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Colorado & California - 9th Circuit Court of Appeals; 10th Circuit Court of Appeals - District of Colorado; Eastern District of Wisconsin

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Sean T. McAllister

Founding Attorney

Elected to the Board of Directors of the National Cannabis Industry Association 2017-2019

Sean T. McAllister is one of the nation’s leading cannabis business attorneys, licensed to practice law in both Colorado and California. Sean’s legal work focuses on the complex interplay between corporate law and state cannabis regulatory structures and federal law. Sean is an experienced attorney who helps his clients make important decisions when launching and operating their businesses, including:

  • Choosing the correct corporate form (C Corp, LLC, S Corp, partnership, etc.),
  • Helping clients bring in investment money while complying with state and federal securities laws,
  • Structuring deals with lenders to bring in capital and pay it out while complying with state regulatory rules,
  • Structuring corporate governance documents to ensure all of the owners understand how the business will operate,
  • Helping clients understand the complex tax rules that effect the cannabis industry, including IRS Code 280E,
  • Helping clients understand state’s cannabis regulatory regime,
  • Helping clients understand the risks and other issues that arise under federal law (ex. FDA regulation, DOJ priorities),
  • Defending companies or individuals in state administrative proceedings when there is an alleged rules violation,
  • Helping clients buy and sell their businesses
  • Helping clients plan exit strategies, and
  • Assisting clients in understanding their intellectual property and how to protect it.

In addition, Sean is an experienced litigator, having tried approximately 40 cases to a judge or jury. Sean has represented numerous business owners in civil litigation revolving around ownership disputes, breach of contract, employment law disputes, and other disputes. Sean defended and successfully resolved the nation’s first product liability lawsuit against a cannabis manufacturer. In addition, Sean has sued regulators over enforcement actions, litigated pesticide standards for cannabis grows at the state and local level, and negotiated settlements for some of the most serious cannabis rules violations. He has litigated local bans on cannabis dispensaries and sued several cities and counties for the implementation of the cannabis laws.

Sean is a recognized leader in the cannabis industry. In 2004, he founded Sensible Colorado, which worked on all of the ballot initiatives in Colorado that culminated in recreational cannabis legalization in 2012. Given his leadership skills, Sean has received the following awards or leadership positions:

2004-2012 Chairman of the Board of Directors, Sensible Colorado

2009 Friend of Reform Award, Sensible Colorado

2012-2014 Spokesperson for Colorado NORML

2013 MVP, Cannabis Business Awards

2015 MVP, Cannabis Business Awards

2016-2018 5280 Magazine, Top Marijuana Lawyer

2017-2019 Elected to the Board of Directors of the National Cannabis Industry Association

From 2000 to 2003, Sean served as an Assistant Attorney General with the State of Colorado where he focused on regulatory compliance and administrative law.