Rachel Gillette

Partner & Chair of the Cannabis Law Practice - Greenspoon Marder

Rachel Gillette focuses her practice on corporate and tax matters, including business licensing and regulatory compliance, business law and transactions, contract drafting and review, tax litigation, corporate formation, and audit representation. She has vast experience in the representation of Colorado startups, entrepreneurs and investors, in particular in highly regulated industries.

Ms. Gillette also regularly represents clients before the IRS’s Examinations, Appeals, and Collections Divisions, including 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.

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.

Through her current work with businesses in highly regulated industries, Ms. Gillette remains committed to ending the prohibition of cannabis at the national level and ensuring state licensed and legal marijuana businesses are fairly taxed and regulated.

Court Admissions
  • U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
  • U.S. Tax Court
Bar Admissions
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
Education
  • B.A., Political Science, University of Colorado at Boulder, 2004
  • Certificate in Peace & Conflict Studies
Practice Areas
  • Cannabis
  • Entertainment, Media & Technology Industry Group
  • Hospitality, Alcohol & Leisure Industry Group
  • Litigation
  • 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, “Federal Cannabis Legislative Update,” 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
Recognitions
  • 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
In the News
  • Featured, “No Glass Ceilings at Greenspoon Marder,” Profile Magazine, August 13, 2018
  • Quoted, “The Business of Tax: Cannabis Tax Advising Growing Like Weeds,” Tax Notes, July 9, 2018
  • Mentioned, “Wake Up Call,” Bloomberg Law Big Law Business, June 28, 2018
  • Featured, “Featured Advocate – Rachel Gillette,” Culture Magazine, June 7, 2018
  • Quoted, “Bipartisan STATES Act Would Exempt State-Legal Marijuana Markets from Controlled Substances Act,” Cannabis
  • Business Times, May, 29, 2018
  • Quoted, “Lawsuit: California Cannabis Tech Firm Eaze Broke US Law With Marketing Solicitations,” Marijuana Business Daily, May
  • 16, 2018
  • Featured, “What New Mexico Can Learn About Legalizing Recreational Pot,” KOB4, May 15, 2018
  • Featured, “Practicing Law in the Ever Changing Cannabis Industry,” Ganjly, May 14, 2018
  • Quoted, “Q and A: Marijuana Attorney is Optimistic About Marijuana Justice Act,” Marijuana.com, April 26, 2018
  • Quoted, “Higher Law: Your 4/20 Update on Cannabis as a Practice,” Law.com, April 20, 2018
  • Quoted, “Sen. Cory Gardner Shares Details of Marijuana Deal Forged With Trump,” The Cannabist, April 13, 2018
  • Quoted, “Higher Law: John Boehner’s Pot Play | Citibank’s Fume | Plus: Who Got the Work,” Law.com, April 12, 2018
  • Quoted, “Could IRS Policy Change Strip Marijuana Trade Associations of Tax Exemption?,” Marijuana Business Daily, March 29, 2018
  • Quoted, “The New Normal,” Marijuana Business Magazine, February 28, 2018
  • Quoted, “Cannabis Law Practices Brace for Impact of Sessions Memo,” The American Lawyer, February 23, 2018
  • Quoted, “See You In Court,” Cannabis Business Times, February 12, 2018
  • Quoted, “Troubling Taxation,” CULTURE Magazine, January 28, 2018
  • Quoted, “Will 2018 Bring a Weed Watershed?,” The Marijuana Times, January 25, 2018
  • Quoted, “Attorney General Jeff Sessions Removes Block on Prosecution of Marijuana Case,” Bigger Law Firm Magazine, January 18, 2018
  • Quoted, “Sessions, in Reversing Obama Pot Policy, Stokes Fears of a Crackdown,” U.S. News & World Report, January 4, 2018
  • Quoted, “Colorado Marijuana Dispensary Challenges IRS in US Tax Court,” The Cannabist, December 18, 2017
  • Quoted, “Costly Employment-Related Lawsuits on the Rise in Cannabis Industry as MJ Workforce Grows,” Marijuana Business Daily, October 18, 2017
  • Quoted, “DEA Asked for Applications to Grow Marijuana for Research, But It Doesn’t Approve Them,” Alternet, July 25, 2017
  • Quoted, “DEA Slow to Move On Marijuana Research Applications,” Marijuana Business Daily, July 25, 2017
