Understanding How Cannabis Business Fraud Occurs

March 21, 2019 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM
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Handlery Hotel San Diego
950 Hotel Circle N.
San Diego, CA 92108
Venue website

Understanding How Cannabis Business Fraud Occurs

CPE Credit Hours: 2



David McPherson, Cannabis Compliance Director, HdL Companies

Billie-jo Naysmith, Cannabis Compliance Manager, HdL Companies

Program Description & Learning Objectives

Attendees will get an overview of the cannabis industry to better understand the challenges and complexity of the California market. The presentation will elaborate on how to address complex financial crimes, securities fraud and how to evaluate risk assessment levels. We will examine the loopholes created by state and local regulations which create opportunities for cannabis operators to circumvent regulations as they  pertain to banking, evasion of local taxes, misrepresentation of ownership, and the manipulation of track trace data.

The objectives stated in the presentation are:

  1. General understanding of the cannabis industry
  2. Evaluate risk assessment levels to prevent fraud or non-compliance issues
  3. Review commonly encountered complex financial crimes
  4. Provide an in depth review of securities fraud cases which include statutory elements, investigations, forensic auditing and prosecution
  5. Identify information and resources for your own investigation


Time / Agenda:

7:30AM - 8:00AM Registration and full breakfast buffet

8:00AM - 9:50AM Speaker event

9:50AM Speaker closes with Q&A for 5-10 minutes

10:00AM Board of Directors Meeting

NOTE: we encourage anyone interested in learning more about our chapter or wanting to get involved to attend!


Additional Event Information

Parking: Complimentary parking validation to take place during event registration 

Breakfast Buffet Menu:

  • Chilled Orange Juice, Cranberry Juice,  Brewed Coffee, Decaffeinated Coffee and Tea
  • Fresh Pastries - Cinnamon Rolls, Bear Claws, Croissants, Cheese Danish, Muffins
  • Seasonal Fruit Display
  • Oatmeal
  • Fluffy Scrambled Eggs
  • Bistro Potatoes
  • Crisp Hickory Bacon


Ticket Pricing: (more details to follow)

$45 - San Diego Chapter Member
$55 - Non-Chapter Member
$25 - Student Ticket (Includes Membership Dues through 2019)


For these discounts and more, please complete this Member Application link prior to purchasing the ticket.


Speaker Bios:

David McPherson

David McPherson, Cannabis Compliance Director

David McPherson is the Cannabis Compliance Director for HdL Companies. Prior to joining the firm, David served 28 years in local government for the County of Orange and the cities of Newport Beach, San Jose and Oakland.  David is recognized in California as one of the leading experts in cannabis policies, regulations and taxation strategies. When Mr. McPherson was the Revenue & Tax Administrator in the City of Oakland, he became a pioneer by being the first person in the Country to tax, regulate and audit the cannabis industry. He uses his experience of understanding horticulture, processing and dispensary operations to assist local and state agencies with developing cannabis policies for regulation, compliance, auditing and economic development. David and the HdL Cannabis Management team has assisted local agencies by evaluating and bringing into compliance over 1,500 cannabis business in the last three years. He worked closely with the League of Cities and lobbyists on the development of the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MCRSA).  David is currently working on implementation and regulatory requirements for Proposition 64 and SB94 as well as the new state regulations with local agencies to prepare them to transition into a fully regulated program for both medicinal and adult-use businesses.

David provides technical support on cannabis-related matters to the League of Cities, the Police Chief’s Association, Rural County Representatives of California and the California State Association of Counties. In addition, David is working collaboratively with the Department of Consumers Affairs, Department of Food & Agriculture, Department of Health Services and the Department of Tax and Fees Administration on the implementation of best practices for regulating the Cannabis Industry for local agencies.

David received his Bachelor’s Degree in History from California State University, Fullerton and his Master’s Degree in Public Administration from California State University, Long Beach. While at Long Beach, he was named “Future Urban Administrator of the Year”.


Billie-jo Naysmith, Cannabis Compliance Manager

Billie-jo Naysmth is a Cannabis Compliance Manager at HdL in which she plays a diverse role in implementing the Cannabis Compliance Program for local agencies in both California and Colorado. Prior to joining the firm, she was a progressive law enforcement professional with 23 years’ experience conducting criminal/regulatory investigations, cannabis applicant background investigations and complex financial investigations.

While working in the Office of the Colorado Attorney General as a Criminal Investigator she investigated Financial and Securities Fraud specializing in cannabis business activity. In addition, she worked closely with forensic accountants analyzing financial records to determine if criminal activity occurred.

During her tenure as a Supervisory Investigator at the Colorado Department of Revenue in the Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED), Billie-jo managed criminal investigators and civilian staff in the Denver Metro and Longmont field offices. During her five-year stretch at the MED, she conducted approximately 5,000 criminal investigations and compliance reviews which included regulatory and financial investigations. In addition, she is a subject matter expert on track and trace systems where she has conducted data analysis in order to assist in complex cannabis regulatory investigations. She understands the complexity of reviewing data to ensure businesses follow state and local regulations.  Billie-jo was responsible for assisting in the strategic planning for the division which included providing training for investigators. Furthermore, Billie-jo participated in collaborative rulemaking work groups and focus groups with cannabis industry leaders and external stakeholders to develop best practice regulations. She also provided critical recommendations for the agencies cannabis rules and regulations by addressing key loop holes in the Colorado legislation which was subsequently amended. In addition, Billie-jo formed essential partnerships with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies as well as local licensing authorities.

Billie-jo received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from Colorado Christian University where she graduated with the distinction of Suma Cum Laude. She also currently maintains a Colorado POSTCertificate.


$45.00 ACFE San Diego Chapter Member 2019

$55.00 Non-ACFE San Diego Chapter Member

$25.00 Student Ticket