Industry Group Chair
Melissa Kuipers Blake

Melissa Kuipers Blake

Shareholder

Background

Accomplished legal and political strategist. More than 25 years advocating at the federal, state and local levels of government. Robust experience representing clients in highly regulated industries and successfully navigating their legal, political and business interests.

Melissa Kuipers Blake leads negotiations for her clients with policymakers in Washington, D.C., and state capitols nationwide ,with strong political relationships in Colorado and Florida. She brings the dynamic combination of long-standing federal, state and local relationships with an unmatched talent for deal-making. Described as a "power lobbyist" by Colorado Politics, Melissa is a hard-charging advocate and political tactician in Congress and with governors, attorneys general, policymakers and mayors throughout the U.S. She’s sought out for her subject matter expertise and ability to craft successful political strategies from start to finish with her creative approaches that lead to successful client outcomes. 

Co-chair of Brownstein’s Cannabis & Industrial Hemp industry group, Melissa has played a dominant role in crafting and implementing cannabis policy at the federal and state level since it was first legalized in Colorado. Using her foundational knowledge of the industry and its players, she counsels clients and advises state and local governments as they craft and implement cannabis policies.

In parallel, Melissa has built a large-scale national automotive practice with vast experience lobbying for the industry in state governments and Washington, D.C. She previously served as Vice President of Government Relations and Communications for the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association in Denver and still represents the association.

Melissa’s dedicated work ethic extends into her personal life, where she serves as the CEO of Baking for the Troops, a nonprofit that sends homemade care packages to U.S. military members deployed worldwide.

Representative Matters

Representative Matters - Federal

  • Led a successful federal strategy on behalf of the City of Colorado Springs to reverse the Trump Administration’s decision to relocate Space Command to Huntsville, AL from Colorado Springs, CO.

  • On behalf of Cresco and Curaleaf, successful passage of the SAFER Banking Bill, S.2860, out of the Senate Banking Committee. Passage of this bill signifies the historical first ever cannabis financial services bill to be voted out of a senate committee.

  • During the height of COVID-19 shutdowns, represented Cars.com to work with the White House and Department of Homeland Security to deem “automotive sales and leasing” an “essential business” federally. Successfully made the case to regulators and the White House as to why auto sales were critical, specifically for first responders, health care workers and consumers at large.

Representative Matters - State

  • Worked with Governor Polis (D-Colorado) and the Colorado Legislature on behalf of Altria to craft and implement a reasonably applied tax on nicotine products to provide funding for universal pre-school in Colorado.

  • Successfully passed SB21-76 on behalf of DealerTrack Registration and titling services to create and fund a system within the Colorado Department of Motor Vehicles to provide for electronic vehicle registration services for car buyers and to ease transactions for County governments and car dealers.

  • Successfully crafted and passed SB23-078 on behalf of the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association to provide warranty reimbursement at the retail rate, among other franchise law protections.

  • Regulatory and compliance counsel for a major Las Vegas hotel and casino to ensure the resort’s policies related to guest and employee consumption of medical and recreational cannabis are consistent with all applicable Nevada laws and regulations.

Insights & Publications

News

Credentials

Education

  • J.D., 2005, University of Miami School of Law
  • B.S., 2002, Florida State University, with honors

Admissions

  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • District of Columbia

Memberships

Government and Public Policy Advocacy Committee, The Florida Bar, 2017- present

Cabinet, Denver Film Society, 2011 – 2013

National Association of Dealer Counsel, 2009 – present

American Bar Association. 2011 – present

Florida Bar Association, 2006 – present 

Colorado Women's Bar Association, 2011 – 2014

Community Involvement

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT:

Board of Directors, Colorado Chamber of Commerce, present

Government Affairs Council, present

President, Board of Directors, Colorado Civil Justice League, 2019

Board of Directors, Colorado Civil Justice League, 2010 – present

Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry, 2008 - 2018

Vice President, Colorado Civil Justice League, 2017 – 2018

Colorado Business Committee for the Arts, 2012 - 2014

Founder, Baking for the Troops, 2009 – present

 

Recognition

AWARDS:

Outstanding Women in Business, Denver Business Journal, 2022

Barrister’s Best “Best Marijuana Lawyer", Law Week Colorado, 2021, 2023

Lawyers of the Year, Law Week Colorado, 2020

Top Women Lawyers, Law Week Colorado, 2020

5280 Top Lawyers, 2016-2024

Top 25 Young Professional, Colorado Biz Magazine, 2015

Most Powerful People, Rising Star, 5280 Magazine

Private Sector Co-Chair, American Legislative Exchange Council, 2013 – 2015

Colorado Convention Chair, 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, FL

Top 40 under 40, Denver Business Journal, 2010

University of Miami School of Law Alumni Spotlight, 2010

Editor in Chief, University of Miami School of Law Res Ipsa Loquitur