Rachel K. Gillette | Partner and Chair of the Cannabis Law Practice | Marijuana lawyer

Rachel K. Gillette

Partner and Chair of the Cannabis Law Practice
Overview

Rachel Gillette is among the first attorneys in the nation to dedicate her practice to the cannabis industry. Since 2010, Ms. Gillette has helped marijuana/cannabis businesses with licensing and regulatory compliance, business law and transactions, contract drafting and review, tax litigation, corporate formation, and tax matters, including audit representation. She works with startups and entrepreneurs, investors, and ancillary industry businesses to help develop the cannabis innovation ecosystem, and is a zealous advocate for the industry.

Ms. Gillette regularly represents clients before the IRS’s Examinations, Appeals, and Collections Divisions, including marijuana businesses facing the challenges of IRS adjustments under 280E. She has successfully protested local, state and federal tax deficiencies on behalf of her clients, having prevented hundreds of thousands of dollars in incorrectly assessed taxes, interest, and penalties. She can assist individual and business taxpayers in 280E proposed assessments, offers in compromise, audit examinations, innocent spouse claims, sales, use, and employment tax matters, trust fund tax penalty assessments, penalty abatement’s, and levy releases.

For several years, Ms. Gillette was the executive director of the Colorado state chapter of NORML, the National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws. She was a founding member of Women Grow and the National Cannabis Bar Association. She an advocate as well as an attorney, and is committed to helping change laws – and perceptions – relating to cannabis and ensuring state licensed and legal marijuana businesses are fairly taxed and regulated.

Ms. Gillette received her Juris Doctorate from the Quinnipiac University School of Law in Hamden, Connecticut, where she served as Associate Editor of the Quinnipiac University Probate Law Journal. During law school, she interned with the New Haven Public Defender’s office, where she developed her commitment to advocacy for those facing the many challenges of the criminal justice system.

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
  • U.S. Tax Court

Bar Admissions

  • Colorado
  • Connecticut

Education

  • J.D., Quinnipiac University, 2007
  • B.A., Political Science, University of Colorado at Boulder, 2004
    • Certificate in Peace & Conflict Studies
Experience

Professional and Community Involvement

  • Colorado NORML, Board Member and Former Executive Director
  • NORML, Legal Committee, Member
  • Women Grow, Founding Member
  • National Cannabis Bar Association, Founding Member
  • National Cannabis Industry Association, Member
  • Colorado Bar Association, Member

Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, “Cannabis Legalization and the Waterfall Effect: How Each State Impacts the Next,” National Law Journal, April 18, 2018
  • Speaker, “Services to Businesses Involved in Marijuana,” AICPA National Tax Conference, November 7, 2017
  • Speaker, “High on Loss Prevention: Representing Clients in the Marijuana Industry,” Aon Law Firm Symposium, October 18, 2017
  • Speaker, “North Meet South: Integrating Northern California Cultivation into the Southern California Market,” Cannabis World Congress & Business Expo Los Angeles, September 14, 2017
  • Speaker, “Silicon Valley Meets Bob Marley: The Right Way To Do Drugs,” The Economist Canada Summit, September 7, 2017
  • Speaker, “Challenges of Representing A Client In An IRS Audit,” NORML Aspen Legal Seminar, June 1, 2017
  • Speaker, “Suing the regulators. Can you? Should You?,” National Cannabis Industry Association Cannabis Business Summit & Expo, June 13, 2017
  • Speaker, “Conflicts and Cannabis,” The Florida Bar’s Annual Convention, June 21, 2017
  • Speaker, Marijuana Big Thinker Talks On The Hill, May 3, 2017
  • Speaker, “IP in the Cannabis Industry,” Greenspoon Marder Denver Cannabis Workshop, April 6, 2017
  • Speaker, “Navigating the Regulatory, Compliance and Tax Landscape” Institutional Capital & Cannabis Conference, March 27, 2017
  • Speaker, “Marijuana, the Law, and Banking,” South Florida Banking Institute, March 15, 2017
  • Speaker, “Cannabis Legalization and the Waterfall Effect: How One State’s Failures Impact The Next,” National Law Journal Webcast, February 16, 2017
  • Speaker, “What You Need to Know About Compliance & Regulation,” Women Grow Leadership Summit, February 3, 2017
  • Speaker, “Banking in the Marijuana Business and Tax Matters” Colorado Bar Association Cannabis Law Committee CLE Cannabis Symposium, February 2, 2017
  • Speaker, “The Domino Effect of Cannabis Legalization,” High Times Summit, January 19, 2017
  • Speaker, “Live Twitter Chat on the Drug Enforcement Agency’s Actions Tied To Marijuana Rescheduling and Research,” Marijuana Business Daily, August 25, 2017
Awards

Recognitions

  • National Law Journal, “Cannabis Trailblazer,” 2018
  • High TImes magazine, “Prominent Women in the Legalization Movement,” 2018
  • Complex magazine, “15 of the Most Powerful Women In the Weed Industry,” 2017
  • 5280 magazine, “Top Lawyer,” Marijuana Law, 2015-2018
  • NORML, “Distinguished Counsel’s Circle,” 2016
  • Sensi magazine, Named One of 24  “Cannabis Pioneers,” May 2016
  • Cannabis Business Executive, Listed in 100 Most Influential People in the Cannabis Industry, 2014
  • Cannabis Business Awards, “MVP,” 2014-2015
Publications

In the News