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Jim Thorburn has been an attorney since 1991. He is the principal of Thorburn Law Group LLC located in the Denver Tech Center, Colorado.
Jim’s primary background is commercial litigation and appellate practice in both state and federal courts. Prior to entering into the cannabis practice, his primary focus was litigation in the real estate and construction fields. Beginning in 2011, Jim began emphasizing cannabis tax controversy law, taking on some of the most notable cannabis tax controversy cases in the nation. As a result, Jim has become a formidable force on behalf of the state-legal cannabis industry.
Jim obtained the first Supreme Court opinion regarding the cannabis federalism dispute in Standing Akimbo v. United States on June 28, 2021. It was a Statement by Justice Clarence Thomas, cautioning that the Controlled Substances Act is likely unconstitutional as to state-legal cannabis. Justice Thomas' Statement represents a "seismic shift" away from the legitimacy of federal cannabis prohibition. Justice Thomas' statement can be found here. As a result of Jim's work and dedication "legalization is near".
Jim also had the honor of arguing the Feinberg v. Commissioner, 808 F.3d 813 (10th Cir. 2015) in front of now Justice Neil Gorsuch. The published decision has been described as a “technical loss but an artful win for the cannabis industry.” Like Justice Thomas, Justice Gorsuch discussed concerns about the "mixed messages" the federal government was sending regarding state-legal cannabis.
Jim is on the forefront of the current federal and state issues affecting dispensaries and works hard to achieve successful outcomes for his clients. Jim works with state and national legislators to effect positive legislative change for the cannabis industry. He helps dispensaries, grow facilities, and other businesses navigate through complex federal legal issues including tax court and IRS audits. In addition to Section 280E issues, Jim also provides general business representation, and helping dispensaries comply with the regulations under state cannabis laws.
Jim has received national recognition as a lead litigating attorney in the cannabis industry’s high-profile cases. Jim speaks on marijuana legal issues across the country. Jim is a featured expert for the National Cannabis Industry Association. Jim has been featured in Forbes, CNBC, INC. Magazine, MJ Biz Daily, HBO (Vice News), Denver Post, Law360, Yahoo Finance, National Law Journal, National Law Review, The Cannifornian, and others.
Jim recently received the coveted 2019 National Law Journal Cannabis Law Trailblazer Award.
Jim is also actively involved in motorsports and is the Past President of the Rocky Mountain Region Porsche Club of America. PCA is a Porsche enthusiast club with over 120,000 members nationally. Jim is the Past President of the Rocky Mountain Region PCA which is one of the ten largest regions in the United States by membership.