Chair of National Cannabis Law Practice
Ian is founder and co-chair of the Cannabis and Hemp Law practice at Wilson Elser, an AmLaw 200 law firm with 900 attorneys in 39 offices in the United States and London. Ian 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.
By way of background, Ian has defended complex litigation in state and federal courts for more than 20 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 19 years.
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 participates on the Policy Council of the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA), is former chair of NCIA’s Finance and Insurance Committee, former vice-chair of the California Cannabis Industry Association (CCIA) Insurance Committee, and a member of the advisory board of the National Native American Cannabis Association. He is one of MG Magazine’s “30 Powerful Cannabis Attorneys You Should Know,” received a 2019 Readers’ Choice Award by JD Supra for his publication on cannabis consumer class actions, and received National Law Review’s award as “Go-To Thought Leader 2018” for his publications on cannabis law.