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Meet Alexa Steinberg of Manzuri Law in West Hollywood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alexa Steinberg.

So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I received my bachelor’s degree with honors in Political Science and Communications from the University of California, Davis. I then went on to pursue my legal degree at Southwestern Law School. I spent six years as a full time certified law clerk litigating family law and civil matters. Then went on to clerk for a Los Angeles Superior Court Judge before joining, my now firm, the Manzuri Law team.
After I took the bar exam in 2015, I was hired as a law clerk at Manzuri Law. When I passed the bar exam three months later, I was hired on as the first associate attorney at the firm where my initial concentration was criminal defense and advice and counsel for cannabis businesses, then operating under the collective model. As legalization loomed, my practice area followed the progression of licensure and the development of the industry as a whole.

In December 2019, I made Partner at Manzuri Law.

In addition to my legal career, last year I expand my focus to give back to my community when I ran and was elected as a Studio City Neighborhood Councilwoman. Elected for a two-year term, I sit on the Studio City Council board dedicating my time to working as a liaison between the community, stakeholders and the LA City Council to help improve, educate and support Studio City.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
If it was easy, everyone would do it. I worked incredibly hard, put in countless hours, sacrificed a social life and dedicated all I had to building my name, my career and making something of myself.

As with any industry and the journey toward success, proving yourself is at the forefront of the climb. However, proving yourself is one thing, but proving yourself as a young female attorney in an industry dominated by men , historically defined by handshake deals, and off the cuff way of thinking, is a job in and of itself. Where regulation was absent, black market ruled and nothing was off-limits when operating in an already unlawful market, entering as the voice of compliance, rule setting and telling a client “no” was a new experience. As a woman in that position, its important to have the foresight, preparation, intelligence, dedication and the wear with all to continue to sit at the table and prove that I not only belonged there but that I am of value there.

As an industry leader, I have been – quoted in a number of publications and news outlets, and authored articles on cannabis business, compliance, industry climate and regulatory law. I also regularly speak as a guest panelist at cannabis conferences, educational and business seminars, and legal cannabis panels held by various law schools and business schools all over Los Angeles and California.

In December 2016, I, along with managing partner Meital Manzuri, was featured on the cover of Culture Magazine’s B2B publication as a Cannabis Industry Insider discussing the implications of the newly passed Prop 64 that legalized recreational cannabis in California.

Manzuri Law – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
When I joined Manzuri Law in 2015, the firm’s concentration was 60% criminal defense concentrated mainly surrounding cannabis crimes, and 40% business advice and counsel for aspiring cannabis businesses under, what we called at the time the collective model – advising clients as to how to operate in compliance with the attorney general guidelines as a nonprofit medical cannabis collective. At the end of 2016, the State passed a comprehensive licensing process along with Prop 64 that legalized recreational cannabis.

From there, I worked side-by-side with clients advocating for their businesses and lobbying the City of Los Angeles for regulation and affirmative licenses. Today, I represent cannabis businesses up and down the supply chain, from cultivation and manufacturing to distribution, retail and testing. I advise my clients on corporate strategy and structure, compliance, regulatory issues, transactional matters and licensing.

We know the nitty-gritty of cannabis because we grew up with the industry. As opposed to most of the cannabis business attorneys who jumped into the industry post legalization, our practice evolved with the industry – from the gray to black and white. We have been in this space for over ten years and our unique knowledge puts our clients in advantageous business positions.

My favorite thing about working at Manzuri Law are the people that comprise it – I love my team and what we do. We provide a premier service to our clients and , go above and beyond for their interests. We have a clear undying dedication to the industry, built trust and loyalty with our clients and have been at the front lines with our legacy operators the entire way.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
Making Partner in Dec 2019. Most attorneys work their entire career to achieve the status of partner at a firm. It is such an honor that I undoubtedly have given my all to achieve.

Contact Info:

  • Website: manzurilaw.com
  • Phone: 310-912-2960
  • Email: alexa@manzurilaw.com
  • Instagram: @420attorneys (business) and @am_steinberg (personal)

 Image Credit:
Alex Colorito

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