Hilary Bricken, Attorney

"Innovation distinguishes leaders from followers."
Hilary Bricken

Since joining Harris Bricken in 2010, Hilary has earned a reputation as an exceptional and fearless business law attorney. Hilary’s clients—start-ups, entrepreneurs, and companies in all stages of development—value her bold approach to business strategy. Hilary also appears before city councils and community forums, where she advocates tirelessly for her clients.

Hilary’s clients reflect the diversity and ingenuity of the West Coast and she takes pride in her strong client relationships, which allow her to hone in on each company’s unique needs and goals. Nothing brings Hilary greater satisfaction than helping a business thrive in a cutting-edge industry.

In 2017, the American Bar Association (ABA) named Hilary one of the top 40 young lawyers nationwide and before that The Puget Sound Business Journal named her as one of only seven deal makers of the year. She was by far the youngest and the only private practice attorney to garner this honor. Hilary was also named one of “40 Under 40” leading businesspeople by the PS Business Journal. In every year since 2014, Hilary has been chosen as a “Rising Star” lawyer by Super Lawyer’s magazine.

Major media outlets like the New York Times, VICE, the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Business Insider, CNN, Rolling Stone, Forbes, MSNBC, and Bloomberg all have turned to Hilary for her on-the-ground perspective on cannabis laws. Hilary’s Tedx talk on “big cannabis” (see below) has garnered more than 50,000 views and she also authors a weekly column for Above the Law on marijuana policy and regulation.

In her free time, Hilary, a former college soccer player, still plays soccer on a Harris Bricken-sponsored coed soccer team in Los Angeles.


More About Hilary

Speaking Engagements

California Cannabis Q&A, Harris Bricken webinar, May 28, 2020.

Multi-State Cannabis Operators, Harris Bricken webinar, April 2, 2020.

Take Me To Your Dealer: A KCRW Joint, KCRW, Santa Monica, CA, January 30, 2020.

Career Choices Series: Cannabis Law, American Bar Association, January 24, 2020.

The Seller’s Viewpoint, California Cannabis Mergers & Acquisitions Conference, November 4, 2019.

Cannabis Taxation and Regulation, Law and Economics Center’s Symposium on the Law and Economics of Marijuana Legalization, George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School, October 7, 2019.

Cannabis Investment Issues, California Society of CPAs Annual Cannabis Symposium, August 9, 2019.

Legal Trends in the Cannabis Industry,  American Association for Justice, July 27, 2019.

Is the Cannabis Gold “Rush” More of a Gold “Trickle”?, Nutrition Industry Association (NIA), May 22, 2019.

Navigating California’s Regulations: What’s Wrong and How Do We Fix It?, Bright TALK, June 4, 2019.

Lawyering for the Cannabis Industry, UCLA School of Law, February 2019.

West Coast Hemp CBD After the Farm Bill, Harris Bricken webinar, February 21, 2019.

Marijuana in California: Navigating the Potential and Pitfall in a Newly Legalized Industry, Public Policy Exchange, February 14, 2019.

Wineries & Cannabis: What You Can & Can’t Do, Central Coast Wine and Weed Symposium, San Louis Obispo, CA, May 10, 2018.

What You Need to Know Now to Get Your California Cannabis License on January 1, Harris Bricken webinar, December 18, 2017.

Rights, Opportunities, and Responsibilities of Municipalities Regulating Cannabis, Harris Bricken webinar, December 14, 2017.

Medicinal and Adult Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act: What You Need to Know, Harris Bricken webinar, August 8, 2017.

California Medical Cannabis Licensing: What You Need to Know Now, Harris Bricken webinar, June 1, 2017.

Cross-Border Cannabis Markets: A Primer for Marijuana Businesses and Investors in the U.S. and Canada, Harris Bricken webinar, May 9, 2017.

Co-chair, Cannabis as a Business in California, Law Seminars International, Sacramento, CA, February 3, 2017.

Medical and Recreational Marijuana in Southern California, The Seminar Group, Santa Monica, CA, October 27, 2016.

Marijuana is Legal: Now What?, NACM Western Region Credit Conference, Seattle, WA, October 14, 2016.

