Brian Vicente

Founding Partner



455 Sherman St.
Suite 390
Denver, CO 80203


J.D., University of Denver Sturm College of Law
B.A., Grinnell College


Vicente LLP Founding Partner Brian Vicente has been helping marijuana businesses obtain state and local licenses since the inception of the regulated cannabis industry — an industry he has played a significant role in shaping. He has also advised national, state, and local government officials in the development of regulated cannabis markets across the country and around the world, including in Uruguay, the first country in the world to legalize and regulate marijuana for adult use. In late 2018, newly elected Colorado Gov. Jared Polis selected Brian to serve as a member of his gubernatorial transition team, where he sat on the Economic Development and Labor Committee.

Brian was a lead drafter of Colorado's historic legalization initiative, Amendment 64, and he co-directed the successful campaign in support of it. He also served as chair of the Committee for Responsible Regulation, which coordinated the successful campaign to implement statewide excise and sales taxes on adult-use marijuana in Colorado. Previously, Brian served as executive director of Sensible Colorado, a leading nonprofit organization advocating for medical marijuana patients and providers in Colorado. During this time, he played an integral role in litigation that opened the door for medical cannabis dispensaries to open in the state, as well as the legislative process that resulted in Colorado becoming the first state to establish a regulated system of medical cannabis production and distribution.

Since 2020, Chambers and Partners USA has ranked Brian as one of the top cannabis attorneys in the nation. Additionally, he was recognized by Best Lawyers© from 2021-2023, named a "Cannabis Law Trailblazer" by the National Law Journal in 2018, and has been included in 5280 magazine's list of "Denver's Top Lawyers" every year since 2015. Adding to his impressive list of recognitions, in 2022 he was listed as one of High Times' "Top 100 Influential People in Cannabis" and was recognized as one of Law360's Cannabis MVPs of 2022. Brian has conducted more than 1,000 interviews regarding marijuana policy for national, state, and local media outlets, and he was recognized by The Guardian as "the (cannabis) industry's de facto spokesman."

Brian currently serves as president of the National Hispanic Cannabis Council, a purpose-driven nonprofit organization he helped found in 2021. In 2010, Brian was elected as the first board chair of the National Cannabis Industry Association, which now represents nearly 2,000 member businesses and tens of thousands of cannabis professionals. He is also a member of the DanceSafe Advisory Council, and previously served on the boards of Sensible Colorado, the Harm Reduction Action Center, and the SAFER Voter Education Fund.

Brian received a full merit scholarship to attend the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, during which time he clerked for outspoken social critic, Senior U.S. District Judge John L. Kane.


Leadership & Community Involvement

  • Founding Board Member and President, National Hispanic Cannabis Council
  • Member, Economic Development and Labor Committee, Governor Jared Polis Transition Team, 2019
  • Member, Denver City Community Equity Committee, 2019
  • Member, Advisory Council, DanceSafe
  • Board Member, Harm Reduction Action Coalition
  • Executive Director and Board Member, Sensible Colorado
  • Board Member, SAFER Voter Education Fund
  • Co-Director, Colorado Amendment 64 Initiative, 2012
  • Board Chair, National Cannabis Industry Association, 2010-2011
  • Member, Colorado Department of Revenue Medical Marijuana Workgroup, 2010
  • Coordinator, Drug Policy Project, Colorado Bar Association 
  • Chair, Denver Marijuana Policy Review Panel, 2005



VS Insights

External Publications


  • Speaker, Rootwurks, "What Did 2022 Mean for Cannabis, and What Should We Expect for 2023?,” Online, January 31, 2023
  • Speaker, Vicente Sederberg LLP, "[Webinar] New Cannabis Opportunities in the Upper Midwest: Post Election,” Online, December 08, 2022
  • Speaker, State Bar of New Mexico 2022 Annual Meeting, "Cannabis Law – From Seed to Start Up and Beyond,” Bernalillo, August 11, 2022
  • Speaker, Cannabis Marketing Summit, "Acquisition or Exit: Setting Your Cannabis Brand Up for Success in the Eyes of a Buyer,” Denver, June 09, 2022
  • Speaker, Clio Cloud Legal Conference, "Advocating for Policy Change and Social Impact,” Online, October 29, 2021
  • Speaker, MJBizCon, "Making Your Cannabis Smarter,” Las Vegas, October 20, 2021
  • Speaker, Black Cannabis Equity Initiative, "Inside Cannabis Social Equity In New Jersey,” Online, September 10, 2021
  • Speaker, Trailblazers: Sedona, "The Evolution of Cannabis Legalization + Client Service,” Sedona, May 11, 2021
  • Moderator, 20/20 Growth Conferences - Cannabis Public Policy Conference, ",” Denver, Online, September 23, 2020
  • Moderator, Mississippians for Compassionate Care, "Fundraiser to Support Mississippians for Compassionate Care,” Webinar, September 15, 2020
  • Speaker, ADTA Annual Conference, "CBD, THC and the Crystal Ball of 2020 for Litigation & Regulation,” Online, September 09, 2020
  • Moderator, CannaVest, "Doing Well by Doing Good: Impact Investing & Social Justice ,” Boston, February 20, 2020
  • Presenter, Cannabis Conference 2019, "Tips for Creating a Winning License Application,” Las Vegas, April 01, 2019
  • Presenter, MoCann BizCon & Expo, "How to Succeed in Competitive Marijuana Business Licensing,” St. Louis, March 11, 2019
  • Presenter, Student National Cannabis Organization, "What is Cannabis Law?,” Denver, October 30, 2018
  • Speaker, Colorado Municipal League Annual Conference, "Amendment 64 Turns Five: What Will the Next Five Years Bring?,” Vail, June 22, 2018
  • Speaker, IROC Denver, "Cannabis and the Effect on Housing,” Denver, May 23, 2018
  • Speaker, International Cannabis Bar Association, "Intro to MJ Business Law: Tips, Tricks, and Potholes,” Denver, July 28, 2017
  • Presenter, NORML Key West Legal Seminar, "Marijuana Business Law 101,” Key West, December 08, 2016
  • Speaker, International Association of Political Consultants, "The Politics of Marijuana,” , November 10, 2016
  • Speaker, National Cannabis Industry Association, "Colorado and Washington: Successes and Challenges from the Frontier of Post-Prohibition America,” Oakland, January 15, 2016
  • Speaker, Vail Symposium, "Colorado Marijuana Law Anniversary,” Vail, January 22, 2015
  • Speaker, Cannabis Capital Summit, "Investing in the Marijuana Industry,” Denver, May 29, 2014
  • Speaker, Denver University, "Domestic and International Consequences of the Drug War,” Denver, April 30, 2013
  • Speaker, Red Rocks Community College, "Amendment 64: Where To From Here?,” Denver, February 22, 2013
  • Speaker, Drug Policy Alliance, "Let's Talk About Marijuana,” Denver, May 22, 2012
  • Speaker, Denver University Law Review - Marijuana at the Crossroads, "The State of Medical Marijuana Today,” Denver, February 17, 2012
  • Speaker, The Federalist Society, "An Objective Discussion on Medical Marijuana,” Denver, April 05, 2010
  • Speaker, Democratic National Convention, ",” Denver, August 08, 2008
  • Speaker, NORML National Conference, "The People's Power: Initiatives in 2007/2008,” Universal City, October 12, 2007