Tom represents growing businesses at each stage of their development, and is regularly asked to serve as outside general counsel for his clients. In that role, Tom advises his clients with respect to innumerable legal issues, including regulatory compliance, corporate governance, contract negotiations, risk management, litigation and other day-to-day business issues. He often works with his clients to overcome short-term regulatory and financial uncertainty to achieve long-term success in developing markets. 

As a result, Tom is one of the most sought after attorneys serving the Ohio and national cannabis industry, in which he represents licensed operators in medical and adult use markets, ancillary service providers, and companies operating in the hemp industry. 

As a former nominee for the State Senate, Tom also knows how important it is to build consensus at the local and State level to further clients' interests. He is an avid contributor to various local and national media outlets and often shares his expertise by speaking at industry conferences and events.

Tom regularly provides pro bono litigation services to indigent clients, as well as clients facing defamation claims based on constitutionally-protected online speech. 



    • Assisted multiple Ohio medical marijuana applicants during the Ohio license application process.
    • Along with co-counsel, successfully obtained a sanction award against an eBay seller who brought a SLAPP suit against two out-of-state individuals.
    • Successfully quashed a subpoena issued by a Plaintiff in a SLAPP suit that would have revealed a client's identity, where the client engaged on constitutionally-protected speech online.
    • Obtained an acquittal on behalf of a client accused of improperly purchasing liquor for business purposes, thereby avoiding revocation of his client's liquor license.
    • Obtained a summary judgment against a construction equipment company where the company attempted to hold the client personally liable for business debt; defended the decision in the Court of Appeals, which subsequently affirmed the trial court's decision.
  • Education

    • Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, J.D., cum laude, 2011
    • John Carroll University, B.A., 2008


    • State of Ohio
    • U.S. District Court, Northern and Southern Districts of Ohio
    • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • Professional Affiliations

    • Ohio Hemp Association —Executive Vice President (2019-Present)
    • International Cannabis Industry Association—Legal and Banking Committee (2016-2017)
    • International Cannabis Bar Association—Member (2016-Present)
    • National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) Legal Committee—Member (2012-Present)
    • Ohio State Bar Association—Member (2012-Present); Council of Delegates (2018-Present)
    • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association —Member (2011-Present); Board of Directors Trustee (2018-Present)
    • Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers—Member (2012-Present)
    • Cuyahoga County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association—Member (2012-Present)

