Hello! It is a privilege to be writing this blog as one of Stock Legal’s newest team members. I want to take the opportunity to share how it is I’ve come to work with this fantastic firm.
I was born and raised in Carmel, Indiana, likely not the Carmel, IN, that you know (thank you, TikTok). Growing up, I had only one dream, to play professional baseball. Unfortunately, after a classic “Tommy John” and rotator cuff surgery, my dreams of making it to the show were cut short. For the first time, I sat and thought about what I wanted to do with my life and career path. Law school, admittedly, was not even on my radar.
I attended the same school as my father and enrolled at Saint Louis University in the fall of 2009. Like many young students who never really gave a “career” much thought, I bounced around from major to major before landing in exercise science. This was likely due to my love for sports and subconscious desire to return to the playing field. From exercise science, the transition to athletic training seemed obvious. I chose to stay at Saint Louis University, and in 2015 I obtained my master’s degree in athletic training with an emphasis on strength and conditioning. During my clinical, it became evident that the teams I most liked assisting were competitive collegiate or professional organizations. Unfortunately, those jobs are few and far between, and I decided to continue down the educational path.
In the fall of 2015, I enrolled at Saint Louis University School of Law in their health law program. Arriving at law school was more so a flip of a coin over a long-held drive to become a lawyer. However, I was determined to find a home in law. I joined the health law journal and became a teaching assistant and faculty fellow, hoping to “find my way.” During my 3L year, when I externed for SLU’s general counsel office, I finally felt I knew what I wanted to do. The idea of working for a single company, providing legal guidance and business advice, was very attractive to me.
I graduated from law school in 2018, and for the first time, I was confident I knew what I wanted to do. However, as with many of us, life had a different plan. A group of individuals who desired to apply for medical cannabis licenses with Missouri’s Department of Health and Senior Services approached me. They hired me to write applications for submission. I knew nothing about cannabis or the newly approved cannabis law, but fortunately, not many individuals did in Missouri. I was fortunate to go five-for-five on applications I wrote and helped form three cannabis companies for the group. We parted ways soon after that, my job complete, but the cannabis and business development bug had gotten me.
I joined a consulting firm, Amendment 2 Consultants, founded by the campaign manager for LegalMo 2018. Together, he and I set out to assist newly awarded license holders in setting up their cannabis companies. During this time, I hit my stride, providing in-house counsel for the firm, along with compliance and business development counsel for a wide array of license holders. We were tagged in 2020 to begin the efforts for adult use in Missouri, and LegalMo 2022 was born. We experienced great success, and in 2021, a multi-state vertical cannabis operator to provide in-house counsel and business development approached me. During my time with this company, I learned a vast amount about company structure, organization, and development. The cannabis industry is full of asset trades and sales, and I was quickly thrown into multiple M&A deals. During this time, I was in constant contact with the state department to better understand the many regulations and clarifications the department has issued. Today, I am confident that I know the ins and outs of cannabis businesses and business development in general.
As was the case earlier on, life decided it had another path for me, and before I knew it, I was creating a family in St. Louis and desired to travel less and spend more time with them. Around the time of this realization, I was fortunate enough to meet Sara and learn about her firm, Stock Legal. Sara and I immediately bonded over mutual connections and a desire to build something more through Stock Legal. I’ve joined the corporate department at Stock Legal and am helping the firm build a cannabis department. I’m genuinely excited about the opportunity and can’t wait to start.