Women’s History Month: Staking a Claim for Women in IP Law

March 28, 2022

When Raleigh associate Cori Hockman and Atlanta counsel Kae Gruner speak at a North Carolina Bar Association program on March 31, 2022, it will have special significance: The pair will be contributing new insights and helping shape and navigate the emerging regulatory and IP landscape of cannabis law on the last day of Women’s History Month.

The panel, “In the Weeds: The Crossover Between Intellectual Property and Cannabis,” features two McGuireWoods women speaking at the NCBA’s largest event on IP. Raleigh associate Sarah Wesley Wheaton organized the program in her role as co-chair of the NCBA Intellectual Property Law Section CLE Committee. She sought to use her role to advocate for a platform for women who are IP and cannabis law trailblazers to utilize their deep experience and knowledge to provide novel insights on the intersection of the two practices, which she calls “an emerging area where there are no easy legal answers.”

Wheaton was thrilled to find her two panelists at McGuireWoods. “It was a personally powerful moment for me when I realized that the best people for the job of presenting on the new developments regarding cannabis law were two highly qualified and experienced women who work at my firm.”

Hockman welcomes the opportunity to share her knowledge of IP law and the intersection between IP and cannabis with those in her community. “Kae and I are looking forward to speaking on a subject where McGuireWoods lawyers, particularly women lawyers, are helping to shape the law. We’ll be discussing issues of federalism and states’ rights blended with regulatory considerations, food and drug law, and of course patent and trademark issues. These are ripe for discussion in North Carolina given the state’s rich agricultural history paired with the impressive technology hub that is the Research Triangle and growing hemp and cannabis footprint throughout the state.”

Gruner, a regular contributor to McGuireWoods’ “In the Weeds” thought leadership series, added: “Speaking with Cori on an emerging topic like the legal landscape of cannabis is an important way to continue sharing the talent, strength and leadership of women in this profession. It does feel particularly fitting to have this panel fall on the last day of Women’s History Month, as a small nod to the huge impact of our work and the work of other female lawyers blazing their own paths in this field.”

To register for the NCBA program, click here.