Exeleon Magazine

Brandon Dorsky: Navigating the Crossroads of Law and Cannabis

Brandon Dorsky Exeleon Magazine

This is an interview as part of our leaders in law series. Please check out Edition 1 of our 2024 Leaders in Law series here.

Brandon Dorsky’s unique blend of creativity, legal expertise, and entrepreneurial spirit has positioned him as an established leader in intellectual property management within the rapidly evolving cannabis sector.

As he navigates the complexities of this industry, Brandon’s dedication to fostering innovation and protecting the rights of creatives is evident in his contributions and future aspirations.

In this exclusive interview of Brandon Dorsky, we explore his early influences, pivotal career transitions, and his outlook on the future of intellectual property law in the cannabis industry.

What according to you makes one impactful? How do you integrate the same thought into your leadership?

An impactful leader is capable of motivating others to unite around a common goal, task, or event. Moreover, an impactful leader facilitates others, thereby bringing their best effort and energy to that initiative.

With respect to my own leadership style, I invest time in projects that are purpose driven and communicate effectively to utilize my team’s commitment to and belief in the unifying purpose as fuel that ignites their fire.

Talk to us about your growing up years. What is your earliest memory as a leader that you can remember?

I grew up in the Midwest, and some of my earliest memories from childhood involve being a student and creating and selling mixtapes to my classmates.

In the 90s, I used to make customized party mixtapes or mix CDs, filled with hip-hop and soul music, sold them around campus, and became known as a musically knowledgeable individual within my community. When I was a freshmen and sophomore in high school, I was class president and I leveraged some of that musical knowledge to drive my election campaigns.

I remember using Notorious B.I.G. lyrics from his song “One More Chance” as part of my re-election campaign my sophomore year and promising the student body that I would replace water fountains with soda, that the vending machines would be filled with candy and that I would host a victory party at my opponent’s house.

Although I failed to deliver on many of my lofty high-school campaign initiatives, I learned a lot about how to effectively communicate through my efforts as both a DJ and a member of student government.

What motivated you to transition from representing artists to focusing on intellectual property in the cannabis industry?

I became an attorney because I wanted to represent and work with artists and creatives. I consider myself a creative that did not believe I would feed a family with my creative pursuits, so I took on less risk and pursued a law degree instead.

Although I was drawn to represent music artists because I love music, I have an appetite and general admiration for representing parties that have a higher tolerance for risk than me, which realistically includes people within the cannabis industry. I also consider cannabis entrepreneurs a type of artists themselves, and so the transition did not really feel like a seismic change to me.

I was motivated to migrate away from representing talent and to focus on other businesses dealing with intellectual property, including the cannabis industry. After one of the first artists I discovered, and whom I had helped achieve international success that most artists would dream of, was poached and the artist thereafter attempted to not pay me the percentage we had agreed to.

After going through that legal battle and feeling underappreciated and exposed to a similar situation repeating itself with other talents I represented, I sought out different clients and industries where I thought my skills and expertise would be valued. Moreover, I could be in the position of generally having more experience than others so that I would be less likely to have clients poached. Seeking clients within the cannabis industry to provide legal services to them was not

Being recognized by various bar associations and industry publications, how do you think your contributions have impacted the perception of intellectual property management in the cannabis industry?

I have been responsible for work that individually and collectively helped elevate the perception of the value of intellectual property rights within the cannabis industry. The cumulative impact of perceived value may have helped fuel greater valuations or capital raises, or even influenced how financial resources were allocated for intellectual property management.

Some of the work I have done in the cannabis industry helped several brands grow from infancy to major market presence, and the foundation of the work was based in intellectual property strategy. The IP strategies I developed that those businesses deployed have since been adopted by others within the industry, including how businesses register, position and police intellectual property rights, and how new IP is introduced into and managed within the supply chain.

Several of the industry’s greatest success stories revolve around the development and cultivation of strong intellectual property rights. Presently, the most active litigator in the United States, is a business that makes ancillary products for the cannabis industry and enforces their intellectual property rights, and not only was I instrumental in developing their intellectual property strategy in the first several years of their existence, but the business has gone on to develop and accumulate a very valuable intellectual property portfolio of both trademarks and patents.

What excites you the most about the future of intellectual property law within the cannabis industry?

Whenever the shackles of Schedule I classification are removed, and the opportunity to do reliable and repeatable studies involving cannabis has significantly less government red tape, there is going to be an explosion in research surrounding cannabis, and the subsequent intellectual property that is developed from that research could change the future of medicine and the world.

Finally, what is your vision going forward on a personal front? What are you most excited about?

My vision going forward is to continue to be the best Brandon I can be and strive to make an impact each day, while not forgetting that tomorrow is not a given. I will continue to try and be of service of others and continue to pave and clear the road for the creative community, both inside and outside of cannabis, for years to come.

I am excited about not only emerging markets for cannabis, and the possibilities for FRUIT SLABS and other brands I work with to grow into new markets, including but not limited to New York, but also the development of consumption lounges and immersive cannabis experiences. I am also really excited about some things on the horizon for my other business ventures, including some creative collaborations between Yeastie Boys and others, the release of additional issues of Below Sycamore, a graphic novel series I have worked on extensively, and the release of the first episode of a docuseries that I shot with High Thread Count, LLC in Oaxaca in late 2023.

Visit Brandon Dorsky Website.

Contact Brandon on LinkedIn.

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