Coats Rose Adds Lisa Pittman and Announces Cannabis Business Law Practice – Expansion of the Firm’s Regulatory Legal Counseling Services

HOUSTON – March 10, 2020 – Coats Rose is pleased to announce the addition of Lisa L. Pittman to the firm’s Austin office.  Pittman’s pioneering work in the cannabis business industry in Texas has earned her the title, “The First Lady of Texas Cannabis Law.”  Her practice is focused on hemp and cannabis business planning and compliance, as well as commercial litigation.  Pittman is also licensed in Colorado, where she spent the last couple of years gaining significant experience in a legalized market, working on projects in multiple states in this capacity.  Her intentions to bring that knowledge and skill set back to her home state of Texas, now realized, has put her at the forefront of this industry in the Lone Star state.

Coats Rose launched its multi-disciplinary Cannabis Business Law practice last year, after hemp was legalized in Texas.  The addition of Pittman to the group strengthens its reach, as she brings significant experience from across the supply chain in multiple jurisdictions, as well as a loyal following.  Pittman will co-chair the group along with Andrea Steel, director in the firm’s Houston office.  With the recent legalization of industrial hemp nationwide and in Texas, Coats Rose is poised to help many Texas-based and national companies enter the market.

“I am thrilled to join Coats Rose, where I will be able to fully service my clients with the assistance of multiple experts in their field, as every area of traditional law practice is implicated in the cannabis industry,” said Pittman.  “While my location in Austin grants me valuable access to the Capitol and the agencies governing Texas hemp, practicing at a well-respected firm with multiple offices will also be a convenient resource for my clients, and I look forward to combining forces with Andrea Steel, who is just as committed to moving the ball forward on these cutting edge issues as I am.”

“We are ecstatic to have Lisa join in leading our Cannabis Business Law practice,” said Steel. “Lisa has been a motivation and inspiration to me since I first considered expanding my practice into this area years ago.  To work hand in hand leading the way with another trailblazer who is also a woman and a mother, especially in a new industry still in its infancy, is not to be taken lightly.  Lisa is a true leader, and joining forces allows us to achieve our shared goals more effectively and with greater resources.”

“Together, we have significant relationships among the experts and leaders in industry, government, and the legal profession,” continued Steel “In collaboration with attorneys in the group and within our firm, we are able to serve as the legal resource that clients need as they navigate the hemp market in Texas.”

Sid Miller, Commissioner of the Texas Department of Agriculture, echoed this enthusiasm with this statement: “Coats Rose just landed a phenomenal new hire.  When I was putting together great minds to help me shape the future of the hemp industry in Texas, I needed a strong legal mind for regulatory and policy guidance, which is why I immediately turned to the most knowledgeable and sharpest attorney on the subject, Lisa Pittman.  Lisa was one of the first people that I approached to become a member of my Industrial Hemp Council, and she sure has been worth her weight in Gold. I depend on Lisa’s expert guidance and practical experience to help the TDA formulate the rules and regulation that will govern the hemp industry in Texas as we prepare the State to lead the nation in hemp production like we do with so many other agricultural commodities.”

Pittman has 20 years’ experience in litigating and trying disputes relating to labor & employment, breach of contract, commercial banking, fraud, fiduciary duty, construction defect and injury, deceptive trade practices, premises liability, professional liability, and products liability, as well as in complex commercial insurance coverage matters.  A pioneering leader and authority in the cannabis industry, having spent two years in Colorado to learn the issues and build her network, Pittman advises clients on the many challenges facing cannabis and hemp businesses, such as tax, banking, insurance, and regulatory compliance issues. Her efforts spurred the American Bar Association to form a Cannabis Law & Policy Task Force, on which she served as a founding Steering Committee member, and she serves as the Chair of Publications & Programming on the recently formed standing Cannabis Law & Policy Committee, for which she is Chair-Elect.  After working in the 2019 legislative session toward the passage of a hemp law in Texas, in January, Pittman was appointed to the Texas Department of Agriculture’s Industrial Hemp Advisory Council.

Steel is co-Chair of the Cannabis Business Law practice as well as a director in the Firm’s Affordable Housing and Community Development practice. She possesses industry-specific knowledge about the emerging cannabis regulatory framework in Texas and at the federal level.  She has more than a decade of experience assisting clients navigate through various governmental agencies at the local, state and federal levels to achieve their goals.  Steel is also skilled in closing complicated business transactions that utilize the layering of various finance tools.  Her cannabis business clients come from across the supply chain spectrum from cultivators to retailers, where she advises on regulatory compliance, hemp/medical marijuana licensing, cannabis-related business issues, product labeling/marketing, policy-making participation and real estate issues. Steel also speaks at events across the state providing insight into the recently approved and proposed laws, rules and regulations and other cannabis business matters.

The more than 20  attorneys who are members of the Cannabis Business Law practice represent the firm’s corporate and business law, litigation, construction, real estate, public finance, and government relations practices.  Members of the group provide representation and guidance for both start-up and established cannabis companies to successfully implement and achieve business objectives in the emerging and fast-evolving cannabis industry.  They advise clients to mitigate regulatory risks and enhance protection of both licenses and branding.

“Representing clients in the cannabis industry is a natural extension of the regulatory work that we do for clients across a broad spectrum of industries,” said Rick Rose, Managing Partner.  “We have the depth of experience from working with local, state and federal entities that regulate a number of niche industries.  Cannabis is one more for us.”

Heavily regulated niche industries have been the foundation of Coats Rose, as the firm was established in 1989 as a construction and real estate development law firm.  Our attorneys have extensive experience advising companies regarding the laws that govern complex and closely monitored businesses and trades. We track legal developments, political initiatives and market trends to provide insight on new regulatory issues across a number of industries, and we offer a unique perspective to counsel clients on the nuanced legal and policy considerations that companies face in such industries.  In addition to the cannabis law practice, the firm’s core areas of practice include affordable housing and community development, construction, public finance, real estate, and government relations.

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More about Coats Rose, P.C.
Coats Rose is a transaction and litigation law firm focused on development: the development of real estate, affordable housing, special purpose districts, business and private wealth. We provide legal counsel to businesses, governmental entities corporate and high-net worth clients across the U.S. and internationally. For over 30 years, the firm has leveraged its vast legal experience to fulfill clients’ needs spanning real estate law, affordable housing and community development, public finance, construction/surety law, commercial litigation, government relations, cannabis law, intellectual property, mergers and acquisitions, securities law, tax, wealth planning and preservation. In addition to its headquarters in Houston, Coats Rose has offices in Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, New Orleans and Cincinnati.



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