Katrina Skinner is an experienced attorney and subject matter expert in the financial services industry for banking legal cannabis-related businesses. As the former President and General Counsel for Safe Harbor Services, LLC, she learned the intricacies and practical applications of cannabis law in multiple states, federal and state regulations, and finance, and is often asked to speak about them.
Education & Admissions
Safe Harbor Services
September 2017 - January 2020
- General Counsel (September 2017 - January 2020)
- Interim President (December 2017 - January 2019)
- President (January 2019 - January 2020)
- Safe Harbor Services is a credit union services organization (“CUSO”) wholly owned by Partner Colorado Credit Union. Safe Harbor Services provides professional services to financial institutions that licensed and implemented the Safe Harbor ProgramTM in order to provide financial services to state-licensed cannabis-related businesses (“CRBs”) throughout the United States. As a member of the executive leadership team and as general counsel, I was responsible for and/or assisted with the following:
- Launching the Safe Harbor ProgramTM nationwide in local banks and credit unions;
- Cultivating and servicing a portfolio of cannabis-related business customers with multi-state operations;
- Providing CRBs with traditional financial service solutions;
- Coordinating a team of professional consultants who support financial institutions implementing cannabis banking programs;
- Complying with applicable federal guidance and state laws related to legalized cannabis;
- Educating financial institutions about the inherent challenges associated with providing financial services to CRBs;
- Preparing for and undergoing federal and state regulator examinations;
- Collaborating with law enforcement to support enforcement priorities;
- Participating in speaking engagements in support of the legalized cannabis industry
Skinner Law Center, LLC
January 2013 - February 2020
- Solo Practitioner
- Litigation: Represent individuals and entities in complex corporate, securities, employment, probate, and family law litigation. Developed detailed litigation strategies for each case in conjunction with clients in order to ensure efficient and cost effective solutions. Co-Counsel in administrative hearings before the Colorado Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division and private arbitration regarding ownership disputes related to licensed marijuana entities. Co-Counsel in employment litigation in federal district court and in administrative matters with the EEOC and Colorado Division of Civil Rights.
- Transactional Law: Negotiate, draft, and review contracts, promissory notes, business planning documents, and estate plans designed to minimize future legal disputes. Counsel clients on intellectual property matters. Advise clients on business development strategies to provide roadmaps for sustained future growth.
- General Counsel: Provide counsel about responding to and managing legal issues, contracting, policies and procedures, compliance, and strategic growth planning for various industries including manufacturing, health care, general contracting, and cannabis related businesses. Interpret laws, rulings, and regulations in order to ensure adherence to regulatory requirements.
Hershey Skinner, LLC
January 2010 - 2012
- Litigation: Represent individuals and entities in complex corporate, employment, probate, and family law litigation. Lead counsel in complex, international legal proceedings. Developed discovery strategies for obtaining electronically stored information in multiple jurisdictions throughout the United States, Great Britain, Ireland, Belize, and the Virgin Islands.
- Transactional Law: Negotiate, draft, and review contracts, commercial leases, settlement agreements, non-disclosure agreements and purchase sell agreements.
- General Counsel: Provide counsel about responding to and managing legal issues, contracting, policies and procedures, compliance. Draft documents for corporations, professional corporations, limited liability companies, shareholder agreements, buy/sell agreements, and employment agreements.
Budman Hershey, LLC
March 2008 - 2011
- Senior Associate
- Represented clients in litigation and transactional matters. Lead counsel in jury trial. Responsible for business development.
Montgomery Little & Soran, PC
September 2005 - 2008
- Senior Associate
- Established estate planning practice area for the firm. Represented clients in litigation and transactional matters. Prepared litigation materials, assisted with discovery production, performed document review.
Law Office of Michele M. Desoer, PC
October 2003 - 2005
- Represented clients in litigation and transactional matters. Contract attorney for the Colorado Office of Child Representative.
Charles Schwab Corporation
March 1996 - 2003
- Aide to the Senior Vice President of Active Trading. Responsible for drafting internal communications, developing growth expansion policy, and implementation of employee incentive Programs.
- Active Trader. Series 7, 9/10, and 63 licenses. Responsible for ensuring active trading clients’ trades executed including sophisticated option strategies during dot.com boom.
- Advice. Provided custom investment advice to customers through the first pilot advice Program created by Charles Schwab when on-line trading first emerged.
May 1993 - 1996
- Customer Service Representative
- Series 6 and 63 licenses. Provided investment and retirement advice related to Janus Funds mutual funds.
Honors & Awards
Federal Court 10th District
B.A., Metropolitan State University of Denver
J.D., University of Denver Sturm College of Law
Honors & Awards
Named "2020 Cannabis Trailblazer" by the National Law Journal
Colorado Rising Stars (2010)
Colorado Bar Association
Denver Bar Association
Colorado Hemp Advancement Management Plan (CHAMP) Initiative
- Rulemaking Committee Member
Articles & Publications
"Financial Inclusion: Banking in the Legal Cannabis Industry," Panel Moderator, Cannalaw Summit, May 2021
"Big Benefits: HR Resources for Cannabis Companies," Webinar Host, Burns & Levinson's Cannabis Business & Law Advisory Group, December 2020
"The Risks and Rewards of Cannabis Banking," Panelist, ABA/ABA Financial Crimes Enforcement Summit, December 2020
"Demystifying Hemp & CBD," Moderator, Burns & Levinson's Fourth Annual State of the Cannabis Industry Conference, October 2020
"Let's Talk Cannabis: Data and Corporate Intelligence in Banking," Webinar Host, Burns & Levinson's Cannabis Business & Law Advisory Group, August 2020
"Automated Cannabis Banking Platforms," Webinar Host, Burns & Levinson Cannabis Business & Law Advisory Group, August 2020
"Let's Talk: Cannabis Banking," Micro-Webinar Host, Burns & Levinson's Cannabis Business & Law Advisory Group, July 2020
"Hemp + CBD | SBA + Lending," Host, Webinar: Coast-to-Coast Regulatory Update with Vicente Sederberg LLP, April 2020
"Hemp & CBD" Panelist, Burns & Levinson's State of the Cannabis Industry Conference, October 2019
"Banking Marijuana with Katrina Skinner," Guest Speaker, The Strategic Hotbox Podcast, August 2019
"6th CBOutlook Conference," Speaker, CBOutlook CBD, August 2019
"Up in Smoke, Credit Unions and Cannabis: Part 2," Guest Speaker, The CU2.0 Podcast, April 2019
Articles & Publications
"Risk-Based Compliance Improves Cannabis M&A Prospects," Law360, April 2021
"4 Cannabis Lending Strategies for Financial Institutions," Law360, January 2021
"GFA First in Mass. to Offer Marijuana Banking Services," Tetramed Banking, February 2019
"Patchwork of Pot Laws Substances Cooperative Credit Union Headaches," Financial 365, 2019
"Cannabis Banking Bill May Falter (Again) Despite State Support," PEW Trusts, May 2019
"Is This The Pot Banking Fix?" NSC Analytics, April 2019
"Skinner Named President of Safe Harbor Services," CU Today, February 2019
"Safe Harbor Rolls Out National Cannabis Banking Education Program," Partner Colorado Credit Union, June 2018