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Shay Aaron Gilmore

My name is Shay Aaron Gilmore, and I am an International Cannabis Bar Association (INCBA) lifetime member seeking election to the Board of Directors. A California lawyer for more than 17 years, both at major law firms and financial institutions, I now serve, as the principal in my own firm, exclusively cannabis operators and ancillary businesses throughout the California cannabis supply chain on matters ranging from business formation and corporate governance to commercial contracts and corporate transactions, including mergers and acquisitions. I am privileged to ask for your vote to become a member of the INCBA Board of Directors.

As a member of INCBA, I have worked to raise the level of legal service available to the cannabis industry and to make the practice of law for the attorneys serving this industry more efficient, more secure, and more accessible, particularly through educational events. In 2018, I worked within the CLE Committee to help organize The Cannabis Law Sessions at MJBizConNEXT, CLE programming at the NCIA Cannabis Business Summit, as well as CLE panels at the Cannabis Law Institute. In 2019, I became Chair of the INCBA CLE Committee, and I have worked to organize not only INCBA’s in­person CLE events but also INCBA’s webinar programming. If elected, I would continue to support INCBA’s legal education mission.

This year, I founded INCBA’s Diversity Committee, which will help our membership stay focused on issues of equity and inclusion as we serve the commercial cannabis industry transition to legalization, particularly given all the work needed to repair the damage from the War on Drugs. I also joined INCBA’s Appellations Committee to promote INCBA’s work in this emerging area and to provide legal education support as California writes the world’s first rules for cannabis appellations. If elected, I would continue to get behind new INCBA initiatives, whether these initiatives originate at the board or membership level.

Within the legal community, I have served on the boards of the Transgender Law Center, Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom, the Minority Bar Coalition of Northern California and other non­profits focused on social justice. Building on this history, last year I organized lawyers through the Bar Association of San Francisco to provide pro bono legal counsel to verified equity individuals in the San Francisco Cannabis Equity Program. I have presented to the Alameda County Bar Association, as well as the Bar Association of San Francisco, on legal topics in the cannabis space including cannabis insurance regulations, cannabis business valuations, and commercial cannabis equity programs. From 2015 to 2018, I served as a Commissioner on the State Bar of California Judicial Nominees Evaluation Commission, vetting Governor Brown’s nominees to California’s state courts. If elected, I would bring years of non­profit leadership and a deep commitment to both access to justice and cannabis legal education to complement the Board’s already impressive capacity.

Knowing all the work that must get done in this space and with admiration for all of the intrepid lawyers who came before me and who stand with me in serving clients to expand access to cannabis, I am honored to ask for your vote to serve INCBA as a member of the Board of Directors. Thank you.