Boston, MA, Mar. 11, 2020 – Burns & Levinson announced today that Katrina Skinner has joined the firm as a partner in its fast-growing Cannabis Business & Law Advisory Group. Skinner previously served as president and general counsel of Safe Harbor Services, a leader in banking services for legal cannabis-related businesses. Skinner has been involved in the cannabis industry since 2012, and she is widely considered one of the country’s leading experts on cannabis banking law and complex hemp/CBD regulatory and compliance frameworks. In conjunction with Skinner joining the firm, Burns & Levinson will open an office in Denver, CO, where Skinner will be based.

As one of the first national law firms to develop a national cannabis business law practice in 2013, Burns & Levinson’s is well-known for its pioneering work in the cannabis banking industry. The firm has worked with multiple financial institutions to establish a framework that allows them to accept cannabis-derived deposits – client GFA Federal Credit Union was the first financial institution in Massachusetts to offer banking services to adult-use marijuana clients. Burns & Levinson is currently working with regulated financial institutions and non-regulated private funds to set up first-of-their-kind cannabis lending programs. The firm is also among the top law firms in the country handling high-level corporate and financing deals in the private and public markets in the cannabis market.

“We are thrilled to have Katrina join our world-class corporate cannabis team. She is joining one of our busiest practice groups, and her experience helping covered financial institutions, such as banks, credit unions, merchant processors, and money transmitters throughout the country navigate the challenges and opportunities inherent in servicing the cannabis industry will be of great benefit to our clients,” said Burns & Levinson partner Frank A. Segall, who co-chairs the firm’s Cannabis Business & Law Advisory Group with partner Scott Moskol. “We have many clients on the West Coast, and our new Denver office will make it even easier to service our important clients in the region.”

“In addition to her financial regulatory legal expertise, Katrina has a deep understanding of cannabis and hemp/CBD related regulatory structures throughout the country, which is particularly important to our large cannabis and hemp/CBD client base. Her regulatory knowledge will be invaluable in the transactional and due diligence work we do every day for clients,” added Moskol.

In December 2019, Burns & Levinson announced a first-of-its-kind nationwide collaboration with leading cannabis law firm Vicente Sederberg LLP to offer the most comprehensive, best-in-class legal services to the cannabis industry. The two firms have decades of combined cannabis industry experience, and the collaboration provides businesses, individuals and other clients with access to the specialized knowledge of each firm.

“I have worked with Frank, Scott and Burns & Levinson for the last two years and am very excited to be part of their team,” said Skinner. “There is so much synergy between my experience in the industry and their practice. I am looking forward to putting my knowledge and their resources to work for their clients, and to bringing their expertise to my network. Colorado is one of the biggest markets in the country, but there are few public companies in the market yet. We expect to lead that change.”

Skinner received her J.D. from the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law in 2002, and received her B.A. from Metropolitan State University in 1994. She served on the Colorado Hemp Advancement & Management Plan (CHAMP) for the cultivation, banking and insurance stakeholder committees that were tasked with helping created Colorado’s hemp laws.

Burns & Levinson has unrivaled experience in cannabis and hemp/CBD business formation and corporate structuring, private placements, venture capital, M&A, securities, banking issues, fund formation, debt and equity financing, real estate acquisitions and leasing, intellectual property protection, 280E taxation issues, and cannabis litigation. Cannabis practice group leaders Segall and Moskol have both been named “Cannabis Trailblazers” by the National Law Journal. Burns & Levinson is a full-service law firm with over 125 lawyers in Boston, MA; Providence, RI; and Denver, CO. Areas of expertise include: business/finance, business litigation, divorce/family law, venture capital/emerging companies, employment, estate planning, government investigations, intellectual property, M&A/private equity, probate/trust litigation, and real estate.

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