Chair of National Cannabis Law Practice
Ian is the Regional Managing Partner of Wilson Elser’s Los Angeles office. He is founder and co-chair of the firm’s Cannabis and Hemp Law practice, where he leads a national multi-disciplinary team of lawyers who serve all aspects of the cannabis and hemp industries, as well as financial institutions and insurance companies that service those industries.
Ian works with licensed cannabis operators throughout the country to comply with their obligations under the law and to develop risk management best practices. He advises Fortune 500 companies on risk management involving hemp-derived CBD and the interplay with U.S. food and drug laws. Ian assists insurance companies on cannabis-related underwriting practices and the development of new policy forms. He also works with financial institutions and professional services firms on best practices for operating in a challenging regulatory environment.
Ian has achieved a national reputation as a distinguished cannabis attorney and has been named to the prestigious Chambers USA guide in Cannabis Law (2020-2022). He is a member of the Advisory Board of the International Cannabis Bar Association (INCBA) and participates on the Policy Council of the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA). Ian also sits on the Executive Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Cannabis Section and is chair emeritus of NCIA’s Risk Management and Insurance Committee. He is one of MG Magazine’s “30 Powerful Cannabis Attorneys You Should Know” and is listed within Cannabis Reports’ “10 Powerful Marijuana Lawyers in California.” Ian has also been named by National Law Review as “Go-To Thought Leader” in 2018 and 2021 for his publications on cannabis law and policy.
By way of background, Ian has defended complex litigation in state and federal courts for more than 25 years with a focus on practice areas relevant to the cannabis industry, including product liability, complex general casualty, transportation, data privacy and intellectual property litigation. Ian received his B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis, and his JD from Saint
Louis University School of Law. He has been with Wilson Elser for the past 22 years.