• The University of Texas School of Law, J.D., 2001
  • Rice University, B.A., 1998

Professional Memberships

  • International Cannabis Bar Association, Board of Directors Member
  • National Cannabis Industry Association, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee Member
  • California Lawyers Association, Cannabis Practitioners Group Chair
  • California Cannabis Industry Association, Legislative Committee Member
  • Bar Association of San Francisco, Cannabis Law Section Co-Founder

Top Lawyer Awards

  • Top 20 California Cannabis Lawyers, The Los Angeles/San Francisco Daily Journal
  • Northern California Super Lawyer, Super Lawyers® Magazine
  • Professional of the Year Award, The Claims & Litigation Management Alliance
  • Top 200 Global Cannabis Lawyers, Cannabis Law Journal

Shay Aaron Gilmore

With over 20 years of experience as a California attorney, Shay Aaron Gilmore advises and counsels successful cannabis operators and investors through the complexities of California’s legal cannabis markets with foresight, unswerving integrity, and a focus on client service.

Shay’s law practice includes outside general counsel services for cannabis operators and investors regarding business formation, financing and governance, commercial transactions, local permitting, state licensing, land use, intellectual property and regulatory compliance across the cannabis supply chain. Actively involved in local, state, national and international cannabis legislative and regulatory efforts, Shay serves on the Board of Directors of the International Cannabis Bar Association, and as Secretary of the California Lawyers Association Cannabis Practitioners Group.

The Los Angeles/San Francisco Daily Journal, California’s largest legal newspaper, has recognized Shay as one of the Top 20 Cannabis Lawyers in the state. Super Lawyers® Magazine has listed Shay as a Northern California Super Lawyer in Cannabis Law and in Business & Corporate Law, and as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Northern California across all practice areas.

Prior to founding The Law Office of Shay Aaron Gilmore, Shay practiced law at major national and international law firms, where he distinguished himself in a range of complex matters including commercial litigation, employment litigation, and regulatory compliance examinations. Shay also served as in-house corporate counsel in the legal departments of two major financial institutions, providing advice and counsel on corporate governance, mergers & acquisitions, commercial transactions, product development, government affairs, corporate litigation, and regulatory compliance matters. 

Today, Shay’s work with California cannabis operators and investors includes:

  • private mergers & acquisitions,
  • joint ventures,
  • private equity financings,
  • cannabis supply chain contracts,
  • cannabis licensing and product development,
  • employment and labor law counsel,
  • real estate acquisitions,
  • administrative law counsel,
  • cannabis venture capital counsel,
  • regulatory compliance guidance, and
  • land use and zoning counsel


honed to protect and expand access to legal, reliably tested, environmentally sustainable and socially equitable cannabis and hemp throughout every corner of California. Shay volunteers his time with the San Francisco Office of Cannabis to provide pro bono legal services to verified equity applicants under San Francisco’s Cannabis Equity Program. In 2023, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors appointed Shay to a seat on the San Francisco Cannabis Oversight Committee.

Recognized by the State Bar of California with the Wiley W. Manuel Pro Bono Service Award, Shay has also served as a Commissioner on the State Bar of California’s Judicial Nominees Evaluation Commission. Shay holds a B.A. in Economics from Rice University and a J.D. from The University of Texas School of Law.