I am partner at DLA Piper, LLP, a full service global firm. I am based in Dallas, Texas and have been practicing since 2006. Prior to representing clients in the cannabis industry starting in 2013, I have traditionally represented healthcare providers (e.g. physician groups, nursing homes, pharmacies, labs, etc.) and investors in healthcare (e.g. private equity groups) in a regulatory, compliance and corporate capacity. I regularly advise clients on corporate transactions, federal and state regulations, governmental investigations and advise on compliance matters.
As with many attorneys in the cannabis industry, I “fell” into it by obtaining a graduate certification in public health from the University of Texas Health Sciences Center by completing my graduation project on the legalization of cannabis and hemp. Fortuitously, I was asked by the law firm I worked with at the time to advise a new client on the legal liabilities for physicians prescribing versus recommending cannabis as a form of treatment. Shortly thereafter, I helped analyze the language in Senate Bill 339 in Texas, which ultimately became the Texas Compassionate Use Program (“TCUP”) and represented a client with its TCUP application to be licensee through the Texas Department of Public Safety. From 2016 through 2019, I served as the external general counsel for the Texas Cannabis Industry Association (“TCIA”). In 2018, I sent a legal memorandum to the commissioner of the Department of State Health Services (“DSHS”) on behalf of the TCIA in response to its effort to conduct a statewide sweep of CBD products in retail businesses. The effort was successful and one month later the DSHS retracted its position and ceased its efforts to confiscate CBD products in Texas. Further, I previously work at an AM Law 200 law firm with a national cannabis practice, advising clients in a wide variety of regulatory, transactional and conflict of laws concerns associated with cannabis. Starting in January 2019, my cannabis practice evolved and is focused entirely on hemp, hemp products and regulatory issues associated with hemp (e.g. FDA, FTC, state laws, etc.).
I am currently a member of the INCBA, National Hemp Association and mostly recently selected to be part of the FDA Coalition through the National Cannabis Industry Association. I have lectured on numerous occasions on cannabis related topics through the American Bar Association, Dallas Bar Association, Collin County Bar Association, State Bar of Texas Minority Counsel Program, American Academy of Physician Life Planners Association, University of North Texas School of Law (through a student organization) and the Southwest Cannabis Conference.
I received my J.D. from Nova Southeastern University, M.B.A. from the University of Memphis, B.S.O.T/MOT in occupational therapy from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and my graduate certificate in public health from the University of Texas Health Science Center. I am certified in health care compliance (CHC) through the certification compliance board (CCB).