Marijuana Legalization in California, American Inns of Court, Long Beach, CA October 11, 2016.

Cutting Through the Haze: Marijuana and the Environment, ABA Environmental Conference, Denver, CO, October 6, 2016.

Oregon Marijuana for Investors, Harris Bricken webinar, May 25, 2016.

Program Co-Chair, Medical and Recreational Marijuana in Northern California, The Seminar Group, San Fransisco, CA, May 13, 2016.

Program Chair, Marijuana in Alaska, The Seminar Group, Anchorage, AK, April 28, 2016.

The Cannabis Science and Policy Summit, Marron Institute of Urban Management, New York University, April 17-18, 2016.

Marijuana, Twenty-Three States and Counting…, American Bar Association, The JW Marriott and National Press Club-Washington D.C., April 6, 2016.

Best of Both Worlds – the Potential in Polarity, TEDx Talk, Orcas Island, March 5, 2016.

Pennsylvania’s Proposed Medical Cannabis Act, The Pennsylvania Bar Institute, November 23, 2015.

AICPA Forensic & Valuation Services Conference, AICPA, The Venetian & Palazzo Resort – Las Vegas, November 8, 2015 @3:10-4:25pm.

Medical Marijuana in Seattle, Lawline, September 3, 2015.

Legal Considerations for State-Legal Marijuana Businesses, Thomson Reuters, August 11, 2015.

Medical and Recreational Marijuana in Washington, The Seminar Group, July 30, 2015.

Medical and Recreational Marijuana in Oregon, The Seminar Group, July 8, 2015.

Spotting Product Liability Issues for Marijuana, NBI, June 26, 2015.

Medical Marijuana in Illinois, The Seminar Group, Chicago, IL, June 5, 2015.

Media Appearances

Federal Government Sues California Bureau of Cannabis Control for Business Records, Cannabis Business Times, August 12, 2020.

Beware and aware: review of cannabis law, Daily Journal Podcast, March 23, 2020.

Marijuana Vape Sales Lag as Lung Illnesses Rise in US, U.S. News, September 26, 2019.

California might triple number of marijuana shops across state, Los Angeles Times, May 13, 2019.

Budding Los Angeles: Growing industry attracts young attorneys to cannabis law, Daily Bruin, January 28, 2019.

Meet the bigshot lawyers who are turning weed into a $194 billion industry, Business Insider, January 11, 2019.

State’s new pot market sees a slow first year, Los Angeles Times, December 27, 2018.

One year of legal pot sales and California doesn’t have the bustling industry it expected. Here’s why, Los Angeles Times, December 27, 2018.

Marijuana startups trading equity stakes for legal help, real estate Experts see such deals as risky on several frontsThe Orange County Register, December 17, 2018.

Cannabis Capitalism: who is making money in the marijuana industry? The Guardian, October 3, 2018.

2018 Trailblazers Cannabis LawThe National Law Journal, October 2018.

Trying to Increase Social Equity in the Cannabis Industry, LA Weekly, July 23, 2018.

Don’t Bet On Federal Marijuana Legalization Just Yet, Forbes Magazine, June 19, 2018.

Oregon’s high hopes for legalization now a cautionary tale, Portland Press Herald, June 6, 2018.

Oversupply of marijuana creating problems in Oregon, Las Vegas Review-Journal, June 2, 2018.

Glut of marijuana in Oregon is cautionary tale, experts say, Financial Post, May 31, 2018.

Cultivating Clout: Marijuana Money Flows into California Politics, Times of San Diego, May 5, 2018.

California May Drop Cannabis Taxes To Give Legal Sellers A Boost, Forbes Magazine, March 15, 2018.

A Top Cannabis Lawyer on What Losing the Cole Memo Means, Leafly, January 5, 2018.

Trump administration targets recreational pot, placing thousands of marijuana businesses in California at risk, Los Angeles Times, January 4, 2018.

With clock ticking down to legalization, marijuana becomes a suburban affair, Los Angeles Times, December 29, 2017.

One year later: The politics of pot, KCRW 89.9FM, December 21, 2017.

Render unto Caeser before getting a seller’s permit, California tells cannabis businesses, San Francisco Business Times, November 30, 2017.

