Lisa L. Pittman

Of Counsel

Lisa is Co-chair of the Cannabis Business Law practice.  A leader and authority in the cannabis industry, which includes state legal marijuana and federally legal hemp, Lisa was recently appointed to be a Nonresident Fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy as a member of the Drug Policy Program.  Lisa also was appointed to the Texas Department of Agriculture Industrial Hemp Advisory Council, a role that provides her insight and influence on the regulations for the Texas hemp program, with the goal of propelling Texas to be the preeminent producer of hemp in the United States.  Lisa is also a prolific publisher of peer reviewed publications, is frequently asked to speak to professional organizations nationwide, and is often interviewed by the press.  A native Texan, Lisa’s work in the legalization movement in Texas has led her to be referred to as “The First Lady of Texas Cannabis Law.”

Throughout Lisa’s 20-year career, she has litigated and tried 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. Lisa also possesses extensive expertise in complex commercial insurance coverage matters, having both defended insurance companies and advocated for policy holders in commercial property, residential property, and life insurance matters.

After 15 years of practice, Lisa almost left the law to open a wellness center for women to consult about plant-based therapies and nutrition, as part of a life-long passion for children’s health that began with her volunteer work as a teenager at Texas Children’s Hospital. In 2014, Lisa read the testimony of Texas mothers of children with epilepsy, detailing the treatment and life choices they had to make for their children’s conditions. This led her to learn more the cannabis plant’s other healing properties. In pursuit of this fact-finding mission, she attended a nationwide cannabis conference in Denver, Colorado in January 2015. This alerted her to the fact that cannabis as medicine was a movement sweeping the country, that there were many legitimate medical studies, discoveries, and breakthroughs in other countries, which motivated her to involve herself in improving Texas law.

In short, Lisa merged her passion for wellness with her profession as a business attorney by focusing her practice on legal cannabis and hemp issues. After advocating for medical cannabis in Texas for the 2015 Texas Compassionate Use Act and representing license applicants under the Act in 2017, also advocating for expansion of the Act, Lisa moved to Colorado for two years to practice in a state where marijuana and hemp are legal to learn the nuances of these laws,  and to earn her Colorado Bar license. Lisa worked with a former DEA Task Force Commander and Narcotics Prosecutor to learn the federal government’s stance on cannabis legalization and enforcement to counsel clients on federal risk mitigation and local law enforcement issues. She also became immersed in the boom in the hemp industry, as the 2014 Farm Bill’s legalization of industrial hemp came to fruition in Colorado at the time of her move.  At that time, however, hemp was still considered marijuana to the federal government, which enhanced her understanding of the risk involved in this industry.  While in Colorado, Lisa was selected to be a mentor to the competitive Canopy Boulder cannabis business incubator/investor program.

From her participation in the nascent cannabis industry, Lisa has represented a broad range of clients from investors to ancillary service and product providers to “plant touching” companies—farmers, processors, manufacturers, laboratories, distributors, and retailers. Some of these clients have now expanded into other countries. In pursuit of becoming an authority in this area, Lisa understands the many challenges facing marijuana and hemp businesses, such as tax, banking, insurance, and regulatory compliance issues, and she has grown a vast network of experts to assist in these areas. Lisa keeps abreast of the constantly evolving laws, news, and deals occurring in the cannabis industry internationally on a daily basis.

From her extensive experience in breach of contract in litigation, Lisa is adept at negotiation and contract drafting, and her  broad base of knowledge in many legal areas gained from her litigation experience allows her to give comprehensive business and legal advice to clients in the cannabis industries, including investment and growth strategies, and risk management and mitigation to avoid civil litigation, criminal prosecution, or regulatory violations. Lisa has assisted marijuana and hemp license applicants in multiple states across the country, including guiding Louisiana State University through its rollout of Louisiana’s medical marijuana program.

In 2015 and 2017 Lisa advocated on medical marijuana, and in 2019, she had a laser-sharp focus on getting the hemp bill through. Recently at the Texas Hemp Convention in Dallas on January 27, 2020, Rep. Tracy King said, “Lisa Pittman was instrumental in getting the hemp bill passed.”

Sid Miller, Commissioner of the Texas Department of Agriculture, has said this of Lisa: “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.”

