As a child, Anne always questioned the status quo; she never settled for anything she was not sure about. Instead, she explored and experienced different areas of the several diverse industries to find out what she is passionate about.
Before deciding to attend law school, Anne met with an attorney working at Preston Gates & Ellis, later merging with K&L Gates, to see what the practice of law actually looks like on a daily basis; she took an opportunity to work as a clerk. This experience encouraged her to apply for law school and she continued to work there full time while she attended the night program at Seattle University School of Law. During law school, Anne found the system of health insurance to be confusing and unjust, so she worked on creating a document called “The Layperson’s Guide to Breast Cancer.” To her delight a law school professor shared the document, and this helped land her a job as a federal attorney-advisor in Washington DC for Obama One.
After this once-in-a-lifetime experience, Anne returned to Washington State thinking that she would work as a healthcare lawyer. After a discouraging experience with the entrenched Seattle law firms, she began drafting a business plan to open her own practice in healthcare law. Before launching this, she was moved by the struggle of the newly legalized recreational cannabis entrepreneurs in the evolving and complex cannabis industry. She encountered an article stating that a federal agency denied water rights to legal marijuana growers in Washington State and Colorado, the first two states with recreational marijuana licenses. “It was federalism run amok.” Anne exclaimed. Upon further research, Anne realized that most of the attorneys practicing cannabis law were criminal lawyers and there was an urgent need for a regulatory and business minded lawyer in the industry.
Thus began Anne’s journey as a cannabis lawyer.
As a first step, she decided to establish her own law firm, Northwest Marijuana Law, as it was known then. Beginning with just herself, within a year Anne was representing 118 clients all across Washington state and by 2017 she renamed the firm 7 Point Law and was representing a quarter of Washington State’s legal cannabis industry.
The secret to Anne’s success lies behind the fact that she prefers a holistic and risk averse approach when it comes to serving her clients. This included a comprehensive strategic legal counsel where all 7 Point attorneys weigh in on major business decisions and litigation issues. She believes that it is important to look at the whole business and all of the potential risk factors for the owners to avoid any potential harm.
For this purpose, Anne views each client’s legal needs through a commercial lens in this quickly expanding global supply chain. With this approach, Anne has become a trusted legal tactician and strategic business advisor to her clients, while vigilantly identifying potential risks and emerging opportunities. Even after the unfortunate dissolution of 7 Point Law, she continued to expand her career in cannabis law. In June 2019, she moved to an established Los Angeles cannabis and corporate law firm in the national and international epicenter of cannabis law. Her practice there focused on the regulatory compliance, expansion, and exit strategies for domestic and trans-national cannabis, CBD, and hemp companies and providing legal counsel to national and international non-cannabis businesses seeking entry to the cannabis space. Later in 2020, she opted to launch a fresh approach melding fractional general counsel and business advisory service at Gemba Growth.
Her formative experiences in the legalized cannabis industry born out of the blackmarket marijuana enterprise, her former law partner, and her concern with the industry’s failure to remove systemic problems, inspired Anne to write a comprehensive and much anticipated memoir on the early days of legal cannabis and the much needed industry reform, which will be published before the end of 2021.