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1620 Partners: Shaping the Right Buying Beliefs for Cannabis Success – Melissa Rutherford

The legal cannabis industry has witnessed significant growth since 2012 when Washington State and Colorado legalized adult use, opening up opportunities for entrepreneurs and businesses to thrive. However, with exponential growth and continued Federal Prohibition comes the challenge of navigating the complex regulatory landscape and ensuring compliance across the board. That’s where experienced Risk Management and Compliance practices can make the difference between remaining licensed or losing your privilege in legal cannabis. 1620 Partners, led by Melissa Rutherford, Rebecca Adams, and Steve Chaisson, is an experienced, risk management and compliance consultancy firm that aims to provide regulatory and compliance guidance for cannabis success. With a mission to bridge the gap between a licensee’s passion for the plant and regulatory requirements, 1620 Partners helps cannabis businesses launch and grow in a compliant manner.

  • Passion meets Compliance: The Birth of 1620 Partners

1620 Partners emerged from the unexpected convergence of three experienced professionals: Melissa Rutherford, an experienced global compliance program manager, Rebecca Adams with extensive experience in working with municipal and local authorities, as well as navigating community groups, and Steve Chaisson, a former regulator and retired member of law enforcement. Joining forces centralized their expertise in risk management, engineering, training, municipal management, law enforcement, and regulatory participation, and they saw an opportunity to create an organization that could address the compliance needs of the legal cannabis marketplaces. With a shared vision to improve the industry’s image in terms of public safety and health, 1620 Partners was born.

  • Navigating the Regulatory Landscape

The core challenge in the legal cannabis industry is navigating the ever-evolving regulatory landscape. In the absence of Federal de-scheduling of cannabis, each individual state establishes its own regulations, limitations, and requirements for legal operators. 1620 Partners leverages its 25+ years of experience in compliance management to guide cannabis businesses through the complexities of local, state, and federal regulations. Their services cover all aspects of the cannabis business lifecycle, from pre-license preparation to ongoing compliance and audits. By providing consultation, documentation, and audit tools, they ensure adherence to regulatory requirements.

  • Compliant Cannabis for Success

Compliance is not just a legal obligation; it can also be a competitive advantage for individual cannabis businesses. 1620 Partners believes that a robust risk management and compliance program sets the foundation for success in the cannabis industry. Their services help businesses develop and implement standard operating procedures, build active compliance programs, and work effectively with regulators. By doing so, they enable cannabis organizations to demonstrate their commitment to public safety, medical efficacy, and public health.

  • Testimonials from High Profile Clients

1620 Partners has worked with renowned clients in the legal cannabis industry, including Happy Valley, Revolutionary Clinics, Gold Green Group, and Ez-Hire Cannabis. These collaborations have allowed their clients to overcome compliance challenges and achieve sustained growth. Testimonials from these high-profile clients serve as a testament to the value and expertise that 1620 Partners brings to the table.

  • Honing the Message: Effective Communication Plans

In addition to compliance expertise, 1620 Partners understands the importance of effective communication. They work closely with their clients to develop message strategies that enhance their brand image and communicate their commitment to compliance and public safety. By honing their clients’ messaging, 1620 Partners ensures that they are well-positioned in the market and can attract the right customers and investors.

  • The Future of 1620 Partners: Expanding Reach and Impact

Looking ahead, 1620 Partners aims to continue expanding its client base and making a positive impact on the cannabis industry. The company aspires to select its clients and have a steady stream of leads to support growth. With a goal to hire additional staff, 1620 Partners envisions a future where they can further enhance compliance and risk management practices in the cannabis industry.


1620 Partners, Melissa, Rebecca, and Steve, are shaping the conversation around risk management and compliance for cannabis success. With a focus on risk management, compliance, and effective communication, they help cannabis businesses navigate the regulatory landscape, demonstrate their commitment to safety and compliance, and achieve sustained growth. As the legal cannabis industry evolves, the expertise and practical experience of 1620 Partners will continue to play a vital role in shaping a successful and compliant future for the industry.

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