Lisa is a thought leader in the American Bar Association (ABA), a nationwide membership network of elite attorneys.  After over a year in the “convincing,” she presented the ABA’s first cannabis law Continuing Legal Education (CLE) course at its annual meeting in New York City in August 2017. She is Vice-Chair of the Business Litigation, Product Liability, and Corporate Counsel Committees of the Tort, Trial, and Insurance Law Section (TIPS). She is a founding Steering Committee member in the recently formed Cannabis Law & Policy Task Force, created by the ABA after the success of her groundbreaking CLE. This Task Force led the ABA to create a standing Cannabis Law & Policy Committee, on which Lisa serves as the Chair of Publications, and will serve as Chair in 2021-2022. Since 2016, Lisa has been leading the ABA to acknowledge the importance of marijuana and hemp law issues, and in September 2019, the ABA presented its first standalone two-day cannabis law seminar in Chicago, for which she was a Program Chair.  Since Lisa initiated these efforts, the ABA has now sent resolutions for consideration by Congress on the decriminalization of cannabis, adjusting the laws that prevent cannabis banking, and permitting attorneys to advise state compliant marijuana businesses despite its persisting federal illegality.

Lisa graduated from the American Bar Association’s nomination-based biennial Leadership Academy in 2015, and the Austin Bar Association’s Leadership Academy in 2016. Lisa also graduated from the highly selective Leadership Austin, Essentials Class of 2017, an organization that brings together 55 civic leaders each year to meet monthly to tackle the challenges confronting the exponential growth of Austin.

Lisa is passionate about empowering women in business. In 2012, she founded a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in Houston to hold events to promote referrals, networking, and mentoring among female professionals of various industries. Executive Moms’ Society’s first meeting hosted a then only locally known Brené Brown, and in 2017, Sheryl Sandberg.

