Jessica McElfresh has focused on cannabis law and policy since 2010.Currently she focuses on local and state applications, regulations, and compliance.Her practice also includes business, election, and land use law, as well as criminal defense.She represents cannabis retailers, distributors, cultivators, manufacturers, and testing labs, as well as landlords and ancillary businesses. Jessica has guided clients through successful applications in jurisdictions such as the City of San Diego, Cathedral City, Desert Hot Springs, King City, and the County of San Diego. She has authored and advised on ordinances and ballot measures to regulate cannabis businesses at the local level, including Measure U in La Mesa and Measure V in Lemon Grove.
Outside of her law practice, Jessica is an advocate for cannabis and broader drug policy reform.She serves as a board member and legal counsel for the Association of Cannabis Professionals, a cannabis trade association based in San Diego.She serves as an advisory board member for A New PATH, an organization dedicated to promoting therapeutic rather than punitive drug policies. Jessica has also served as a consultant for the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Northern California about how Proposition 64 affects criminal justice reform and individual rights.
Jessica grew up in San Diego and graduated summa cum laude from Scripps College before attending the University of San Diego School of Law on a Dean’s Honor Scholarship.She has spoken at conferences for organizations and law schools including the National Cannabis Industry Association Business Summit & Expo, University of San Diego School of Law, and Thomas Jefferson School of Law.Jessica regularly teaches continuing legal education programs on cannabis law.She was selected as a 2017 and 2018 Rising Star by Super Lawyers.