Cannabis Section

Welcome to the ACBA’s newest section created especially for attorneys interested in the cannabis industry. 

Although small, the Cannabis section has dedicated committee filled with passionate and experienced lawyers focusing on cannabis business law, public policy, and financing. The Committee anticipates a large growth period for the section, reflective of the growth seen in the commercial cannabis space seen both in the state of California, across the nation, and across international borders. We strive to provide an ongoing forum for our members to network and become familiar with existing and new laws affecting commercial cannabis industry. The Executive Committee intends to provide robust and substantial continuing education programs presented by knowledgeable and experienced people so our members can obtain timely information relevant to the fast pace of cannabis public policy change.

If you have time, please note that we have a standing invitation for any interested attorney to attend our Executive Committee meetings where lively discussions of current events frequently occur and gripes about the cannabis industry are exchanged. 

The goal of the Committee is to provide information and networking opportunities to provide clients with the best information possible to create a compliant, legal, and profitable commercial cannabis business.

Upcoming Programs and Events

Tales of Two Cities: SF and Oakland Cannabis Equity Programs (10/25)

New events are added regularly. Visit the ACBA calendar for more upcoming ACBA events. 

CHAIR

Dominic Ripoli


Elevated Consulting
510-882-1317
dominicsripoli@gmail.com
125 12th St Suite 100-BALI
Oakland, CA
DominicRipoli.com

A lifelong California native, Dominic graduated from Golden Gate School of Law in 2015 and began his career as a cannabis legal consultant. In 2017 Dominic passed the California bar and is currently practicing cannabis law. Dominic recently started Elevated Consulting. A solo law practice where Dominic is CEO. Elevated Consulting is a member of the Bay Area Legal Incubator (BALI). BALI provides Elevated Consulting the support and resources of a corporate firm, in exchange, Dominic provides modest means and lo-bono legal services. Elevated Consulting is focused on the emerging regulated California commercial cannabis industry. With a focus on “Cannabis Equity Clients”. Elevated Consulting is dedicated to seeing the local programs meant to right-the-wrongs of the “War on Drugs” be fairly implemented, but more importantly, implemented sustainably. Dominic holds a BA in Legal Communications from Howard University.

VICE CHAIR

Laura Altieri


Vine Legal Group

laura@vinelegalgroup.com

Laura Altieri

Laura practiced alcohol beverage law in-house at the world’s largest winery and, familiar with state and federally regulated industries, has turned her attention to a new industry being reborn after a long Prohibition.  Her practice focuses on compliance, corporate issues and venture fund formation, as well as commercial transactions.  Laura is a double Golden Bear (BA, JD) and has an MA from Johns Hopkins.

SECRETARY

Shay Aaron Gilmore


Shay Gilmore Law 
415-846-6397
shay@shaygilmorelaw.com

Shay Aaron Gilmore is an attorney working with cannabis companies across California who are engaged in all aspects of the legal cannabis industry – including cultivation, manufacturing, product labeling and packaging, distribution and retail sales. Prior to practicing in the cannabis space, Shay worked as in-house counsel for national and global financial services companies. While working as in-house counsel, Shay implemented company-wide compliance programs, conducted corporate investigations, and worked with business partners to negotiate and draft agreements to meet business objectives. Shay graduated from The University of Texas School of Law in 2001. Following law school, in 2004, Shay was awarded the State Bar of California’s Wiley W. Manuel Award for Outstanding Pro Bono Legal Services. Shay serves as the current Vice-Chair of the Bar Association of San Francisco’s Cannabis Law Committee. Shay holds a B.A. in Economics, Spanish and Policy Studies from Rice University and a J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law.

MEMBER

Sylvia Chi, Esq.


Sylvia Chi, Esq.
2323 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612
sylvia@sylviachilaw.com

Slyvia Chi

Sylvia Chi is a solo practitioner specializing in advising businesses in California’s cannabis sector. She advises on corporate matters and compliance with state and local laws, and has special expertise in environmental laws and advertising/marketing product claims. Previously, she was Counsel to Verdant Law, where she practiced chemicals and green marketing law. She was also a Visiting Attorney with the Environmental Law Institute, where she researched energy policy and agriculture issues. She also completed externships with U.S. EPA’s Federal Facilities Enforcement Office and the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Water and Wildlife, working on issues ranging from Safe Drinking Water Act enforcement and federal appropriations law to the Chesapeake Bay program and invasive species legislation. She earned her J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law and her A.B. from Dartmouth College.

Sylvia is a member of the Defenders of Mother Earth-Huichin, Friends of the Public Bank of Oakland, and the California Public Banking Alliance, and does pro bono immigration work through the Asian-American Bar Association and International Refugee Assistance Project. 

MEMBER

Daniel Dellafosse


Law Office of Daniel Dellafosse
125 12th Street, Suite 100-BALI
Oakland, CA 94607
415-857-2188
daniel@danieldlaw.com
www.danieldlaw.com

Daniel Dellafosse is a bay area native.  He provides corporate and business legal services to tech startups, small to mid-size businesses, and startups or existing businesses in California’s newest emerging industry.  His compliance practice area focuses on local permitting and state licensing for all businesses looking to enter or continue in California’s newest industry.  Daniel earned his undergraduate business degree from San Diego State University.  After a ten year career as a sales representative in the medical device industry, he decided to go to law school.  He graduated in 2016 with honors from the University of San Francisco School of Law.  Shortly after graduation, he started his solo practice as a participant in the Bay Area Legal Incubator (BALI).  He enjoys cooking, fishing, and spending time with his family.  

MEMBER

Richard H. Poulson, Esq.


The Mansard Building
2233 Santa Clara Avenue, Suite 3
Alameda, California 94501
510.747.8034
www.richardpoulsonlaw.com

 

Richard is a solo practitioner located in Alameda with over 22 years of experience.  He graduated with honors from the University of Illinois and then from Washington University School of Law in St. Louis where he was an associate editor of the school’s law review, the Washington University Law Quarterly.  After working at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in Atlanta, Richard relocated to the Bay Area where he joined the Oakland firm of Filice Brown Eassa & McLeod LLP, where he was elected partner, and then at the international law firm of King & Spalding LLP, where he represented pharmaceutical and petrochemical clients in a variety complex litigation matters.  His practice now focuses on representing local business in litigation and transactional matters, and he has provided legal services to both cannabis dispensary and marketing clients.

MEMBER

Natalia Ventsko 


nataliaventsko.esq@gmail.com

Natasha Ventsko

Natasha Ventsko is an attorney and a social worker. She received her BSW from San Jose State University, Juris Doctorate from Loyola College of Law New Orleans, MSW from Southern University of New Orleans, and a LL.M in Taxation at the University of San Francisco. Natasha is a participant of the Alameda County Bar Association’s (ACBA) incubator program- Bay Area Legal Incubator (BALI). In partnership with BALI Natasha has launched a solo tax practice where she focuses on providing tax assistance to modest means clients and other communities that have tax needs. Natasha is a member of the Louisiana State Bar Association, the Bar Association of San Francisco, the Alameda County Bar Association, and a board member of the Estate Planning Council of Southern Alameda County.