  • The State Bar of Texas, 2001
  • The State Bar of Colorado, 2018
  • The United States District Courts for the Western, Eastern, Northern & Southern Districts of Texas, 2004-2005
  • The United States District Court of Colorado, 2018
  • 9th Circuit Court of Appeals
  • J.D., 2001, University of Houston Law Center; Dean’s Merit List; Top 1/3, Moot Court Finalist.
  • B.A. English, 1997, University of Texas at Austin; Minor Psychology and Spanish (fluent)
  • The Texas Bar Association, 2001 – Present
  • The Colorado Bar Association, 2018 – Present
  • College of the State Bar of Texas, 2009—Present
  • The American Bar Association – Tort, Trial & Insurance Practice Section, 2002 – Present
    • Cannabis Law & Policy Committee, Vice-Chair of Publications, 2019 – Present
    • Cannabis Law & Policy Task Force, 2018-2019: Steering Committee Founding Member
    • Cannabis Law & Policy Committee CLE Program Chair, “From Regs to Riches,” September 19-20, 2019, Chicago, Illinois
    • Business Litigation Committee, Vice Chair of Publications, 2012 – Present
    • Corporate Counsel Committee, Vice Chair, 2015 – Present
    • Product Liability Committees, Vice-Chair, 2015 – Present
    • Author, Editorial Board, Managing Editor, 2006 – Present: Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Law Journal
    • Leadership Academy, Class of 2014-2015, biennial nomination-based program
    • TortSource Magazine Editorial Board, 2019-2021
  • Austin Bar Association, 2002—Present
  • Travis County Women Lawyers Association, 2014—Present
  • U.S. Hemp Farming Alliance, 2018—present
  • Texas Department of Agriculture Industrial Hemp Advisory Council, 2020—present
  • Non-resident Fellow, Rice University Baker Institute for Public Policy, Drug Policy Program
Speaking Engagements
  • NWCUA Legal Symposium, L. Pittman, presenting on Hemp & Marijuana Banking, December 3, 2020
  • “Texas Marijuana Policy Conference,” virtual, November 20-21, 2020
  • “Smokable Hemp in Texas – Legal Issues,” to Blue Cord Farms, Austin, TX, June 3, 2020
  • Hemp and Cannabis-Related Legal and Compliance Issues, to Austin Bar Association, Financial Institutions Section and Business, Corporation & Tax Section, Austin, TX, May 20, 2020
  • Introduction to Cannabis & Hemp Law & Licensing, American Bar Association, Nashville, TN, April 30, 2020
  • Discussion of Texas Hemp Program with Commissioner Sid Miller, EarthX/HempX, April 25, 2020
  • Update on Texas Hemp Laws, to Texas NORML, Austin, TX, April 20, 2020
  • Cannabis Kick-Off at SxSW, to Texas NORML, March 18, 2020
  • Hemp Law for Bank Regulators to NASCUS, New Orleans, Louisiana, March 16, 2020
  • Update on Texas and Federal Hemp Rules, Foundation for Informed Texas, Fort Worth, TX, February 22, 2020 (video)
  • Expert Live Q & A:  Texas Hemp Growers, El Paso, TX, February 22, 2020
  • Industrial Hemp: Law, Economics, and Application, Austin, Texas, February 27, 2020
  • Expert Live Q & A: Texas Hemp Growers, McAllen, TX, January 11, 2020
  • Expert Live Q & A: HempBizDaily Conference at MJBizCon, Las Vegas, NV, December 10, 2019
  • Hemp Hurdles: On the Farm and Off the Farm, HempBizDaily Conference at MJBizCon, Las Vegas, NV, December 10, 2019
  • Legal Update on Cannabis and Hemp Regulations, to Texas NORML, Austin, TX, November 6, 2019
  • Legal Issues for Attorneys Representing Convenience Stores and CBD Retailers, Petroleum Marketing Attorneys’ Meeting – American Bar Association, Houston, TX, October 11, 2019
  • From Regs to Riches, Navigating the Rapidly Emerging Fields of Cannabis & Hemp Law, American Bar Association, Chicago, IL, September 19-20, 2019
  • New Texas Hemp Rules for Texas CBD Retailers, Southwest Food & Fuel Summit, San Antonio, TX, September 12, 2019
  • Hemp Business Basics, Foundation for an Informed Texas, Austin, TX, August 31, 2019
  • Texas Marijuana Policy Conference 2019—Regulatory Compliance Under Texas Compassionate Use Program, Austin, TX, August 30, 2019
  • Texas Hemp Compliance, State of Hemp in Texas – Coastal Bend Region Symposium, Corpus Christi, TX, August 1, 2019
  • Cannabis and Hemp Laws in Texas and the U.S., Capital Area Paralegals Association, Austin, TX, May 29, 2019
  • CBD in Texas: A Cash Crop for C-Stores, The Southwest Food & Fuel Association, Fort Worth, TX, May 16, 2019
  • Current Issues in Cannabis Law & Policy – The 2014 & 2018 Farm Bills, Hemp & CBD, American Bar Association, New York City, NY, May 3, 2019
  • Fireside Chat with Texas Agricultural Commissioner Sid Miller – Status of Texas Hemp Laws and the Legislative Hurdles, EarthX/HempX, Dallas, TX, April 27, 2019
  • Evolution of Cannabis and Hemp Law Across the U.S., Boulder Cannabis Group, Boulder, CO, April 24, 2019
  • State and Federal Hemp Legalities, Texas Hempstalk, Dripping Springs, TX, March 16, 2019
  • The 2018 Farm Bill and What it Means for Texas, Texas NORML’s Cannabis Kickoff SxSW Event, Austin, TX, March 13, 2019
  • Legalized Possession and Use of Cannabis: A Legal and Ethical Dilemma for Healthcare Organizations; American College of Healthcare Executives at Texas State University, San Marcos, TX, November 9, 2018
  • Getting Out of the Weeds: What you Need to Know About the New World of Marijuana Regulation, Oklahoma Annual Bar Association Meeting, Tulsa, OK, November 7, 2018
  • Cannabis Issues Every Realtor Should Know, Boulder, CO, May 24, 2018
  • Texas Medical Cannabis Science and Law, at the Houston Bar Association Houston, TX, April 19, 2018
  • Legal Discussion: Cannabis in Veterinary Medicine; Veterinary Cannabis Symposium, Denver, CO, November 20, 2017
  • Cannabis Industry Insights – The Risk Management and Industry Challenges, National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, Denver, CO, September 25, 2017
  • The Trajectory of Marijuana Law and How it Will Affect Your Practice, American Bar Association Annual Meeting, New York City, NY, August 11, 2017
  • Legal Perspectives on Medical Cannabis and Intellectual Property, Canntelligence, Houston, TX, July 27, 2017
  • Ask a Cannabis Lawyer, Southwest Cannabis Conference, Fort Worth, TX, April 22, 2016
  • The Status of Texas Cannabis Law, The Hemp & Garden Show, Austin, TX, March 16, 2017
  • Federal and State Cannabis Law for Physicians, Healthways Continuing Medical Education, Dallas, TX, January 7, 2017
  • Texas Cannabis Law, Texas Green Rushers, Austin, TX, January 20, 2017
  • Texas Marijuana Laws and Interactions with Law Enforcement, Texas Veterans Conference Legal Panel, Austin, TX, October 15, 2016
  • Texas Department of Health Services, December 17, 2019
  • Texas Medical Marijuana House Subcommittee, April 11, 2019, Austin, TX
  • Texas House Bill 2107 (Medical Marijuana) Public Health Committee Hearing, May 2, 2017, Austin, TX
  • Texas Department of Public Safety, Compassionate Use Program Hearing on Adoption of Final Rules, February 22, 2017, Austin, TX
Curated Content

Lisa regularly publishes curated content on relevant state and federal cannabis issues on LinkedIn.

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