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Jean appears in the 2020

Top 100 Attorneys Magazine

Jean Smith Gonnell

Jean Smith Gonnell is managing attorney with Gonnell Law, a Denver-based law firm that specializes exclusively in advising clients in the cannabis arena about medical, recreational, and retail marijuana, and industrial hemp. As one of the nation’s leading cannabis attorneys and litigators, Jean is a powerful advocate with an unwavering commitment to her clients, working closely with them as she ushers them through the legal process. “My goal is to provide my clients 24-hour care and clear, upfront communication,” she shares. With a reputation for extensive legal knowledge and skill in the cannabis area, Jean is a formidable presence in the courtroom—standing as an undefeated trial attorney in district courts.

As a skilled civil attorney with a decade of legal experience and an expert in Colorado marijuana regulatory law, Jean assists cannabis businesses by ensuring compliance through administrative law actions, handling all litigation needs, navigating business transactions, providing regulatory guidance, and offering extensive cannabis licensing services. A Colorado native, Jean was introduced to cannabis law in 2010 while serving as a law clerk at another Denver firm that once specialized in this area. Since 2012, she has dedicated her entire career to serving cannabis clients, working diligently to stay updated on the marijuana laws and regulations, both locally and nationally. “I actually read the law—hundreds of pages each legislative session,” she states.

Jean opened her own practice in 2018, after an eight-year career in positions of special counsel, senior attorney, and partner, focusing exclusively and specifically on cannabis law, for several Denver law firms. Through Gonnell Law, she and her team of attorneys and paralegals, each with expertise in marijuana law, cater to cannabis clients in multiple states, helping them navigate the complexities of contracts, licensing, litigation, and the universe of Colorado regulations governing the industry. “We are one of the only firms dedicated solely to cannabis counsel. For these ventures, we can be the difference between getting into the business and staying in the business,” she explains.

With extensive understanding of the cannabis industry, Jean’s work has been featured in the Denver Post, Colorado Springs Independent, Westword, and on Fox 31 News. In 2016, she was selected as a member of the Colorado Department of Revenue Marijuana Enforcement Division Legislation Implementation Work Group. In 2011, she lent her knowledge to the development of an article entitled, Colorado’s Emerging Medical Marijuana Legal Framework and Constitutional Rights, for The Colorado Lawyer, a publication of the Colorado Bar Association. Jean has also been referenced in numerous other news articles and scholarly publications.

Jean graduated from the University of Colorado Denver in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in political science. She received her juris doctor in law in 2011 from the University of Denver, Sturm College of Law, where she served as a member of the Criminal Law Review and the Moot Court board. Outside of the office, Jean enjoys traveling and yoga.


Jean Smith Gonnell

Managing Attorney — Gonnell Law

730 17th Street, Suite 838, Denver, CO 80202


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