic growth. My number two in charge keeps the ship afloat day in and day out so I can do things like this and still become big-picture strategy. Her name is Stacey Hart. She’s our director of operations. She keeps the lights on. She came to us through a referral from our third client ever. I was looking for someone in that position and I was talking to my friend who works at a major cannabis business as a general counsel. I’ve heard it would be hard on employees before and complained about people who are inept.
When I told her what I was looking for, she said, “I have your person. She’s going to be perfect.” That alone was what I needed to hear from that person who I know is a tough critic. This is going to be great. Stacey and I had our first meeting over coffee. We went back to the office and started working within 45 minutes. What a game-changer it’s been since then. When it comes to the big research team behind it, several years out of law school, I’m managing fifteen people. Most of our legal research team has been from pulling people straight from school when they first graduate and teaching them what we need. That’s probably only a third. All the rest have come from referrals within the team.
Whenever we need to grow, everyone who is working on that team seems to love their job and wants to introduce their friends. The best part about them bringing in their friends for the next position is that person doesn’t want to let down their friend who gave them a job or make their friend look bad. We’ve got some of the best workers because these people are only going to bring in people they want to work with. That team has grown organically. At the director level, our director of technology and our director of sales, I’ve called them legal tech. We don’t consider ourselves a cannabis company. We consider ourselves a legal data company.
We wanted people that had been in this world. They came from relationships that I had built, one, I knew personally for many years and the timing was perfect. The other one came from a referral from someone at that very same company who had wanted to hire our director of sales but he was geographically in the wrong place for them. It’s been organic and we keep building and building. We’re excited because in the last few months, we came from being a fourteen-person team to a 31-person team. It’s a big increase. It’s working and it’s been great. We’re going to keep growing. We went from having one salesgirl and myself doing about 90% of our sales to having a four-person sales team. We went from having one developer to having a dev team with a director and grew that. We’re growing super quickly and organically. We’ve been super fortunate. It’s been organic.
I’m glad you pointed out that exponential growth because people will see once they get involved in the industry that there are these growing spurts that you have along with growing pains. I’m sure you have your growing pains as well, but it’s all about growing forward and creating that forward momentum as you grow your business at the same time.
Anybody who tells you they don’t have growing pains is full of baloney. Everybody has them. It’s about how you respond to that. Stacey and I have a rule that even when we’re frustrated with each other and disagreeing on something, we always on the call and say something nice to each other. We regroup in the morning and we work our way through the problem. If we hit a wall, we stop. We take a night, breath and we fixed it. We come in pragmatically and we always say after the call, “I still adore you. I believe in you. We’re in disagreement and this is fine.” If you don’t have a way of communicating through those that’s where you have issues. It’s also hard because we have many people and the chains of command that are changing rapidly. You’ve got to develop the culture on the fly and make sure to communicate. It’s a never-ending process. People are like, “You have financing now. Everything should be amazing.” I say, “It is amazing.” We have problems and they’re just different problems. They make us stronger.
This is very common in what Amanda is discussing. Keep that in mind as you are growing your business. We have one more question. The million-dollar question that I like to talk to people about is if you could see into the future and you had a crystal ball, when would you see national legalization happened? Is it soon? Is it later?
I’m lucky that CannaReg’s job is not to predict. We just tell you the facts, granted with the data people like to make a connection. There are a couple of layers to this question. I see a few scenarios. One, it’s going to depend on who wins the presidential election. That said, depending on who the Democratic nominees that come. It could even happen right before election time. If Trump is looking to make a last-ditch effort to gain people in the middle. He could potentially do it via executive order. It’s not to say that the next presidential candidate wouldn’t be able to undo it or he himself undo it. I could see that being a last-ditch effort to try to win the election if it’s particularly close.
I do think more realistic if Trump wins and doesn’t do it, it’s probably not going to come until halfway through his next term. If a Democrat wins, depending on who it is, it will happen relatively quickly within the first year and a half or not at all in that term. They might wait until their second term depending on who it is. The ball is moving forward very quickly right now. The Farm Bill for hemp and CBD is super critical in this movement because now the USDA and the FDA are drafting regulations around that which are likely going to serve as the basis for regulations around THC.
Our best bet right now is the States Act and what we need first and foremost is a Safe Banking Act. That is the most critical issue without question. It is a public safety issue and there are way too many people that are at risk because of cash. I hear a strings of robberies and people are advocating against cannabis because it creates crime. It’s not because of cannabis and it’s creating crime. It’s because people know that cannabis businesses are holding onto tons of cash because they can’t credit it in the bank. It’s not the cannabis that’s creating the crime. It’s the cash that they are forced to hold onto. Our best bets right now are some reforms within the banking and in states’ rights. Ask me this question again once we know who the presidential candidates are on both vice and president for the Democratic side and I could give you a probably more tailored answer.
I appreciate you joining me. You and Regs Technology, I appreciate you spending a few minutes with me. I wanted to give you a chance to let people know where they can find you and contact you if they’re interested in looking more into regulations. Feel free to share your info.
We would love anyone who’s interested to learn more about the CannaRegs at CannaRegs.com. By going there, you can schedule a demo so that we can show you the software. We also do regular webinars that you could join on to. When you go to our website, if you sign up for the mailing list, that’s how you could stay ahead of our free webinars. You can also meet us in person. We are going to be all over the country. On our website at the top, you can see meetings and events and that will show you all those conferences we’ll be at. We’re coming to a city near you. There are lots of opportunities to connect with us, but the fastest way to reach us is to go to our website. Reach out to us through contact or request a demo for our platform. We look forward to talking to you.
Amanda, thank you so much. I look forward to seeing you grow your story and your business. I and my audience want to thank you for sharing a little bit of what you’re doing. It’s exciting stuff. I look forward to catching up with you soon. Thanks so much.
Thank you so much. I look forward to the next time.
- Regs Technology
- The Fifteen Powerful and Innovative Women in Cannabis Right Now Forbes article
About Amanda Ostrowitz
Amanda Ostrowitz is a regulatory attorney and entrepreneur who’s identified a need for a user- a friendly, scalable platform to research regulations and laws in the cannabis industry. Amanda founded RegsTechnology and its current product, CannaRegs, as a tool to aid attorneys, business people, and governments with localized tracking of regulatory issues. Although RegsTechnology has its origins in covering the dynamics of cannabis regulation, Amanda has created an innovative framework that can be applied more broadly to other emerging, hyper-localized regulatory issues.
Prior to conceiving, developing and founding RegsTechnology, Amanda worked as a bank examiner in the Denver branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. Amanda is a New England native who moved to Colorado in 2004 to attend Colorado College where she earned a B.A. in Economics and went on to receive her Juris Doctor from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law in 2013.