    Community Involvement

    • Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) Lead Cohort 5 — Class of 2020
    • Cleveland-Marshall College of Law — Solo Incubator Advisory Council (2011-Present)
    • Candidate for Ohio Senate, District 23 (2014)
    • Lowellville High School — Commencement Speaker (2014)
    • Named to the Top 7 Cannabis Attorneys in the U.S. by The Vape Report 
    • Named to the Top 200 Cannabis Attorneys (2020)
    • Named to The Best Lawyers in America list in the area of Cannabis Law (2021)
    • Named to the Ohio Super Lawyers Rising Stars list (2019-2020)
    • "An Update on Ohio's Hemp and Marijuana Laws," Parma Bar Association Seminar (October 2020) 
    • "Full Legalization," Ohio State Bar Association's Ohio Cannabis Law Conference (October 2020) 
    • "Focus on State Industrial Hemp Programs," Halfmoon Education Inc. Industrial Hemp Law, Applications and Economics Seminar, Columbus, OH (January 2020)
    • Marijuana Business Daily Podcast, MJBizCon (December 2020)
    • "Sophomore Year: What's Next for Illinois, Michigan and the Midwest," MJBizCon, Las Vegas, Nevada (December 2019) 
    • "Cannabis Law: Practical Issues Impacting the Workplace," Cleveland SHRM Chapter Meeting, Cleveland, OH (December 2019) 
    • "Medical Marijuana Law in Ohio," National Business Institute CLE, Columbus, OH (December 2019) 
    • "Hemp and CBD," Ohio Craft Brewers Association (OCBA) Quarterly Meeting, Cleveland, OH (November 2019) 
    • "Effective Strategies to Navigate Increasing Administrative Oversight," Frantz Ward Litigation Seminar, Cleveland, OH (September 2019) 
    • "Acquisitions and Business Growth," Association of Corporate Counsel, Cleveland, OH (August 2019) 
    • "Crowdfunding," Association of Corporate Counsel, Cleveland, OH (August 2019) 
    • "Leagalization in Michigan and the Future of the Midwest," MJBizConNEXT panel, New Orleans, LA (June 2019)
    • "Ethics and Practice Management," MJBizConNEXT Pre-Conference Cannabis Law Session, New Orleans, LA (June 2019)
    • "Online Defamation and Anti-SLAPP Laws," CMBA Hot Talk, Cleveland, OH (May 2019) 
    • "Cannabis Law and Practical Issues Impacting the Workplace," Frantz Ward Labor and Employment Law Seminar, Cleveland, OH (May 2019) 
    • "Medical Marijuana in Ohio," Ohio State Bar Association's Business Law Institute, Columbus, OH (May 2019) 
    • "Understanding the Future of Cannabis and the Workplace: Possible Impacts and Outcomes of Cannabis Legalization on HR Policies and Workplace Safety," USI Brokerage Insurance Roundtable Discussion, Cleveland, OH (April 2019) 
    • "Clearing the Weeds: Marijuana and the Law," Cleveland-Marshall College of Law (February 2019)
    • "Medical Marijuana & Your Workplace," Greater Cleveland Business Alliance (GCBA) (February 2019)
    • "Drugs in the Workplace: Building a Strategic Employer Plan," Hylant Seminar (February 2019) 
    • "Handling Potential Client Intake," CMBA New Lawyer Boot Camp, Cleveland, OH (December 2018)
    • "Speech Protections Under the First Amendment," Walsh Jesuit High School, Stow, OH (December 2018)
    • “Marijuana Business Crash Course: Taxes & Legal,” Marijuana Business MJBizCon, Las Vegas, NV (November 2018)
    • "The Changing Cannabis Landscape Considerations for Journalists," Ohio Newspaper Association & Ohio Association of Broadcasters, Webinar (November 2018)
    • "Practical Guidance on Data Breach Prevention and Response," Frantz Ward Litigation Panel Series, Cleveland, OH (September 2018)
    • "Defending Against: Products Liability, RICO, Dram Shop/Social Host, and Other Claims," National Cannabis Bar Association's Law Instiute, Washington D.C. (September 2018)
    •  "Ohio Cannabis Legal and Financial Impact & Update, BioOhio's "Medical Cannabis in the Buckeye State Conference, Cleveland OH (June 2018)
    • "Hot Emerging Medical Markets: Michigan, Pennsylvania & Ohio," MJBixConNEXT, New Orleans, LA (May 2018)
    • "The Ethics of Representing Medical Marijuana Clients: What We Know, What We Don't, and How Other States Have Addressed Attorney Participation in this Growing Industry," Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers' Hot Topics in Criminal Laws, Columbus, OH (December 2017)
    • "How to Screen a Case," Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Associations' New Lawyer Bootcamp, Cleveland, OH (December 2017)
    • “Ohio Medical Marijuana: Implementation and Opportunities for Young Lawyers,” Panelist, The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law Federalist Society Meeting, Columbus, OH (October 2017)
    • “Rules Regarding Representation in Medical Marijuana Matters,” Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association's Sizzling Hot Topics in Professional Conduct, Cleveland, OH (October 2017)
    • “Dealing with the Realities of Un/Underemployment and Career Transition,” Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association Pillars Program, Cleveland, OH (October 2017)
    • "Hot Topics in Media Law," Ohio State Bar Association Law & Media Conference, Columbus, OH (October 2017)
    • "Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program: An Overview," Ohio Cannabis Institute (May 2017)
    • "The Ethical Black Hole of Ohio's Green Rush," Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (2016)
    • "Back to Basics: Defamation, Privacy, and Copyright Law in Ohio," Ohio State Bar Association Law & Media Conference (2015)
    • "Litigating the Offensive Online Speech Case: Perils, Protections, and Public Relations," Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association CLE (2013)