Vicente Sederberg Is The Country’s First Powerhouse Marijuana Law Firm
Vicente Sederberg LLC, called the country’s first powerhouse marijuana law firm by Rolling Stone, announced two new office openings in Denver and Los Angeles, along with the addition of several new seasoned attorneys and support staff—doubling their total staff during 2016—to help cannabis industry members meet their complex and growing legal and regulatory needs. The expansion of the firm builds upon Vicente Sederberg’s recent announcement to broaden its Hemp, Cannabidiol (CBD), and Cannabinoid Practice Group, which is helping clients navigate issues such as the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) recent decision to established a new drug code (#7350) for “marihuana extracts” under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).
Vicente Sederberg’s expansion comes as state-licensed Colorado businesses are expected to sell more than $1.3 billion of cannabis this year and as eight of nine states voted favorably for marijuana policy reforms this past November. Based on the election results, more than 20% of the U.S. population now lives in states that allow all adults to legally consume cannabis and more than two-thirds of the U.S. population now reside in states with legal medical marijuana access.
“This was a colossal year for the cannabis industry,” said Brian Vicente, Esq., partner and founding member of Vicente Sederberg. “The state-legal cannabis market is expanding and maturing, creating thousands of new jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue. But as the DEA’s recent ruling demonstrates, the industry can expect to see more complex legal and regulatory hurdles to navigate in the coming year. By doubling our firm’s staff and broadening our practice areas, we are in a strong position to advise clients in this burgeoning marketplace, while we continue our work to reform outdated cannabis policies and shape new laws.”
New Denver Office
As Colorado’s cannabis market grew to $100+ million in monthly sales, supporting about 18,000 full-time jobs, Vicente Sederberg expanded its Denver presence—moving into the Colorado Department of Revenue Marijuana Enforcement Division’s former offices at 455 Sherman Street in Denver. The Marijuana Enforcement Division has also outgrown its office capacity due to the state-legal cannabis industry’s rapid expansion and job growth. Vicente Sederberg has retrofitted this new office with a space capable of hosting events such as its “Compliance Classrooms” learning sessions. The firm’s new Denver office also enabled it to implement several new policies, such as “Furry Friends Friday,” a policy that encourages employees to bring their dogs to work and promotes the firm’s family-first philosophy. Vicente Sederberg’s Denver office delivers a host of comprehensive legal solutions to clients in the cannabis industry at the international, national, state, and local levels.
LA Office Opening
This past November, California passed Proposition 64, which made it legal for adults 21 and over to consume cannabis, and created a new licensing and tax structure for all cannabis businesses in the state. The new measure is expected to generate an extra $1 billion in tax revenue for California each year, along with tens of thousands of new jobs in the state. As California’s shifting state and local laws are implemented and evolve, attorneys in Vicente Sederberg’s new Los Angeles office, located at 1801 Century Park East, will be able to meet the legal and regulatory needs of clients in the both the medical and adult-use cannabis sectors.
With offices in Boston, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC, Vicente Sederberg not only expanded its geographical reach, but it also doubled the number of its employees, consultants, and law clerks in 2016, bringing the total number of individuals working for the firm to more than 50. This includes several seasoned attorneys, who bring decades of front-line cannabis industry experience to clients.
Vicente Sederberg welcomed the following new attorneys to its staff in 2016:
Frank Robison, Senior Associate, Vicente Sederberg LLC
Frank Robison, Esq. is a senior associate at Vicente Sederberg LLC. Prior to joining Vicente Sederberg, Frank worked as assistant counsel at the University of Colorado Boulder, and as the research counsel in the University of Colorado Boulder’s Technology Transfer Office. At Vicente Sederberg, Frank advises clients on corporate, private equity, commercial and intellectual property matters, along with compliance and industrial hemp/CBD issues and the Hispanic marketplace. Frank received his B.A. from Colby College, cum laude, his M.A. from the University of California San Diego, cum laude, his J.D. from Vermont Law School, magna cum laude, and his LL.Ms from the University of Seville, Spain (Constitutional Law) and the University of Colorado Boulder (Entrepreneurial Law). Robinson is fluent in Spanish, conversational in Portuguese and familiar with Chichewa, a Bantu dialect. He is also a licensed U.S. Customs Broker.
Kelly Rosenberg, Senior Associate, Vicente Sederberg LLC
Kelly Rosenberg is a senior associate at Vicente Sederberg. Previously, Kelly was central to the Colorado Department of Revenue’s efforts to regulate marijuana—beginning with when the department first embarked on its groundbreaking work in the cannabis industry in 2010. At Vicente Sederberg, Ms. Rosenberg advises clients on regulatory and compliance issues and administrative matters like administrative defense. Rosenberg is also a key member of the firm’s government consulting division, which focuses on assisting government entities in the drafting of medical and retail marijuana laws, ordinances, and regulations.
Cassia Furman, Senior Associate, Vicente Sederberg LLC
Cassia joins Vicente Sederberg LLC as a senior associate out of the firm’s LA office, and brings a significant amount of cannabis industry, local government, and commercial real estate legal experience to clients. Prior to joining Vicente Sederberg, Cassia was as a senior associate at a leading public finance firm, where she oversaw the organization and general operations of dozens of special districts in connection with complex public infrastructure projects like the issuance of multi-million dollar debt issuances. Cassia’s areas of expertise include: municipal and special district law; elections; public meetings and open records; statutory compliance; public bidding; construction contracts and administration; intergovernmental agreements; public-private partnerships; public finance; debt issuance and restructuring; real estate due diligence and acquisitions; commercial leasing; negotiation of annexation; and development agreements and land use issues.
Allen Hopper, Of Counsel, Vicente Sederberg LLC
Allen Hopper is of counsel at Vicente Sederberg out of its California office. Allen has more than 20 years of experience providing legal and consulting services to help clients understand and safely navigate local, state, and federal laws and regulations as well as to envision, create, and implement improvements to them—including innovative public safety and criminal justice solutions, such as alternatives to incarceration and cannabis regulation. Allen received his B.A. in 1988 from New College of Florida, the independent public honors college for the state of Florida, and his J.D. from the University of California, Davis, School of Law in 1992.
Nick Richards, Tax Counsel, Vicente Sederberg LLC
Nicholas J. Richards is the tax counsel at Vicente Sederberg LLC, and advises businesses and clients on federal and state tax matters, including Section 280E. Nick represents clients in audits, trials, and tax collection matters—honing his skills as a trial attorney with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in Southern California. There, Nick served as a Special Assistant United States Attorney, representing the IRS in the U.S. Tax and Bankruptcy Courts, conducting investigations, and leading special projects.
Corey Cox, Associate, Vicente Sederberg LLC
Corey Cox, Esq., is an associate in Vicente Sederberg LLC’s Denver office, and primarily focuses on regulatory compliance, rules, and education. Prior to joining VS as a law clerk, Corey worked in the Office of Compliance Services for the University of Colorado Athletics Department. Cox earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science and International Studies and his Juris Doctorate at the University of Colorado.
Carl Werner, Associate, Vicente Sederberg LLC
Carl Werner, Esq., is an associate in Vicente Sederberg LLC’s Denver office, who graduated from Harvard Law School in 2016, where he was a research assistant to Professor Charles Nesson and clerked for the ACLU of Massachusetts. Carl currently focuses his practice on several areas of law including corporate and small business transactions, products liability and international law.