  • Quoted, “DEA Solicited Applications to Grow Marijuana for Research. It Hasn’t Approved One,” STAT News, July 24, 2017
  • Quoted, “U.S. Called for New Marijuana Research Bids-but Granted No Approvals,” Scientific American, July 24, 2017
  • Quoted, “Can Stoned People Consent to Sex?,” Vice, July 5, 2017
  • Featured, “The Business of Cannabis,” South Florida Business Journal, April 25, 2017
  • Featured, “Growing Reason- The Cannabis Industry Documentary,” April 20, 2017
  • Featured, “Cannabis Quirks in Intellectual Property Law,” Law Week Colorado, April 20, 2017
  • Quoted, “Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol? Not So Fast,” Cannabis Industry Journal, April 19, 2017
  • Mentioned, “Breaking the Grass Ceiling Book Interviews Top Women in Weed,” Marijuana Times, April 10, 2017
  • Quoted, “What Might Canada’s Legal Cannabis Industry Look Like?,” Ganjapreneur, April 7, 2017
  • Quoted, “With Big Banks Absent, IRS Gears up for Flood of Tax Cash,” Leafly, April 4, 2017
  • Quoted, “Lawyers Mobilize as Trump Wages War on Regulations,” Law.com, April 3, 2017
  • Quoted, “Colorado To Clamp Down On Marijuana Home Grows,” The Fresh Toast, March 7, 2017
  • Quoted, “California Rolls Its Own Cannabis Trademark Protection,” Bloomberg BNA, February 7, 2017
  • Featured, “15 of the Most Powerful Women In the Weed Industry,” Complex magazine, January 6, 2017
  • Quoted, “Big Law Feeling Freer to Advertise Medical Pot Practices,” The Legal Intelligencer, December 5, 2016
  • Quoted, “New Application for Gun Ownership Requires You to Disclose Cannabis Use,” The Marijuana Times, November 23, 2016
  • Featured, “Legal Marijuana Users Can’t Legally Buy A Gun,” 9 News KUSA and 10 News WTSP, November 21, 2016
  • Quoted, “Colorado Gov. Calling for ‘Gray Market’ Crackdown,” Ganjapreneur, November 16, 2016
  • Quoted, “Marijuana Industry Is Not Worried A Trump Administration Would Roll Back Legalization,” MarketWatch, November 15, 2016
  • Quoted, “Colorado governor calls marijuana gray market ‘a clear and present danger,'” The Denver Post, November 15, 2016
  • Quoted, “Marijuana at the Polls Poses Headache for Regulators, Catnip for Firms,” The National Law Journal, November 3, 2016
  • Quoted, “Cannabis is on the Ballot: 5 Questions You Should Ask Before Casting Your Vote,” DOPE magazine, October 28. 2016
  • Quoted, “How to Grow a Cannabis Farming Business in the Blazing Marijuana Economy,” Fox News, September 29, 2016
  • Quoted, “The DEA is looking for candidates to grow marijuana for research — but will it find any takers?,” STAT News, August 31, 2016
  • Quoted, “DEA files docs, says no to rescheduling marijuana,” The Denver Post and The Cannabist, August 11, 2016
  • Quoted, “Will pot-friendly restaurants become a thing?,” Zagat, July 25, 2016
  • Quoted, “Cannabis law practice picks Colorado for new office, Lafayette attorney Rachel K. Gillette to head local office,” The Denver Post, June 6, 2016
  • Quoted, “Women in weed: how legal marijuana could be the first billion-dollar industry not dominated by men,” Newsweek, August 20, 2015
  • Quoted, “Ohio Cannabis Businesses Will Have to Set Up Without Legal Aid,” Cannabis Business Times, August, 15, 2016
  • Quoted, “IRS Abates Tax Penalties Against Denver Pot Dispensary,” Law360, March 20, 2015
  • Quoted, “Vacation pot smokers should be aware back home,” Chicago Tribune, February 24, 2015
  • Quoted, “Colorado marijuana shop sues IRS for charging a cash penalty,” Fox Business, July 2, 2014
  • Quoted, “IRS fines unbanked pot shops for paying federal payroll tax in cash,” The Denver Post, July 2, 2014
  • Quoted, “Legal pot becomes a touchy workplace issue,” USA Today, April, 2014
  • Quoted, “Colorado Marijuana Arrests Continue Despite Legalization,” US News and World Report, January 13, 2014
  • Quoted, “High Demand: Price of legal marijuana soars in Colorado,” NBC News, January 2, 2014
  • Appeared, “Cannabis Goes on Legal Sale in US State of Colorado,” BBC World News, January 1, 2014
  • Quoted, “Justice Department: Good News for Recreational Stoners,” The Daily Beast, August 30, 2013
  • Greenspoon Marder Featured In Profile Magazine