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Michael Martinez

Senior Counsel

Michael Martinez is senior counsel to both the Hospitality, Alcohol and Leisure Industries Group and the Cannabis Law Group. Since joining the firm Mr. Martinez has provided legal services to all tiers of the alcohol beverage industry, including retailers, suppliers and wholesalers. More broadly, in the course of representing clients before the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR), the Food and Drug Administration, the Florida Departments of Health, Agriculture and Consumer Services, as well as the Department of Financial Services, he has handled licensing matters, the defense of administrative complaints, rule challenge hearings, Petitions for Declaratory Statements, Circuit Court appeals and compliance consulting. In addition, Mr. Martinez has been involved in cannabis and hemp related regulatory issues. In that capacity he has been asked to speak at industry conferences, provide training to a state regulatory body and has attended numerous medical marijuana legislative and rulemaking hearings.

Prior to joining the firm in 2015 Mr. Martinez worked in Florida state government for fifteen years at the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. He held the positions of front line Alcohol Beverage and Tobacco (ABT) prosecutor, Chief Attorney for ABT and for his last several years served as Deputy General Counsel over all the business divisions housed at DBPR.  He provided daily legal guidance to the business divisions and consistently worked with the private bar and industry to develop unique and creative solutions to licensure issues, as well as the resolution of administrative actions and other regulatory matters. He routinely interacted with other Florida agencies such as the Department of Health and the Department of Agriculture in areas of overlapping regulation such as alcoholic beverage and hotel licensure, zoning issues and implementation of The Florida Clean Indoor Air Act in coordination with the Department of Health.

While at DBPR, Mr. Martinez also had supervisory oversight for the legal guidance provided to the divisions of Drugs Devices and Cosmetics, Hotels and Restaurants, Florida Condominiums, Timeshares and Mobile homes, and Pari-mutuel Wagering. He was registered as a legislative lobbyist for DBPR for several years and worked closely with legislative committee staff on drafting legislation, constituent issues and interim projects. Mr. Martinez drafted administrative rules, chaired rule hearings, worked on implementation, testified at rule challenge hearings at the Division of Administrative Hearings and defended rule challenges on behalf of the State. Throughout his tenure at DBPR, he routinely interacted with the Governor’s Office regarding litigation and policy matters.

Mr. Martinez’s public service career was primarily focused on business regulation.  However, in his role as Deputy General Counsel over Professions (2003-2007), he supervised the professions attorneys and provided guidance and legal advice regarding the following professions: architecture and interior design, asbestos contractors and consultants, athlete agents, auctioneers, barbers, boxing, kick boxing and mixed martial arts, building code administrators and inspectors, certified public accounting, child labor, community association managers and firms, construction industry, cosmetology, electrical contractors, engineers, employee leasing companies, farm labor, geologists, harbor pilots, labor organizations, landscape architecture, real estate, talent agencies, and veterinary medicine.

Bar Admissions

  • Florida


  • J.D., Florida State University College of Law, 1996
  • B.S., Criminology, Florida State University, 1993

Professional and Community Involvement

  • National Conference of State Liquor Administrators, Associate Member Representative for the Executive Committee
  • Elder Care Services, “Meals on Wheels,” Volunteer
  • Tallahassee Marathon, Aid Station Coordinator

Speaking Engagements

  • Panelist, “The “Ins and Outs” of Private Label Products,” NCSLA Annual Conference, August 29, 2021
  • Panelist, Craft Breweries, Florida Independent Spirits Association, 2014
  • Panelist, Regulatory Updates, Retail Beverage Counsel of the Florida Retail Federation, 2013
  • Panelist, Regulatory Issues, Retail Beverage Counsel of the Florida Retail Federation, 2005
  • Lecturer, Wine, Beer, and Spirits Law, “A Synopsis of Florida’s Tied House Evil Law,” CLE International, Las Vegas, NV, October 2004
  • Panelist, Legislative and Regulatory Concerns, Retail Beverage Counsel of the Florida Retail Federation, 2004


  • Florida Trend magazine, Florida “Legal Elite,” 2007, 2009
  • Florida Trend magazine, “Up and Coming Legal Elite,” 2006

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