I, Mary Shapiro, am an experienced attorney specializing in cannabis trademark and consumer protection law. A former client of legal services, my focus is on protecting and exploiting the value of a client’s intellectual property, in a practical and efficient manner, including cannabis brand and technology licensing to allow growth into more than one state/country.
I started counseling cannabis clients in 2005 (not touching the plant) and in 2009 (touching the plant). My pro bono clients include Marijuana Policy Project and Americans for Safe Access. After a twenty-year career in book publishing, I began practicing law in 1999 at Townsend and Townsend and Crew LLP and launched a solo practice in 2009, continuing day-to-day work in clearing, filing, prosecuting, and enforcing trademarks. I have since federally registered marks for many cannabis businesses, though none for cannabis products, due to the federal prohibition to registering such marks.
In 2016, I expanded and rebranded the firm to Evoke Law PC. About that time, I made a commitment to work to change the California practice prohibiting registration of trademarks at the state level. Working with Brand & Branch, NCBA, and CCIA, this goal of state trademark protection was accomplished in 2018.
Besides being a founding member of the NCBA and one of its first lifetime members, I have served on two boards (Small Press Distribution (as president) and Precita Mural Arts Association. Since 2015, I have been an important contributor to the growth of the NCBA as one of the “super-volunteers.” I regularly attend board meetings and offer sound advice regarding governance issues.
My passion is Continuing Legal Education and I have consistently assembled panels and webinars on topics of interest to NCBA members. I was a key player in developing the inaugural Cannabis Law Institute in 2017 in Denver, a force in bringing in Canadian presenters, and now chair the CLE Committee for 2018. Additionally, I have made valued introductions for NCBA to businesses that have and continue to support NCBA financially.