Shay Aaron Gilmore

Top rated Cannabis Law attorney in San Francisco, California

The Law Office of Shay Aaron Gilmore
Shay Aaron Gilmore
The Law Office of Shay Aaron Gilmore

Practice Areas: Cannabis Law, Business & Corporate; view more

Licensed in California since: 2001

Education: The University of Texas School of Law

Selected to Super Lawyers: 2020 - 2023 Selected to Rising Stars: 2009 - 2011
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The Law Office of Shay Aaron Gilmore

190 Douglass St
San Francisco, CA 94114 Visit website


Attorney Shay Aaron Gilmore founded The Law Office of Shay Aaron Gilmore in San Francisco, California, to assist operators and investors and other businesses navigating the legal terrain of the California regulated cannabis economy. He provides advice regarding entity formation and financing, mergers & acquisitions and other corporate transactional matters, permits and licenses, and regulatory compliance counsel at every link in the cannabis supply chain. He is also involved in cannabis legislative and regulatory matters in all levels of government, from local to international. Mr. Gilmore is fluent in Spanish.

Mr. Gilmore has held membership and leadership positions in a number of professional associations, including serving on the Board of Directors of the International Cannabis Bar Association, and as Chair of the Cannabis Law Section of The Bar Association of San Francisco. Shay co-founded the Cannabis Industry Practitioners Group within the California Lawyers Association. He is a member of the National Cannabis Industry Association's Risk Management & Insurance Committee and the California Cannabis Industry Association's Diversity, Inclusion & Social Equity Committee. Shay is a member of the Corporations Committee of the California Lawyers Association Business Law Section. In 2023, the City and County of San Francisco Board of Supervisors appointed Shay to a seat on the San Francisco Cannabis Oversight Committee.

After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, Spanish and Policy Studies from Rice University, Mr. Gilmore attended The University of Texas at Austin School of Law and graduated with his Juris Doctor in 2001. Many organizations have honored Mr. Gilmore for his commitment to professional excellence. The Los Angeles/San Francisco Daily Journal, the highest-circulation legal news periodical in California, has recognized Shay as a Top 20 California Cannabis Lawyer. Shay has received the Professional of the Year Award from the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance, as well as the Rising Star Award from the Minority Bar Coalition of Northern California. In 2004, Shay received the Wiley W. Manuel Award for Outstanding Pro Bono Legal Service from the State Bar of California for his work assisting transgender clients with applications for U.S. political asylum.

Practice areas

Cannabis Law, Business/Corporate

Focus areas

Business Formation and Planning, Business Organizations, Contracts, Limited Liability Companies, Partnership, Sub-chapter S Corporations

  • 80% Cannabis Law
  • 20% Business/Corporate

First Admitted: 2001, California

Professional Webpage:

Educational Background:
  • The University of Texas School of Law, J.D., 2001
  • Rice University, B.A. in Economics, Spanish, and Policy Studies, 1998
Representative Clients:
  • Highway 1 Distribution, Inc. - I serve as Outside General Counsel, handling all legal and compliance functions for the corporation and its affiliates (2021-present), 2021
  • Smoakland Companies - I serve as Outside Corporate Counsel on corporate transactions involving the Smoakland Companies (2018-present), 2018
  • Top 20 California Cannabis Lawyers, The Los Angeles/San Francisco Daily Journal, 2022
  • , Northern California Super Lawyer, Cannabis Law, Super Lawyers® Magazine, 2021
  • , Northern California Super Lawyer, Business & Corporate Law, Super Lawyers® Magazine, 2020
  • Professional of the Year Award, Claims and Litigation Management Alliance, 2015
  • , Rising Star Award, Minority Bar Coalition of Northern California, 2009
  • , Wiley W. Manuel Outstanding Pro Bono Service Award, State Bar of California, 2004
  • Represented investors in connection with $1 million investment in Santa Cruz cannabis distribution operator, 2022
  • Represented San Francisco property owner in connection with investment in and commercial transactions with cannabis retail operator, 2022
  • Represented buyer in connection with purchase of Oakland cannabis manufacturer, 2022
  • Represented founders of Sacramento cannabis cultivation and distribution operation in connection with a $2 million financing transaction, 2021
  • Represented cannabis retail operator in lease negotiation for San Francisco location, 2021
  • Represented Oakland cannabis non-storefront retail operator in connection with purchase of competitor cannabis retailer, 2020
  • Represented Humboldt County cannabis cultivator in connection with $500K financing transaction, 2020
  • Represented Humboldt County manufacturer in capital raise from Canadian investment group , 2019
  • Represented Humboldt County cannabis cultivator in connection with $1 million capital raise from investors, 2018
Bar/Professional Activity:
  • Corporations Committee of California Lawyers Association Business Law Section, Member, 2023
  • California Lawyers Association, Cannabis Industry Practitioners Group, Co-Founder, 2022
  • Alameda County Bar Association, Cannabis & Hemp Law Section Chair, 2022
  • Bar Association of San Francisco, Cannabis Law Section Immediate Past Chair, 2021
  • California Cannabis Industry Association, Diversity Inclusion & Social Equity Committee Member, 2020
  • International Cannabis Bar Association, Board of Directors Member, 2019
  • National Cannabis Industry Association, Risk Management & Insurance Committee Member, 2018
Pro bono/Community Service:
  • San Francisco Cannabis Oversight Committee Member, 2023
  • San Francisco Office of Cannabis, Pro Bono Counsel for Verified Equity Applicants in Cannabis Equity Program, 2018
White Papers:
  • As California takes steps toward interstate commerce for cannabis, the dormant Commerce Clause to the United States Constitution can potentially interfere with many state and local social equity provisions designed to ameliorate the damage caused by the War on Drugs. In this article for the Daily Journal published on April 27, Shay takes a look at California cannabis social equity provisions in the context of interstate cannabis commerce and the imminent decision from the Ninth Circuit that could upend many of the state and local efforts designed to emphasize social equity., California Cannabis Social Equity and the Dormant Commerce Clause, Cannabis, 2023
  • This article looks at the legal and regulatory landscape for cannabis consumption lounges across certain U.S. jurisdictions from the standpoint of risk-management and insurance market opportunities., Cannabis Lounges - Coming to a City Near You?, Cannabis, Insurance, 2022
  • This paper clarifies specific cannabis insurance requirements mandated by state and local authorities in several states including California, Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington., Making Sense of State and Local Cannabis Insurance Regulations, Cannabis, 2019
Industry Groups:
  • Cannabis

Office location for Shay Aaron Gilmore

190 Douglass St
San Francisco, CA 94114

Phone: 415-846-6397


4 Years Super Lawyers
3 Years Rising Stars
  • Super Lawyers: 2020 - 2023
  • Rising Stars: 2009 - 2011

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