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Rachel K. Gillette

Partner and Chair of the Cannabis Law Practice

Rachel Gillette is among the first attorneys in the nation to dedicate her practice to the cannabis industry. Since 2010, Ms. Gillette has helped licensed cannabis and hemp businesses with licensing, permitting and regulatory compliance, business law and transactions, contract drafting and review, tax litigation, corporate formation, and other 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 cannabis businesses facing the challenges of IRS adjustments under IRC §280E. She has successfully challenged 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 adjustments, offers in compromise, audit examinations, innocent spouse claims, sales, use, and employment tax matters, trust fund tax penalty assessments, penalty abatements, and levy releases. Additionally, Ms. Gillette has significant U.S. Tax Court litigation experience, which is highly beneficial in unique and complex cannabis tax matters.

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.

Ms. Gillette serves on the Management Committee at Greenspoon Marder.

Click here to view Ms. Gillette’s Partner Spotlight.

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
  • U.S. Tax Court
  • Court of Appeals, 9th District

Bar Admissions

  • Colorado
  • Connecticut


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

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 LawW420 Radio, April 20, 2021
  • Speaker, “Weeding Between the Ethical Lines: Cannabis and Conflicts,” West LegalEdCenter, February 10, 2021
  • Speaker, “The Clock Is Ticking: Year End Tax Considerations in Advance of the Biden Administration,” GM Webinar, December 22, 2020
  • Speaker, “Get in the Game: Business Opportunities in Cannabis,” Sports, Money & Meds Virtual Conference, October 8, 2020
  • Speaker, “Evolution on the Fast Track: The Cannabis Case Study,” Greenspoon Marder Innovation Summit, September 29, 2020
  • Speaker, “Audit, Tax & Accounting for Cannabis,” Cannabis LAB Webinar, July 16, 2020
  • Speaker, “Elevate Your Grind,” Cannabis LAB Webinar, June 30, 2020
  • Speaker, “Cannabis in Quarantine: Burning Questions We Hear the Most,” GM Webinar, May 19, 2020
  • Speaker, “The Changing Landscape of Cannabis & CBD: How it May Affect Your Business,” Convenience Distribution Marketplace, February 26, 2020
  • Speaker, “The Cannabis Industry: Taxes, IRS Audits and Sec. 280E,” AICPA Webcast, January 27, 2020
  • Speaker, “Accounting For Cannabis And The IRS,” CLAB’s 4th Annual Cannabis Law and Business Conference, October 28, 2019
  • Speaker, “Moving the Needle at the Federal Level,” Institutional Capital & Cannabis Conference East (IC3), October 21, 2019
  • Speaker, “CBD and Hemp after the 2018 Farm Bill: Legal in All Fifty States?,” NORML Legal Seminar, May 30, 2019
  • Speaker, “The Business of Cannabis,” Legal 500 Roundtable, May 8, 2019
  • Speaker, “Improving Your Tax Strategy,” The Cannabis Conference, April 2, 2019
  • Speaker, “Is CBD the New Energy Drink?,”  Convenience Retailing University Conference, February 28, 2019
  • Moderator, “Best Practices for Cannabis Industry Companies,” Denver Business Journal’s The Business of Cannabis: The State of the Industry, January 30, 2019
  • Speaker, “Status of Industry, Legal and Business Updates,” Cannabis LAB Conference, November 7, 2018
  • Speaker, “Tax, Accounting and What to Legally Do With The Money,” Cannabis LAB Conference, November 7, 2018
  • “Income Tax Audits and 280E in the Cannabis Industry,” State Bar of Michigan Marijuana Law Section Conference, October 26, 2018
  • “The ABC’s of CBD,” CWCBExpo, September 27, 2018
  • “How to Stop the Train: Lessons Learned Defending 280E Audits ,” NCIA Cannabis Business Summit & Expo, July 26th
  • Speaker, “Federal Cannabis Legislative Update,” Greenspoon Marder and The Liaison Group Briefing, May 25, 2018
  • Speaker, “From Potential Crackdowns to Changing Regulations: Surviving and Thriving Amid Uncertainty,” MJBizConNEXT 2018 Conference and Expo, May 11, 2018
  • 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,”  2018 Florida Institute of CPAs Valuation, Forensic Accounting & Litigation Services Conference, January 11, 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


  • Chambers and Partners, “Cannabis Law: Western United States” 2021
  • Chambers & Partners, “Cannabis Law – Nationwide,” 2019-2020
  • Cannabis Law Report, “Global Top 200 Cannabis Lawyers,” 2020
  • Law Week Colorado, “Best Marijuana Law Lawyer,” Barrister’s Choice, 2019
  • Denver Business Journal, “2019 Outstanding Women in Business,” Finalist, 2019
  •, “20 Most Influential Women In Cannabis,” 2019
  • High Times magazine, “Women of Weed,” 2018-2019
  • National Law Journal, “Cannabis Trailblazer,” 2018 – 2019
  • 5280 magazine, “Top Lawyer,” Marijuana Law, 2015-2019
  • Remedy Review, “Top 20 Women on the Move in Cannabis,” 2018
  • mg Magazine, “Powerful Cannabis Attorney,” 2018
  • Complex magazine, “15 of the Most Powerful Women In the Weed Industry,” 2017
  • 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



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