About Luke Zimmerman
Luke Zimmerman, Esq. LL.M is the founder and principle of The Law Office of Luke S. Zimmerman APC. Luke obtained his undergraduate degree in philosophy from the University of Oregon at Eugene and then graduated from Thomas Jefferson School of Law, in San Diego California. His interest in international trade and investment law led him to the Netherlands where he obtained a Masters of Law from the University of Amsterdam. The focus of his master thesis was the effect of bi-lateral trade agreements on the harmonization of intellectual property standards.
His experiences living in Amsterdam and observations of the paradigm shift surrounding cannabis lead Luke to believe that the end of cannabis prohibition would come in the future in the United States. Based on this idea, Luke formed The Law Office of Luke S. Zimmerman APC, where he assists entrepreneurs in the emerging cannabis industry with protecting their intellectual property.
Luke has lectured and published numerous articles on intellectual property issues in United States cannabis industry. A core mission of the Law Office of Luke S. Zimmerman is a drug policy reform, which is why Luke volunteered on the Clemency Project 2014, where he successfully assisted a client serving a life sentence in receiving a commutation of sentence.
Luke currently splits his time working with clients in California, as well as nationally assisting clients with trademark issues. Luke is a member of the National Cannabis Bar Association (NCBA), and is also certified by Oaksterdam University, in both beginner and advanced courses.
Is this your first time to Prague?
No, I was in Praha for a few days back in 2006. I am looking forward to returning to Praha and checking out the cannabis scene.
What message do you hope to get across for the cannabis industry?
You need to be proactive about protecting your intellectual property. The cannabis industry is developing rapidly and you need to have your protection in place early to make sure you can own it in the future.
Would you support the legalization of cannabis if it had no medical value?
I would as it is a plant and far less harmful than many things that are legal.
What’s the best medical cannabis story you have heard?
I have a friend that has been using cannabis to assist him with getting through his opiate addiction. I am amazed at how much of an impact cannabis has had on helping him be able to cut back his opiate use.
What was your first experience with cannabis?
I was 15 years old and smoked “Mexican Redhair” out of a bird feeder that had been turned into a bong. I have to thank my older brother for this. Thanks Charley!
Has cannabis ever landed you in trouble?
If by trouble you mean putting me on a path to end up with multiple graduate degrees and a love for international cannabis travel…then yes. As for anything more serious than this, luckily no.
If the global cannabis movement hadn’t begun, what would you be doing instead?
I would probably be practicing intellectual property for the entertainment industry, with a focus on video games and comic books. I would still be smoking cannabis regularly and trying to figure out how we can work to make it legal.
Where do you see the industry in 10 years?
In 10 years I believe that the cannabis industry will have evolved to be a thriving international agriculture industry. I also believe that The United States will miss out on developing this international industry and still might not be participating in it. I think the amount of intellectual property from the cannabis industry will grow and we will see established international cannabis brands.
What are your plans outside of the convention, business or pleasure?
I plan on having a bit of both. I am looking forward to making some international connections. I love meeting other people who have focused their life’s work on cannabis, especially when it involves a cross cultural dialogue. This is also going to be my first European vacation with my girlfriend, so I am excited to explore Praha with Leilani, after Praha we will head to Amsterdam and Paris.
How is your diary looking for the next six months?
I have a lot of travel on the books. After I return from Europe I will head down to Oakland, CA to teach my intellectual property course at Oaksterdam University. Then I head back down to California in December for the Emerald Cup. Then more lecturing in January and February. In between all of this I will be focusing on getting my clients federal trademarks, and hopefully California state trademarks for cannabis services starting January 1st 2018.
I have to thank my parents to their continued support of my work and their belief that I can help change the world. Love you mom and dad!