Canada’s Legal Weed: What You Need to Know. Rolling Stone, April 17, 2017.

Canada announces legislation to legalize marijuanaKCRW, April 13, 2017.

Marijuana businesses pay taxes, but many don’t have bank accountsThe Desert Sun, January 23, 2017.

Election results give pot smokers a high, Fox News, November 9, 2016.

Smokin’, rollin’, eatin’ … regulatin,’ Fox News, October 6, 2016.

Presidential candidates and marijuana, MSNBC, April 9, 2016.

How to Invest in Marijuana Legalization, U.S. News & World Report, March 17, 2016.

Here’s the only pot stock worth owning, CNN Money, April 17, 2015.

With Marijuana Legalized, a City in Washington Says, ‘Not So Fast,’ The New York Times, June 11, 2014.

Washington city sued over its ban on marijuana businesses, Al Jazeera America, June 5, 2014.

Pot Growers Can’t Use Federal Irrigation Water, King 5 News, May 20, 2014.

Cannabis Concerns, interview, Seattle Channel, April 4, 2014.

Medical marijuana outlets prepare as Washington lawmakers ponder their fate, Puget Sound Business Journal, March 12, 2014.

Providers of Medical Marijuana Face New Fears, The New York Times, March 6, 2014.

National Marijuana Legalization interview, MSNBC Disrupt, February 2, 2014.

Weed Startups In Washington Face Huge ChallengesBusiness Insider, January 14, 2014.

I-502 and city of Seattle Cannabis zoningSeattle Channel, May 3, 2013.

Confusion still crowds legal pot in Washington, BC CTV, June 12, 2013.

Joint venture: With 1-502 now in effect, Seattle has become ground zero for the state’s recreational pot marketSeattle Magazine, September 2013.

A legal high: Practicing marijuana business law, Puget Sound Business Journal, August 22, 2013.


Regular contributor to the award-winning Canna Law Blog.

Colorado marijuana laws explained, GreenState, November 28, 2017.

Washington marijuana laws explained, GreenState, November 28, 2017.

Marijuana Law and Policy, Above The Law, Featured Columnist, 2015 – present.

Federal-State Conflicts on Cannabis, Washington Wire, January 10, 2013.


Rising Star” lawyer, Super Lawyers (2014-2020)

Named one of the “Top Marijuana Industry Deal Attorneys” Business Insider (2019)

Named one of the “Top 40 Young Lawyers,” American Bar Association (2017)

Named one of “8 Influential Women Leading the Cannabis Industry in 2017,” Leafly (2017).

2015 “40 Under 40,”  Puget Sound Business Journal (2015)

2013 “Deal Maker,” Puget Sound Business Journal (2013)

Industry Attorney of the Year, Dope Magazine (2013)

Representative Work

Representation of hundreds of California and Washington cannabis cultivators, manufacturers, distributors and retailers on licensing and regulatory compliance matters.

Representation of hundreds of cannabis companies regarding corporate organization and structuring with a focus on the impact of IRC 280E.

Representation of hundreds of buyers and sellers of cannabis businesses and assets in Washington and California.

Representation of foreign investors for investment into various cannabis companies in the State of California.

Representation of multiple publicly traded Canadian cannabis companies regarding corporate governance and cannabis company acquisitions in California.

Representation of various financial institutions regarding compliance with the 2014 FinCEN cannabis banking guidance.

Representation of numerous cannabis and CBD companies in capital raising transactions.

Representation of domestic and international cannabis hardware and equipment manufacturers for cannabis businesses.

Representation of hundreds of cannabis companies in the negotiation and drafting of purchase order, supply, slotting fee, white label, intellectual property, and distribution agreements.

Representation of hundreds of cannabis companies in Washington and California before various local and state regulatory bodies regarding cannabis rule violations and interpretations of various rules.


Los Angeles County Bar Association

King County Bar Association

Washington State Bar Association

State Bar of California

Florida State Bar Association


  • Jacksonville University (B.A.)
  • University of Miami School of Law (J.D.)

Bar & Court Admissions

  • Florida
  • Washington
  • California
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of California


  • Spanish (Conversational)