A partner at Harris Bricken in Los Angeles, Hilary V. Bricken has been rightfully titled a Super Lawyer.
In 2013, based on her work in the industry, The Puget Sound Business Journal named Ms. Bricken one of seven Deal Makers of the Year. From 2014 through 2017, she was named a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers Magazine. Also in 2015, the Puget Sound Business Journal named Hilary to its Top 40 Under 40 list for business and leadership, and in 2017 the American Bar Association named Hilary a Top 40 Under 40 “On the Rise” attorney in the United States.
In this interview, Hilary discusses her thoughts on advocacy, entrepreneurship, and more.
When did you first realize that specialized legal advocacy was needed in the cannabis market?
May 2010—there was a severe need for legitimate business and regulatory guidance that just wasn’t being met; mostly because lawyers were afraid of what the bar our or federal government would do/could do.
What would you say are the top two challenges that cannabis startups face?
Lack of access to banking services and the federal government’s treatment of cannabis income (third runner up is lack of access to traditional fundraising).
What effects could full legalization have on other local, community-based businesses?
It can drive tourism. It also can increase tax revenue for various improvements around the community. In some circumstances, it’s even gentrified some communities. It can also cause serious backlash and community uproar over lowered property values, perceived increases in criminality, nuisance, and overall polarized attitudes about legalization.
Can you summarize the concept of “big marijuana?”
According to prohibitionists, big marijuana consists of private money interests driving legalization for their own personal gain at the cost of consumers’ health and safety.
What are you most looking forward to at the CanEx Jamaica Business Conference and Expo?
Touring a cannabis farm there. I’ve been in many of my clients’ operations (in the states and abroad), but never one in Jamaica. I very much want to see how they compare on a regulatory level.
In your opinion, why are networking events for ganjaprenuers critical to success?
It’s important to know your business community, and it helps build and support professionalism and valuable relationships. It also helps to promote education over various industry issues that would otherwise go unnoticed or undiscussed.
Hilary will be a featured speaker at CanEx Jamaica! Tickets are currently available.